The National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office received a total of 1,314 valid project proposals in three categories for the 2022 call, with a total funding request of HUF 46.9 billion, KIM announced.
Among early-stage applicants, 176 projects were awarded under the Postdoctoral Excellence Programme and the Young Researcher Excellence Programme, with a total of HUF 5.7 billion available this year.
More experienced researchers and their research teams could apply for funding to pursue their successful basic research topics or to develop promising new ones through the Thematic Research Projects sub-programme. In this category, 177 new projects were given the green light with a total of HUF 7 billion in funding.
The OTKA programme also includes funding for research projects implemented in international (bilateral Hungarian-Austrian and Hungarian-Slovenian) cooperation. According to KIM, the announcement of the results is expected in the near future, following the decisions of the co-funding foreign partner institutions, providing an additional HUF 800 million to support the Hungarian research community.
According to the summary, this year’s funding demand exceeded available OTKA funds by almost four times. The younger generations of researchers are also becoming more active, with a 50% increase in the number of postdoctoral and young researcher applications compared to 2018. 38% of the winners are under 40, with the youngest aged 29, and the oldest successful applicant is 76 years old.
As is traditional, the applications were assessed in a multi-stage process, involving individual reviewers and expert panels. The evaluation was based on the scientific significance, novelty, expected results and scientific and social utility of the proposed project, as well as on the previous research performance and scientific achievements measured by the number of publications and citations.
It was pointed out that since 2020, the assessment of proposals have been based on scientometrics to get an objective picture of the publication performance of each applicant based on authoritative databases, including the Hungarian Scientific Bibliography, taking into account the career stage of the researcher (the time since the PhD degree) and the scientific field.
“The NRDI Office, which manages the funding of the winning projects, will continue to place great emphasis on simplified administration and flexible cost accounting, in order to allow researchers to focus on research results and use their resources as efficiently as possible,” KIM stated, adding that an important requirement for publicly funded projects is high quality publication, so that research results are visible to the international scientific community and the general public. The winning researchers will also have to make their publications open access free of charge, in line with the relevant international standards, the costs of which can be funded by the awarded funding, the KIM communication explained.