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The German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) has mandated a committee to independently carry out a cross-disciplinary science-led assessment of comprehensive research infrastructures and further develop the procedure. The committee could appoint working groups to address special tasks. The committee is currently dormant.

The evaluation of the projects took place in two steps: in a first step, qualitative individual evaluations of the RI proposals were developed with the help of additional external experts. In a second step, the projects were subjected to a comparative evaluation.

Both the individual and the comparative evaluations were carried out on the basis of four evaluation dimensions:

Scientific potential (including significance and relevance for the research field, necessity, support within the scientific community, opening up of new research fields, role within the area of competition and complementary research infrastructures)

Utilisation (including size and origin of user groups, regulation of access to the research infrastructure, capacity, data proposal)

Feasibility (including technological, institutional and staff requirements of the executing institution, risks)

Significance for Germany as a science location (including relevance of the research infrastructure project with regard to Germany’s role and interests, impact on the visibility and attractiveness of German science, knowledge and technology transfer)

The individual evaluations, together with the comparative evaluation, form the result of the science-led evaluation process. All results were presented to the WR during its July 2017 meeting in the form of a Position Statement.