Ninety-five research groups can start their five-year projects from July 1, 2022 with the support of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Secretariat. The program for the establishment of funded research groups will help ensure the next generation of researchers and higher education lecturers and strengthen cooperation between the ELKH research sites and universities. Research groups will receive a total of HUF 3.173 billion per year in grants in the next five years.
On July 15, 2021, the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Secretariat (ELKH Secretariat) and the Office for Supported Research Groups (TKI) announced the call for proposals for the period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027. The aim of the program is to strengthen research outside the research network at universities and other public institutions, to support the establishment of scientific workshops, to ensure the next generation of researchers and higher education lecturers, and to further innovative research with direct benefit to society. The timing of the call for proposals was motivated by the expiry of the grant period on June 30, 2022 of the 81 research groups that were awarded grants five years ago.
"In addition to supporting projects that focus on excellence in basic research, our main objective is to promote research on topics that are missing from or complementary to ELKH's profile, are new internationally or are novel in Hungarian scientific life, in any field of science, primarily in discovery research and the exploitation of its results", explained Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH. "With this program, we will support ensuring the next generation of researchers and higher education lecturers, prioritizing young researchers, while strengthening cooperation between the ELKH research sites and higher education institutions," added Miklós Maróth.
A total of 140 valid applications were received in response to the call announced by the ELKH Secretariat and the TKI: 45 in the mathematics and natural sciences, 62 in the life sciences and 33 in the social sciences and humanities fields. Submitted annual project costs were expected to vary from HUF 25 and 65 million. Applicants have submitted proposals for a total of around HUF 7.678 billion, while the available total annual budget is HUF 3.173 billion.
Valid applications were anonymously reviewed and evaluated by external, independent experts. The proposals were also evaluated by the relevant members of ELKH’s Scientific Council and the ELKH Secretariat Presidency, considering the results of the anonymous reviews. The winning proposals were decided by the Governing Board at its meeting on April 26, 2022, on the basis of the recommendation submitted as a result of this process.
The Governing Board agreed to support as many promising research groups as possible in the program and to accommodate this approach actual grants were reduced compared to requests based on a variety of objective parameters. Thus, out of the 140 submitted valid applications 95 groups were approved instead of the 70-80 planned.