Peer Review Process and Scientific Committee
All Telethon funding decisions are subordinate to a peer review process.
The Scientific Office manages the development and implementation of policies and procedures that pertain to peer review, while the Scientific Committee has complete control over grant allocation.
The peer-review process
Telethon issues periodic calls for applications for all its grants and for the positions at the Dulbecco-Telethon Institute. All applications are submitted electronically and undergo a peer review-based selection process.
Applications, which are submitted electronically, are initially screened for compliance to administrative and call requests by the Telethon Scientific Office.
The evaluation takes into account several aspects of the application, among which:
- scientific quality
- relevance to Telethon’s mission
- candidate’s CV
- budget appropriateness
The scoring system takes into account two criteria: scientific merit and proximity to cure. Each project receives two separate scores, that will concur to the overall score in a weighted manner. The proximity-to-cure score benefits projects that are closer to clinical application. The relative weight of the scientific merit score in the overall score is 90%, so that scientific excellence remains the main criteria for Telethon funding.
All revision sessions include:
1) External written review
2) Scientific Committee written review
3) Plenary meeting and final decision
Other steps can be included depending on the type of call: a triage step can be added to the revision of the research projects, or an interview can be requested to short-listed candidates in the Dulbecco Telethon Institute call.
Applications are sent to a minimum of two ad-hoc external reviewers chosen by the Scientific Office among the experts in the field and to three Committee Members. External reviewers give a recommendation for funding, while Scientific Committee Members give scores according to the triple criteria system. Applications for services/facilities and for fellowships do not undergo external review.
The decision to fund an application takes place during a plenary discussion of the Scientific Committee.
Written feedbacks are provided to applicants incorporating the reviewers' comments and a summary of the plenary discussion.