The Impulz project scheme aims to improve the scientific organizations of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) by recruiting internationally recognized scientists and highly talented young researchers who come from abroad or do not leave for abroad. The scheme is intended to help increase the Academy's excellence, internationalization and competitiveness in the European Research Area and its success in obtaining prestigious grants.
IMPULZ 2023 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS Presidium) approved the current Call for Applications for the IMPULZ Programme on 23rd May 2023.
- Date of the call announcement: 1st June 2023, 9:00 CEST (7:00 UTC/GMT).
- Deadline for the submission of applications: 31st August 2023, 23:59 CEST (21:59 UTC/GMT)
- Estimated deadline for the applications’ evaluation results: February 2024
- Estimated start of the projects’ implementation: April 2024
The IMPULZ Programme aims to improve the excellence of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) and its research institutes by recruiting internationally recognized scientists and highly talented young researchers either from abroad or within Slovakia. The task for the excellent scientists will be to create and manage their own research groups which will work on new research directions in line with the current world trends. The Programme will provide excellent scientists with the incentives for their cutting-edge research and it will bring an improvement to the SAS research institutes in their research capacity and scientific outputs. The IMPULZ Programme should improve the excellence, internationalization, interdisciplinarity and competitiveness of SAS in the European Research Area, among other things, by increasing its chances to receive the prestigious European grants.
The applicants and applications must meet the eligibility criteria as stipulated in the Statute of the IMPULZ Programme. In short:
- The applicant must hold a PhD at the time of application (or equivalent).
- The applicant must demonstrate sufficient research experience gained at a foreign research institute. Either s/he obtained a PhD degree or completed a long-term stay outside Slovakia, usually not shorter than 2 years.
- The applicant must prove that s/he regularly publishes in quality scientific journals in the given scientific field; that s/he has been repeatedly invited to present her/his scientific results at important international conferences; and that s/he has been a leading researcher of a scientific project.
- (In case of a young researcher) The applicant must prove an autonomy from the thesis advisor by providing a list of publications which were not co-authored by the advisor. Moreover, the proposed topic of the project must be different from the topic of the applicant's thesis.
- The applicant must demonstrate a capability to lead a proposed research team as well as an ability to obtain other competitive resources for research in the long term.
The application must be written in English, submitted via the online application system and addressing all the points stipulated in the Guide for Applicants. The application must include an opinion of a host organization (SAS research institute) as for the whole duration of the project, the applicant must be a full-time employee of a SAS research institute which will serve as a host organization for the project implementation.
Evaluation of applications
The applications will be evaluated in two rounds. In the first round, after the check of compliance with the eligibility criteria, technical and formal requirements, the IMPULZ Programme Evaluation Committee (IPEC) will review the applicant's curriculum vitae, the extended abstract of the project and the opinion of the host organization (SAS research institute). The selected applications will be evaluated in the second round, during which the applicant’s curriculum vitae and the entire project will be reviewed by the IPEC based on the consensus reports of three independent foreign evaluators. A face- to-face or online interview will be held only if requested by the IPEC or SAS Presidium. Based on the above-mentioned steps, the IPEC will recommend the selected applicants for funding to the SAS Presidium, which will make the final decision. The detailed information, including the evaluation criteria, can be found in the Statute of the IMPULZ Programme.
Implementation of projects
A selected project could ask for funding ranging from 60,000 to 160,000 EUR per year. The eligible project costs include personnel costs, travel costs, material costs, research infrastructure, publishing costs including Open Access, and services. The selected applicants will be employed by a SAS research institute, which will provide funding for the indirect project costs. During the project implementation, a mid-term project evaluation will be carried out. Only in case of a positive outcome – i.e. fulfilment of the pre-set conditions – the project will continue to be financed. The mid-term project evaluation will take into account also any prospects of project co-financing from other non-SAS resources – e.g. a Horizon Europe project proposal (with a special emphasis on the ERC grant scheme), or another prestigious foreign grant with a comparable funding to the ongoing IMPULZ project.
The statement regarding utilisation of funds from the SAS schemes
The presidium of Slovak Academy of Sciences adopted the following resolution on its meeting on 7th April 2022: SAS provides a specific support to researchers through several schemes. Currently actively running schemes (ranked hierarchically) are the following:
- Compensatory allowance
- Štefan Schwarz Fund
- SASPRO 2/MoRePro
A support from more above-mentioned schemes is not possible being carried at the same time. If a recipient of the compensatory allowance succeeds in the competition for support from a higher scheme, receiving the compensatory allowance terminates on the very same day when he/she starts to receive the funds from the higher scheme. A recipient of the Štefan Schwarz Fund is expected successfully accomplish the project for which he/she has received the support first. He/she may apply for support from a higher scheme but in case he/she succeeds he/she shall start implementation of a new higher project only after the successful completion of the project supported by the Stefan Schwarz Fund. In case he/she obtains the financial support from the SASPRO2 project scheme, or/and MoRePro, it is expected the recipient successfully accomplishes this project first. He/she may apply for support from a higher scheme (IMPULZ) but in case he/she is successful he/she starts to implement a higher project only after the successful completion of the SASPRO2 project, or MoRePro. The researcher may apply for the support of a higher scheme only in the last year of the actual project. Projects cannot be cumulated for use in future years.