Preparing for the first site visit
On May 19th and 20th 2015 the review panel of the NCCR PlanetS will carry out its first site visit at the University of Bern – a crucial meeting.
«This event is extremely important for us because it is the first impression we will give to the panel members,» says Yann Alibert, science officer of the NCCR PlanetS. On behalf of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the review panel will follow PlanetS during its existence and evaluate the achievements of the NCCR in all areas. Ultimately, it will also recommend whether PlanetS should continue beyond the first 4-year phase. There will be a site visit once every year, hence the panel will have the opportunity to see first-hand the development of the NCCR. «One should not see the panel as a tribunal but rather as a group of experts providing feedback and helping the NCCR to move forward,» says Yann Alibert.
The review panel consists of three members of the SNSF Research Funding divisions, two SNSF officers and six international experts called panel members. These scientists cover the disciplines and subjects involved in PlanetS. According to the guidelines of the SNSF the panel members need to be independent and to disclose any links to NCCR participants. They are also obligated to refrain from discussions related to PlanetS and they have to sign a declaration of confidentiality.
On May 19th the PlanetS scientists will present their projects in talks and poster sessions whereas the day after, management areas, general aspects and structural measures are on the schedule. In the afternoon, following up an internal review, the speaker of the panel will present the outcome and assessment to the representatives of PlanetS who will have a chance to address raised issues.
The panel also has to provide a written report to the SNSF Research Council, which in turn will process the experts’ recommendation. About two months after the site visit, the NCCR management will get written feedbacks from the SNSF on the decisions of the Research Council including excerpts of the review panel report. Yann Alibert is convinced: «This panel will give us good advice.»