The 2021 call for grant applications is closed. The next call for applications will open in the beginning of 2022.
We support the return to Estonia of researchers who have been working outside Estonia immediately prior to 1 March 2020. The prerequisite is post-doctoral research completed abroad or research carried out to at least the same level.
The grant is provided with the aim of balancing and encouraging the circulation of minds through returning researcher grants. The Estonian state attaches importance to the return of researchers who have gone abroad to work, in order to facilitate the application of knowledge and experience acquired abroad in Estonia.
The grant amounts for the 2021 call are:
54 000 €/per year for experimental projects (direct costs 43 200 euros, indirect costs 10 800 euros);
51 000 €/per year for non-experimental projects (direct costs 40 800 euros, indirect costs 10 200 euros);
5 500 € for relocation support for projects that last for two years (in case the returning researcher has not lived, studied or worked in Estonia within 180 calendar days immediately prior to the closing of the call for applications);
4000 € for relocation support for projects that last less than two years (in case the returning researcher has not lived, studied or worked in Estonia within 180 calendar days immediately prior to the closing of the call for applications).
The salary fund and relocation allowance include any taxes laid down in Estonian legislation.
The minimum grant period is 12 months and the maximum period is 24 months.
Implementation of the returning researcher project should commence within the 2021 calendar year. The grant period will commence on the date specified in the grant agreement.
In the case of the grant for researchers returning to Estonia, final recipients include R&D institutions, companies and higher education institutions hiring researchers who have completed their post-doctoral research abroad or have conducted research at a comparable level. The returning researcher has to work full-time for the host institution during the project and with the place of work in Estonia.
Private enterprises can apply for the grants just like public research organisations, but private enterprises must comply with the state aid rules and provide additional information on this matter. Support given for private enterprises is preferrably de minimis state aid, but if the applicant has already received support above the de minimis state aid limit, the support will be given according to the General Block Exemption rules. You can find more information here: http://www.fin.ee/riigiabi. Private enterprises must upload the following form to the applications on the tab „additional information“: State aid form (in Estonian)
The next call for applications will be opened in the beginning of 2021. The application instructions and application form will be published on the day of the announcement of the call for proposals at the latest. Applications can be submitted via Estonian Research Portal ETIS. In order to fill in the application in ETIS one needs to create a personal account. This can be done by contacting the host institution. Application is successfully submitted when it is confirmed by the host institution.
An application meeting the requirements is evaluated by the Estonian Research Council involving independent experts. Applications are evaluated based on the following selection criteria:
- justification and scientific quality of the application (methods, expected results, including particular field-specific or application related characteristics, etc);
- the qualifications of the returning researcher and the capacity to implemen the project
- impact of the project on the development of Estonian society and economy.
Applications are evaluated based on selection criteria on a scale of 1 (non-satisfactory) to 5 (excellent). Evaluation is provided with the precision of 0.5 points. The cumulative score is made up of the weighted average for the selection criteria. Weights are indicated in the evaluation instructions.
Evaluation of applications will result in a ranking. Applications meeting the requirements are subject to funding based on the ranking, until the funds allocated for grants during the call for proposals have run out.
Applications with a cumulative score below 3.5 will not be funded. In the case that an application has received an affirmative funding decision, we will conclude a trilateral grant agreement between ETAg, the final recipient and the returning researcher.
The corresponding decision on the application will be sent to the host institution and the returning researcher through ETIS. A decision on granting or rejecting an application will be sent to the host institution within 10 working days of making the decision.