# Estimating rank from small samples

Background: $N$ research funding proposals are to be ranked to inform funding decisions. Each proposal is assessed and ranked by 2-4 subject matter experts (SMEs) who only see a small number of proposals. Typically $N$ is many hundreds and the SMEs only assess 2-5 proposals. (There is other information as well but the question is just about the utility of the rank information.)

Question: What can be inferred about the 'actual' rank out of $N$ given the proposal's ranks in a few small samples?