The proposal approval is organized stage wise in accordance with the expertise of the reviewing panels. All proposals undergo a strong scientific evaluation by the independent review committee, the Science Advisory Group, SAG (see Entities).
Because a preliminary proposal introduces a scientific idea without asking for any financial support, SAG decides if proponents can proceed submitting a workshop proposal.
In addition to the SAG evaluation, workshop proposals are reviewed and decided on by the Executive Committee (EC) with an extended focus on managerial and technical aspects. Full proposals go through the same cycle but will be in addition decided on by the Assembly of Governors (AOG) with focus on financial aspects.
Quality of science
• Does this project address fundamental scienfitic issues of gobal significance, rather than just local problems?
• Is it international in scope, so that the best drilling targets world-wide are being selected to address these scientific issues?
Qualification of proponents
• Is the experience and productivity of the proponents plus the breadth and international diversity of the science team/ workshop attendees sufficient?
• Is the team well gender and career stage balanced?
• Has an open call for workshop particpation been considered in the planning of the workshop size?
• Where possible, does the project have some relevance to societal needs, such as energy, mineral and water resources, environmental/climate change, geologic hazards, etc.?
Need for drilling
• Is drilling necessary to achieve the stated scientific objectives, or can they be achieved with surface-based studies at lesser expense?
Technical feasibility - for full proposals only
• Are the reviewers confident that this project will succeed in reaching its scientific objectives?
• Is there a well-considered and technologically sound operational plan?
• Is prior experience of the proponents or input from the Operational Support Group well utilized?
• Is the budget carefully prepared and reasonable given the scope of the workshop or drilling project?
• For full proposals is there any efficient drilling, sampling, and downhole measurement plan, which minimizes the depth, difficulty and hence the cost of the project?
• Does this plan take advantage of existing holes or financial/ technical support from other agencies or private industry?
• Where appropriate, have previous evaluations/ recommendations been taken into account in the present proposal?
• If so are they carefully addressed in a cover letter?
Site characterization - for full proposals only
• Is the drilling target already well defined through geological and geophysical site surveys?
• Are permitting and environmental approvals in hand?
Project organization - for full proposals only
• Is there a sound project management plan, with clearly defined leadership and operational/ scientific responsibilities outlined for all key aspects of the project?