The commitment of the European Commission (EC) to equitable and rigorous scientific review of the research it funds is undermined by the perfunctory quality of feedback to grant applicants. This denies investigators the opportunity to learn and improve from constructive expert criticism.
The commission's review procedures are time-consuming and costly. So, regardless of the final decision on funding, individual applicants should be privy to the full text of expert critiques of their proposals — not merely to a brief summary of the consensus ruling. The anonymous reviewers also deserve to be heard.
In my experience, these evaluation summary reports contain only vague comments, without constructive suggestions or scientific advice. For grant applications that can run to 70 pages, this minimal feedback seems inadequate.
The European Union cannot afford the current waste of intellectual resources and input into scientific development.