Guidelines for Applicants

Who can apply?

There are two distinct and coherent topics, with two separate target groups and funding modes. One Principal Investigator1 (PI) can submit only one project as coordinator.

Applicants based at a RPO supporting Topic B can submit proposals to Topic A, as long as there is no redundancy between the Topic A and Topic B proposals.

Individuals who were involved in the build-up of Topic A cannot be a PI in a Topic A proposal.
The representatives in the Cash Management Board of ERA4CS cannot be a PI in any proposal.
The full representatives in the In-kind Management Board of ERA4CS cannot be a PI in a Topic B proposal2.

Topic A

This Topic is open to all applicants from countries that are covered by the 13 participating RFOs, who comply with the national eligibility criteria (see National Annexes). Action oriented and advanced projects from all disciplines of small to medium size (0.5 - 5 million €) are expected, having co-development with users in their direct focus of research. It is open for the development of creative new ideas, advanced settings and a variety of approaches. Private sector participation is welcome if the participating national funding agency has suitable instruments (see National Annexes).

Topic B

This Topic is open only to applicants from the 30 mandated RPOs, subject to specific eligibility criteria (see RPO Annexes). Effective institutional integration of the research component of national CS is the objective, with project size larger than 1 million €.

Cooperation with other countries

As ERA4CS is meant to foster European integration at large, participation of project partners from outside the countries already partners in ERA4CS is possible and encouraged if funding is ensured by own resources. Research focusing on CS, user needs and sectoral/regional challenges in member states of the geographical East of the EU is welcome; while funding agencies from these countries who are not yet partner in ERA4CS are particularly encouraged to support such participation. Beyond that, research with partners from low-income, or lower-middle-income economy (LIC/LMIC) according to the World Bank listings for LIC or LMIC, who are in need of advanced solutions for dealing with CC, is possible and welcome. For Topic A, cash funders could decide then on a case by case basis if a co-funding might be possible.

Proposal requirements

Proposals should address one Topic only, either (A) or (B). They require eligible partners from three or more different countries participating in ERA4CS (see Annexes for Topic A, respectively Annexes for Topic B). Furthermore, parts of a project cannot be submitted twice to Topic A and to Topic B.

All proposals shall demonstrate stakeholder engagement for Topic A and institutional integration for Topic B. These aspects are reflected within selection criteria (see below). Applicants need show they are aware of the state-of-the-art and indicate their state-of-play.

Applicants should also describe how information generated in the course of the project will be captured, stored and managed (c.f. JPI Climate Guidelines on Open Knowledge). Plans for long-term archiving and meta-description of data should be detailed, as should the communication and access plans.

Furthermore, consortia shall demonstrate how they take into account sustainability principles in research: i.e. consideration of projects’ climate footprint and contributions to a climate-friendly research system, e.g. in terms of (virtual) meetings, travels and energy use (c.f. JPI Climate Guid-ance on climate-friendly climate research).

Submitting a proposal

A two-step application procedure will be used in this call. Relevant proposal documents (in English, see Annexes) must be submitted electronically by the coordinator by uploading them on the electronic submission system (available soon) with the following deadlines for step-one submission:

  • Topic A Pre-proposal: 30 June 2016 at 23:59 (Brussels Time)
  • Topic B Full proposal: 15 July 2016 at 23:59 (Brussels Time)

Invitation to step-two is subject to the decision of the funding consortia, respectively the 13 RFOs for Topic A or the 30 RPOs for Topic B, taking into account and balancing the available budgets and the requested funding. Applications which are selected for invitation to submit a step-two proposal will be contacted mid-September 2016, with the following deadline for step-two submission:

  • Topic A and Topic B: 23 November 2016 at 14:00 (Brussels Time)

Proposals should strictly follow the guidelines given and use the proposal templates (see Annexes), for Topic A or B at the relevant evaluation stage (step-one or step-two). Further information, on how to submit step-one and step-two proposals, is available in the Annexes of Topic A and Topic B.

Responsibilities, reporting requirements and dissemination

Each of the proposals that will be funded will be required to sign an internal project agreement prior to the start of the project (addressing internal organisation, IPR, settle of disputes…) and to submit periodic reports for their activities (one at mid-term and one at the end of the project) using a common template. Furthermore, they will be expected to participate in dissemination of their results both at events organized by ERA4CS and towards the general public. In addition, project monitoring and reporting should be in accordance with the respective funding agency´s rules.

1The Principal Investigator, one per participating institution, is an individual who assembles a team to carry out a project under his/her scientific guidance. The lead PI is the PI that coordinates the project.
2 However, they could apply to topic A, if eligible.