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RTI-Projects basic research

The funding of basic research projects is intended to strengthen scientific research in the fields of action of the Lower Austria RTI Strategy 2027, which can contribute to solving societal challenges in the short, medium or long term, or which has societal benefits.

The targeted expansion of research competencies in Lower Austria contributes to the profile of Lower Austria as a research hub and promotes excellent and internationally visible research. Lower Austrian colleges, universities, non-university research institutions and companies are thus also supported in participating successfully in calls for existing national and international research funding programs and in entering into increased cooperation with international partners.

The networking of various institutions in project consortia is an important aspect in ensuring the dynamic development of Lower Austria as an RTI hub.

Calls 2021

Evaluation process und project selection

The evaluation procedure and project selection is based on the call document for the respective call.

  1. All applications submitted on time are first subjected to an internal formal review by GFF. The completeness of the application as well as the fulfillment of the formal requirements and the financial framework conditions will be checked.

  2. The GFF assembles a jury of at least five independent external experts in the respective subject area of the call. Attention will be paid to a gender balance as far as possible.

  3. The expert review will be carried out by the jury members and / or additional independent external experts selected by GFF. A total of 2-3 expert opinions will be prepared for each project application.

  4. The evaluation is based on a point system. There are three main criteria (K1-3), each with five sub-criteria. Up to 5 points can be awarded per sub-criterion. The points for the main criteria result from the arithmetic mean of the sub-criteria. The more points awarded, the better the rating. [K1] Excellence [K1.1] Originality and innovation [K1.2] Expected gain in knowledge and scientific significance [K1.3] Clear working hypotheses and relevance of the objective [K1.4] Appropriateness of the methods [K1.5] Reasonable limitation of the subject matter [K2] Quality and efficiency of the planned implementation [K2. 1] Quality and efficiency of the work program [K2.2] Feasibility (including consideration of any risks) in the overall conceived time frame [K2.3] Adequate financial and resource planning [K2.4] Infrastructural framework conditions of the participating institutions [K2. 5] Composition and qualification of the project team (also in connection with career development of young scientists, participation of senior scientists and gender-sensitive composition of the project team) [K3] Impact Scientific impact [K3.1] Sustainable expansion of the research competence of the participating institutions [K3. 2] Increased visibility and profile of the locations of the participating institutions [K3.3] Expansion of collaborations between the participating institutions Societal impact [K3.4] Contribution to innovations and solutions to societal challenges [K3.5] For projects with Citizen Science Add-on: two-way knowledge transfer between science and the population.

  5. In the final jury meeting, the project selection is made on the basis of the expert opinions.

FAQs 2021: Project consortium

  • Can partners from abroad also be involved? Yes, of course. Up to 25% of the funding can be used for institutions outside Lower Austria participating in the project.
  • Question on the definition of "young scientists": How is the "or" to be evaluated? Is one of the two definitions alone a reason for exclusion, e.g. is someone with a dissertation completed late (born before 1986, but dissertation only after 2015) eligible for funding? If one of the two definitions (physical age or academic age) applies, funding is possible. It is not necessary to meet both criteria.
  • I have a question regarding the academic age: As it is defined, this could in and of itself also be late entrants (so-called senior students) who have completed a PhD after 2015, right? Yes, the criterion of academic age aims exactly at this and also applies to "older" active PhD students.
  • So Bachelor's, Master's and Magister degrees are also eligible (with appropriate date of birth)? What is the academically necessary title to be funded as a young scientist? For funding as a young scientist on the basis of the criterion "academic age," a started PhD study is a prerequisite. On the basis of the criterion "physical age," persons with lower academic titles (e.g. also student assistants and master graduates) who are scientifically involved in projects can also be funded.
  • How is the active PhD study proven? Confirmation by the respective university? The confirmation by the university, the study sheet etc. are possibilities to prove the PhD studies.
  • Required PhD studies thus exclude MA graduates from teacher training colleges? This is only true for the criterion "academic age". On the basis of the criterion "physical age," persons with a Master's degree can also be funded.
  • Inquiry about senior scientists: These are all those who were born before 1987 and completed their PhD before 2016. Do scientists who already have several years of post-doc experience also need experienced scientists to "guide" them? The participation of senior scientists is not mandatory if the young scientists already have sufficient scientific experience themselves. What is important is that the project team and its qualifications stand up to peer review. Please note that the own contribution of at least 10% of the total funding amount must be made even if no senior scientists are involved.
  • Do young scientists who want to write a doctoral thesis within the framework of the project have to be already enrolled in a PhD program? This must be the case at the latest at the start of the project if they are to be funded according to the criterion "academic age". A project start is regularly possible up to 6 months after the funding commitment and can be chosen freely. As a rule, projects are only started by the project leaders as soon as the PhD students are available / employed.
  • Can an applicant apply for or be involved in more than one project? Yes, this is possible in this call.
  • Will there be a possibility to import data for the user profiles, e.g. interface to ORCID? In the user profiles, personal data, scientific curriculum vitae and research interests will be entered. Scientific publications are not entered via the user profile but directly in the application. There will be interfaces for this.
  • How is the positive consideration of parental leave periods meant? Verifiable parental leave periods postpone the key dates that are decisive for the classification as a young scientist.
  • Does the period of early maternity protection also count as positive parental leave?
  • Are active PhD students eligible? Yes, and also persons who are currently in specialist training are eligible.
  • Is there special post-doc funding for non-Austrians? Post-docs (regardless of nationality) can be funded under the criteria for young scientists (physical age or academic age).

FAQs 2021: Financial part

  • The personnel costs of the subsidized persons are capped at €5.500/month. Are the costs of the personal contribution personnel also capped, or can the personal contribution be calculated with their actual personnel costs? The costs of the personal contribution personnel are also capped.
  • Does the 10% personal contribution have to be fulfilled by each partner, or is the fulfillment of the personal contribution calculated over the total sum? The 10% personal contribution has to be fulfilled by each partner.
  • Is the FTE calculated for the duration of the project or for one month? The FTE is calculated for the duration of the project. FTE for an individual is entered based on the duration of participation in the project. Alternatively, participation can be entered in hours of service.
  • Will there be a need for time sheets? Even for 100% employees? Time records are only necessary if there is not a 100% assignment in a person's employment contract to the project.
  • Can overhead also be applied for non-eligible personnel costs? Overhead (25%) for non-eligible personnel costs is recognized as personal contribution

FAQs 2021: Citizen Science Add-on

  • Are only 3 projects with Citizen Science Add-on funded in total or can there be more? €300.000 are available for the funding of Citizen Science Add-ons in total. If more than 3 projects are selected by the jury and the requested costs for the Citizen Science Add-on for individual projects are less than €100.000, the funding of more than 3 projects with Citizen Science Add-on is also possible.
  • Is an ethics vote always required for projects with Citizen Science Add-on? This depends on the type of citizen involvement in the project and must be determined by the applicants themselves in each individual case. At the time of submission, it must be stated whether an ethics vote is necessary for the implementation of the project. In the review process this necessity will also be checked.
  • We plan to have a bridge specialist between the main project and the Citizen Science Add-on. This person should act as a coordinator between the scientific team and the volunteer Citizen Science team and also participate in the Citizen Science part. Are such positions included in the call (do they then fall under partners or project staff?)? What is expected as proof of qualification for this? It is possible to be involved both as a partner and as a project employee. The qualification required for the project must be comprehensibly justified in the application. Please also note the criteria for young scientists in connection with the funding of personnel costs.

FAQs 2021: Reviews

  • How can it be prevented that reviewers do not put the "provincial" stamp on topics with specific relevance to Lower Austria and reject them? It is the applicant's task to describe the project in the application in such a way that the relevance of the project is also evident and comprehensible to reviewers from abroad - without regional relevance to Lower Austria. Any declarations of support or intent can be attached to the application.
  • Can anonymous reviewers from previous calls be excluded? Yes, anonymous reviewers from the past can also be excluded without justification in the application by stating the project and review number (max. 3 reviewers in total).
  • Question on review: Choice of international reviewers (e.g. FWF) or reviewers from Austria? National and international reviewers will be used, but none from Lower Austria.
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