International cooperation

Lead Agency

International collaboration under the Lead Agency funding scheme framework

By means of an agreement on collaboration under the Lead Agency funding scheme (Lead Agency Agreement), two or more agencies from different countries enable researchers to submit a collaborative research project proposal with one of the agencies (the Lead Agency), which carries out the evaluation procedure of such collaborative project proposal.

The Lead Agency funding scheme significantly reduces the administrative workload that the applicants in a collaborative research project proposal need to perform otherwise, as the evaluation procedure for the collaborative research project proposal is carried out by only one of the agencies, ie. the Lead Agency. For project proposals evaluated as successful in the evaluation process and consequently proposed for co-financing by the Lead Agency, the Partner Agency recognizes the evaluation procedure results and, typically, co-finances the research project part falling under its coverage without any further evaluation procedure, based on the agreement on mutual recognition of evaluation procedures.

ARRS is one of the twelve European agencies that signed an agreement in 2020 on a multilateral Lead Agency funding scheme for co-financing of scientifically excellent bilateral or trilateral Weave research projects. In addition to ARRS, the Agreement was also signed by: DFG (Germany), FNR (Luxembourg), FNRS (Belgium), FORMAS (Sweden), FWF (Austria), FWO (Belgium), GACR (Czech Republic), HRZZ (Croatia), NCN (Poland), RCN (Norway) and SNSF (Switzerland). The multilateral Lead Agency funding scheme builds on existing bilateral Lead Agency schemes and expands the collaboration between agencies in several countries.

The new funding scheme enables researchers to submit a Weave collaborative research project proposal with one of the agencies (Lead Agency), which carries out the evaluation procedure for such collaborative project proposal. In 2021, ARRS will collaborate with: FWF (Austria), FWO (Belgium), GACR (Czech Republic), HRZZ (Croatia), NCN (Poland), and SNSF (Switzerland). Within the five-year transitional period defined in the signed agreement, the collaboration under this instrument will be established with all the agencies that have signed the Agreement.

The currently ongoing collaboration based on the Lead Agency model with the Hungarian agency NKFIH in 2021 will remain unchanged and will follow the well-established processes.

Collaboration under the Lead Agency model is possible both with ARRS acting as the Lead Agency or ARRS acting as the Partner Agency.

ARRS AS THE LEAD AGENCY

National calls for proposals

The applicant can submit a project proposal in collaboration with a Partner Agency as part of regular annual call for research project proposals. The applicant shall submit a key content application (collaborative application) to ARRS under the conditions defined by ARRS in the public call for proposals. The co-applicant shall normally submit a collaborative application to the Partner Agency in one week of the application being submitted to the Lead Agency. Should such collaborative application fail to be submitted to the Partner Agency or is submitted too late, such application shall not be included in the further evaluation procedure. The partner institution may, as applicable, also request the submission of a parallel application under their terms. ARRS, in its role of the Lead Agency, carries out the evaluation procedure for the submitted collaborative project proposal and informs the partner agencies on the evaluation results. The partner institutions or their decision-making bodies, without any additional evaluation on their part, recognize the results of the evaluation and typically accept their part of the positively evaluated collaborative research project for co-financing. The Slovenian part of the approved collaborative project is co-financed by ARRS, and the foreign part by the Partner Agency. The decision to co-finance a collaborative project shall be made by all participating agencies in order for the co-financing to be carried out.

Public call for the (co)financing of research projects in 2020

Partner Agencies
 

  Multilateral Lead Agency – Weave projects

Weave application: Weave – Research funding without borders (weave-research.net)

Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement:

Applicants can submit projects in collaboration with an agency acting as the Lead Agency under conditions determined by the Lead Agency. A Weave research project can be bilateral or trilateral. In the case of bilateral Weave research project proposals, the collaborative research project will be financed by the agency acting as the Lead Agency and ARRS, each with its own national part, and in the case of trilateral research project proposals such Weave collaborative research project will be financed by the Lead Agency, ARRS, and a participating third partner agency.

As a rule, at the same time the call for Weave collaborative research project proposals is open with the Lead Agency, ARRS publishes a parallel public call for proposals to which the applicant shall submit a completed application, as specified in the call for proposals documentation. Both or all three parts of the collaborative research project shall be closely connected and each of them shall provide its own special scientific contribution. Additionally to the proposal submission, applicants shall also submit to ARRS’s parallel call for proposal the entire proposal submission which has been submitted to the Lead Agency call for proposals.

The Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement defines the agreed co-financing threshold in such a way that a collaborative research projects shall be ranked among the 20% top rated research projects in the Lead Agency’s evaluation procedure. The Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement also allows the option of the agencies mutually agreeing to also (co)finance projects that have been positively evaluated in the evaluation procedure but failed to meet the agreed threshold.

The evaluation procedure is carried out by the agency acting as the Lead Agency in accordance with its rules. Having completed the evaluation procedure, such agency acting as the Lead Agency informs the Partner Agencies of the evaluation procedure results and at the same time suggests the Partner Agencies to co-finance their parts of the collaborative research projects that have met the agreed upon co-financing threshold.

The Partner Agencies’ decision-making bodies recognize the evaluation procedure results and typically approve the co-financing proposal they receive from the Lead Agency. Subsequently, each of the Partner Agencies (co)finances its part of the collaborative research project. The final decision on the (co)financing of a collaborative research project shall be confirmed and adopted by all Partner Agencies.

In 2021, ARRS will collaborate based on the Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement with the following agencies: FWF (Austria), FWO (Belgium), GACR (Czech Republic), HRZZ (Croatia), NCN (Poland), and SNSF (Switzerland). Within the five-year transitional period defined in the signed Agreement, cooperation under this instrument will be established with all the agencies that have signed the Agreement.

Public calls for proposals, where the agencies mentioned in the previous paragraph act as the Lead Agency, are usually published once a year, with the exception of the public call for proposals with the Austrian FWF acting as the Lead Agency, which is open permanently. The schedule of public calls for proposals in which the Partner Agencies act as the Lead Agency is published on ARRS website.

Contacts:

  • for collaboration with: FWF, HRZZ and NCN: Aleksandra Panič, tel.: +386 1 400 5924, e-mail: aleksandra.panic@arrs.si
  • for collaboration with: FWO, GA ČR and SNSF: Mojca Boc, tel. +386 1 400 5971, e-mail: mojca.boc@arrs.si

 

  Austria

FWF - Der Wissenschaftsfonds
http://www.fwf.ac.at/

Lead Agency Agreement: Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

Memorandum of recognition: Lead Agency Agreement (FWF-ARRS) - Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

In 2021, it is possible to submit collaborative research projects applications in the multilateral Lead Agency scheme – Weave research projects.

 

  Belgium/Flanders

FWO - Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen   
http://www.fwo.be/

Lead Agency Agreement: Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

Memorandum of recognition: Lead Agency Agreement (FWO – ARRS) Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

In 2021, it is possible to submit collaborative research projects applications in the multilateral Lead Agency scheme – Weave research projects.

 

  Hungary

NKFIH – National Research, Development and Innovation Office   
http://nkfih.gov.hu/about-the-office

Link to the public call for proposals: NKFIH web page

Lead Agency Agreement: Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

Memorandum of recognition: Lead Agency Agreement (NKFIH – ARRS) Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures

Usually, a public call for proposals with NKFIH acting as the Lead Agency is published once a year. Public call for proposals with ARRS acting as the Lead Agency is published once a year as part of the public call for research project proposals.

Contacts: Aleksandra Panič, tel.: +386 1 400 5924, e-mail: aleksandra.panic@arrs.si

 

  Switzerland

SNSF – Swiss National Science Foundation
http://www.snf.ch/en/Pages/default.aspx

Lead Agency Agreement: Agreement between the Swiss National Science Fund (SNSF) and the Public Research Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (ARRS)

Memorandum of recognition: Agreement between the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) (referred to as “Partner Organisations”) on a Lead Agency Procedure for the unilateral administration of the evaluation procedure and the mutual recognition of the evaluation results for concerning Swiss-Slovenian Joint Bilateral Projects

In 2021, it is possible to submit collaborative research projects applications in the multilateral Lead Agency scheme – Weave research projects.

 

  Croatia

HRZZ – Hrvatska zaklada za znanost
https://www.hrzz.hr/default.aspx?id=6

Memorandum of recognition: Memorandum of Understanding between the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) (referred to as “Partner Organizations”) on a Lead Agency Procedure for the unilateral administration of the evaluation procedure and the mutual recognition of the evaluation results concerning Slovenian-Croatian Joint Bilateral Projects

In 2021, it is possible to submit collaborative research projects applications in the multilateral Lead Agency scheme – Weave research projects.

 

  CEUS (Partnership of agencies)

In addition to ARRS, the CEUS partnership also includes FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschafltichen Forschung, Austria), GA ČR (Grantová Agentura České Republiky, Czech Republic) and NCN (Narodowe Centrum Nauki, Poland).

The Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement enables researchers from four countries to submit collaborative research project proposals, however, they can at the most be trilateral.

Memorandum of recognition: Memorandum of Understanding on the Unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures.