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Frontline – Research Excellence Programme
Date of announcement: 15 october 2019
Last modified:
Next deadline for submission:
Deadline for E-submission: 17 december 2019 16:00
17 december 2019
Deadline for application via post office: 20 December 2019
Submitter of proposal
Budgetary institution, Non-profit organisation
Beneficiary groups
Institution of higher education, Institution of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS/MTA), Other budgetary research institution, Non-profit research organisation
Budget
HUF 3 000 000 000
Estimated number of funded projects
10-15
Funds available per project
HUF 150–300 M
Project duration
5 years
Field of research activity
Fundamental research
Evaluator of proposals
NRDI Office
The “Frontline – Research Excellence Programme” provides substantial grant for up to five years to excellent researchers in their most dynamic and creative career phases, belonging to the top of the international scientific community, for research activity in a Hungarian research centre.

The programme follows a funding model that supports frontline discovery research while offering grant opportunities to internationally top-performing researchers for implementing their projects in a Hungarian host institution in connection with European Research Council (ERC) calls. This way, the Frontline programme enhances Hungary’s efforts to become a regional hub for research, development and innovation.

This call for proposals aims to help internationally acclaimed researchers to prepare for and succeed in ECR calls.

The KKP_20 call is only open to researchers for discovery research projects without any thematic restriction, provided that the applicant’s scientific track record and research plan meet the requirements set out in the call. Applicants have the highest chance if they have achieved internationally outstanding scientific results in the past ten years and can be reasonably expected to continue this level of performance on the basis of their research plan.

The call is financed from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund.

Eligible applicants

Applications are eligible if submitted by any of the following types of organisations having a legal personality and a registered seat in Hungary:

  • higher education institution, research centre, research institution, budgetary organ or a budgetary organ institution with legal personality if it qualifies as a research facility under the RDI Act;
  • non-profit organisations qualifying as research and development organisation according to its core activity

(hereinafter: host institution) jointly with a Hungarian or foreign citizen researcher with a PhD/DLA degree (hereinafter: principal investigator), provided that he or she meets with one of the following conditions:

  • has led an ERC-funded Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant, or Synergy Grant project which was successfully closed after 1 January 2017, or is currently leading one such project and it is scheduled to be closed before 1 September 2020;
  • applied for an ERC Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant, or Synergy Grant after 1 January 2017, and the application made it to the second round of evaluation but was not selected for funding due to lack of funds;
  • was involved as a principal investigator in an individual basic research project with a budget of at least HUF 100 million, financed from a major international research fund (e.g. Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes, NIH), and the project was successfully closed after 1 January 2018.

Throughout the entire project implementation period the principal investigator must be a full-time worker of the host institution under an employment contract, civil service contract or other contract aimed at performing work.

Eligible objectives and actions

Those actions are eligible which aim to achieve the key objectives developed on the basis of the research and work plan specified in the “Frontline – Research Excellence Programme” call and set out in the research project plan submitted to the NRDI Office.

Duration of the project

The project must start between 1 February 2020 and 1 September 2020, and must be implemented within 60 months from the start date. Eligible project costs can be declared from the start date of the project specified in the grant agreement.

Total available budget and maximum funding per project

The total budget earmarked from the NRDI Fund for the implementation of the programme between 2020 and 2024 is HUF 3 billion, including HUF 600 million to be disbursed in 2020. The maximum amount of grant for the maximum duration of 60 months is HUF 300 million per project (i.e. an annual average of HUF 60 million) as non-refundable funding. Funding intensity is 100%.

Submission of project proposals

All applications must be submitted in English irrespective of the field of science. Project proposals must be prepared and submitted electronically through the Online Application Portal of the NRDI Office by 16:00 CET on 17 December 2019 in line with the Guidelines for Applicants.

The call notice lists the documents required to be submitted to the NRDI Office by regular mail or electronically provided with electronic signatures. Applications may not be submitted in person.

The documents to be submitted by regular mail must be sent in one copy, provided with original signatures and seal, to the Customer Service of the NRDI Office postmarked no later than 20 December 2019. In this case, the submission is successful if the application was finalised electronically by the applicant and approved by the head of the host institution by 17 December 2019, and if the documents required by the call to be submitted by regular mail/with electronic signatures were sent to the Customer Service of the NRDI Office postmarked no later than 20 December 2019.

Complying with its legal obligation, the NRDI Office enables applicants to submit their applications exclusively electronically. In this case, the documents required by the call to be submitted by regular mail/with electronic signature must be signed electronically, as specified in the call, and must be attached to the application on the Online Application Portal by the deadline for electronic submission, that is, by 17 December 2019 at 16:00 CET. In this case, the submission is successful if the proposal was finalised electronically by the applicant and approved by the head of the host institution by 17 December 2019, and if the electronically signed versions of the documents required to be submitted by regular mail/with electronic signature were submitted through the Online Application Portal.

Please note that all documents required to be submitted by regular mail/with electronic signature must be submitted in the same way; that is, all documents must be submitted to the NRDI Office either by regular mail or electronically provided with electronic signature.

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Customer service contacts:
email: nkfialap@nkfih.gov.hu 
phone: +36 (1) 795 9500

Personal appointments (pree-booked only): H-1077 Budapest, Kéthly Anna sq. 1. (2nd floor)

Customer Service hours of operation: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.

To ensure value-based professional evaluation of proposals arriving in large quantities from the fields of discovery and applied research and innovation, to assess professional reports of funded projects and to prepare policy opinions, the NRDI Office intends to expand its expert pool in all fields of expertise.

Professionals who have registered in the database of the NRDI Office can become responsible contributors, as independent peer-reviewers, to the evaluation process in which the professional quality, novelty content and commercialisation perspectives of the proposals as compared to the requested funding should be assessed as core considerations.

The registration process can be initiated through the registration form of the NRDI Office’s website. Registration is continuously open.

Requested data within the expert registration form include:

  • personal data, contact details (necessary for contracting review assignments);
  • classification of professional skills and competencies and research areas (to get review invitations fine-tuned to your field of expertise);
  • topics of the previously reviewed proposals;
  • present and past jobs, interest networks (in order to pre-screening of conflicts of interest in a given rview assignment), education, scientific titles, most important publications and intellectual works demonstrating your professional experience;
  • language skills.

Professionals once registered in the database of experts may be invited by the NRDI Office to review submitted proposals, to assess professional reports of funded projects and to contribute to policy opinions.

Each proposal is reviewed by several independent experts at the same time. Experts selected from the database to review proposals, to assess professional reports and facilitate expert opinions will be contracted by the NRDI Office on a case-by-case basis. When concluding such a contract experts must declare that the review assignment is not obstructed by any conflict of interest whatsoever. Depending on the competition type, written expert reviews must be prepared in 15-28 work days and submitted electronically via the online review portal of the NRDI Office.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information contact at phone +36 1 795 9500 or email at szakerto_regisztracio@nkfih.gov.hu

The NRDI Fund Programme Strategy for the year 2017, scheduling calls with a total budget over HUF 90 billion (EUR 295 million) has been endorsed by the Government decree 1762/2016. (XII.15.).

The timing and the budget of European-financed non-refundable and refundable RDI schemes under the EDIOP (GINOP) and CCHOP (VEKOP) programmes have been approved by the Government within the Annual Development Framework Programme, upon the proposal of the NRDI Office. Pursuant to the Government Decree 106/2018. (VI. 15.) on the amendment of certain Government Decrees related to development policy due to the Government being restructured, the 2nd priorities of the EDIOP/GINOP and CCHOP/VEKOP (i.e. research, technology development and innovation) operational programmes are commanded to the political responsibility of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MIT) instead of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office as from 16 June 2018.

The chart below shows all calls for proposals and their budget relating to the main target areas (Corporate/Business RDI, Knowledge transfer between the industries and the academia/universities, Development of research infrastructure, Discovery research, Promotion of international cooperation programmes), split by the source of funding.

Source
Specificity
Budget
2015 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2016 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2017 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2018 (Bn HUF)

non-
refundable

non-
refundable

refundable
non-
refundable

refundable
non-
refundable

refundable
GINOP
Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme (EDIOP/GINOP) European funds for the entire country except the Central Hungary region
382.84
60.23
112.19
36.76
70
9
-
VEKOP
Competitive Central Hungary Operational Programme (CCHOP/VEKOP) European funds for the Central Hungary region
-
42.64
-

 5.49

-
NKFI Fund
National Research, Development and Innovation Fund made up of the innovation tax paid by enterprises
11.29
68.43
-
89.21
-
77.60
-

Target areas
Calls for proposals
Budget
2015 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2016 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2017 (Bn HUF)

Budget
2018 (Bn HUF)

non-
refundable

non-
refundable

refundable
non-
refundable

refundable
non-
refundable

refundable
Corporate/
business RDI activities

Support of business RDI activities
GINOP-2.1.1-15; VEKOP-2.1.1-15; KFI_16; 2018-1.1.2-KFI
77.5
22
 -

 -

 -
-
19.97
 -
-
-
-
-
-
21
 -
35.44
-
20
-
Funding to micro and small enterprises for innovation activities 2018-1.1.1-MKI
-
-
-
-
-
10
-
Business RDI, loan
GINOP-8.1.1-16
-
-
30.09




Business RDI, combined with loan
GINOP-2.1.2-8.1.4-16
-
59
50
-
-
-
-
National technology and intellectual property, venture capital programme
GINOP-8.1.3/A-16
-
-
32,1




Smart specialisation, venture capital programme
GINOP-8.1.3/B-17; VEKOP 2.1.2-17
-
-
-
-
 70
-
-
-
-
-
-
 5.49
-
-
Intellectual property rights
GINOP-2.1.3-15; IPARJOG_15
0.2
-

-

-

0.3
-
 -
0.1
-
0.2
-
Innovation voucher
GINOP-2.1.4-15
0.1
-
 -




Innovation ecosystem (start-up and spin-off)
GINOP-2.1.5-15; ÖKO_16
4.714
-





-
-
 -
1.5
-
-
-
Exportable innovative product development
GINOP-2.1.6-16
-
1.225
 -

-

-
Support for export oriented R&D activities of domestic businesses
Export_17
-
-
-
4.83
-
-
-
Prototype, product, technology and service development
GINOP-2.1.7-15; VEKOP-2.1.7-15;
48.64
-
 -




-
10.35
-
-
-
-
-
Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs through adaptive technological innovation
GINOP-2.1.8-17
-
-

36.761
-
-
-
Knowledge transfer
R&D competitiveness and excellence cooperation programmes
GINOP-2.2.1-15; NVKP_16; VEKOP-2.2.1-16; GINOP-2.2.1-18
95.231
-

-
-
9
-
-
2.29
-




-
28
-
-

-

National Excellence Programme2018.1.2.1-NKP
 
-
-
-
-
5
-
Competitiveness and excellence cooperation programmes
VKE_17; 2018-1.3.1-VKE
-
-
-
16.73
-
26
-
Research infrastructure development of Higher Education and Industry Cooperation Centres
GINOP-2.3.4-15; FIEK_16
26.86
-
 -




-
8
-

-

-
Research infrastructure
Excellence of Strategic R&D centres
GINOP-2.3.2-15; VEKOP-2.3.2-16
64.25
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4.02





Strengthening research infrastructures - internationalisation, networking
GINOP-2.3.3-15; VEKOP-2.3.3-15
25.29
-
 -
-

-

-
6.01
 -
-

-

ELI laser research facility
GINOP-2.3.6-15
40.05
-

-

-

Discovery research and postdoctoral programmes
Researcher-initiated research projects
K_15; K_16; K_17
5.98
7
-
6.5
-
-
-
Researcher-initiated research projects K_18Research projects initiated by young researchers FK_18
-
-
-
-
-
9.4
-
Postdoctoral research projects
PD 2015/1,2, 3
1.57
-
-
-
-
-
-
Postdoctoral excellence programme
PD_16; PD_17; PD_18
-
1.8
-
1.5
-
1.5
-
Research projects initiated by young researchers
FK_17
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
Support of research teams with internationally prominent achievements
KH_17; KH_18
-
-
-
1
-
1.2
-
“Frontline” – Research Excellence Programme KKP_17; KKP_19
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
National Excellence Programme
NKP_17
-
-
-
10
-
-
-
International RDI cooperation
National support for European Research Council (ERC) programme entries
ERC_HU_15 (450 MHUF); ERC_16_MOBIL (200 MHUF); ERC_HU_18 (450 MHUF
0.45
0.45
-
0.45
-
0.45
-
Researcher-initiated research projects based on international cooperation
NN_17, ANN_17, SNN_17; V4-Japan Joint Research Programme (2015: 45.5 MHUF); KNN_16 (2016: 72 MHUF); NN_18, ANN_18, SNN_18
-
-
-
1
-
1
-
Promotion of Hungarian participation in programmes and initiatives related to Horizon 2020
KKV_15 (2015-16: 60 MHUF, 2017: 100 MHUF, 2018: 80 MHUF); EU_KP_16 (230 MHUF, 2018: 80 MHUF); NEMZ_15 (1 380 MHUF);  NEMZ_16 (2016: 710 MHUF, 2017: 697.5 MHUF); NEMZ_18 (1 200 MHUF); ERA-NET Infect-ERA (2015: 40 MHUF, 2016: 40 MHUF); ERA-NET E-Rare-3 (2015: 45 MHUF, 2016: 45 MHUF, 2017: 45 MHUF, 2018: 45 MHUF); M-ERA.NET-2 (2015: 90 MHUF, 2016: 90 MHUF, 2017: 90 MHUF); JPND (2017: 190 MHUF); FLAG-ERA JTC (2015: 200 MHUF, 2017: 155 MHUF); Quant-ERA (2017: 90 MHUF); EUREKA_15 (400 MHUF); EUREKA_16 (2016: 400 MHUF, 2017: 400 MHUF); EUREKA_18 (400 MHUF); 2018-2.1.2-NEMZ (442 MHUF); 2018-2.1.6-NEMZ_ECSEL (760 MHUF)
2.2
1.5
-
2.05
-
2.05
-
National complementary support to Hungarian projects under the Horizon 2020 Teaming Programme
-
-
-
1.91
 -
0.38
 -
Programme-based bilateral R&D cooperation projects
TÉT_15_IN (300 MHUF); TÉT_15_IL (310.93 MHUF); TÉT_16_CN (200 MHUF); TNN_16 (150 MHUF); INN_16 (150 MHUF); TÉT_17_VN (200 MHUF); TÉT_17_IL (300 MHUF); TÉT_17_RU (150 MHUF); TR-NN_17 (150 MHUF); TÉT_17_IN (300 MHUF); TéT_17_CN (200 MHUF); NKFIH-TÜBITAK cooperation (150 MHUF); TéT_TÉT-IL_18 (300 MHUF); TéT_Iran_18 (150 MHUF), TÉT-IL (2018: 310 MHUF)

Support of bilateral S&T cooperation projects
TÉT_15_AT (20 MHUF); TÉT_15_TR (30 MHUF); TÉT_15_AR (50 MHUF); TÉT_15_MN (20 MHUF); TÉT_15_FR (20 MHUF); TÉT_15_CN (40 MHUF); TÉT_16_HR (20 MHUF); TÉT_16_SI (20 MHUF); TÉT_16_PT (20 MHUF); TÉT_16_RS (20 MHUF); TÉT_16_MC (20 MHUF); TÉT_16_FR (30 MHUF); TÉT_16_JP (50 MHUF); TÉT_17_AT (20 MHUF); TÉT_17_FR (20 MHUF), TÉT-MC (2018: 20 MHUF), TÉT-RS (2018: 20 MHUF), TÉT-HR (2018: 20 MHUF), TÉT-SI (2018: 20 MHUF), UK_GYAK (2018: 30 MHUF), TÉT-FR (2018: 20 MHUF), TÉT-PT (2018: 30 MHUF), TÉT-HR (2018: 20 MHUF); TÉT-SI (2018: 20 MHUF); TÉT_CN (2018: 40 MHUF); TÉT-PT (2018: 16 MHUF);
0.79
0.68
-
1.34
-
0.61
-
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