A cooperation agreement signed between the two entities falls under the “Oeiras Science and Technology Strategy” and establishes the creation of an award open to researchers from all areas. This will be worth up to 240,000 euros per two-year project, corresponding to a maximum of 120,000 euros per year.
Oeiras City Council and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation have joined together with a view to financially supporting top researchers in the most diverse scientific areas who perform, or may in future perform, research in the Municipality. The support will be allocated through the “Oeiras – ERC Frontier Research Incentive Awards”. The cooperation agreement for its respective creation was signed this Tuesday, 24 November, by the Mayor of Oeiras, Isaltino Morais, and by José Neves Adelino, executive director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
“Everyone is becoming aware of how essential it is for the conditions to be created for scientists to work, to perform research, to make discoveries, to innovate” said Isaltino Morais, during the signing ceremony, adding that “this cooperation agreement is the visible face of that which has been done, but above all a demonstration of the commitment of the City Council”. And he stressed that the municipality he leads “will always be a partner” that the municipal institutions “can count on”.
The “Oeiras – ERC Frontier Research Incentive Awards” are intended to finance high quality projects that have submitted applications for individual grants to the European Research Council (ERC), but that have been unable to secure funds due to ERC budget constraints.
The European Research Council (ERC) is the main funding body for research projects in Europe. These projects are driven by researchers from all areas (Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Social and Human Sciences) and are notable for the most innovative and revolutionary ideas.
Since 2007, more than 9,000 projects have been funded by the ERC, out of over 65,000 applications. The average success rate is 13%, leaving many works considered excellent without funding.
To counter this trend, Oeiras City Council will thus support the Gulbenkian Collaborative Centre of the Gulbenkian Institute of Science in financing ERC candidates. The incentive should be used to develop preliminary data and other research activities to improve proposals for resubmission to the ERCEA (ERC executive agency) within three years.
This initiative forms part of the “Oeiras Science and Technology Strategy” which aims to recognise the Municipality as an innovator and promoter of scientific initiatives, in addition to attracting talent to the municipality and increasing the appeal of Portugal in this area.
The awards, open to researchers from all areas of research, will have a value of up to 240,000 euros per two-year project, corresponding to a maximum of 120,000 euros per year.
To apply, it is necessary for the host institutions in the territory of Oeiras to contact the Monitoring Committee established for the purpose within 10 working days of publication of the results of the last ERC individual grant contest (scheduled for December 2020), and submit a list of researchers eligible for the award, particularly those proposals that have reached stage 2 but have not received funding.