“Within the framework of the programme, the most outstanding Hungarian and foreign researchers can receive internationally competitive funding for five years, so that they can apply for even more significant European Research Council (ERC) funding by successfully implementing their project in a Hungarian research institution,” said László György, State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Research.
The winning applicants will be able to carry out competitive discovery research in Hungary with a total of up to HUF 350 million in public funding over five years. As KIM announced, the most important criterion of the Forefront Research Excellence Programme, managed by the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office, is a previous successful international project of the lead researcher.
Researchers at the forefront of the scientific world were invited to submit their promising projects for the HUF 3 billion funding from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund until 28 April 2022. Altogether 19 admissible proposals were submitted to the call with a total funding request of HUF 6.2 billion. The research plans were assessed by a panel of peer reviewers.
The project proposals covered a wide range of scientific fields. Most of them came from the natural sciences, with two proposals from the social sciences and one each from the humanities and engineering.
Among the natural science research projects funded, the announcement highlighted the proposal of Enikő Magyari (ELTE), whose research focuses on the analysis of rapid climate change events in the past and the resulting ecosystem changes and responses of ecological communities to these events. According to the announcement, László Csanády’s (Semmelweis University) research in the field of molecular biology may enable the identification of new therapeutic targets and facilitate the development of new personalised medicines for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, cholera, high fever, chronic inflammation, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
Also among the funded projects is a proposal by Orsolya Deák-Valkó (Ecological Research Centre), who is investigating how natural grasslands can be restored in different landscapes and agricultural areas. This is a key research topic, not only from an ecological and biodiversity conservation perspective, but also for the sustainability of agricultural production, as the success of restoring agricultural landscapes is paramount for the future of our planet,” they wrote.