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Slovenian Research Agency, Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, pursuant to Article 8 of the Rules on the Procedures of the (co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation (Official Gazette of the RS, nos. 4/11, 72/11, 45/12, 96/13, 100/13-corr. and 92/14), in conjunction with Articles 12 and 20 of the Research and Development Act (Official Gazette of the RS, nos. 22/06-UPB1, 61/06-ZDru-1 112/07, 9/11, 57/12-ZPOP-1A) and based on Methodology for assessing applications for co-financing of research activities no. 6319-2/2013-14 of 10 December 2014, hereby publishes

Public invitation for (co)financing research projects in 2015

  1. Name and address of the budget user
    Slovenian Research Agency, Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana (hereinafter: the Agency).
  2. Subject matter of the Call for proposals

    Subject matter of the Call for proposals to receive (co)financing for research projects in 2015 (hereinafter: the Call is the (co)financing of research projects:
  1. small basic research projects and small applicative research projects;
  2. post-doctoral basic and applicative research projects and post-doctoral projects for businesses.

Scientific fields of the Call for proposals to receive (co)financing for research projects and the planned annual funds:

The annual funds of the Call equal EUR 12,000,000.00. The Call will be realized up to the amount of financial resources available from the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia. The implementation of the Call and allocation of co-financing funds shall take into account the distribution of funds by scientific field annually in 2016 that will roughly preserve the fund ratios between scientific fields from 2014 (table). 

 

Scientific field %
Natural and mathematical sciences 21.1
Technical sciences 29.4
Medical sciences 13.1
Biotechnical sciences 10.8
Social sciences 10.1
Humanities 15.5
TOTAL 100

10% of the funds for each scientific field is to be used for interdisciplinary research.

The data on the capacity of the research fields are published on the Agency's website.

Within each scientific field, at least 10% of post-doctoral projects need to be selected. At least 35% of technical sciences projects, at least 25% of biotechnology projects, at least 15% of medical sciences and social sciences projects, at least 10% of natural sciences projects and at least 5% of humanities projects shall be applicative. At least 33.3% of the selected projects shall have younger researchers in charge (up to 10 active years after obtaining a doctoral degree).

On the basis of the agreement concluded with the Austrian agency, FWF, and the Hungarian agency, OTKA, an application can be made regarding projects of cooperation with the Austrian or Hungarian researchers (researchers working in Austrian or Hungarian research institutions) where the Agency acts as "Lead Agency" which performs the review of a project. Austrian or Hungarian researchers deliver their applications together with Slovenian researchers, while they also send documentation to the Austrian agency FWF or the Hungarian agency OTKA, as required by the FWF or OTKA. A joint project can only be (co)financed if the project is co-funded by the Agency and FWF or OTKA.

  1. Entities that can apply to the Call

Entities that can apply to the Call are research institutions and private researchers entered in the database on implementers of research & development activities (hereinafter:the Agency Records) and in the Register of private researchers run by the Agency meeting the conditions prescribed by the Research and Development Act (Official Gazette of the RS, nos. 22/06-UPB1, 61/06-ZDru-1 112/07, 9/11, 57/12-ZPOP-1A) and the Rules on the Procedures of the (co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation (hereinafter: the Rules). Research projects which are co-financed by the Agency and comply with the framework programme of research and technological development activities of the EU shall be open to research entities from the EU, provided such entities finance their part of the research from their own funds. The applicants may enter such entities as collaborating research teams.

  1. Objectives of the invitation to tender

Objective of the public call for proposals is to select:

  1. small (basic and applicative) research projects;
     
  2. post-doctoral basic and applicative research projects; and
     
  3. post-doctoral projects for businesses presented by enterprises and intended foremost to support the flow (transfer) of young doctors of science to the business sector, and implemented so that the researcher may, after receiving the doctoral degree, obtain additional research experience and knowledge in the business sector.
  1. Conditions

The conditions for the selection of research projects are set in the Research and Development Act, Methodology for assessing applications for (co)financing of research activities, nos. 6319-2/2013-14 of 10 December 2014 (hereinafter: the Methodology), the Project Rules and the Rules on criteria for the evaluation of qualifications of project managers (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, nos. 41/09 in 72/11, hereinafter: the Rules on criteria for the evaluation of qualifications of project managers). All listed documents are a constituent part of the documentation of the Call and are published at the Agency's website.

A research project is implemented by a project group (hereinafter: the Group) comprising the team leader, researchers and expert and technical assistants.

If a project group comprises several project sub-groups in different research institutions, the applicant can only be the research organisation employing the research project leader. The applicant shall have an agreement regulating mutual rights and obligations concluded with other participating institutions.

Post-doctoral projects are performed by a single post-doctoral researcher.

The project manager and the team shall have available capacities to implement research projects (the maximum permitted capacity is 1700 hours annually or 1 FTE) and shall be employed in the research institution implementing the project or have a status of a private researcher.

Only the researchers being leaders of not more than one research project one year after the conclusion of the Call (target research programmes (TRP) and projects under Article 129 of the Rules and newly approved projects are excluded) can enter the invitation as project managers. A researcher who has already been the manager of one post-doctoral project or received funds within the »Early Stage Researchers« cannot enter any other post-doctoral research project.

An individual researcher can be a candidate in the Call as the manager of only one research project.

The project manager shall have at least 170 available research hours annually, with the exception of the directors of public research institutions. Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, a project manager can be a retired researcher with 0 hours, who meets all other conditions for a project leader and has outstanding scientific achievements. A project run by a retired researcher shall not exceed EUR 50,000 annually.

The conditions related to available capacity and employment shall be verified upon contract signing. The contract shall be signed within three months following the decision on the project selection.

The SCA has determined the limit value of the sum A1+A2+A3 which the project managers must have in the application for each field separately - the values for 2014 are:
 

  A=A1+A2+A3
Natural and technical sciences  
Basic project 5
Applicative project 4.5
Basic project, 10 years after doctoral degree 4.5
Applicative project, 10 years after doctoral degree 4
Medicine, biotechnology, social sciences, biology, geology  
Basic project 3.5
Applicative project 3
Basic project, 10 years after doctoral degree 3
Applicative project, 10 years after doctoral degree 2.5
Humanities  
Basic project 2.5
Applicative project 2
Basic project, 10 years after doctoral degree 2
Applicative project, 10 years after doctoral degree 1.5

or for all categories

A1/2 ≥ 600

or for all categories

A' ≥ 200

or for all categories

A" ≥ 50.

Project managers (of basic or applicative projects) can also apply with a lower overall score A1 + A2 + A3 if they prove their excellence with achievements within A" (A" ≥ 50) or A' (A' ≥ 200) or A1/2 (A1/2 ≥ 600).

Project managers must satisfy the condition A’ > 0. Applicative project managers shall meet the condition of A3 > 0.1. The latter condition shall apply neither to post-doctoral projects nor to applicative project managersobtaining a doctoral degree less than 10 years ago.

A third of project team members including the project manager (but excluding technical staff) shall for all fields meet the condition A' exceeding 0. The condition shall be checked for all project teams upon the review of annual reports.

A post-doctoral applicant meets the conditions for project manager if he/she defended his/her PhD not more than 3 years ago (Doctoral thesis in the period from 2012 to 12 February 2015). The post-doctoral applicant will have defended the PhD before 12 February 2015. If the post-doctoral applicant has used the parental leave – with one year counted per one child – the allowed time since the PhD is increased above 3 years for the duration of the actual time spent on leave. The same applies to documented sick leaves exceeding three months.

A post-doctoral applicant shall be employed by the applying institution or shall be employed by the applying institution by the date of contract signing for the project at least for the duration of the post-doctoral project.

Small basic projects and applicative research projects respectively shall be financed with the annual finance of roughly EUR 100,000. Any project that applies for EUR 100,000 may be approved in the amount of EUR 100,000 or EUR 50,000. Projects in the amount of EUR 50,000 are usually assigned to applications near the bottom of the list of the approved applications. The number of such projects cannot exceed 10% for all fields combined (notably in clinical medicine, mathematics and social sciences).

Calculated as project research hours, that would mean roughly 3628 annual hours of the A price class (1814 for projects of EUR 50,000), 3192 annual hours of the B price class (1596 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2769 annual hours of the C price class (1384 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2468 annual hours of the D price class (1234 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2230 annual hours of the E price class (1115 for projects of EUR 50,000) or 2034 annual hours of the F price class (1017 for projects of EUR 50,000).

Each basic or applicative project shall include the applicant and at least one participating research institution which will together perform at least 20% of the project value. For this purpose, members of the same university do not count as different research institutions. If the project has been approved in the amount of EUR 50,000, the applicant may exclude or reduce the share of participating research institutions which shall be stated upon application – Stage II, Item 14 (with the specification of the share of participating research institutions).

The scope of a basic post-doctoral project and a post-doctoral project for businesses is 1700 annual research hours (1 FTE) of the B price class and of applicative post-doctoral projects 1275 annual research hours (0.75 FTE) of the B price class.

The applicant shall mark in the application form whether the content of the research project proposal is deemed business secret.

The Agency obtains and calculates quantitative assessments for individual assessment elements (A1 and A2 scores) and for individual scientific fields specified in the Methodology. The Agency will use the data entered in the SICRIS (COBISS) database and the Agency Records (A1 scores) as at the date of the conclusion of the Call or on the date of last data capture in the SICRIS (COBISS) database prior to the completion of the Call (A2 scores) for quantitative calculations.

The Agency obtained the data for calculation of funds of other users based on the Methodology (A3 score) directly from research institutions (hereinafter: the RI) for all project managers who are members of research programme teams. With regard to the members of the programme groups, the Agency will take into account only the data entered in the ARRS-RPROG-VPETOST/2014 form where competent persons vouched for data accuracy with their signature.

Research project managersnot being members of any programme group shall enter data on the funds of other users in the ARRS-RPROG-VPETOST-D/2014 form published on the Agency’s website and send it by e-mail to vpetostprogram@arrs.si by 12 February 2015 12.00 noon. A printed, signed and stamped form shall also be sent via regular mail to:

Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS)
Bleiweisova cesta 30
1000 Ljubljana

also by 12 February 2015, 12 noon. The Agency will take into account the data from those forms only if the candidate is a member of no programme group.

  1. Application to the Call
    The Call will be carried out in two stages. All applicants enter Stage I of the Call by a short application using the ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2014-I form.

The application to the Call is made by using the ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2014-I form on the Agency’s web portal eObrazci.The portal can be used by researchers entered in the Agency Records, administrators of the eObrazci portal in the RI, authorised persons representing the RI and additional users.There are two ways of logging in the eObrazci web portal:

  • using a digital certificate (SIGEN-CA, SIGOV-CA, NLB-CA, POSTArCA or HALCOM-CA);
  • using username and password (researchers can obtain password on the eObrazci portal by themselves, other users get it from the administrator of eObrazci in the RI or the Agency). The application form is simultaneously filled in Slovene and English – it needs to be filled in both languages.
  1. Assessment criteria

The evaluation conditions, criteria and indicators for assessing project proposals are specified in the Rules and Project Manager Rules, whereas the assessment method is set out in the Methodology.

Project proposals are assessed in a two-stage procedure:

Stage I

Prior to the publication of the Call, Pursuant to Article 85 of the Rules the Agency invites project managers in writing to apply for a limited number of research projects within the Call.The invitation is submitted to the heads of research programmes with members, project managers, whose financing of one or more research projects (basic, applicative) shall complete one year from the latest public call for proposals for research projects, namely by 17 September 2015. The implementation period does not include the period covering the extension of the deadline for the project implementation, excluding additional funding, in order to extend the period of generating eligible project costs. 

If the members of a research programme apply for a number of projects exceeding the number of completed research projects, their applications directly enter the second stage of the Call. In the response to the invitation, the head of the research programme submits the names of researchers who are members of the programme group as at 22 December 2014 and who will be engaged in the application to the Call as the managers of research projects. The head of the research programme and co-implementers of the research programme decide by mutual agreement on the applicant and the research project managers.

If the members of a research programme submit more research project applications than specified in the previous paragraph, all the applications are first evaluated in stage I similarly to all other applications meeting all terms and conditions of the invitation.

Applications for projects are checked by members of the Scientific councils of the (scientific) fields (hereinafter: SCF), and in the case of applying for a project in an inadequate area of science propose a transfer to the appropriate area, with an explanation based on the OECD (SCI, SSCI) classification of publications of the project manager and the content of proposed research. If a member of the SCF is at the same time an applicant, another researcher put forward by the chair of the SCF shall propose any reclassification.

The Agency will use assessments from the assessment procedure to classify projects as the A or B category.

A category: projects included in the A category are determined from projects within a field by descending scores B1+B2+B3+B4+B5. The A category also includes post-doctoral projects where the applicant has entered a project at a research institution other than that of his current employment. The A category projects have not yet been selected for financing. A project shall have the B1+B2+B3+B4+B5 score of at least 15 (threshold) to be considered for the A category.

B category: Projects included in the B category are those not included in the A category. The B category projects are rejected. The B category includes all projects with the score B1+B2+B3+B4+B5 less than 15 and other projects not included in the A category.

Stage II

(1) The Agency calls upon the applicants included in the second stage of the project selection (A category) to prepare within three weeks a supplemented application by using ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava-2014-II form (hereinafter:the Stage II Application) and submit the supplemented research project proposal to the web portal eObrazci.

The project composition is included in the Stage II Application Form. The project composition from the Stage II Application Form cannot be changed upon contract signing.

The applicants entering projects with an enterprise as the implementer, co-implementer or co-financer of the project shall, in accordance with the Rules on state aid in research & development, no. 007-6/2009-8 of 17 June 2009 and no. 007-7/2014-1 of 26 September 2014, submit a filled in form for granting state aid, ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2014-II-DP.

  1. Amount of the Call

The planned annual amount for the Call is EUR 12,000,000.00. Allocation of co-financing funds in 2016 in line with the Call shall take into account the distribution of funds by scientific field annually that will roughly preserve the fund ratios between scientific fields from 2014.

The Call shall be implemented in line with the funds earmarked in the budget of the Republic of Slovenia and the Agency's budget.

The Agency will finance basic projects up to 100% of eligible project costs. The Agency will finance up to 75% of eligible project costs of applicative projects. At least 25% of eligible project costs of applicative projects will be covered by other interested users and the applicants shall submit the evidence on project co-financing (agreement on co-financing), namely for the entire period of project implementation with regard to the research hour price in the beginning of financing. Projects cannot be co-financed by research institutions entered in the records of research institutions kept by the Agency, except companies. Co-financing shall mandatory be in cash. A co-financier of an applicative project can be a co-contractor of the same applicative project, namely up to maximum 10% of the volume of the project, except when a company is the applicant of the same applicative project.

With regard to the load of researchers with research hours financed from the budget of the Republic of Slovenia, the Agency will, in line with the Decree on criteria and standards for allocating resources for the implementation of the National Research and Development Programme (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, nos. 103/11, 56/12 and 15/14), finance individual researchers with regard to the share of employment for research, up to a maximum of 1700 research hours annually. The minimum annual workload of a researcher per project is 17 hours. A participating RI shall contribute at least 170 hours in the project implementation period where the minimum scope of a participating RI in a year shall be 170 hours. During the project implementation, the number of hours of a participating RI in an individual year can be 0 hours.

After a project is approved, the applicant must open a special webpage on the website of its RI which will be intended for the project.Mandatory contents of the webpage are:description of the content of the project with the basic data on financing, project group composition with the links to SICRIS, project phases and their implementation, bibliographic references arising directly from the project implementation and the logos of the Slovenian Research Agency and other co-financers. The webpage must be maintained active 5 years after the project completion. The Agency will maintain the common website of all projects approved within the Call.

  1. Duration of research projects

The planned beginning of the (co)financing of project implementation is 1 December 2015.

The Agency will (co)finance selected projects up to three years except for post-doctoral research projects which will be (co)financed for two years. The selected research project will be allocated an annual number of research hours, which means that thus the annual volumes of research hours for all years of project duration in the Call are determined.

  1. Selection of research projects

10.1. – Stage I

The applications will be assessed by the procedure and method set by the Project Rules and the Methodology.

A professional body will prepare a draft list of projects to be included in Stage II of the selection (A category, see point 7 of the Call) and a draft list of projects to be rejected in Stage I of the selection (B category), and submits both of them to the SCF for discussion.

The SCA will adopt a draft list of the financially evaluated priority projects of the A category to be included in Stage II of the application selection process and a draft list of the B category projects to be rejected after Stage I. The draft decision is submitted for adoption to the Director of the Agency. On the basis of the decision, the Director of the Agency will send the applicants individual decisions regarding the approval or rejection of the application.

10.2. – Stage II

The panel prepares a draft list of priority projects and submits it to the SCA for discussion. The SCA prepares a draft list of financially evaluated priority projects after the second round of the assessment and submits it for approval to the Director of the Agency. On the basis of the decision, the Director of the Agency will send the applicants individual decisions regarding the approval or rejection of the application.

10.3. - Legal remedies

The applicant may submit an objection against the decision on the results of the selection within 15 days from the date of the notification of the selection.The Management Board of the Agency decides on these objections.

An objection shall not delay signing of contracts with the selected applicants.

  1. Method, form and deadline for application submitting – Stage I

11.1. Submitting the application form with a digital signature

The application to the Call is made and submitted by an application form using the ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2014-I form on the Agency’s web portal eObrazci. A submitted application shall be complete, if it contains both digital signatures (of the authorised person of the RI and the research project manager).

The applications shall be submitted by 12 February 2015, 12 noon. We advise the applicants not to submit applications on the last day because the server may overload.

An application shall be deemed duly if it is submitted to the web portal eObrazci by 12 February 2015, 12.00 noon.

11.2. Submitting the application form without a digital signature

If the applicant and/or the research project manager have no digital signature, the application form should be submitted unsigned in electronic form (to the Agency’s eObrazci web portal) and in print, bearing the original signature of the authorised person of the RI and the research project manager respectively and the stamp of the RI.

Both electronic and printed forms of the application shall be completely the same in terms of contents.

Printed applications shall be submitted in closed envelopes marked “DO NOT open – CALL FOR PROJECTS” and obligatory marking of the application (ARRS-RPROJ-JR/2014-I /...) with the indication of the field on the envelope (copy from point 7 of the application form) and the name and address of the applicant, sent to the address:

Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS)
Bleiweisova cesta 30
1000 Ljubljana

The applications shall be deemed timely when submitted in printed and electronic formats by the deadline. An application shall be timely if submitted in electronic form to the Agency’s eObrazci web portal by 12 February 2015, 12.00 noon whereas the printed format is to be received in the mail room of the Agency by 12 February 2015, 12.00 noon. The applications sent by registered mail from Slovenia by 12 February 2015, 12 noon (postal stamp) shall also be deemed timely.

11.3. Completeness of applications

An application shall be considered complete if submitted using a prescribed form and the format (point 11.1 - with digital signature, point 11.2. – without digital signature) and containing all data as prescribed herein. An application will be regarded as incomplete if the applicant does not supplement it in the given time. The committee for opening applications shall disregard untimely and incorrectly marked applications, which will be returned unopened to the sender.

  1. Applications opening date

The committee for opening applications will open all timely delivered and properly marked applications at the registered office of the Slovenian Research Agency, Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, on 16 February 2015, 10 a.m.

  1. Deadline by which the applicants will be informed of the results of the Call

The applicants are expected to be informed of the project selection after Stage I of the selection process by the end of June 2015. The applicants are expected to be informed of the project selection after Stage II in November 2015.

  1. Method, form and deadline for submitting applications – Stage II

The application submission procedure will be similar to Stage I. The applicants entering Stage II will be informed in writing of the method, format and deadline for the submission of the application forms.

  1. Place, time and contact person where interested parties can obtain documentation of the Call

15.1. Documentation of the Call is available on the Agency’s website (http://www.arrs.gov.si/sl/razpisi/).

15.2. Any additional information related to the Call can be obtained on the Agency’s website http://www.arrs.gov.si and the Slovenian Research Agency, Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, and telephone number 400 5960 (Ms Vanja Rodič, Ms Almira Bremec, Ms Alja Kastelic Primc, Ms Mateja Gašpirc and Ms Tina Valenci).

 
Number: 6316-15/2014-2
Date: 24. 12. 2014

 
Slovenian Research Agency
Prof Dr József Györkös
Director

Published in the Official Gazette of the RS, no. 94/2014 dated 24 December 2014.
 

Documentation of the Call:

Page maintained by: Simon Ošo Last change: 23.06.2015
Date: 02.02.2015