SSH Rate
5

Research Grants in Estonia

Personal research funding means funding or for a high level research and development project of a person or a research group working in a research and development institution.

Personal research funding comprises three categories of grants corresponding to different levels of research career:

A postdoctoral research grant is a grant to support launching a research career of persons with a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification at strong research and development institutions or high level research groups. There are two types of postdoctoral grants:

  • a grant for a postdoctoral researcher coming to Estonia;
  • a grant for a postdoctoral researcher going abroad.

In 2017, only outgoing postdoctoral grant can be applied for. Incoming postdoctoral grant can be applied for from the Mobilitas Pluss programme.

A start-up research grant is a grant to support the researchers with initial research experience to launch independent research career at an Estonian R&D institution, to set up their research group and to contribute to furthering the next generation (incl doctoral candidates) of researchers.

A team grant is a grant to support researchers in continuing their research career at an Estonian R&D institution, ensuring high level research, leading a strong research group and furthering the next generation (incl doctoral candidates) of researchers.

Start-up grants

A start-up grant for personal research funding is a grant to support the researchers with initial research experience to launch independent research career at an Estonian research and development (R&D) institution, to set up their research group and to contribute to training the next generation (incl. doctoral candidates) of researchers.

A start-up grant shall be awarded for the implementation of an independent research project and the purpose of the project is not the co-funding of other grants awarded under the Organisation of Research and Development Act.

In awarding the grants, the Estonian Research Council (hereinafter Council) is entitled to prioritize the R&D fields for each year.

Start-up Project

A start-up project (hereinafter also project) is a description of a scientific study with a clearly defined research problem and fundamental or applied research planned to address the problem.

Applicant of a Start-up Grant

A person can apply for funding (hereinafter applicant) upon receiving consent from an Estonian R&D institution (hereinafter host institution). The consent must include confirmation that the host institution shall enter into an employment contract with the applicant if such a contractual relationship does not already exist at the time of submitting the application, and that the applicant and the host institution will agree how to remunerate the persons listed in the grant application.

An applicant can not apply simultaneously for more than one personal research funding grant but may be listed as primary research staff in yet another start-up or team grant.

A person can not apply for a grant if

  • his/her application in two consecutive calls has failed to reach the thresholds;
  • he/she has not timely submitted reports of projects previously financed by the Council.

The applicant must be the Principal Investigator of the project for which the grant is applied for.

Applying for Start-up Grant

The applicant draws up the application and the host institution submits it to the Council via the Estonian Research Information System (hereinafter ETIS).

The call for projects to be started in 2018 will be open from April 1 through to 5:00 p.m. Estonian time on 5 May 2017.

The following must be set out in the an application:

  • the applicant and primary research staff;
  • the title of the project in Estonian and in English;
  • a project summary in Estonian and in English;
  • the requested grant period;
  • the general theoretical background of the project;
  • the main objectives of the research project, hypotheses, description of methods and the annual research plans, availability of the research infrastructure necessary for achieving the objectives of the project. If primary research staff are involved in the project, their roles and distribution of tasks;
  • expected results and their potential applicability, importance for Estonian science, society and economy as well as possible future research directions;
  • an explanation whether a review or approval from a human ethics committee or an authorization committee for animal experiments is available or requested;
  • a confirmation that research ethics principles will be followed and an explanation how project data will be managed;
  • the grant type applied for pursuant to the fixed grant volumes stipulated in Section 9.3 and its justification, incl. the distribution of direct costs;
  • a description of previous research and development activities of the applicant also indicating his/her contribution to the (relevant from the project’s point of view) publications linked to the application;
  • information on Estonian and international joint projects in which the applicant has been involved.

The Council has the right to demand additional data and documents from the applicant and the host institution.

Principal Investigator of Start-up Project

A Principal Investigator of a start-up project may be an applicant who:

  • has been awarded the first doctorate or equivalent qualification in the R&D field in which the application is processed at least 2 years  before and no more than 7 years prior to the closing date of the call. The date of awarding the doctorate or equivalent qualification is the date indicated in the respective document issued by the awarding institution. The Evaluation Committee may, where justified, consider eligible a person who has been awarded their first doctorate in Estonia or equivalent qualification more than 7 years prior to the closing date of the call. If, after obtaining the first doctorate or equivalent qualification the applicant has been on parental leave or serving in the Defence Forces, the maximum effective time elapsed since the award of the first PhD can be extended in full month rounded up to the bigger amount of months;
  • after the award of doctorate or equivalent qualification has acquired research experience (e.g. as a postdoctoral fellow, researcher at an R&D institution, etc, preferably abroad);
  • at the time of implementing the research project, is employed full-time at the host institution and has a place of work in Estonia and who shall fully or in part be remunerated from the grant;
  • has not been the Principal Investigator of a start-up or exploratory research project or the Principal Investigator of an institutional research funding topic.

A Principal Investigator of a start-up grant cannot act as any of the following during the grant term:

  • The Principal Investigator or primary research staff of another personal research funding (start-up, exploratory, team) project nor as a postdoctoral fellow;
  • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of an institutional research funding topic.

A Principal Investigator cannot be replaced during the grant term. In case of suspension or termination of the grant contract with the host institution, the rights and obligations of the Principal Investigator cannot be transferred to the other research staff of the project.

Participants of Start-up Project

In addition to the Principal Investigator, the following persons may participate in the implementation of the project:

  • primary research staff who are employed by the host institution full-time during implementation of the project, who have the necessary qualification for carrying out the research tasks foreseen in the project, and who shall fully or in part be remunerated from the grant;
  • other research staff, incl. Master and PhD students whose wages or (in case of students) scholarships or wages are fully or in part covered from the grant, and whose work is substantively related to the project.

One person may simultaneously be listed as primary staff in no more than two applications.

A member of primary research staff cannot act as any of the following during the grant term:

  • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of another personal research funding (start-up, exploratory, team) project nor as a postdoctoral fellow;
  • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of an institutional research funding topic.

Grant Volume

A start-up grant contains expenses directly related to the implementation of a project and overhead expenses. The direct expenses  consist of personnel costs and research related costs:

  • Personnel costs are wages along with any and all state taxes, contributions, benefits and compensation arising from law, and the research scholarships of master students and PhD students;
  • Research related costs are travel costs, acquisition costs of fixed assets directly related to the implementation of the project (in accordance with the definition established by the host institution), subcontracting costs, costs relating to the publication and popularisation of results of R&D obtained by way of implementing a research project, and expenses relating to the protection of intellectual property as well as other research related direct costs based on the characteristics of the project;
  • Overhead expenses are ongoing operational expenses incurred by the host institution related to the management of the grant by the institution and providing a high quality research environment for the project participants.

The grants are divided into grant types with fixed grant volume depending on the R&D field specifics, specific research methods (incl. experimental methods) and the number of persons participating in the project.

The Council shall set in the „Guidelines for Budgeting Personal Research Funding Applications“ the fixed grant volumes for each year and may set the maximum amounts for types of expenses.

The applicant has the right to request a smaller grant amount than the fixed grant volume.

Grant Term

The term of a start-up grant is up to four years.

Team grants

A team grant for personal research funding is a grant to support the researchers to continue independent research career at an Estonian research and development (R&D) institution, to ensure high level of research, to lead a strong research group and to contribute to training the next generation (incl. doctoral candidates) of researchers.

A team grant shall be awarded for the implementation of an independent research project and the purpose of the project is not the co-funding of other grants awarded under the Organisation of Research and Development Act.

In awarding the grants, the Estonian Research Council (hereinafter Council) is entitled to prioritize the R&D fields for each year.

Team Project

A team project (hereinafter also project) is a description of a scientific study with a clearly defined research problem and fundamental or applied research planned to address the problem.

Applicant of a Team Grant

A person can apply for funding (hereinafter applicant) upon receiving consent from an Estonian R&D institution (hereinafter host institution). The consent must include confirmation that the host institution shall enter into an employment contract with the applicant if such a contractual relationship does not already exist at the time of submitting the application, and that the applicant and the host institution will agree how to remunerate the persons listed in the grant application.

An applicant can not apply simultaneously for more than one personal research funding grant but may be listed as primary research staff in yet another start-up or team grant.

A person can not apply for a grant if

  • he/she is the Principal Investigator of an institutional research funding topic or of a start-up or exploratory grant which continues in 2018;
  • he/she has not timely submitted reports of projects previously financed by the Council.

The applicant must be the Principal Investigator of the project for which the grant is applied for.

Reviewing Entity

The review of applications for grants (hereinafter application) is organised by the Council.

Applying for Team Grant

The applicant draws up the application and the host institution submits it to the Council via the Estonian Research Information System (hereinafter ETIS).

The call for projects to be started in 2018 will be open from April 1 through to 5:00 p.m. Estonian time on 5 May 2017.

The following must be set out in the an application:

  • the applicant and primary research staff;
  • the title of the project in Estonian and in English;
  • a project summary in Estonian and in English;
  • the requested grant period;
  • the general theoretical background of the project;
  •  the main objectives of the research project, hypotheses, description of methods and the annual research plans, availability of the research infrastructure necessary for achieving the objectives of the project;
  • expected results and their potential applicability, importance for Estonian science, society and economy as well as possible future research directions;
  • an explanation whether a review or approval from a human ethics committee or an authorization committee for animal experiments is available or requested;
  • a confirmation that research ethics principles will be followed and an explanation how project data will be managed;
  • the grant type applied for pursuant to the fixed grant volumes stipulated in Section 9.3 and its justification, incl. the distribution of direct costs;
  • a description of previous research and development activities in the last 10 years and the track record of the applicant, also indicating his/her contribution to the (relevant from the project’s point of view) publications linked to the application;
  • information on Estonian and international cooperation (incl. research projects) in which the applicant has participated in the last 10 years, also indicating the his/her contribution to the (relevant from the project’s point of view) projects linked to the application;
  • the previous team leadership and supervision experience of the applicant;
  • the role and task division of the primary research staff involved in the Project.

The Council has the right to demand additional data and documents from the applicant and the host institution.

Principal Investigator of Team Project

Principal Investigator of a team project may be an applicant who:

  • has been awarded a doctorate or who has qualification equal thereto;
  • is employed full-time at the host institution and whose place of work is in Estonia at the time of implementing the project. By way of exception, a Principal Investigator who is not employed full-time at a host institution can be considered compliant by the Evaluation Committee of the Council (hereinafter Evaluation Committee) if this does not jeopardise the successful implementation of the research project.
  • A Principal Investigator of a team grant cannot act as any of the following during the grant term:
    • the Principal Investigator or primary research staff of another personal research funding (start-up, exploratory, team) project nor as a postdoctoral fellow;
    • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of an institutional research funding topic.

During the grant period it is possible with good reason to request the change of the Principal Investigator for a fixed period (e.g. in case of suspension of his/her employment contract, long-lasting incapacity to work) or for the remaining period of the grant (e.g. termination of Principal Investigator’s employment contract with the host institution, relocation to another country, or death). The Evaluation Committe shall consider the substance of the request for change of the Principal Investigator, the quality, track record and abilities of the proposed new Principal Investigator to continue carrying out the project and shall make a proposal to the Management Board of the Council:

  • to satisfy the application requesting the change of the Principal Investigator;
  • not to satisfy the application requesting the change of the Principal Investigator.

The decision to satisfy or not to satisfy the application requesting the change of the Principal Investigator shall be made by the directive of the Management Board of the Council. In case the Management Board of the Council does not satisfy the application requesting the change of the Principal Investigator, the award of grant shall be terminated before the prescribed time pursuant to Section 16.

Participants of Team Project

In addition to the Principal Investigator, the following persons may participate in the implementation of the project:

  • Primary research staff who have been awarded a doctorate or who has qualification equal thereto and who are employed by the host institution full-time during implementation of the project. By way of exception, the Evaluation Committee may in justified cases consider compatible a person who has not been awarded a doctorate or equal qualification;
  • Other research staff, incl. Master and PhD students whose wages or (in case of students) scholarships or wages are fully or in part covered from the grant, and whose work is substantively related to the project.

One person may simultaneously be listed as primary staff in no more than two application.

A member of primary research staff cannot act as any of the following during the grant term:

  • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of another personal research funding (start-up, exploratory, team) project nor as a postdoctoral fellow;
  • A Principal Investigator or primary research staff of an institutional research funding topic.

Grant Volume

A team grant contains expenses directly related to the implementation of a project and overhead expenses. The direct expenses consist of personnel costs and research related costs:

  • Personnel costs are wages along with any and all state taxes, contributions, benefits and compensation arising from law, and the research scholarships of master students and PhD students;
  • Research related costs are travel costs, acquisition costs of fixed assets directly related to the implementation of the project (in accordance with the definition established by the host institution), subcontracting costs, costs relating to the publication and popularisation of results of R&D obtained by way of implementing a research project, and expenses relating to the protection of intellectual property as well as other research related direct costs based on the characteristics of the project;
  • Overhead expenses are ongoing operational expenses incurred by the host institution related to the management of the grant by the institution and providing a high quality research environment for the project participants.

The grants are divided into grant types with fixed grant volume depending on the R&D field specifics, specific research methods (incl. experimental methods) and the number of persons participating in the project.

The Council shall set in the "Guidelines for Budgeting Personal Research Funding Applications" the fixed grant volumes for each year and may set the maximum amounts for types of expenses.

The applicant has the right to request a smaller grant amount than the fixed grant volume.

Grant Term

The term of a team grant is up to five years.

Application date
5 May 2017
Duration
Start-up: up to 4 years; Team: up to 5 years
Country
Europe Estonia
Discipline
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History History & Philosophy of Science Linguistics Literature Media Studies Medical Ethics Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology Other Agronomy Biology Chemistry Computer science Engineering Mathematics Medicine Physics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 2 and 99 years
share