Objectives and form of funding
The President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, hereinafter referred to as MTA) launches a call for applications to obtain premium postdoctoral support under thPlease click here to download the application in fulle MTA Premium Postdoctoral Research Program to be used at research institutions of MTA’s research centres and independent research institutes as well as Hungarian universities and Hungarian public collections and public institutions conducting scientific research according to their statutes (together: host institutions) within the framework of a fixed employment contract of 36 months for Hungarian and foreign researchers.
The objectives of the grant are:
- to provide opportunity for young researchers with scientific degree from acknowledged foreign and domestic universities, with internationally acclaimed scientific results and research programme of outstanding quality to conduct their research at the best Hungarian scientific research centres;
- to offer support to successful participation in other programs of excellence (e.g. ERC, Lendület “Momentum” Programme);
- to support the mobility of the young generation of researchers: to involve foreign researchers in domestic research, and to help young researchers returning from abroad to be involved in the work of Hungarian centres of research.
The budget earmarked for the Premium Postdoctoral Research Program 2019 under the appropriation which, in Annex 1 of the Act L of 2018 on the Central Budget of Hungary for the Year 2019, has been reallocated from Chapter XVII “Ministry of Innovation and Technology” Title 20 “Chapter-managed appropriations”, Subtitle 66 “Research and Development Tasks”, Article 5 “Support for Research Programs” to Chapter XXXIII “Hungarian Academy of Sciences”, Title 6 “Chapter-managed appropriations”, Subtitle 9 “Support for Postdoctoral Programs”, is expected to be of HUF 80 million for 2019, to be used for the funding of the employment of approximately 27 postdoctoral researchers, with starting dates between 1st September 2019 and 1st November 2019. It is a precondition for the actual transfer of the amounts of the awards due to be paid in 2020 and the years afterwards that the budget earmarked for the implementation of the Postdoctoral Research Program in the central budget of the year concerned should be placed at the disposal of MTA.
Supported postdoctoral researchers will be provided a monthly gross salary of HUF 600,000 for a period of 36 months from 1st September 2019 upon an employment contract concluded with the respective academic research centres or research institutes or MTA’s Office for Research Groups Attached to Universities and Other Institutions (hereinafter referred to as MTA TKI) provided that the actual central budgetary resources are available for this purpose.
Furthermore, in order to achieve their research objectives, applicants may also request funding for operational and investment expenses in the maximum annual gross amount of HUF 2.4 million, which can be spent on equipment, direct operational costs, participation at conferences, travel and accommodation expenses, etc.
Conditions of application
Researchers may perform their research during the funding period from 1stSeptember 2019 to 31st August 2022 at their respective host institutions. MTA Supported Research Groups and Lendület “Momentum” Groups may not be host institutions.
The call is open for both Hungarian and foreign nationals. In order to be eligible to apply, researchers shall meet the following requirements:
- they must be aged under 40 as of 1st September 2019 (born after 31stAugust 1979);
- they must have experience in conducting research, to be proved by publication list, citation data, number of grants awarded etc.;
- they must hold a PhD or a DLA degree obtained in their special field from one of the most prestigious foreign or domestic universities.
At the time of their application applicants must have already the certificate attesting the award of their doctorate or in the event that they have not yet received the certificate before the application, they must be able to demonstrate the fact that the University Doctoral Council have already passed the decision on the award of the doctorate.
- Under the relevant legal provisions the starting date of the first postdoctoral employment must fall within 5 years of obtaining one’s doctoral degree. Basic rules of the postdoctoral employment are set out in Government Decree 156/1997 (IX. 19.). Applicants who have had any former postdoctoral employment must provide evidence of this fact when submitting their application.
Researchers raising a child shall be granted an age limit extension of 2 years per child, maximum of 4 years as an extension to the standard age limit or as an extension to the starting date of the first postdoctoral employment where prior to the submission of the application the researcher has received childcare benefit based on the Act LXXXIV of 1998 on Family Support or has received pecuniary health insurance benefits for childcare purposes pursuant to the Act LXXXIII of 1997 on the Benefits of Compulsory Health Insurance excluding sick pay. Applicants must provide evidence of their eligibility for the age limit extension in the documentation of their application.
Eligibility criteria for recipients of postdoctoral support
The premium postdoctoral research shall be conducted within the framework of a full-time employment contract from 1st September 2019 until 31st August 2022 with one of MTA’s research centres or research institutes or – where the host institution is a university, a public collection or any other public institution – with MTA TKI. This fellowship does not support any part-time or other types of employment. Postdoctoral researchers during their postdoctoral employment are required to dedicate at least 80 per cent of their full working time (at least 0.8 FTE) to the postdoctoral research work undertaken in their application, and their involvement in any other projects has to be planned in such as way that the overall FTE value may not exceed 1 in any period during the Premium Postdoctoral Research Program.
Postdoctoral researchers who have been awarded this fellowship may not receive any other postdoctoral grants or research fellowships or lecturer’s fellowships which may be used to cover personnel costs. Applicants must declare at the time of submitting their application that during their postdoctoral employment under this fellowship scheme they will not receive any other postdoctoral grants or research fellowships or lecturer’s fellowships which may be used to cover personnel costs. In case the applicant has applied to more than one postdoctoral support scheme and has been awarded more than one fellowship, they must decide which support they opt for and they have to notify the President of MTA about their choice. MTA will terminate the postdoctoral research support under this fellowship scheme if it learns from duly substantiated information that the applicant has obtained and used any further postdoctoral support which may be used to cover personnel costs.
Under this fellowship scheme it is not possible to delay the starting date of the postdoctoral employment by more than 2 months.
In all their scientific publications produced during the award period, postdoctoral researchers have to indicate their host institution (MTA’s research centre or research institute, university, public collection or public institution) as their affiliation and have to make reference to the MTA Premium Postdoctoral Research Program.
Successful applicants are required to obtain scientific results by the end of the support period that are publishable in leading international journals. Furthermore, they are required to apply for international grants in their research field supported by the Premium Postdoctoral Research Program to be realized in Hungary, or – depending on their field of research – initiate cooperation to utilize their results with various enterprises or other organizations actively participating in research and development.
Successful applicants must prepare yearly reports on the scientific and financial aspects of their research work done during the relevant period of the postdoctoral support. Interim progress reports are to be evaluated by the relevant professional committees of MTA’s Council of Research Institutes. The indicative qualification of the progress reports can be “successful” or “not successful”. In the case of “not successful” qualification of the progress report, further support may be discontinued.
A final report on scientific output and a final financial report as well as a communication summary shall be submitted by the fellowship holder within two months following the end of the three-year postdoctoral employment term. Communication summaries will be published by MTA in a separate volume.
Requirements of the application regarding form and content
Applicants shall submit their application via MTA’s online application website (https://palyazat.mta.hu/premium_2019). The MTA’s application website can be entered by using the username and password valid for MTA Akadémiai Adattár (the Academy’s Database, hereinafter referred to as AAT; https://aat.mta.hu), which means that prior to application the applicant must register to AAT and has to complete or upload the most important data which may also be used for the application itself.
In case the applicant has not registered in AAT yet, registration can be done along the lines of Guide 1.
Parts of the application
Forms to be completed on the application website
- Applicant’s data page: main data of the applicant, which are automatically retrieved from the AAT and these data should and can only be modified in the AAT. To ensure that the data used are up-to-date, applicants are requested to update their data in the AAT, where relevant. Provided that the applicants have uploaded their publication and citation data into the Hungarian Scientific Publication Database (Magyar Tudományos Művek Tára, hereinafter referred to as MTMT), the link is to be uploaded here as well.
- Application data page: significant application data and applicant’s data which are not included in the AAT, among others the summary of the research concept (basic issues, objectives and importance of the research) in maximum of 1500 characters. At the Application data page please indicate two experts – one Hungarian and preferably one foreign expert – who could provide reference regarding the applicant’s previous scientific output and the applicant’s research theme described in the application. Applicants are also invited to name at least three experts – preferably foreign researchers or Hungarian researchers living abroad – who may be prepared to review the application in line with high professional standards and who appear not to be in any conflict of interest. The applicant may – without giving reasons – at the same time name persons whom he/she would not like to have as reviewers of his/her application.
Documents to enclose as attachments
(The templates for the attachments – Host institution declaration, Applicant’s declaration – can be downloaded from MTA’s website or by clicking on the Download option on the application website. Following their completion, these documents shall be signed and uploaded in PDF format to Attachments on the application website. It is sufficient to submit the declarations in Hungarian. Applicants whose first language is other than Hungarian shall submit the declarations in English.)
- Host institution declaration – the declaration is to be uploaded to the website bearing an original signature. In case of applications to MTA’s research network, the completed declaration of the acceptance of the research project is to be signed by the head of the host institution (director-general of the research centre, director of the independent research institute) and uploaded, in the case of applications to a university, the completed declaration is to be signed by the manager or managers authorized by the internal regulations of the respective university.
- Research plan and detailed work plan in annual breakdown in approximately 15,000 characters (including spaces, notes and bibliography as well) – to be uploaded to the website bearing the applicant’s signature;
- Budget plan in annual breakdown including the justification for expenses – signed copy to be uploaded to the website;
- Professional CV of the applicant;
- List of publications and citations numbered and in categorical breakdown, provided that the applicant has not uploaded their data into the MTMT database (mainly in the case of foreign researchers or those who have worked abroad so far; researchers from Hungary are advised to use the MTMT database);
- Scanned copy of the applicant’s scientific degree (PhD and DLA) or the document attesting the decision of the University Doctoral Council on the award of the doctorate;
- Applicant’s declaration – to be uploaded to the website bearing an original signature;
- Applicants who have had any former postdoctoral employment shall upload the document proving this fact to “Other documents” under Attachments and record this fact in the subject field of “Other data in connection with the application” under “Data of the application”.
- Further information considered necessary for the application (optional part of the application; upload e.g. the copy of children’s birth certificates to qualify for the age limit extension, the copy of documents proving maternity leave, the copy of documents proving single parenting – sufficient in the original language, no translation required).
Formal check of the application
The grantor shall send a confirmation of admission of the application via email within 7 days from submission or shall reject the application without evaluating it.
Before admission the following criteria are to be examined (formal check):
- the applicant is personally eligible to apply;
- the amount of the requested funding does not exceed the maximum grant amount, and the funding rate is within the range specified in the call;
- the documents requested in the call meet the content requirements set in the call, were signed and submitted by the given deadline;
- there is no reason for exclusion of the applicant.
Should the application prove to be incorrect or incomplete, the Department of Grant Management shall call on the applicant to remedy the deficiencies via his/her submitted e-mail address. Such remedy of deficiencies may be allowed only once, and the applicant must provide the correct or complete version within 5 working days after receipt of the notification to this effect. Should the applicant provide a rectification which contains an error or which is incomplete, or should the applicant fail to correct any irregularities within the specified time limit, the application may be rejected without further examination of its content.
Applications shall be rejected without further examination of their content if the applications were submitted after the application deadline set in the call, or in case the applicant is not eligible to apply or if there is any other reason for exclusion of the applicant.
The grantor shall give reasons for the rejection.
Means and deadline of the submission of the application
Applications are to be submitted in Hungarian and in English regardless of the research field. Where a legal dispute arises, the Hungarian application shall be considered as legally authoritative. Applications are allowed to be submitted in English only if the postdoctoral applicant is not a Hungarian national and his or her first language is other than Hungarian. In such cases the English application shall serve as the legally binding document.
Applications are to be submitted electronically. The host institution’s declaration and the applicant’s declaration bearing original signatures are also to be posted or delivered (in one copy) to the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA.
Detailed information on electronic submission is available in Guide 2.
Applications are to be submitted by 16:00 CET 11th April 2019 (Thursday) in electronic form via the online application website https://palyazat.mta.hu/premium_2019 Following the submission of the application on the application website, the hard copies of the above mentioned documents are to be posted to the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA (MTA Titkárság, Kutatási Pályázatok Főosztálya, Nádor u. 7., H-1051 Budapest) on the day of the deadline of the submission the latest. Applicants are required to put on the envelope “Prémium posztdoktori pályázat 2019” (“Application for Premium Postdoctoral Program 2019”). Submission of the application is free of charge. For further information regarding the full application procedure applicants are requested to contact the staff of the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA at the e-mail address [email protected] or at the phone numbers below:
+36 1 411 6336 (social sciences and humanities)
+36 1 411 6100/550 (life sciences)
+36 1 411 6287 (mathematics and natural sciences).