BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 4 call announcement


15 September 2020

The scientific coordinators hereby announce the international bilateral Polish-German Funding Initiative in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call is launched by the National Science Centre (“NCN”) in cooperation with Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (“DFG”) from Germany pursuant to the joint evaluation procedure which means that the partner agencies perform a joint merit-based evaluation and selection process of projects recommended for funding.

This announcement lays down the terms of awarding funds for research tasks carried out by the Polish research teams under the Polish and German research projects. The terms of awarding funding for research tasks carried out by the German research teams in Beethoven CLASSIC 4 are laid down by DFG.

The call is addressed at Polish research teams that apply for funding of a research project jointly with the German research team.

In Beethoven CLASSIC 4, funds may be awarded for remuneration of the research team, scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or manufacturing of research equipment and for other costs necessary to complete the Polish part of the research project.

10,000,000 PLN will be allocated for research tasks to be carried out by the Polish research teams under the Polish-German research projects in Beethoven CLASSIC 4. 

NCN is open to NCN proposals to which joint project descriptions (JPD) are annexed, as well as CVs with the publication lists for the principal investigators and co-investigators of the Polish and German research teams. Information in the JPD, CVs with publication lists must be consistent with information in the appropriate sections of NCN proposals submitted to the ZSUN/OSF system and other annexes thereto.   

PLEASE NOTE: The proposal submission deadline for NCN proposals submitted via the ZSUN/OSF system is 15 December 2020, 4 p.m.

Proposal forms will be available in the ZSUN/OSF system at a later date of which you will be notified.

Please read the call documents provided in this announcement.

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Who may submit proposals?

Proposals may be submitted by the following entities laid down in the NCN Act:

  1. universities,
  2. federations of science and HE entities,
  3. research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences operating pursuant to the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1183, as amended),
  4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350, as amended),
  5. international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts operating in the Republic of Poland,
    • Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws, item 534),
    • institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,
  6. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
  7. other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis,
  8. groups of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company),
  9. scientific and industrial centres within the meaning of the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350),
  10. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences within the meaning of the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1183, as amended),
  11. scientific libraries,
  12. companies operating as R&D centres within the meaning of the Act on Certain Forms of Support for Innovative Activity of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1402),
  13. legal entities established with registered office in Poland,
  14. natural persons, and
  15. companies conducting research in another organisational form than laid down in sections 1-13.

Who may act as a Principal Investigator?

The Principal Investigator for the Polish research team must be a person who holds at least a PhD degree when submitting the proposal and manages the work of the Polish research team.

The publication list should include a maximum of 10 of the most relevant publications published or accepted for publication (with letters of acceptance from publishers) in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (starting from 2010). In the case of research in art, the publication list should include a maximum of 10 of the most relevant publications published or accepted for publication (with letters of acceptance from publishers) or artistic achievements or achievements in research in art in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (starting from 2010).

The 10-year publication period may be extended by the long-term (in excess of 90 days) documented sick leaves or physiotherapy leaves granted on account of being unfit to work. In addition, the period may be extended by the number of months of a child care leave granted pursuant to the Polish Labour Code and in the case of women, by 18 months for every child born or adopted, whichever manner of accounting for career breaks is preferable.

PLEASE NOTE: Principal investigators must reside in Poland for at least 50% of the project duration period. This period includes business trips necessary for the project, in particular involving fieldwork, participation in conferences and/or library and archive research.

The principal investigator must be a person employed by the host institution for the Polish part of the research project under an employment contract at least on a half-time basis for the entire project duration period. Furthermore, a person named as the principal investigator in an NCN proposal submitted to Beethoven CLASSIC 4 cannot be the authorised representative of the host institution for the project.

Are there any restrictions on submitting NCN proposals?

Restrictions on submitting NCN proposals are detailed in Point V of NCN Council Resolution No 98/2020 on the terms of and regulations on awarding funding for research tasks to be carried out by the Polish research teams, funded by the NCN under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative (the “Resolution”.)

What can the subject of proposals cover?

Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research in the area of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, as laid down in Annex 1 to the Resolution.

What is the project’s duration?

Research projects may be planned for a period of 24 or 36 months.

What are the requirements with regard to the Joint Project Description and CVs with publication lists?

The joint project description (JPD) and CVs with the publication lists of principal investigators and co-investigators drafted jointly by Polish and German research teams must be in English.

Information in the JPD and CVs with the publication lists of principal investigators and co-investigators must be consistent with information in the appropriate sections of the NCN proposal submitted to the ZSUN/OSF system and annexes thereto.

There is a strict limit of 25 pages for the JPD (page size: A4, font: Times New Roman, font size: 11, line spacing: 1, left-right margins: 2 cm, top-bottom margins 1,5 cm). Files with JPDs exceeding the 25-page limit will be rejected by the ZSUN/OSF system. 

Please upload the CVs with publication lists for the principal investigators and co-investigators (with their names provided) of the Polish and foreign research teams in English (3 pages max. per person; CVs with publication lists do not count towards the limit of 25 pages for a JPD). CVs should include details on their academic and research career, research project management (if applicable), research experience at home and abroad (if applicable) and the most important prizes and grants (if applicable).

Each principal investigator and co-investigator (whose name is provided) should attach a list of a maximum of 10 of the most relevant publications published over the period of 10 years prior to the submission of the proposal. Please note that the lists of publications do not count towards the limit of 3 pages per person for a CV. Older publications can be cited only if the principal investigator or co-investigators have taken significant career breaks within the last 10 years, as laid down in the Resolution.

In the case of papers that have been accepted for publication but not yet published, please attach letters of acceptance from publishers confirming that they have been accepted for publication or provide the their DOI in their publication list. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the respective publication will not be considered in the review process.

CVs with publication lists must be provided for those Polish research team members only who are not selected in an open call procedure and hold at least a PhD degree. Names of persons to be selected in an open call procedure, including persons to be employed as post-docs from the NCN budget, must not be provided.

How can the project budget be planned? 

Creating a project budget is one of the most important aspects in the project planning which aims at identifying the required resources and estimating the costs. The project budget must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research, based on realistic calculations and must specify the expenditures to be covered by the NCN (eligible costs).

The proposal may be rejected if unreasonable budget is planned and/or discrepancies occur between the costs of projects to be carried out by Polish research teams in the NCN proposal and the JPD.

The budget of the Polish part of the project throughout its performance must be at least 150,000 PLN. There is no maximum limit of funding but the costs must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research. Detailed information on the costs of research projects funded by the NCN under Beethoven CLASSIC 4 can be found in Annex 2 to the Resolution.

Eligible costs are subdivided into direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include:

  1. salary:
  1. full time remuneration: funds for full-time employment of the principal investigator or post-doc(s),
  2. additional remuneration for members of the research team,
  3. salaries and scholarships for students and PhD students,
  1. purchase or manufacturing of research equipment, devices and software,
  2. other direct costs, including
  • material and small instruments,
  • outsourced services,
  • business trips, visits and consultations (PLEASE NOTE: The costs of consultations and visits of foreign partners who at the same time receive project funding from the DFG are not eligible),
  • compensation for collective investigators, and
  • other costs that fall in none of the previous categories which comply with the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call, such as costs of purchasing data/databases or access thereto, specialist publications, teaching aids, costs of publishing the results of research. The cost of publication of monographs may be incurred once positively reviewed by the NCN

Costs of promotion of the project and project result may be planned in the project.

Indirect costs may not exceed 20% of direct costs. In addition, indirect costs of up to 2% of direct costs may be spent on Open Access to publications and research data.

When developing the budget, it is necessary to comply with the regulations applicable to the costs planned for the project, remuneration and scholarships, specified in the Types of costs  in research projects funded by the National Science Centre under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call. The rules for awarding NCN scholarships are laid down in the Regulations on awarding scholarships.

When developing the budget, it is necessary to consider the following:

  1. NCN proposals must specify the budget for tasks to be performed by the Polish team together with justification of individual cost categories; a JPD – for the tasks to be performed by the Polish and German research teams together with justification of individual cost categories;
  2. the budget in the NCN proposal must be specified in PLN; in the JPD – in EUR;
  3. the budget planned for the Polish team in the JPD must be consistent with the budget in the NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system. The justification of costs planned for the Polish research team in the NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system must be consistent with justification of the costs in the JPD (the justification may be copied from the NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system and pasted to the appropriate section of the JPD);
  4. the budget of the Polish part of the project in the JPD must be calculated according to the exchange rate published by the National Bank of Poland on the date of the NCN Council Resolution, where 1 EUR = 4,4490 PLN (exchange rate as at 14 September 2020);
  5. the minimum funding for the Polish part of the project throughout its performance: 150,000 PLN; and
  6. the maximum funding: not specified (the costs must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research).

The proposal may be rejected if unreasonable budget is planned.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • If the costs planned for Polish research teams in the JPD are not justified in detail, the proposal may be rejected at the stage of eligibility check; the merit-based evaluation of proposals submitted to Beethoven CLASSIC 4 is carried out on the basis of the joint project description and includes (inter alia) evaluation of justification of the costs planned for the research project as regards the subject and scope of research, hence justification of the costs planned for the Polish research team in the JPD must be comprehensive, detailed and consistent with justification of the costs in the ZSUN/OSF system. It is not enough to provide the justifications in the budget completed in the ZSUN/OSF system only as the budget presented in the ZSUN/OSF system is not subject to merit-based evaluation performed by the experts.
  • In the case of discrepancies between the costs planned for Polish research teams in the NCN proposal and the JPD, the proposal may be rejected at the stage of eligibility check.
  • Pursuant to an Order by the NCN Director, the Open Access Policy at the NCN has been adopted, concerning open access to publications resulting from research projects, scholarships and fellowships as well as research activities funded or co-funded by the National Science Centre.
  • The costs of publication of monographs (as defined in §10 of the Regulation on evaluation of the quality of research activity issued by the Minister of Science and Higher Education on 22 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 392) resulting from research projects are not eligible until positively reviewed by the NCN. The NCN evaluation procedure of monographs is included in Order No 56/2020 by the NCN Director, amending Order No 48/2020 on the evaluation of monographs in research projects funded by the NCN of 1 July 2020.
  • Open access to publication of research results

Together with other European cOAlition S agencies, the National Science Centre has drafted its Open Access Policy. In accordance with its vision of open access to research results and publications, the NCN requires that all research results should be made available in full and immediate open access. In accordance with the principles of Plan S, the National Science Centre recognizes the following publication routes as compliant with its open access policy:

  • publication in open access journals and on open access platforms registered, or with pending registration, in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
  • publication in subscription journals (hybrid journals), as long as the Version of Record (VoR) or the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is published, by the author or publisher, in an open repository immediately upon the article’s online publication;
  • publication in journals covered by an open access licence within the framework of so-called transformative agreements, inscribed in the Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges registry (ESAC-registry).

More information on Open Access can be found here.

What can the minimum and maximum number of research team members be?

The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of the research team members. However, the rationale of involvement of co-investigators in the project is subject to evaluation by the expert team. The project must include the description of competencies and tasks to be performed by individual members of the expert team.

Please remember that:

  • NCN scholarship recipients or persons employed as post-docs in the project must be selected in an open call;
  • persons to be selected in an open call procedure, including persons to be employed as post-docs and remunerated from the NCN budget, must not be named in either NCN proposals, JPD or CVs with the publication lists;
  • researchers who have been awarded a PhD degree by the host institution for the project cannot be employed as post-docs.

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid?

Yes. However, if an applicant is a natural person, the host institution for the project must not be a group of entities or entity for which project funding constitutes state aid.

More detailed information on the state aid in research projects funded by the National Science Centre can be found in the State aid section.

If a project is carried out in an entity, for which project funding constitutes state aid, funds for students and PhD students may be only be planned as „remuneration for students and PhD students” specified in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre in the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call.

PLEASE NOTE: All documents related to the application for state aid must bear a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES format.

How can proposals be validly submitted?

A funding proposal for a joint research project must be submitted to the NCN and DFG by the Polish and German research team respectively. Under Beethoven CLASSIC 4, proposals are submitted to two electronic submission systems: ZSUN/OSF (Zintegrowany System Usług dla Nauki /Obsługa Strumieni Finansowania) in the case of NCN proposals submitted to the NCN and elan (DFG Electronic Proposal Processing System) in the case of proposals submitted to the DFG.

  • NCN proposals must be submitted electronically via the ZSUN/OSF (Zintegrowany System Usług dla Nauki /Obsługa Strumieni Finansowania) submission system available at www.osf.opi.org.pl by 15 December 2020, 4 p.m.
  • German applicants must submit a set of documents required by the DFG via its elan system (DFG Electronic Proposal Processing System) available at https://elan.dfg.de/ by 15 December 2020, 4 p.m.
  • A joint Polish-German research project funding proposal attached to the NCN proposal must be the same as the one submitted to the DFG. If a joint Polish-German funding proposal is amended at the request of the DFG with regard to CV with a publication list of the Polish principal investigator and research team members and resubmitted to the DFG, the amended documents must be submitted to the NCN electronically within 3 days of their submission to the DFG.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Under Beethoven CLASSIC 4, proposals for funding of joint Polish-German research projects are evaluated pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure which means that the NCN and the DFG perform a joint merit-based evaluation and selection process of projects recommended for funding.

Proposals submitted to the call are subject to an eligibility check followed by merit-based evaluation. Eligibility check of proposals submitted to the DFG is performed carried out according to the DFG rules. Eligibility check of proposals the NCN is carried out according to the NCN rules by the scientific coordinators.

  • Eligibility check performed at the NCN comprises:
  • verification of proposal’s completeness;
  • verification whether the proposal meets all the eligibility criteria set forth in the resolution and call announcement;
  • verification whether the expenditures outlined in the NCN proposal and JPD, as regards the Polish part of the research project, conform to the principles set forth in the Annex to the Resolution on the costs in research projects funded by the NCN under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call;
  • verification whether the data in the JPD complies with information in the NCN proposal.

If the CV with a publication list of the Polish Principal Investigator and members of the research team in the joint Polish-German funding proposal are amended and resubmitted at the request of the DFG, the NCN proposal with amendments will be re-evaluated by the NCN. 

  • Merit-based evaluation

Only complete proposals approved as eligible by both the NCN and the DFG are accepted for merit-based evaluation. Joint Polish-German funding proposals are subject to merit-based evaluation.

A proposal may be rejected as ineligible at the stage of merit-based evaluation.

Merit-based evaluation of joint Polish-German funding proposals under Beethoven CLASSIC 4 is performed in two stages:

  1. Stage I: evaluation of information in the joint Polish-German funding proposal performed by at least two external reviewers named by the NCN and the DFG who are not members of the Expert Team.
  2. Stage II: review performed during the meeting of the Expert Team comprising members named by the NCN and the DFG.

What is reviewed in the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

In the merit-based evaluation of proposals, the following criteria are reviewed in particular:

  • compliance with the criteria of basic research, as defined in Article 2 (1) of the NCN Act;
  • scientific achievements of the principal investigators and members of the Polish and German research teams, including publications in renowned academic press/ journals,
  • evaluation of other projects carried out by the principal investigators and members of the Polish and German research teams and funded by the NCN or from other sources,
  • scientific level of research or tasks to be performed,
  • innovative nature of the research problem addressed,
  • impact of the research project on the advancement of the scientific field/ discipline,
  • justification of the costs as regards the subject and scope of research,
  • significance of international cooperation for the research project,
  • evaluation of feasibility of the project’s completion.

The proposal is evaluated pursuant to the proposal evaluation criteria applicable to the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call.

When and how will the results be announced?

The call results will be announced on the NCN website  and communicated to the applicants by way of a decision of the NCN Director by the end of October 2021.

Where can additional information be found?

Should you have any more questions or queries, contact the following officers:

Contact at the NCN:

Dr Małgorzata Jacobs

Tel.: +48 12 341 9173

malgorzata.jacobs@ncn.gov.pl

Mgr Magdalena Dobrzańska-Bzowska

Tel.: +48 12 341 9094

magdalena.dobrzanska-bzowska@ncn.gov.pl

Dr Magdalena Godowska

Tel.: +48 12 341 9016

Magdalena.godowska@ncn.gov.pl

Contact at the DFG:

Humanities:

Dr. Janne Lenhart

email: Janne.Lenhart@dfg.de

Tel.: +49 228 885-2460

Social Sciences:

Dr Tanja Kollei

Tel.: +49 228 885-2321,

tanja.kollei@dfg.de

For general information on cooperation with Poland:

Dr Annina Lottermann

Tel.: +49 228 885-2802,

annina.lottermann@dfg.de

Call Schedule 

Read our Call schedule and List of international programmes for 2020 and follow us on our website: https://www.ncn.gov.pl/.

Useful information

If you are intending to submit a proposal to Beethoven CLASSIC 4 call:

  1. read all call documents included in the call announcement, in particular:
  1. Resolution on the terms and regulations of awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative;
  2. Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative;
  3.  Joint Project Description (JPD);
  4. NCN proposal form template, where you can find out about information and attachments needed to complete the electronic proposal form in the ZSUN/OSF system;
  1. find out about the proposal submission procedure; 
  2. decide how long the project is to be: 24 or 36 months;
  3. obtain data from the host institution required to complete the proposal and find out about the internal procedures that may affect the proposal and project performance (cost planned in the project, procedure for acquiring signature(s) of authorised representative(s) of the institution to confirm submission of the proposal);
  4. draw up:
  • joint project description in English and CVs with publication lists of the principal investigators and co-investigators at the Polish and German research teams jointly with the German research team,
  • when the proposal is submitted by a group of Polish entities, a Research project cooperation agreement, and
  • letters of acceptance from publishers confirming that the paper has been accepted for publication (when the scientific achievements section includes papers accepted for publication but not published yet).

Before the proposal is submitted to NCN:

  1. check if all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. Verification of the proposal for completeness in the ZSUN/OSF submission system by pressing the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information has been entered correctly and that the required attachments have been attached;
  2. disable editing of the final version of the proposal to NCN;
  3. download the confirmation of proposal submission to be signed by the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the institution; and
  4. upload the signed confirmation of proposal submission.

Once the proposal is completed and all required annexes are attached, use the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button to submit the proposal to the NCN electronically via ZSUN/OSF by 15 September 2020, 4 p.m.

Following the call for proposals:

  1. evaluation of proposals will be carried out by NCN and DFG,
  2. after the evaluation, the funding decision of the NCN Director will be communicated to the applicant,
  3. if the proposal qualifies for funding, a funding agreement will be entered into, and
  4. the project will be carried out pursuant to the funding agreement.

In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements of any operations performed by the NCN, the applicant may appeal against the decision of the NCN Director with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council. The appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the effective delivery of the decision.

Documents to be published on the website (list of documents):

Call documents:

  1. Terms and regulations of the BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative
  2. Costs in research project in the BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative
  3. Proposal evaluation criteria under the BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative
  4. Call text
  5. Joint Project Description (JPD), editable version (download)
  6. Information for Applicants
  7. Annex 1 to Regulation No 98/2020 of the NCN Council of 14 September containing a List of disciplines for Polish and German research projects under the BEETOHVEN CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative
  8. Proposal form template
  9. Regulations on awarding scholarships in the NCN-funded research projects
  10. Research project cooperation agreement
  11. Guidelines for completing the data management plan for a research project
  12. Guidelines for applicants to complete the Ethics Issues form in the research project
  13. Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding
  14. Proposal submission procedure
  15. Open Access Policy at the NCN
  16. Evaluation procedure of NCN-funded monographs

Documents applicable to the evaluation of proposals:

  1. Expert Teams of the National Science Centre – formation and appointing
  2. Code of ethics for experts of the National Science Centre
  3. Detailed procedure for evaluating proposals by the expert teams  
  4. Service of decisions of the NCN Director under the Beethoven CLASSIC 4 Polish-German Funding Initiative
  5. Appealing against the decisions of the NCN Director (including point 9 of the Resolution)

Documents to be read before starting an NCN research project:

  1. Order on the implementation of inspection procedure at the registered office of the institution
  2. Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre