Support is provided for the development of inter-institutional and intersectorial research and innovation seed projects aimed at resolving the SDG11 challenges.
The maximum budget per project 50,000 € (in the form of lump sum)
The application will be evaluated according to the criteria of:
Application must be submitted by the coordinator, using the application form
The application (pdf format), must be sent by e-mail email@example.com
For doubts and questions about submission: firstname.lastname@example.org
1.1. Must the student be already enrolled in a PhD programme?
No, the student can be a doctoral candidate not yet enrolled in a PhD programme. Doctoral students enrolled in the last year of the PhD programme are not eligible to participate in this type of action.
1.2. If our proposal is funded, does that imply that we need to have already secured funds for paying the full PhD scholarship?
No, this is not a requirement.
1.3. Would it be possible to use the requested funding to pay a pre-doctoral scholarship?
No, according to the guidelines, only travel and subsistence are eligible costs.
1.4. Is there any other programme supported by ECIU that could support a full PhD funding?
No, presently ECIU does not provide that type of financial support.
2.1. Must the mobility be related to a previous project?
No. There is no requirement to relate the proposal or the mobility to any other previous project.
3.1. I am a doctoral student. Can I submit a proposal as PI?
No. According to the guidelines, the PI must be affiliated to the coordinator institution and have a doctoral degree.
3.2. In the first case, the challenges outlined seem defined for teams of students: are the researchers supposed to work with the students' teams and with the already assigned leaders/partners? Or is it just the "Title/topic" of the challenge that should be addressed in an independent way?
The challenge can be addressed in a totally independent way.
3.3. In such a case, can only "open challenges" be selected as a topic of joint research or also those "in progress" can be targeted?
All types of challenges can be selected.
3.4. In the case of challenges identified by external stakeholders, what is the freedom of choice? And how should the team prove that they were defined by external stakeholders? E.g. could challenges outlined by the EU or industry associations (e.g. in white papers or roadmaps) be considered valid?
The guidelines state that the challenge should be identified by any “citizen, group of citizens or external entity of any region of the SMART-ER academic institutions, contributing to SDG 11”. It could be identified by an Industry association, as long as it is located in one of the indicated regions and contributes to SDG11. You need to describe the challenge, identifying its origin, and its relevance will be assessed by the evaluation panel.
3.5. When referring to the region of SMART-ER academic institutions, does it mean local/community level or can it be a challenge outlined nationally in one of the countries of the SMART-ER academic institutions? And could it be a challenge relevant to the region of one of the SMART-ER academic institutions, even if the corresponding academic institution is not included in the consortium?
We consider that the institution of the region (and the team, if the challenge is already identified) should, preferably, be involved. However, according to the guidelines, this is not mandatory.
3.6. The category 'other goods and services' is not specifically defined. Would consultancy fees or per diem payments related with the involvement of stakeholders be eligible under this category?
Any goods or services relevant for the project implementation and duly justified should be eligible, including consultancy. If a stakeholder’s participation is required in some event/meeting, the beneficiary institution may support the related expenses.
3.7. Is it possible to hire a researcher under any eligible budget category? If so, should it be through an official contract from the university or directly by the ECIU consortium?
Personnel costs are not eligible for funding. Each institution will be responsible for the management of its own budget.
4.1. Can the non-academic institutions from other countries be involved?
No, only the institutions located in the SMART-ER institutions countries are eligible.
4.2. Where can I find relevant contacts of other SMART-ER institutions to collaborate in my proposal?
The appendix 2 of the Seed Programme guidelines provide you information about potential supervisors interested in SPA1.
If you are considering to submit a proposal to solve an existent challenge under SPA3, you may contact the teamcher to initiate the potential partnership.
Additionally, the ECIU tool available at Researchers (eciu.org) compiles information about different researchers per institution and per research area.
In case none of those tools can help you, you may contact the SMART-ER Local Contact Points of the institutions with which you are interested to collaborate.
4.3. Is there going to be a second call after the one ending on March 18th? The seed programme guidelines seem to indicate another call later in May.
Yes, a second call in May is expected. Nevertheless, this is a pilot project, so we might have some slight adjustments.
4.4. Are there any specific requirements for the external partners?
Only academic institutions outside ECIU are non-eligible institutions. There is no restriction for any other institutions/citizens.
5.1. All IER will be combined anddiscussed at a consensus meeting. Is it one consensus meeting per panel?
Yes, one meeting per panel.
5.2. Do we have to provide unifiedevaluation – the averages of 3 expert evaluations?
Each panel will discuss and reachconsensus for each of the applications received by the panel. UAVR will receivethree IER and one CR per each application.
5.3. What is the role of panelCoordinator?
The coordinator should promote andchair the consensus meeting or others that he/she may find relevant to completethe process; organize the work of the panel, as necessary and be responsiblefor sending all documentation to email@example.com.
5.4. When do I need to declare a conflictof interest?
Evaluators have a conflict ofinterest only when they belong to the same research groups of the researchersinvolved in the applications received for evaluation.