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Feedback for SMEs and First Time Applicants (FEEDS FIRST)
Last registered on June 17, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Feedback for SMEs and First Time Applicants (FEEDS FIRST)
Initial registration date
June 17, 2020
Last updated
June 17, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

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Primary Investigator
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
PI Affiliation
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The main objective of this project is to test the effects of feedback with and without relative ranking scores on SMEs and first-time applicants performance in the funding program “General Programme” of the FFG, and business performance after the program. The feedback for each firm will be based on evaluations scores of the respective funding proposal from project evaluators in the FFG. The participants in the RCT are all Start-ups, SMEs, and large companies who are first-time applicants accepted into the funding program in the timespan of a year. The trial will be two-armed, with control and a treatment group. The control group will receive a written feedback on their proposal. The treatment group will receive the same format of feedback but with an additional relative ranking score.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Aiginger-Evangelisti , Philipp, Harald Hochreiter and Tess Landon. 2020. "Feedback for SMEs and First Time Applicants (FEEDS FIRST)." AEA RCT Registry. June 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6019-1.0.
Experimental Details
The intervention will be an additional indicator of relative ranking compared to other firms in the funding program on areas of feedback. For example, in "category 1 you ranked in the 60th percentile of other firms in General Programmes"
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Do companies who receive relative rabking in their feedback show a better quality of reports and/or future proposals
- Measured by: (1) final evaluation scores (part 1 of final evaluation); (2) delay of project finalization (potentially, given pandemic situation we are still waiting to see how firms currently are handling project timelines)
- When: approx. 3 - 6 months after project end and immediately at project end, respectively.

2) Companies who receive feedback change their behaviour
- Measured by: (1) final evaluation scores (part 2 of final evaluation); (2) Surveys
- When: approx. 3 - 6 months after project end and halfway/project end, respectively.

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
3) Ultimate outcome objective: Improve the project outcomes (products/services)
- Measured by: Higher revenues and number of clients served, increased company growth, and products/services have a faster time to market
- When: approx. 4 years after project end
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment will take place in a funding program in the FFG over the course of 1 year, encompassing 7 funding decisions. All firms will get a written feedback on their proposal at the same time they receive the news that they are receiving funding, all sent electronically. The control group will receive jus tfeedback and the treatment group feedback with the relative ranking. The Project Evaluators will not have access to the feedback, so they will not know the assignment of firms in the treatment arms. To nudge the firms to read the feedback, they will be asked to respond to the message saying they read and understood the feedback.

Surveys will be sent out at the beginning, in the middle and directly after the end of the project.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done by external partners at a university using a computer program.
Randomization Unit
Project level which is usually firm level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We expect approximatley 200-250 firms/projects
Sample size: planned number of observations
200-250 firms/projects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100-125 firms/projects in control group

100-125 firms7projects in treatment group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number