To ensure that only the best applications are funded and that all applications for the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program and the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) program competition processes are treated fairly, the NCE uses a peer-review system. Peer review is an assessment of proposals or contributions by impartial experts in the specific fields.
For each competition, the NCE Steering Committee appoints a Selection Committee composed of international experts with broad expertise representing the domains of the three granting agencies.
The Selection Committee reviews the letters of intent based on the selection criteria, the application’s relevance to the NCE Secretariat Competition goals and objectives as well as the proposed Network's relevance to the target area. The Selection Committee recommends which applicants should be invited to submit full applications to the NCE Steering Committee. The Selection Committee also reviews the full applications based on the selection criteria and the expert panel reports.
The NCE Secretariat appoints an interdisciplinary expert panel to evaluate each full application. The review is based on the NCE Secretariat Competition selection criteria. An expert panel meets with representatives of each group of applicants and their partners.
The Expert Panel reviews the full application and provides a detailed evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses for each selection criterion and makes recommendations on the requested budget. The review reports are transmitted to the NCE Selection Committee.
The NCE Steering Committee makes the final funding decision based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee who have reviewed and rated the applications based on the selection criteria and the expert panels reports. The decisions reached by the NCE Steering Committee are final. There is no appeal process.
The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) is a body of trusted, seasoned, strategic industry advisors comprised of respected Canadian industry leaders. PSAB was established by the Networks of Centres of Excellence by request of the Government of Canada in 2007.
PSAB provides the NCE Steering Committee with expert advice and recommendations during the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) and Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) competition processes. PSAB evaluates proposals based on their ability to create a strategic, long-term economic advantage for Canada.