The 37-year-old OTKA programme aims to use research funding to contribute to the development of science and to strengthen the international recognition and competitiveness of Hungarian scientists and research institutions. This year again, HUF 13.5 billion will be available for supporting research programmes that are expected to achieve outstanding scientific results, develop new methods and procedures, and deepen our understanding of natural and social phenomena.
“The development of Hungarian science, the excellence and competitiveness of Hungarian researchers and research institutions will contribute greatly to the vision of Hungary becoming one of Europe’s top 10 innovators by the end of the decade”, said Balázs Hankó, State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education at the Ministry of Culture and Innovation. He added that among the programme’s requirements, publication performance is a key focus, to ensure that the results of the supported projects are widely visible. In the previous call in 2022, around 1,400 proposals were received, of which 365 projects were awarded funding totalling HUF 13.2 billion.
The call targeting individual researchers and research teams will have the usual categories this year, too. The “Postdoctoral Excellence Programme” is open to early-stage researchers who obtained PhD degree no more than 5 years before application; while the “Young Researcher Excellence Programme” provides support for starting an independent research group and research in an independent topic. More experienced researchers and the research teams they lead can apply for funding under the Call for Thematic Research proposals. In addition, a specific sub-programme supports research in Hungarian-Slovenian international cooperation.
The National Research, Development and Innovation Office, which is responsible for launching and implementing the call, continues to place great emphasis on ensuring that funded projects are implemented with the simplest possible administration and flexible cost accounting, so that researchers can focus on research results. High-quality publication is an important requirement, so that the research results generated from the funding are not only known to a restricted group of professionals, but also become visible to the international scientific community and even the general public. Winning researchers have to make their publications open access (OA). OTKA provides dedicated funds for the projects to cover these costs.
For more details on the calls, visit the NRDI Office’s website. The results will be announced in October 2023 and awarded projects can be launched from 1 January 2024.