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II.1.1. Mini-grants programme for inter-institutional research teams in the framework of strategic partnerships

Activity II.1.1. of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” project:
Mini-grants programme for inter-institutional research teams in the framework of strategic partnerships

Funding rules

  1. Objective: Strengthening research cooperation between the University of Warsaw and the 4EU+ member universities through the implementation of joint research projects in Flagship 2 “Europe in a changing world: understanding societies, economies, cultures and languages”.
  2. Applicants: Research teams composed of University of Warsaw staff members and representatives of at least two other 4EU+ member institutions.
    1. 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. The joint research projects submitted in the call should relate to the theme of Flagship 2; projects addressing, within the thematic realm of Flagship 2, the impact of COVID-19 on European societies and economies are also welcome.
  3. Expected outcomes of the mini-grant awarded projects: formulating research hypotheses based on the activities carried in the mini-grant awarded project (including preliminary research and pilot research), leading to 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. Funding period: up to 12 months (start of the funding period: 1 September 2020).
  5. Eligibility conditions:
    1. Number of 4EU+ member universities participating in a joint research project: minimum two 4EU+ member universities and University of Warsaw (either as coordinator or partner).
    2. The participation of institutions (universities or research institutes) 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
    3. Within 12 months from receiving the mini-grant, the research team must submit a mandatory declaration, laying down the team’s plans to apply 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.
    4. 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 be submitted with the following attachments:
      • 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),
      • a confirmation of partner institutions’ participation in the project in a form of letters of intent (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).
  6. It is possible to submit only one mini-grant application per call.
  7. Examples of activities to be funded include:
    • 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.
  8. Funding available:
    • Maximum grant amount: € 10,000
    • Maximum number of mini-grants awarded in one competition: 10, including 5 research projects addressing the impact of COVID-19, within the thematic realm of Flagship 2.
  9. Evaluation of applications:
    • The validity and eligibility check of submitted applications is performed by the members of the local 4EU+ team at the Office for International Research and Liaison, University of Warsaw.
    • The Evaluation Team, composed of representatives of Flagship 2 Programme Committee and the Coordination Committee for Priority Research Areas, review the eligible applications based on the defined evaluation criteria.
    • The final list of awarded projects is approved by the Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations of the University of Warsaw.
  10. Evaluation criteria: The submitted applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:
    • relevance to the 4EU + Alliance mission (available on the 4EU + Alliance website: https://4euplus.eu/4EU-10-version1-4eu_mission_statement.pdf),
    • relevance to the thematic scope of Flagship 2 (Flagship 2 background paper available on the 4EU+ Alliance website: https://4euplus.eu/4EU-150.html),
    • 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,
    • feasibility of the planned activities,
    • cost-effectiveness of the planned activities.
  11. Online submission of proposals
    • Project proposals in English, together with annexes, should be submitted electronically via an online form.
  12. Important dates:
    • Opening date for proposal submissions: 15 June 2020
    • Closing date for proposal submissions: 15 July 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 3 August 2020. Applicants will be notified about the selection results by email.
  13. Reporting obligation — The implementation of the mini-grant awarded project is subject to a technical and financial settlement. The beneficiaries of the mini-grant awarded project should submit, via a team member from the University of Warsaw, the following documents:
    1. technical report on the implementation of tasks signed by the team leader and a team representative from the University of Warsaw (max. 3 pages),
    2. statement of the costs incurred during the implementation of project tasks (by category and according to the planned expenses-incurred expenses system), signed by the representative of the University’s Financial Department at an organisational unit where the mini-grant awarded project is being implemented and a person acting as the project’s coordinator, within 30 days from the project’s end date,
    3. confirmation of submitting, according to the prior declaration, a project application in a grant competition under an external grant programme funding or co-funding international research cooperation.
  14. Supporting information:
    • Funds awarded as part of the mini-grant cannot be used to cover the remuneration costs of a project leader or members of the project team, unless they are directly involved in the writing process of the joint project proposal to be be submitted in the selected grant programme, funding or co-funding international research cooperation (in accordance with the declaration submitted in the mini-grant application).
    • Funding for the implementation of mini-grant awarded projects will be granted to the organisational units of the University of Warsaw partaking in the project;
    • Consent to the submission of the proposal and the implementation of the project by the head of the organisational unit (dean or director) of the University of Warsaw (in Polish) – PDF, MS Word
    • Letter of intent template (MS Word)
    • Should you have any questions concerning the call, please write to: 4euplus@uw.edu.pl.

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