CERIC Research Grants

CERIC-ERIC, the Central European Consortium for Research Infrastructures announces the following:

Call for applications to CERIC Research Grants - CALL CLOSED

FAQs

1. Rationale
CERIC is an international institution recently set-up by the European Commission upon proposal by several Countries of Central East Europe. Its activities are based in one selected Partner Facility (PF) hosted by an Institution in each participating Country. CERIC operates in the area of Materials and Biomaterials, developing research and offering open access to analytical techniques based on different and complementary probes and supporting their development. Its mission is to integrate the Partner Facilities as well as their in-house research and other activities into a unique international research Institution. The facilities are open to international external users and enable ground-breaking top-level science in Central East Europe. With this mission in mind, CERIC has decided to launch a program of “CERIC Research Grants” to fund a limited number of research projects that take the best advantage of the consortium and contribute to its improvement.

2. The goal and scope of the grants
The CERIC Research Grants will provide funding to excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue high level and ground-breaking research in science and engineering. This research is expected to lead to advances at the frontiers of knowledge by using and eventually improving the research infrastructures in the CERIC Partner Facilities, taking best advantage of the CERIC consortium and contributing to its improvement. Proposals shall be submitted by researchers proposing projects with a multitechnique and multidisciplinary approach within the area covered by CERIC and involving more than one of the CERIC Partner Facilities. A specific requirement is the potential of the projects to build the base for successful proposals for Horizon2020 and/or for the use of structural funds for the construction/upgrade and international success of the CERIC facilities.

The present call for application to CERIC Research Grants will award a maximum of three grants of up to 150,000 €/year each for up to three years.

3. Evaluation criteria: excellence above all
The evaluation of the applications for CERIC Grants will be based on international peer review by renowned scientists and scholars proposed by the International Scientific and Technology Advisory Committee of CERIC (ISTAC). The ISTAC will formulate the final ranking based on the evaluations by the peer reviewers.

The selection criteria will be based on:
- the scientific quality;
- the expected impact of the proposed research activity on the overall quality and capability of CERIC;
- the quality and clear structure of the proposed implementation.

1-5 points will be awarded per each criteria.*

After approval, the progress report is to be submitted in months 10 and 22 of the project's duration in order to allow for progress evaluation by months 12 and 24.

4. Who should apply
The CERIC Grants will support projects carried out by research teams led by one Principal Investigator (PI), who is the proposer of the project. The Principal Investigator must have already shown the potential for competitive research, professional independence and evidence of maturity. She/he must be able to demonstrate a promising track record of previous achievements appropriate to her/his research field and career stage, including significant publications in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field.
CERIC grants are open to PIs of any nationality submitting the projects from any country in the world at the time of the application, as well as to researchers operating in the CERIC Partner Facilities. However, throughout the project duration, the PI the shall be hosted by a Partner Facility from a CERIC Member State (Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland Romania, Slovenia)**. In addition to researchers from these Partner Facilities, the research team may involve team members from CERIC Partner Facilities in Observer States (Hungary, Croatia). In justified cases the team may involve researchers from institutions outside CERIC.
Principal Investigators funded through the CERIC Grants shall spend a minimum 30% of their total working time on the CERIC project, ensuring presence and leadership of the team throughout the course of the project to guarantee its proper execution.

The PI will:
- manage the research and the funding for the project and make appropriate resource allocation decisions;
- publish independently as senior author and include as co-authors only those who have contributed substantially to the reported work;
- supervise the work of the team members;
- have access to appropriate space and facilities for conducting the research, as defined in the Statement of Acceptance of Conditions to Host/Participate in a CERIC grant.

Among projects standing on equal footing, priority will be given to those presented by researchers already operating at CERIC Partner Facilities

5. Ethical principles
The proposed research activities shall comply with the ethical principles and relevant national, EU and international legislation, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights and its Supplementary Protocols. The proposed research activities shall have an exclusive focus on civilian applications.

6. Eligibility criteria
All proposals must be complete and be submitted before the relevant call deadline. Incomplete proposals may be declared ineligible. Proposals exceeding of the budget of 450.000 EUR, made available in 3 annual installments of 150.000 EUR will be declared ineligible.

7. Eligible costs
The project must give a full account of the costs to be charged on the CERIC contribution and the costs of resources contributed in-kind by the hosting and/or collaborating Institutions.
The following costs are eligible on the CERIC funding:
- salaries of researchers hired by CERIC for the performance of the project;
- external services;
- consumables;
- durable equipment (including costs associated with the setting-up of the equipment, such as transport and training);
- publication, dissemination and communication expenses.

Overheads are not eligible costs and are considered in-kind contribution by the hosting Institution/Partner Facility.

In order to be eligible, actual costs must be***:
- actually incurred by the beneficiary;
- incurred during the project duration;
- connected to the project as described in the proposal;
- identifiable and verifiable also in terms of correct costing and selection procedures;
- in compliance with applicable national laws on taxes, labour and social security.

8. Financing
The funds in the amount of up to 150.000 EUR/12 months will be available and allocated by CERIC-ERIC each fiscal year subject to the positive outcome of the yearly progress evaluation made by CERIC in consultation with the ISTAC. Up to 40% of the grant may be carried over to the next financing period. Researchers who are not on the staff of a CERIC Member Institution and need to be specifically employed for the implementation of the project will be hired by CERIC for a period up to one year, renewal subject to the positive outcome of the progress evaluation. The employment contract will allow them to operate in the host Partner Facility chosen in the project proposal. The spaces, facilities and support for the research shall be made available by the Partner Facilities and the external collaborating Institutions (if applicable) as in-kind contributions for the implementation of the projects. Purchases for the projects will be performed by CERIC. Items co-funded by the Host and or collaborating Institutions and by the CERIC Grant will be co-owned by CERIC and the Institution proportionally to the co-funding.

9. Proposal preparation and submission
CERIC Grant Research Proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator who has scientific responsibility for the project. It should be submitted using the CERIC Grant Research Proposal Template and should consist of the following elements:
- Scientific Proposal: up to 5 pages;
- Curriculum Vitae: 2 pages;
- Track Record: 2 pages;
- PhD record and supporting documentation for eligibility checking: Copy of the diploma showing place and date of the PhD diploma delivery must be attached as Annex;
- Resources;
- Statement of Acceptance of Conditions to Host/Participate in a Ceric Grant (to be submitted by the host and participating institutions).

Please check this page regularly for any possible update

10. Documents

For further information or questions regarding the Call please contact ceric-grant@ceric-eric.eu. Replies will be published within 2 working days on the dedicated FAQs CERIC web page. The application should be submitted by March 7th 24h CE to ceric-grant@ceric-eric.eu.

CALL CLOSED

*5. excellent, any shortcomings are minor;
4. very good, with a small number of shortcomings;
3. good, with a number of shortcomings;
2. fair, with significant weaknesses;
1. poor, with serious inherent weaknesses-
**Main Host Institution during the grant is the Institution the Partner Facility in a CERIC Member State where the PI will be based during the project.
***For detailed explanation see 'General eligibility conditions for actual costs', H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement, p. 36, http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/amga/h2020-amga_en.pdf