Mobilitas Pluss┋Post-doctoral Research Grants in Estonia
The programme aims to:
- improve the international visibility of Estonian research, business and higher education and Estonia’s attractiveness as a destination country for study and research;
- strengthen the international competitiveness of Estonian researchers and research performing organisations, including companies;
- support opportunities for Estonian research institutions and companies to collaborate with transnational research organisations and networks, including through synergy with Horizon 2020 actions;
- expand international collaboration and professional development opportunities for the state, R&D institutions, higher education institutions, companies, students and academic staff by improving intersectoral and international mobility and cooperation (opportunities).
What do we support?
We support researchers who have earned their doctoral degrees abroad in coming to Estonia for postdoctoral research. We expect to bring approximately 100 postdoctoral researchers to Estonia through at least five calls for proposals.
What is the objective for the postdoctoral researcher grant?
The grant is provided with the aim of balancing and encouraging brain circulation whilst supporting opportunities for completing postdoctoral research, an important stage in research careers. The Estonian state attaches importance both to international researchers coming to Estonia to work and to the return of Estonian researchers who have gone abroad to study, in order to facilitate the application in Estonia of knowledge and experience acquired abroad and expand career options for researchers at the beginning of their career paths.
As a result of the activity, more researchers with international experience, including foreign researchers, will be working in Estonia than is the case now. Furthermore, postdoctoral research and international research experience will become a natural ingredient of research careers in Estonia.
What is the grant amount?
The amount of the grant depends on the amount of personal research grants issued for postdoctoral researchers from the state budget and is defined in Annex 2 to the decree on Mobilitas Pluss. The final beneficary of the grant is an Estonian R&D institution or company hiring postdoctoral researchers who have come from abroad. The grant is subject to self financing requirement of 5% by the host institution.
The amounts are:
- 42 500 €/per year for experimental projects (direct costs 34 000 euros, indirect costs 8500 euros);
- 40 000 €/per year for non-experimental projects (direct costs 32 000 euros, indirect costs 8000 euros);
- 5 500 € in the first year for relocation support for projects that last for two years (in case the postdoctoral fellow has not lived, studied or worked in Estonia within 180 calendar days immediately prior to the opening of the call for applications);
- 4000 € in the first year for relocation support for projects that last less than two years (in case the postdoctoral fellow has not lived, studied or worked in Estonia within 180 calendar days immediately prior to the opening of the call for applications).
The salary fund and relocation allowance include any taxes laid down in Estonian legislation.
How long is the period of the grant?
The minimum grant period is 12 months and the maximum period is 24 months.
Implementation of the postdoctoral project should commence within one year after the decision to grant the application, unless a different agreement has been negotiated with good reason. The grant period will commence on the date specified in the grant agreement.
What are the requirements for the applicant?
Final recipients of postdoctoral researcher grant include R&D institutions, companies or higher education institutions hiring postdoctoral researchers who have come from abroad. Postdoctoral researcher grant is aimed at both Estonian residents and foreign nationals who have defended their doctoral degrees at universities abroad. It is important that the applicant has been awarded a doctoral degree or an equivalent qualification within the past five years as of the deadline for the submission of grant applications.
The grant period is 12-24 months. Implementation of the postdoctoral project should commence within one year after the decision to grant the application, unless a different agreement has been negotiated with good reason. The grant period will commence on the date specified in the grant agreement. The postdoctoral fellow has to work for the host institution during the project and with the place of work in Estonia. The Estonian Research Council is entitled to introduce additional requirements for the final recipient when announcing calls for proposals.
A postdoctoral research project has to have a supervisor. The supervisor should hold an Estonian doctoral degree or a corresponding qualification from abroad and be a member of staff at the host institution. The supervisor in Estonia should be a leader or senior research staff of a large-scale research project (i.e. an institutional research grant, personal research grant, a target – financed research topic, a European framework programme project, etc).
Specific requirements for enterprise
Private enterprises can apply for the grants just like public research organisations, but private enterprises must comply with the state aid rules and provide additional information on this matter. Support given for private enterprises is preferrably de minimis state aid, but if the applicant has already received support above the de minimis state aid limit, the support will be given according to the General Block Exemption rules.
When may a grant be applied for?
The next call for applications will be opened at the beginning of the 2018. We will publish the application instructions and application form on the day of the announcement of the call at the latest.
Applications can be submitted via Estonian Research Portal ETIS. In order to fill in the application in ETIS one needs to create a personal account. This can be done by contacting the host institution. Application is successfully submitted when it is confirmed by the host institution.
What are applications evaluated on?
An application meeting the requirements is evaluated by the evaluation committee at ETAg involving independent experts. Applications are evaluated on the following selection criteria:
- justification and scientific quality of the application (methods, expected results, including particular field-specific or application related characteristics, etc);
- the qualifications of the postdoctoral fellow and the supervisor the capacity to implement the project;
- sufficiency of the infrastructure, budget and cost-efficiency of the postdoctoral fellow’s project;
- impact of the project on achievement of the objectives of the measure, on the development of Estonian society and economy, and horizontal themes.
Applications are evaluated on a scale of 1 (non-satisfactory) to 5 (excellent). Evaluation is provided with the precision of 0.5 points. The cumulative score is made up of the weighted average for the selection criteria. Weights for each selection criterion are indicated in the evaluation instructions. Evaluation of applications will result in a ranking. Applications meeting the requirements are subject to funding based on the ranking, until the funds allocated for the call have run out. Applications with a cumulative score below 3.5 will not be funded.
The corresponding decision on the application will be sent to the host institution and the postdoctoral fellow through ETIS. A decision on granting or rejecting an application will be sent to the host institution within 10 working days of making the decision.
In the case an application has received an affirmative funding decision, we will conclude a trilateral grant agreement between ETAg, the host institution and the postdoctoral researcher.