In reply to the changed circumstances for project implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Croatian Science Foundation introduced numerous measures for enabling scientists to keep implementing their planned research activities. A great number of projects were temporarily suspended or extended upon Principal Investigators’ requests; therefore, some planned activities and costs have been carried forward to the following year. The Foundation also approved numerous requests by mentors of doctoral students, asking for an extension of the financing period or the deadline for obtaining a doctoral degree due to new circumstances.
In order to provide continuity of funding of successful research that will be completed in 2021 and taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of research activities and the projections of available funds in the State Budget for projects and programmes funded by the Foundation, in 2021 we plan to publish new calls for proposals within existing and new funding programmes.
Research Projects and Installation Research Projects
By end-2020, around 150 new research and installation research projects submitted to the February 2020 Call will have been contracted. This would increase the number of projects funded by HRZZ to around 700 in early 2021.
We expect to open the new Call for Proposals for Research Projects and Installation Research Projects in the summer of 2021. Submission and evaluation of project proposals to these calls will follow similar principles as the 2020 Call.
However, a new aspect of the programme is that the Research Projects Call will also be open for bilateral and multilateral project proposals that would be implemented in collaboration with fellow scientists from Switzerland and/or Slovenia, pursuant to the Multilateral Lead Agency Agreement (MLA Agreement), which was signed by HRZZ, Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
In line with the MLA Agreement, Croatian scientists will still be able to submit bilateral project proposals with their Swiss colleagues to SNSF’s calls, whose cut-off dates have been set for 1 April 2021 and 1 October 2021, as well as to future calls published by ARRS.
More information about HRZZ’s national calls will be published in the spring of 2021.
Young Researchers’ Career Development Project – Training New Doctoral Students
The Call serves as continuation of the programme for establishing stable funding of doctoral students’ career development. Mentors are provided with an opportunity to include enthusiastic doctoral students in their research activities, thus directing their career toward top-notch science. The ultimate objective of the Call is to train a new generation of PhDs who will resume their careers in competitive research and/or the economic sector. This Project funds the total cost of the doctoral student’s gross salary.
The Call is open to candidates for mentors – scientists holding a scientific or scientific-teaching position at a Croatian scientific organization who obtained their doctoral degree at least 2 years before the Call application deadline. Applicants to the Call should be Principal Investigators or team members of scientific projects funded by the Foundation, various EU-funded or other internationally competitive projects whose end date is at least 18 months after the Call deadline. Scientists from all areas of science can apply to the Call, and they can apply for only one doctoral student per Call. It should also be noted that only one team member from a single project can apply as candidate for mentor per Call.
The Call will be opened in January 2021. All information related to the Call will be published on the Croatian Science Foundation’s website in due course.
The Croatian Science Foundation is part of the consortium HERA-NORFACE ERA-NET CO-FUND (Humanities in the European Research Area and New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe), which is composed of 27 research funding organizations from 24 European countries, funding research in the area of Social Sciences and Humanities and coordinated by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN). When applying for additional funds within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, this ERA-NET programme was renamed to CHANSE. A Joint Call for Proposals is planned to be published in March 2021. The Call will be open to project consortia comprised of at least for research teams from four countries that participate in the CHANSE consortium.
QuantERA (ERA-NET Cofund in Quantum Technologies) is a consortium gathering 32 research funding organizations from 27 countries under the coordination by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN), funding international research projects in the area of Quantum Technologies. Based on previous and successful collaboration within the Horizon 2020 Programme, the consortium applied for additional funds from the European Commission, which were approved, and it will resume its activities under the name Quantera II. Within this Programme, the consortium is planning to publish a new Call for Proposals in March 2021. The Call will be open to project consortia comprised of at least three research teams from three countries that participate in the QuantERA consortium.
The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) is a collaboration between humanities and social science research funders from South America, North America, and Europe. The network strives to heighten awareness of the role social sciences and humanities play in addressing 21st century challenges. In March 2021, the platform will publish a thematic Call for Proposals regarding the recovery of society in a post-pandemic world. The Call will be open to transnational research project partnerships that comprise of at least three research partners located in three different T-AP participating countries. In addition, the project consortium must involve a trans-Atlantic component (i.e. the partners should be from both sides of the Atlantic).
More information about the international calls in which the Croatian Science Foundation takes part will be available in early 2021.