Criteria Used by a Peer Review Committee for Selection of Research Fellows

A Boolean Probit Analysis


*Address for correspondence: Lutz Bornmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Professorship for Social Psychology and Research on Higher Education, Zähringerstr. 24, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


An international foundation for the promotion of basic research in biomedicine, the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (B.I.F.), reports that fellowships are awarded to post-graduate researchers according to the following main criteria: (1) scientific quality as demonstrated by the applicant's achievements to date, (2) the originality of the proposed research project, and (3) the scientific standing of the laboratory where the research will be conducted. Using the Boolean probit statistical technique, this study examines the multiple conjunctural causation that a fellowship will be awarded only if all three of these criteria are assessed positively by the B.I.F. peer review committee. In agreement with the prescriptive principles of the foundation the results suggest that the B.I.F. approves applications only if all of the three criteria are rated positively.