The FWF is stepping up its cooperation with its partner organisations in Poland (NCN), Slovenia (ARRS) and the Czech Republic (GA ČR). Last year, the four organisations announced the extension of their collaboration and joined together to form the “Central European Science Partnership,” or CEUS, for short. During the START/Wittgenstein Awards ceremony, the presidents of the four funding agencies took the next step and signed an agreement on expanding the project funding opportunities for researchers from the four countries. The FWF, together with the aforementioned funding organisations, currently offers funding for bilateral research projects of Austrian researchers with their colleagues in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia. In the future, not just bilateral, but trilateral project proposals will also be possible, in any configuration of countries. In addition, application deadlines will become more flexible, meaning that the annual joint calls held in some countries will be replaced by the option to submit on a rolling basis. This new form of cooperation will also provide brand new bilateral funding opportunities (e.g., between the Czech Republic and Poland). Researchers are expected to be able to take advantage of these new funding options in early 2020.
This initiative is intended to strengthen the cooperation within CEUS. Further activities are being jointly developed by the four funding agencies. CEUS sees itself as an open forum for collaboration, which welcomes the participation of other Central European funding organisations. The establishment of CEUS brings the FWF one step closer towards it goal of extending its research cooperation activities with its European neighbours. Besides its long-term collaboration with the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) as part of its DACH cooperation arrangement, the FWF also offers the opportunity for bilateral project funding with Hungary and the Province of South Tyrol.