Results of the third call for proposals

We are thankful for the 258 applications, which we received for the third call for proposals and for the big interest in the TALENT Doctoral Programme.

The 258 applications consisted of 252 unique applications and were divided between 98 female, 153 male and one undeclared. (For the distribution when it comes to citizenship, departments and programme areas, please see the presentation/statistics in the right hand box.) 69 of the 252 unique applications were eligible, meaning that 183 of the applications submitted did not pass step one of the evaluation, the eligibility and admissibility check. The 183 were notified accordingly by email (individually) on Tuesday 22 October 2019, 14.00 CET. In other words, 69 applicants made it to step two of the evaluation, the pre-selection at department level.

The Evaluation Process
It was decided to send 27 of the 69 eligible applications, which went to step two of the evaluation, on to step three, the expert/international review. The 42 applicants, who did not make the cut at step 2 of the evaluation, received an explanatory email with a rejection on Wednesday 13 November 2019, 15.00 CET. Moreover, the 27 applicants, whose proposals were reviewed as part of step three of the evaluation, were duly notified of this by email on Wednesday 13 November 2019, 16.00 CET.

At step 3, the expert/international review, the 27 applications were each evaluated by two evaluators. 14 applications reached the employment threshold of four; 13 did not.

On Thursday 5 December 2019, the Research Committee at the Faculty of Science convened as part of step 4, the final selection of candidates, and decided on the candidates to hire. The committee decided to offer employment to the 13 candidates above the employment threshold of four and send four applications off to a third review and reject the applications from the remaining 10 candidates (under the threshold of four). A third evaluator was included for four applications as it would be possible for the applications to reach the threshold of four, in case of a third evaluation. One out of the four applications reached the employment threshold of four; three did not.

Shortly after the meeting, all 27 candidates were informed individually of the decision by email. The email contained information on how to access and download the consensus report, incl. the overall score through the recruitment/application system. The applicants, who received a rejection or whose applications were sent off to a third review, were offered the opportunity to provide comments to the consensus report no later than Monday 16 December 2019, 12.00 CET. Three of the applicants sent comments to the consensus report and the TALENT secretariat/the Associate Dean for Research, Professor, PhD, Morten Pejrup replied to these requests.

Reasons for Rejection at Step one: the Eligibility and Admissibility Check
It was not possible to give an individual and detailed reply to all 183 applicants as to why their proposal was rejected at step one of the evaluation. However, we can convey that the issues in relation to the third call for proposals are the same as for the first and second calls for proposals:

  • The mandatory templates were not used or only to some extent.
  • The required documentation was missing, incl. one of the requested English tests with the required score.
  • The eligibility criteria (mobility, research experience, MSc level, see here) were not met.

It is important for us to stress that the rejections at step one cover a great variation: some applicants used the mandatory templates and submitted the required documentation but did not live up to the requirement towards e.g. research experience or MSc level. Other applicants did not use any of the mandatory templates and did not submit the requested documents and therefore did not comply with the requirements.

We would also like to underline that we evaluated the applications at step one, the eligibility and admissibility check according to the eligibility, admissibility and evaluation criteria as communicated and explained in the job advert, the Guide for Applicants (incl. the four mandatory templates), the Evaluation Guide, the FAQ and on the TALENT website. It was clearly stated that all requirements must be met for an application to be considered eligible.

The TALENT secretariat acknowledges that the applicants invested time and effort in applying. Thus, we would like to emphasize that we on our part had several employees with long and extensive experience with PhD education and the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, in particular the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions check the applications at step one. This was to ensure that only applications meeting the clearly stated eligibility criteria proceeded to step two in the evaluation process and that the applications were assessed in a fair and responsible manner.

Reasons for Rejection at Step two: the Pre-selection at Department Level
At this stage, the proposals were rejected due to lack of sufficient match between the applications and the departments and/or because the applications were not competitive enough compared to the excellent applications submitted to the TALENT Doctoral Programme.

We would like to stress that the TALENT Doctoral Programme is based on excellence and that the big challenge when applying is the project description. Even though applicants meet the criteria at the first step of the evaluation and have drawn up and submitted a project description, the quality of the descriptions vary. When evaluating the applications and assessing whether an applicant would be able to live up to what is expected of a PhD student and conduct the described project, we look at the track record of the applicant, i.e. grades and experience.