The CcSP programme proposal had been put through extensive (inter)national review in 2003-2004 period, before the funding was granted. The CcSP proposal was one of the best ranking with very good mark for socio-economic relevance and excellent mark for scientific quality. In addition, the CcSP-programme intended to guarantee the scientific quality and social-economic embedding of each single project in the programme - by commissioning independent (peer) reviews of all projects before they start. For the review procedure, the programme made distinction between research projects (~80 % of overall programme budget) and communication/hotspot projects. The review of research projects comprised the following elements:
a) an independent assessment of the scientific quality of the project and thematic cohesion of the project within the programme by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), which works with an international peer-review system
b) a social review in which the socio-economic relevance of the project and its usefulness for stakeholders-practitioners is evaluated.
Communication and Hotspot projects only under went a social review. A detailed description of the review procedures can be found in 'Midterm Evaluation'. Once the projects had started, they receive scientific support from the Programma Office in the person of scientific support officers, and from the Scientific Director.
Scientific Review of research proposals within CcSP
This assessment was conducted in accordance with the standard NWO procedures. For each project proposal, up to four independent, anonymous referees were asked to assess the scientific quality of the project taking into account the overarching thematic requirements of the programme. The parties submitting project proposals were given the opportunity to respond to the review reports. The results of the reviews and the responses were submitted to a NOW-scientific assessment committee, which had the task of advising the Programme Council and the Board of the CcSP Foundation on whether to proceed with the project, and if so, which corrections and changes were needed to be implemented.
Societal review of research proposals within CcSP
An independent assessment was carried out to evaluate the societal and economic relevance and support for the projects in the CcSP programme before they start. For each project proposal, at minimum two independent, anonymous referees were asked to review and assess the project proposals on a number of criteria. The parties submitting the project proposals were given the opportunity to respond to the review reports. The results of the reviews and responses were evaluated by a social assessment committee, which had the task of advising the Programme Council and the Board of the CcSP Foundation on whether to proceed with the project, and if so, which corrections and changes were needed to be implemented.