News, announcements

ARRS: one of 18 European research funders enabling joined proposals for researchers

(Ljubljana, February 17 2020) The ARRS Scientific Council vouched for signing the agreement to join the Multilateral Lead Agency (MLA) framework. Based on mutual recognition of proposal evaluation procedures, 18 research funders, researchers will be invited to submit their collaborative research projects through a single application procedure.

Eighteen agencies have drawn up an agreement within the Science Europe Task Force that sets out the details of (co)funding integrated research projects: AKA (Finland), ANR (France), ARRS (Slovenia), DFG (Germany), FCT (Portugal), FNR (Luxembourg), FNRS (Belgium), FORMAS (Sweden), FWF (Austria), FWO (Belgium), GACR (Czech Republic), HRZZ (Croatia), NCN (Poland), NWO (Netherlands), RCN (Norway), SFI (Ireland), UKRI (Great Britain) and SNSF (Switzerland, also Head of the Task Force). The MLA framework builds upon the experience with Lead Agency bilateral agreements and broadens the collaboration.

The new collaboration framework should make the submission of cross-border research project proposals easier, simplify their administration, decrease the workload due to peer review procedures and improve the collaboration between RFOs. In the start-up phase, an application may include up to three (co)funding agencies.

The Lead Agency framework represents a significant reduction of administrative burden since the evaluation procedure is carried out by only one of the collaborating funders, the lead agency.

Such cooperation also entails mutual recognition of evaluations in a spirit of building trust and guaranteeing transparency and fairness in the assessment of MLA proposals.

Following the deliberation of research councils of the individual research funders, the agreement is expected to be signed in second semester of 2020. Calls for proposals are expected to be launched in 2021 within the framework of predetermined funding schemes; at the ARRS, this is the annual call for research projects.