A concept for inferring "frontier research" in grant proposals

Dirk Holste, Ivana Roche, Marianne Hörlesberger, Dominique Besagni, Thomas Scherngell, Claire Francois, Pascal Cuxac, Edgar Schiebel, Michel Zitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses a concept for inferring attributes of `frontier research´ in peer-reviewed research proposals under the popular scheme of the European Research Council (ERC). The concept serves two purposes: firstly to conceptualize, define and operationalize in scientometric terms attributes of frontier research; and secondly to build and compare outcomes of a statistical model with the review decision in order to obtain further insight and reflect upon the influence of frontier research in the peer-review process. To this end, indicators across scientific disciplines and in accord with the strategic definition of frontier research by the ERC are elaborated, exploiting textual proposal information and other scientometric data of grant applicants. Subsequently, a suitable model is formulated to measure ex-post the influence of attributes of frontier research on the decision probability of a proposal to be accepted. We present first empirical data as proof of concept for inferring frontier research in grant proposals. Ultimately the concept is aiming at advancing the methodology to deliver signals for monitoring the effectiveness of peer-review processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-148
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


  • Frontier research
  • Peer-review
  • Bibliometric indicators
  • Lexical analysis
  • Statistical modelling


Dive into the research topics of 'A concept for inferring "frontier research" in grant proposals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this