Announcement of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals carried out as multilateral cooperation under the CEUS programme pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure


The scientific coordinators hereby announce the international CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals for bilateral or trilateral research projects to be carried out by research teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland under the multilateral CEUS programme pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure (“LAP”).

The CEUS programme is organised by the National Science Centre (“NCN”) in cooperation with Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (“FWF”) from Austria, Grantová agentura České republiky (“GAČR”) from the Czech Republic and Javna agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (“ARRS”) from Slovenia pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure.

Pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure, only one partner agency is in charge of merit-based evaluation of proposals involving at least two research teams. Under the CEUS-UNISNO call, FWF or GAČR or ARRS shall act as the Lead Agency. Moreover NCN cannot act as a lead Agency under this call*.    

The CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals is addressed at Polish research teams that apply for funding of a basic research project jointly with one (in the case of bilateral cooperation) or two (in the case of trilateral cooperation) partner research teams. Projects may involve basic research in all academic disciplines.  

Joint projects must be carried out in close cooperation by the Polish research team jointly with the partner research team(s). Each research team will have their own principal investigator. Hence, projects must comprise a well-defined research programme with the added value of international cooperation clearly shown. Partners are expected to significantly contribute to the joint project, including to assume organisational duties.

In the case of Polish research teams, projects may be planned for a period of 24 or 36 months and in the case of research projects to be carried out jointly with research teams from Austria – also 48 months, whereas the duration of the project must be identical for all research teams involved in the project.

The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree, whilst the principal investigator of the partner research team must meet the requirements of its own partner agency in this respect.  

Under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals, the Polish research team may be awarded funding for remuneration of the research team, scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or construction of research equipment and other project-related expenses. The requested funding for the entire duration of the Polish part of the research project is no less than PLN 150,000. The partner research teams must meet the requirements of the cost planning and cost eligibility of the relevant partner agency.

A total of PLN 20,000,000 shall be awarded to fund proposals for research projects to be carried out by the Polish research teams, submitted under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals until 31 December 2020 (see Resolution No 2/2020 of 17 January 2020 on the amount of funding allocated for the implementation of research projects under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals). The partner agencies shall decide on the amount of funding for research tasks to be carried out by the partner research teams.

The NCN shall award funds only for those research projects carried out by the Polish research teams for which the partner agencies also award funds to the foreign research teams.

The joint proposal, with all documents and annexes, must be drafted according to the rules of the lead agency applicable to its domestic call announced under the CEUS programme and submitted to the lead agency by the research team affiliated in the home country of the lead agency. 

In addition, if required by the partner agency, each research team involved in a project must submit a set of required documents, including the joint proposal, to the appropriate partner agency which does not act as the lead agency.

As required by the NCN, the Polish research teams must submit NCN proposals via ZSUN/OSF (Integrated System of Services for Science/Servicing Financing Streams available at https://osf.opi.org.pl) as soon as possible following submission of the joint proposal to the lead agency, within 7 calendar days at the latest. The NCN proposals must be appended with the joint proposal identical with the proposal submitted to the lead agency and Comparative CEUS cost sheet table.

Please read all call documents and in particular the Guidelines for Polish research teams.

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Who may submit proposals?

The call is addressed at Polish research teams that will apply for funding of research projects jointly with research teams from one or two other countries involved in the CEUS programme (Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia). Under the call for proposals, funding will be awarded to the research projects, for which cooperation between the teams is essential (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals).

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid? 

Grants that are considered state aid will not be offered (see the call documents: State aid).

Who may act as a Principal Investigator?

The principal investigator must be a person who holds at least a PhD degree and manages the work of the Polish research team (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals).

What can the minimum and maximum number of research team members be?

There are no restrictions on the number of research team members.

Who can act as the Lead Agency under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals?

NCN cannot act as the lead agency under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals. FWF, GAČR or ARRS can act as the lead agency under this call for proposals. More on LAP: https://www.scienceeurope.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/11/SE_WSReport_POL_...

How to choose the Lead Agency?

The contribution of particular research teams to the entire project costs planned in the joint proposal is the main criterion for choosing the lead agency. In the case of research projects carried out jointly by research teams from two countries, the lead agency must cover at least 40% of the entire project costs planned in the joint proposal, whilst in the case of research projects carried out jointly by research teams from three countries – at least 25% (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals and Guidelines for the Polish research teams).

How can the project budget be planned?

The terms of awarding funding for research tasks funded by the NCN under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals are laid down in the LAP Regulations (see the call documents). The CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals is open to NCN proposals in which the requested funding for the entire duration of the Polish part of the research project is no less than PLN 150,000. The budget of the Polish research team must be included in the appropriate budget tabs in ZSUN/OSF (see the call documents).

Information on the budget of the Polish research team (i.e. amounts and justification of expenses) in ZSUN/OSF, Comparative CEUS cost sheet and appropriate section of the joint proposal, must be consistent. 

The EUR budget of the Polish part of the project (i.e. in the Comparative CEUS cost sheet and appropriate section of the joint proposal) shall be calculated based on the following exchange rate: EUR 1 = PLN 4.2344 (see the Call documents, Guidelines for Polish research teams).  

How can the project budget be drafted?

The budget of tasks to be carried out by Polish research teams must be in line with the LAP Regulations (see the Call documents: LAP Regulations and Costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre under international calls carried out as multilateral cooperation pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure) concerning costs planned in the project, including costs of salaries and scholarships specified in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN included therein (see the call documents: LAP Regulations, Costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre under international calls carried out as multilateral cooperation pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure). The principles of awarding NCN scholarships are laid down in the Regulations on awarding scholarships (see the Call documents: Regulations on awarding scholarships).

The budget of tasks to be carried out by Polish research teams must be in line with the information in the Comparative CEUS cost sheet (see the call documents: Comparative CEUS cost sheet).

When drawing up the budget, emphasis should be put on determining the required resources and exact estimation of expenses . The budget must be well justified with regard to the subject and scope of the research, based on the calculations and itemized expenses to be covered from the NCN resources (so-called eligible costs). If the costs planned are unjustified and/or there are severe discrepancies between the costs of projects to be carried out by Polish research teams in the NCN proposal and the joint proposal, the proposal may be rejected or less funding may be awarded than planned in the NCN proposal (see the call documents: Guidelines for Polish research teams).

The maximum amount of indirect costs is 20% of the direct costs.

What should an NCN proposal include

All elements to be included in NCN proposals are set out in Point 2 (2) of the Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals ).

Complete proposal  

The NCN accepts only complete NCN proposals that meet all the requirements set forth in the call announcement. NCN proposals must include joint proposals identical with the proposal submitted to the lead agency and including all documents submitted via the electronic submission system of the lead agency and the Comparatvie CEUS cost sheet table (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals, Guidelines for Polish research teams, NCN proposal form template).

How can an NCN proposal be submitted to the NCN?

Under the CEUS-UNISONO programme, NCN proposals must be submitted to the NCN electronically via ZSUN/OSF available at https://osf.opi.org.pl/. Hard copies are not required for the proposals to be submitted under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals. However, the partner agencies involved in the programme may apply different requirements concerning submission of proposals (see the call documents, Guidelines for submitting proposals and Guidelines for Polish research teams).

What are the proposal submission dates?

An NCN proposal is submitted to the NCN by the Polish research team as soon as possible following submission of the joint proposal to the lead agency (according to the call deadline of the lead agency), within 7 calendar days at the latest.

From the commencement of the work on the NCN proposal in ZSUN/OSF, the Polish research team shall have 45 calendar days to complete and send the proposal to the NCN, after which date the proposal shall be disabled for editing. If such is the case and the Polish research team has not sent its proposal to the NCN, it must draft a new proposal and complete it in ZSUN/OSF (call documents, Guidelines for Polish research teams).

Proposal submission dates in 2020 at the partner agencies acting as the lead agency:

AgencySubmission at the lead agency
FWF (Austria)

Continuous call for proposals

from 22 February 2020 

GAČR (Czech Republic)

Proposal submission date:

22 February-4 May 2020

ARRS (Slovenia)

Proposal submission date:

September – October/ November 2020  

For more information on the NCN proposal submission dates at the partner institutions not acting as the lead agency, see the call documents: Guidelines for Polish research teams.

Detailed guidelines for completing NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF

Detailed instruction for completing NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF are included in the Guidelines for Polish research teams and in Guidelines for submitting proposals (see the call documents: Guidelines for Polish research teams, NCN proposal submission procedure).

Are there any restrictions to submitting proposals for research projects under the CEUS-UNISONO calls for proposals?

When submitting proposals for research projects under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals, the following restrictions should be noted in particular:

  • the call is open to two (in the case of bilateral cooperation) or three (in the case of trilateral cooperation) research teams from countries involved in the CEUS programme, i.e. from Poland, Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic;
  • research tasks covered by the proposal submitted under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals cannot be funded from any other sources.

The other restrictions to submitting NCN proposals are detailed in Chapter III of the LAP Regulations (see the call documents: LAP Regulations).

What can the subject of proposals cover?

There are no restrictions on the subject of proposals submitted to the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals.

Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research in any of the 25 NCN panels within three areas:

  • HS – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • ST – Physical Sciences and Engineering;
  • NZ – Life Sciences.

What is the project’s duration?

The CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals is open to NCN proposals for the Polish part of the research project planned for a period of 24 or 36 months and in the case of research projects to be carried out jointly with research teams from Austria – also 48 months.

The duration of the project must be identical for all research teams involved in the project (see the call documents: Terms of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals ).

What is the proposal evaluation procedure and what is taken into consideration?  

Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit-based evaluation.

Eligibility check of proposals is carried out at the NCN by the scientific coordinators pursuant to the eligibility criteria of the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals.

Joint proposals are subject to merit-based evaluation. The merit-based evaluation is open only to proposals evaluated positively at the stage of the eligibility check by all partner agencies to which the joint proposal has been submitted.

Proposals are subject to merit-based evaluation carried out by the lead agency according to its rules.

The terms of merit-based evaluation of joint proposals are laid down in the documents of the following calls for proposals announced by the partner agencies:

More information on the proposal evaluation procedure at the partner agencies can be found in the Guidelines for Polish research teams (see the call documents: Guidelines for Polish research teams).

When and how will the results be announced and what is the appeal procedure?

The NCN Director shall decide whether or not to award funding within 12 months of the date the NCN proposal is submitted.

The appeal procedure under the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals is set forth in §46, §47 and §48 of the LAP Regulations (see the call documents: LAP Regulations) and Guidelines for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions (see the call documents: Guidelines for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions).

NCN call schedule

The detailed schedule of international calls and programmes for  2019 and 2020 as well as other news can be found on the NCN webpage.

Where can additional information be found?

For more information, see the CEUS-UNISONO call documents, in particular Guidelines for Polish research teams and should you have any more questions, contact the NCN officers.  

General affairs:

  • Dr Magdalena Godowska

e-mail: magdalena.godowska@ncn.gov.pl

tel.: +48 12 341 90 16 (contact time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

  • Magdalena Dobrzańska-Bzowska

e-mail: Magdalena.Dobrzanska-Bzowska@ncn.gov.pl

tel.: +48 12 341 9094 (contact time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Scientific coordinators – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 

  • Dr Małgorzata Jacobs

e-mail: malgorzata.jacobs@ncn.gov.pl

tel.: +48 12 341 9173 (contact time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

CONTACT AT FWF:

  • Dr Christoph Bärenreuter,

e-mail: christoph.baerenreuter@fwf.ac.at

tel. +431 505 67 40 – 8702

CONTACT AT GAČR:

  • Kamila Pětrašová,

e-mail: kamila.petrasova@gacr.cz

tel . +420 227 088 863

CONTACT AT ARRS:

  • Bojan Volf,

e-mail: bojan.volf@arrs.si

tel. +386 1 400 5973


In September 2020, proposals for funding research projects carried out in bilateral or trilateral cooperation by the Polish, Austrian, Czech and Slovenian research teams will be accepted under the OPUS call, with the NCN acting as the Lead Agency.