INFORMATION SHEET for the 2023-2024 open call for the ˝UBB Starting Research Grants”
Preamble: UBB fosters the development of its three academic components – research, teaching and services to the community/socio-economic environment – by establishing an academic research network of excellence (STAR-UBB-N) within the STAR – Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Institute. The STAR-UBB-N network, established in 2022 through the PFE-550-UBB institutional excellence funding project, supported by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitisation within the framework of the PNCDI-III-Sub-programme 1.2 – Institutional Performance/ Programme 1 – Development of the National Research and Development System/ National Research, Development and Innovation Plan, aims to implement/pilot a starting/start-up grant programme for young researchers with outstanding achievements in the RDI activity.
Aim: to foster the development of human resources in research and the impact of research on the scientific, social and economic environment. Supporting young UBB researchers who wish to further develop their own scientific research orientations, by initiating and developing projects in the area of new and emerging technologies, with a focus on InfoBioNano4Health type projects (https://infobionano4health.granturi.ubbcluj.ro/home/about-infobionano4health/) (including the UBBMed programme https://www.ubbcluj.ro/ro/facultati/school_of_health) to advance new scientific themes and avenues of development initiated within the STAR-UBB-N network (https://cercetare.ubbcluj.ro/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Directii-dezvoltare-engleza.pdf), and of the UBB Humanities Platform, respectively (https://news.ubbcluj.ro/manifest-pentru-o-platforma-umanista-in-invatamantul-superior-romanesc/ );
Eligible applicants: Early-career researchers (maximum 10 years since successful completion of doctoral degree), who pursue the scientific themes and development lines undertaken within the STAR-UBB-N Network and who have achieved outstanding results in scientific research at UBB.
Eligibility criteria: by the time the project proposal is submitted:
- Applicants are members of the UBB community as teaching or research staff, or associate researchers/experts;
- Applicants have been granted a doctorate in the field of application within the past 10 years (time counted excluding interruptions for personal reasons such as sick leave, maternity leave, etc.);
- Candidates present their own scientific achievements with UBB affiliation;
- The project proposal meets the formal requirements described in the present information package.
Grant duration: 12 months.
Budget: the total budget6 of the competition is RON 2,000,000. A maximum of 40 grants of up to 50,000 RON/grant will be awarded.
The grant is intended for independent researchers (one person per grant) – not involving a team or supervisor.
Eligible expenses for the research activities included in the project proposal:
– administrative expenses: equipment, inventory items, laboratory supplies, office supplies, material expenses, dissemination expenses, information-documentation, access to third-party research infrastructure, etc.;
– travel expenses in the country or abroad, for documentation or research internships, participation in scientific events in the field of the project;
Note: Within the grant proposal, an estimate will be made of how the allocated funds will be spent; if appropriate, should the proposal be funded, a reallocation of funds may be operated between the two above-mentioned sections.
SUBMISSION OF GRANT PROPOSALS
Applications will be submitted electronically and will include 3 components:
- Grant proposal – one document of maximum 7 pages (A4/Letter format, minimum 12 font size, line spacing no smaller than 1.5, editable PDF format, not scanned), written in English and accompanied by (a) an abstract (maximum one page) of the project proposal, stating how/to what extent the project contributes to the development of research areas and/or RDI topics consistent with those of the InfoBioNano4Health programme (including the UBBMed programme), the UBB Humanities Platform, respectively with the provisions of the STAR-UBB-N Network Development Strategy, (b) a presentation of the applicants (maximum two pages, including important scientific achievements) and (c) a workflow plan (providing a detailed estimation of the feasibility of the project, the impact of the expected results, and an estimation of how the funds will be spent for the research activities proposed by the project – mobilities, procurement, services etc.).
- A CV listing the most representative achievements of the candidate (maximum 10 achievements/candidate, regardless of their type (publications or other types of achievements, in accordance with the particular field – see the assessment criteria of the UBB Scientific Council – https://cercetare.ubbcluj.ro/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CSUBBevalCrit2022.pdf ).
- Publicly available/verifiable documentation (either a link provided in the project submission or a file attached to the application) indicating the doctoral degree and the date of the dissertation defence or title conferral (both are acceptable, given the varying procedures in different countries).
Applications must be submitted by the deadlines set out in the competition calendar by email to the Centre for the Management of Scientific Research (CMCS) at the following address email@example.com.
The applications will be reviewed for quality in three rounds.
- During the first round, the UBB Scientific Council (CS-UBB) assisted by the CMCS examines the applications in terms of eligibility and in relation to the CS-UBB evaluation criteria (see for details https://cercetare.ubbcluj.ro/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CSUBBevalCrit2022.pdf ) for the CV section. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria and those that receive an IP rating for the resume section according to the CS-UBB criteria will not be shortlisted for the second round of evaluation.
- For the second round, reviewers are external, selected among experts from universities with whom UBB is a partner in European alliances/partnerships (e.g. EUTOPIA, the Guild). The reviewers are selected by the CS-UBB based on their established expertise in the field and avoiding conflicts of interest in the generally accepted academic sense – e.g. relatives, collaborators (including research grants, or if the collaboration has not yet resulted in publications), co-authors, etc. The names of the reviewers are confidential. Reviewers rate each project using the CS-UBB assessment criteria: IE, IR or IP. A single score is given for the overall application, but reviewers may decide to provide an additional breakdown by category (e.g. CV score separate from project score). Each application is forwarded to three assessors for evaluation.
- In the third round, the scores of the international evaluators are ranked and validated by the CS-UBB based on the following principles:
- The scores given by the external evaluators for each project are collected and a final score is calculated as an average grade: IE, IR or IP.
- The applications are broken down along six fields, reflecting the six UBB Academic Schools (https://ubbcultural.ubbcluj.ro/scoli-academice/).
- Only applications with IE or IR rating score will qualify for funding. At least one application per Academic School will be funded.
- If the amounts requested for IE eligible applications exceed the competition budget, only IE applications will be funded.
- If IE applications do not fully cover the competition budget, these will be fully funded without any further ranking, and then IR applications will be funded.
- Ranking of applications, if necessary, is done only within the same Academic School and only for applications with the same rating (IE, or IR).
- For the purpose of ranking (subject to point 6 above) the following criteria will be used, to be applied cumulatively until ranking is achieved:
- number of scientific papers/contributions in Nature Index publications, as main author (first author, correspondent, or other equivalent qualities, where definable);
- number of scientific papers/contributions in leading publications, as main author (first author, correspondent, or other equivalent qualities, where definable);
- number of scientific papers/contributions in Nature Index publications, co-author;
- number of scientific papers/contributions in leading publications, co-author;
- number of scientific contributions by number of years since obtaining a doctorate;
- interdisciplinarity/complexity of the project;
- potential practical feasibility of the project.
Applicants are notified of the assessment process results at the end of round 1 and at the end of round 3. Dissemination is done both by publishing the preliminary list of shortlisted grant proposals (posted on https://cercetare.ubbcluj.ro/en/ ) and by emailing the evaluation report. Appeals may be filed and registered with the CMCS after both Round 1 and Round 3.
The implementation of the projects will proceed with the signing of a grant agreement between the parties; the grant period runs from 01.07.2023 to 30.06.2024. The agreement template will be provided to the grant directors through the CMCS. By agreement, the grant director commits to provide proof of submission for publication and inclusion in the reviewer assessment process of a paper in a leading international journal in the field (WoS, Scopus, ERIH+) or in a book to be published by a leading international publisher.
The beneficiary of a grant contract will submit to the CMCS within the established deadlines (maximum 13 months from the signing date of the contract) an electronic REPORT OF COMPLETION in free format (in English) outlining the extent to which the objectives have been achieved along with a copy of the manuscripts submitted for publication (or, if preferred, including those in progress) with proof of submission (or a follow-up action) which will be evaluated and endorsed by the CS – UBB in accordance with the terms of the contract.
2023-2024 UBB Starting Research Grants APPLICATION CALL DATES:
|Applications – submitting grant proposals||24/03 -21/04/2023|
|Posting results following Round 1||05/05/2023|
|Submission of appeals following Round 1||05-09/05/2023|
|Releasing final results following Round 1||12/05/2023|
|Assessment of eligible grant proposals (Round 2, 3)||12/05-12/06/2023|
|Releasing tentative results following assessment||13/06/2023|
|Final results released for publication by validation by the CS – UBB||19/06/2023|