The second call for research mini-grants is now open

The mini-grants, funded by the University of Warsaw from the "Excellence Initiative - Research University" project, aim to support 4EU+ joint research initiatives in the four Flagships of the Alliance. The closing date for applications is 5 November, 16:00/ 4:00 P.M. (Central European Time).


Important notice: Please read the following information carefully. In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the local 4EU+ team at the University of Warsaw: 4euplus@uw.edu.pl.


Value:

The maximum mini-grant value is EUR 10,000.


Funding period:

The maximum funding period is 12 months, starting from 1 January 2021.


Eligibility

1. APPLICANTS

The call invites proposals from teams composed of University of Warsaw staff members and representatives of at least two other 4EU+ member institutions. Interdisciplinary teams, composed of scientists carrying out research that corresponds to at least one of the five Priority Research Areas of the “Excellence Initiative - Research University” project, involving faculty members, as well as doctoral candidates and students, are encouraged.


PhD candidates can join the projects as members of research teams, however, given the aim of the programme (increasing the capacity and chances of research teams to receive grants in large international research programmes, including the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme) PhD candidates cannot assume the role of project coordinators.


2. SCOPE

The first, pilot mini-grant competition was closed in July 2020 and aimed at inter-university teams of researchers from the University of Warsaw and other 4EU+ Alliance member universities conducting research within the thematic realm of Flagship 2 “Europe in a changing world: understanding societies, economies, cultures and languages”. The current call aims to support research initiatives in all four Flagships of the Alliance:

  • Flagship 1: Health and demographic change in an urban environment,

  • Flagship 2: Europe in a changing world: understanding societies, economies, cultures and languages,

  • Flagship 3: Transforming science and society by advancing information, computation and communication,

  • Flagship 4: Biodiversity and sustainable development.


3. EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE MINI-GRANT AWARDED PROJECTS

Based on the activities carried in the mini-grant awarded project (including preliminary research and pilot research), the research team is expected to formulate research hypotheses and work on the development and submission of a joint project proposal in grant programmes funded or co-funded from external sources (national or international, including the EU funds), thus demonstrating the potential for the project to continue and for the research partnership to grow further.


4. ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS

It is possible to submit only one mini-grant application per call.


Number of 4EU+ member universities participating in a joint research project: University of Warsaw (either as coordinator or partner) and minimum two 4EU+ member universities.


The participation of institutions not affiliated with the 4EU+ Alliance is possible provided that the conditions set below are met:

  • for every institution in the project consortium that is not affiliated with the 4EU+ Alliance there are at least three 4EU+ member universities,

  • due explanation is provided on the non-4EU+ institution’s contribution to strengthening the research capacity of the project team.

The research team must submit a mandatory declaration, laying down the team’s plans to apply, within 12 months from receiving the mini-grant, for a grant funded or co-funded from national or international sources (including the EU funds, e.g. EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation) that would allow the team to continue their joint project beyond the mini-grant funding period. In the mini-grant application, the team should indicate, where possible, the selected funding programmes or calls for proposals they may consider applying for in order to ensure sustainability of their joint research efforts. The indication of programmes or calls for proposals at this stage is not binding, but the Applicant is obliged to get acquainted with the basic eligibility criteria and conditions of the chosen programme or call before indicating it in the application.



The submitted project proposal should include a description of the planned research activities together with a timeline, information on scientific output of team members and a budget plan (cost estimate). The proposal should include:

  • a letter of consent, signed by the head of the organisational unit of the University of Warsaw (dean or director), giving consent to the submission of the proposal and the implementation of the project, should it be awarded a mini-grant (the scanned letter of consent should be dated, stamped with a name stamp and bear a handwritten or qualified electronic signature of the head of the unit),

  • letters of intent from participating universities (each scanned letter should be dated, stamped with the institution’s seal and bear a handwritten or qualified electronic signature of the given university’s legal representative).


Examples of activities to be funded

  • preliminary or pilot research,

  • archive and library queries,

  • research and conference trips (travels of project team members from the 4EU + Alliance partner universities, i.e. faculty members, doctoral candidates or students, carried out to perform the project’s tasks; this includes participation in project meetings and workshops, thematic conferences, seminars or short (up to 2 weeks) research visits,

  • access to research infrastructure,

  • research consulting (remuneration for team members developing different parts of the research project application), including project consulting,

  • monolingual editing (performed by a native speaker) of the project proposal to be submitted in the call for international research projects.


Funding

  • Maximum grant amount: € 10,000

  • Maximum number of mini-grants awarded in one competition: 10, including up to 5 research projects addressing the impact of COVID-19 in the context of the research theme of the selected Flagship (1-4)


Evaluation criteria

The submitted applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • relevance to the 4EU + Alliance mission,

  • relevance to the thematic scope of the selected Flagship (Flagships’ descriptions are available under this link),

  • relevance to the mission and aims of the selected Research Priority Area,

  • ability to take stock of and address the current challenges for Europe and the wider world in the proposal (e.g. migration crisis, ageing society, the use of Big Data or the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, etc.),

  • innovative character of the project,

  • quality and feasibility of the planned activities,

  • cost-effectiveness of the planned activities


Important dates

  • Opening date for proposal submissions: 15 September 2020

  • Closing date for proposal submissions: 5 November 2020, 16:00 / 4 P.M. CET. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

  • The results of the call will be announced by 30 November 2020. Applicants will be notified about the selection results by email.


Application form and more information

Complete information on the mini-grants application procedure and the online application form is available on the website of the "Excellence Initiative - Research University" project:


For more information, please contact the local 4EU+ office at the University of Warsaw: .