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Slovenian Research Agency, Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, pursuant to Article 8 of the Rules on 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 assessing applications for tenders No. 6319-2 / 2013-25 of 25 January 2016 - official consolidated text, Nos. 6319-2/2013-26 and 6319-2/2013-27 of 4 March 2016 hereby publishes

Public call for (co)financing research projects in 2017

  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 Public call for (co)financing research projects in 2017 (hereinafter: the Call) is (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.
  1. The amount of funds for the Call
    The planned annual amount for the Call is EUR 12,000,000.00. Allocation of co-financing funds in 2017 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 2016.

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

3.1. Scientific fields of the Call and the planned annual funds:
 

Scientific field The ratio of funds
in 2016 (in%)
The ratio of funds
for the Call (in%)
Natural and mathematical sciences 21.5 21.8
Technical sciences 28.5 28.9
Medical sciences 13.6 13.4
Biotechnical sciences 10.7 10.4
Social sciences 10.2 9.7
Humanities 15.5 15.8
TOTAL 100.0 100.0

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.

3.2. The amount of (co)financing
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.

Calculated as project research hours, that would mean roughly 3640 annual hours of the A price class (1820 for projects of EUR 50,000), 3199 annual hours of the B price class (1599 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2774 annual hours of the C price class (1387 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2472 annual hours of the D price class (1236 for projects of EUR 50,000), 2233 annual hours of the E price class (1116 for projects of EUR 50,000), or 2035 annual hours of the F price class (1018 for projects of EUR 50,000).

The scope of a basic post-doctoral project 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 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 at 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, 15/14, and 103/15), 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.

  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 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 public call
    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;

Within each scientific field, at least 10% of post-doctoral projects need to be selected. At least 30% of technical sciences projects, at least 20% of biotechnical sciences projects, at least 10% of medical sciences and social sciences projects, at least 5% of natural sciences projects shall be applicative. At least 20% of the selected projects shall have younger researchers in charge (up to 10 active years after obtaining a doctoral degree).

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).

  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 (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 and 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 on the Agency's website.

6.1. Conditions for applicants and project managers
A research project is implemented by a project 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 manager. The applicant shall have an agreement regulating mutual rights and obligations concluded with other participating institutions.

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. 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. 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).

Applicative 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.

On the basis of the agreement concluded with the Austrian agency, FWF, and the Hungarian agency, NKFTH, 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 NKFTH, as required by the FWF or NKFTH. A joint project can only be (co)financed if the project is co-funded by the Agency and FWF or NKFTH.

Only the researchers being managers 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. A researcher who has previously acquired a project in the category of younger researchers (up to 10 active years after obtaining a doctoral degree), can no longer stand as a project manager in this category, and must therefore meet conditions for the manager of a basic or applicative project more than 10 years after doctoral degree.

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

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

6.2. Available capacities and employment
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.

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 manager 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.

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.

6.3. Research performance
The SCA has determined the limit value of the sum A1+A2+A3for project managers - the values for 2016 are:
 

Natural and technical sciences A=A1+A2+A3
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, biotechnical sciences, 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

Project managers (of basic or applicative projects) can have 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 meet 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 managers obtaining 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 scientific 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 2013 to 9 May 2016). The post-doctoral applicant will have defended the PhD before 9 May 2016. 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.

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 obtains data for the 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-A-F-G-H-2016 form where authorised persons of the RI vouched for data accuracy with their signature.

Research project managers not being members of any programme group shall enter data on the funds of other users in the ARRS-RPROG-VPETOST-D-J-2016 form published on the Agency's website and send it by e-mail to vpetostJRP2016@arrs.si by 9 May 2016 14.00. A printed, signed and stamped form shall also be sent by regular mail to: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, also by 9 May 2016 14.00. The Agency will take into account the data from those forms only if the candidate is not a member of the 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/2016-I form.
     
    The application to the Call is made by using the ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2016-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.

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

  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.
     
    Criteria and indicators for assessing project proposals are specified in Article 89 of the Rules, namely:
    • Research performance of a researcher or research group.
    • Socio-economic or cultural relevance of research results of a researcher or research group.
    • Research and development quality of an application.
    • Relevance and potential impact of the application.
    • Feasibility of the proposal.

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 managers 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 23 February 2017. 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 15 March 2016 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 examined 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 a candidate in the Call as a project manager or is closely related with the project manager, who is a candidate in the context of the ongoing call, 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 category A shall include appropriate number of projects depending on planned funds, capacity and mandatory quotas for the types of projects and applications in accordance with the provisions of Article 85 of the Rules, in accordance with the instructions for the work of the panel; the category A shall not include projects with a B1 + B2 + B3 + B4 + B5 score lower than 15 (the threshold). The A category projects have not yet been selected for financing.

B category: Projects included in the B category are those not included in the A category. The B category projects are rejected.

Stage II
The Agency calls upon the applicants included in the second stage of the project selection (A category) to prepare within three weeks a full proposal by using ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava-2016-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 a company 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- 7/2015-1 of 9 February 2016, entered into force on 10 February 2016, submit a filled in form for granting state aid, ARRS-RPROJ-JR-Prijava/2016-II-DP.

  1. Duration of research projects
    The planned beginning of the (co)financing of project implementation is 1 April 2017.

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.

Temporary expert body prepares a draft list of projects to be included in Stage II of the selection (A category, see point 8 of the Call) and a draft list of projects to be rejected in Stage I of the selection (B category), and submits 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. Based on 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. Based on 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.

10.4 - Web page
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.

The implementer shall follow the principle of open access to scientific information, in the highest possible extent, as published in the National Strategy of open access to scientific publications and research data in the Republic of Slovenia 2015-2016.

  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/2016-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 9 May 2016, 14:00. 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 secured with both digital signatures on the web portal eObrazci by 9 May 2016, 14:00.

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 (CO)FINANCING RESEARCH PROJECTS FOR 2017 - NO. OF APPLICATION _____" and the name and address of the applicant, sent to the address: Javna agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost RS, 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 9 May 2016, 14:00 whereas the printed format is to be received in the mail room of the Agency by 9 May 2016, 14:00. Applications sent by registered mail from Slovenia by 9 May 2016 (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 11 May 2016, 10 a.m.
     
  2. 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 in November 2016. The applicants are expected to be informed of the project selection after Stage II in March 2017.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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 Rodie, Ms. Almira Bremec, Ms. Alja Kastelic Primc, Ms. Mateja Gašpirc, and Ms. Tina Valenci).

 

Number: 6316-5/2016-1
Date: 18 March 2016

Slovenian Research Agency
Prof Dr. József Györkös
Director

Published in the Official Gazette of the RS, No. 21/2016 dated 18 March 2016.
 

Documentation of the Call:

  • Research and Development Act (Official Gazette of RS, Nos. 22/06-UPB1, 61/06-ZDru-1 112/07, 9/11, 57/12 ZPOP-1A)
  • Methodology for assessing applications to invitations, No. 6319-2/2013-25 dated 25 January 2016 - official consolidated text, Nos. 6319-2/2013-26 and 6319-2/2013-27 dated 4 March 2016
  • Rules on the Procedures of the (Co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation (Official Gazette of RS, Nos. 4/11, 72/11, 45/12, 96/13, 100/13-corr., and 92/14)
  • Rules on Determining the Fulfilment of Conditions for a Research Project Leader (Official Gazette of RS, Nos. 41/09 and 72/11)
  • The Rules on State Aid for Research Activities, No. 007- 7/2015-1, published on 9 February 2016, entered into force on 10 February 2016
  • Sample of the Application Form:
Page maintained by: Simon Ošo Date: 18.03.2016