About OSCARS Open Calls

To support the research communities to take up open science and foster the involvement of scientists in EOSC, OSCARS will launch two Open Calls (in total worth about 16 million Euro) to select third-parties for the development of new, innovative Open Science projects or services, that together will drive the uptake of FAIR-data-intensive research throughout the European Research Area (ERA). Projects can be proposed in the field of any of the Science Clusters and beyond, by any researcher or group of researchers. Selected projects will be funded through a cascading grant mechanism. The first Open Call will be launched in March 2024.

The organisation and management of the cascading grant calls, together with the mentoring and training activities that the Science Clusters will ensure in OSCARS, contribute to performing excellent science and pursuing societal benefits by leveraging an Open Research approach.
The cascading grant action is aimed at supporting researchers in uptaking FAIR data analysis and providing a series of valuable scientific demonstrators for the role of the Science Clusters as thematic Nodes for “Open Research” in Europe and for the benefit of the scientific impact of EOSC.


 

Overview

Total funding: ~€16.4 million EUR 
Funding per project: Between €100,000 to €250,000 (lump sum)
Potential maximum of funded projects: ~160
Target user communities: Science Clusters, wider community (RIs, Universities, Institutes, either consortia, or individual researchers) and beyond
Open calls launch: 1st call – March 2024; 2nd call – November 2024. Both calls will stay open for 60 days.
Time for projects’ implementation: 12-to-24 months (after signature of a Third-Party Project Agreement – TPPA)
Start of the projects: Within 4 months from TPPA signature (to give organisations time to hire staff if needed)

What are Open Science projects?

Open Science, as defined by UNESCO, “is a set of principles and practices that aim to make scientific research from all fields accessible to everyone for the benefits of scientists and society as a whole. Open science is about making sure not only that scientific knowledge is accessible, but also that the production of that knowledge itself is inclusive, equitable and sustainable.”

In line with this definition, Open Science Projects or Open Science Services are research activities that exploit or foster the adoption of FAIR data, strengthen FAIR competences, practices and technologies. They are expected to leverage and/or exploit the Science Clusters’ services aimed at demonstrating and piloting the use of EOSC resources. They can be cross-RI and/or cross-domain as well as projects with a high societal relevance (potentially multidisciplinary and/or cross-cluster). These projects can be proposed over a large spectrum of scientific domains, including industrial sectors. Therefore, they can be submitted by organisations/researchers beyond the current group of RIs that are partners within the Science Clusters, emerging RIs or recently included in the updated ESFRI Road map. They can involve engagement with academic groups and industry, University Associations/Learned Societies, citizen scientists and the long tail of science.

The Principal Investigators of these activities have to commit to the FAIR management of the achieved scientific results and all associated digital objects. A particular attention will be reserved for relevant datasets from RIs, the innovative software and services for interoperability and legacy of data. Projects must deposit the digital research data generated in the Science Clusters’ trusted catalogues, or other trusted repositories federated in the EOSC. The projects should aim at enhancing the involvement of researchers in Open Science.

Proposals submitted to the OSCARS Open Call should explain the breakthrough character of the project as compared to the state of the art. They are expected to demonstrate how FAIR data practices are enhanced throughout and beyond implementation of the project, clearly identifying the digital resources required, and/or the envisaged connection to EOSC services. Projects will finally have to showcase how other researchers and research infrastructures, both among and across Science Clusters, may benefit from their outcomes and results. 

 

Who is eligible?

Individual researchers, group of researchers, universities, research infrastructures, institutes, consortia.

Individual researchers, or a group of researchers in different countries of the EU, Associated Countries and beyond can apply with their own affiliation (a university or a research institute). A Science Cluster by itself cannot apply but it could endorse a project led by a PI and his/her affiliation, who would assume the direct responsibility of the proposed project.

Eligibility to access EU funding will be assessed. Note that third parties receiving financial support are not subject to the rules on eligibility for funding provided in Article 23 of the HE Regulation. At the same time, we draw your attention to 13. General Annexes to the Work Programme 2023-2024, p. 8, which excludes entities subject to EU restrictive measures as well as legal entities established in Russia, Belarus, or in non-government controlled territories of Ukraine from receiving financial support to third parties.

Another aspect that could also be verified after the ranking is completed, is an endorsement for the proposed project from the Science Clusters or an ESFRI Research Infrastructure (RI). Without an accompanying letter, we would contact their references for confirmation.

For participants from  non EU member states and associated countries, the Horizon Europe criteria do not apply for the Cascading Grant.

 

Selection of proposals to be funded (max. 60 days)

Proposals will be evaluated by an Independent Evaluation Committee – IEC, that will be composed of top scientists, experts in FAIR data science and representatives of the European research communities. The IEC will evaluate all eligible proposals that have been submitted and produce a ranking list together with funding recommendations.

The IEC’s ranking list and funding recommendation will be forwarded to the Project Management Board – PMB, who will verify and confirm that the evaluation process has been carried out in full transparency and in accordance with EC rules. The final selection of projects to be funded will be confirmed by the Science Clusters Board (SCB).

Funding is then provided after successful conclusion of a Third-Party Project Agreement.

 

End of project

After the end of the funded projects, each project will be asked to present a final project summary and a “scientific journal or journal-type” article summarising the main project results and the methodology used to achieve them. They will also need to present their outcomes at the Final OSCARS Assessment Conference, to enable the EC, scientific communities, as well as the EOSC Association, to discover and select high impact projects, or projects with a high potential for further upscaling, or for inspiring new paths.

 

Proposal guidelines

In the following, the guidelines of the OSCARS Open Calls for Open Science projects and/or services through a cascading grant mechanism are explained.

  • Length: max 10 pages, to be submitted online via a web-form accessible from the OSCARS website
  • Language of the proposal: English

Proposals’ structure

  • Proposal Title and Acronym

     

  • Domain: 1. Astrophysics, cosmology, particle or nuclear physics, 2. Social sciences and humanities, 3. Photon/neutron sources-based experimental research, 4. Life sciences, 5. Earth and environmental sciences, 6. Other (specify).

 

  • Open Science/Data FAIRNESS challenge(s): Open science project / open science service / industry cooperation / citizen science / main RI concerned / cross-domain / cross-RI / cross-domain / other (specify).

 

  • Consortium composition: Coordinator and partners (organisation name, short name and PIC number, organisation type, contact person name and email).

 

  • Duration and Financial support: Number of PMs requested, personnel costs requested, other costs (consumables, travel), total. Provide an indicative budget breakdown (personnel costs, travel, equipment, other...) for the requested funding.

 

  • Project Public Summary  (max. 5000 characters incl. spaces): It should contain the main objectives, as well as a brief explanation of the breakthrough character of the project as compared to the state-of-the-art.

 

  • Project description (max. 10000 characters incl. spaces): Scientific and innovation objectives. Where applicable, specify whether the proposed Open Science project and/or service will leverage, or expect to integrate, the services and the Open Science environments built by the Science Clusters, for a specific ESFRI or another RI. Explain if the project is in support of scientific objectives or implementation plans of an ESFRI or other world-class RI (in that case, provide an acknowledgement / endorsement from the management of the concerned RI). 
    Describe also how the envisioned results could benefit the scientific community at large, European society and/or the European Research Area. Explain which questions of high societal relevance and/or excellence research will be addressed or facilitated by it.

 

  • Scientific impacts (max. 10000 characters incl. spaces): Describe how the project objectives will extend the scientific knowledge in the concerned domain compared to the current situation. Explain how the project engages or would potentially engage, thanks to its results, with a large scientific community or multiple research communities (academic and industry, as well as citizen scientists and the “long-tail” of science). If applicable, explain the capacity to support an ESFRI RI and/or extend beyond the RI communities involved in the H2020 science clusters.

 

  • Digital resources (max. 6000 characters incl. spaces): Describe how the project pilots the use of data and services already on-boarded to the Science Clusters Open Science platforms and/or to the EOSC platform and/or bring new research digital objects and RI services to the EOSC Exchange. Illustrate, if applicable, the technological innovation potential of the proposed project and the capacity to strengthen the multi-domain/multi-competences cross-fertilization and/or training. Describe in detail the expected needs in terms of computing resources.

 

  • Project Implementation, Budget Breakdown and Final Deliverables (max. 6000 characters incl. spaces): Describe how the project will be implemented (steps) within the course of its duration. Also, provide an indicative budget breakdown (personnel costs, travel, equipment, other...) for the requested funding. Include a table of expected results at mid-term and at the end of the project. Please pay special attention to include deliverables that guarantee a sufficient open dissemination of the project results, as well as ensure that the project will contribute to accelerate the uptake of RI and EOSC resources (data, services, policies, interoperability framework, etc.). 
    All digital research data generated by the project will be deposited in a trusted repository federated in the EOSC in compliance with EOSC requirements.

    The applicants must commit to provide, for public dissemination, at the OSCARS final (or dedicated) event in Brussels the following deliverables:
    1. A final project summary in PDF format of maximum 5000 characters, including spaces
    2. A presentation
    3. A “scientific journal or journal-type” article summarising the main project results and methodology used to achieve them.

 

Evaluation criteria

The Independent Evaluation Committee – IEC will firstly evaluate proposed scientific projects and service developments on the basis of their breakthrough character, scopes and FAIRNESS, or “openness”, as well as of their relevance to other ESFRI’s, and/or other Research Infrastructures.

Other criteria for the evaluation are the scientific impacts, and the digital resources required for their implementation. Finally, the IEC will assess the concreteness of the projects’ implementation steps and of the expected results, the coherency and adequacy of the requested funds based on the budget breakdown, and the overall compliance of the projects with the EOSC and FAIR principles.

Below the key evaluation’s questions per proposal’s section are listed:

Proposal section: Project description

Subcriteria:

  1. Are the Open Science aims and objectives of the proposed scientific project or service adequately and clearly explained?
  2. Are the scientific objectives and expected impacts of the proposal adequately and clearly defined?
  3. Is the proposed project’s engagement with a community or the contribution to Open Data Research adequately and clearly explained?
  4. Is the contribution to or the leverage of the Science Cluster work programme clearly explained?
  5. Is the relevance to ESFRI and other RIs of the proposed scientific project or service adequately addressed?

Proposal section: Scientific impacts

Subcriteria:

  1. Is the scientific project and/or the service development proposed clearly going beyond the state of the art? 
  2. Is the potential large scientific impact adequately explained?
  3. Is the expected impact of the proposed project on an ESFRI RI or on multiple RIs, or is its capacity to engage through the Science Clusters with multiple RIs clearly illustrated?

Proposal section: Digital resources

Subcriteria:

  1. Is the proposed project adequately referencing the Science Clusters’ platforms?
  2. Are the digital resources required and/or the connection to EOSC services envisaged clearly identified?

Proposal section: Project Implementation and Final Deliverables

Subcriteria:

  1. Are the project implementation steps concrete and well explained?
  2. Are the anticipated results achievable with the implementation steps put in place and in the suggested timeframe?
  3. Does the budget breakdown correspond to the presented implementation steps and is it reasonable?
  4. Does the proposal adequately commit to EOSC compliance and openness of its results? 

Funding rules

EC funding rules apply (see also the EC's Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement). 

 

Contact Information

For enquiries about the Open Call, please contact:

  • envri [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For scientific questions on proposals related to  ENVRI Science Cluster (Environmental Sciences)
  • escape [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For scientific questions on proposals related to the ESCAPE Science Cluster (Astronomy, Nuclear & Particle Physics)
  • lsri [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For scientific questions on proposals related to the LS RI Science Cluster (Life Sciences)
  • panosc [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For scientific questions on proposals related to the PaNOSC Science Cluster (Photon and Neutron Science)
  • sshoc [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For scientific questions on proposals related to the SSHOC Science Cluster (Social Science and Humanities)
  • opencall [at] oscars-project [dot] eu – For general questions about funding rules, reporting requirements and similar and on proposals related to scientific disciplines not included in those covered by the Science Clusters
  • grantsplatform [at] oscars-project [dot] eu - For enquiries about the Grants’ Platform

For questions on proposals related to more than one Science Cluster, please include the related email addresses of all the involved Science Clusters.

Open Science projects’ Examples

The Open Science Projects are all linked here

Science Clusters' Services

Browse here the services of the Science Clusters

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If ‘target community’ is to be read as ‘potential applicant’: how about non legal entities such as science clusters and individual researchers? How can they apply if you need a PIC code?

A: Individual researchers or a group of researchers in different countries of the EU +Associated Countries can apply with their own affiliation (a university or a research institute). A Science Cluster by itself cannot apply but it could endorse a project led by a PI and his/her affiliation, who would assume the direct responsibility of the proposed project.

Q: If ‘target community’ is something else (e.g. potential users of the envisaged results), then where do we specify who can be a ‘potential applicant’?

A: Target users are the potential applicants as well as the target audience towards whom disseminate the information of the call. 

Q: Is the eligibility assessment checking admin aspects only (such as budget height, duration)?

A: Yes, including eligibility to access EU funding. However please note that third parties receiving financial support are not subject to the rules on eligibility for funding provided in Article 23 of the HE Regulation. At the same time we draw your attention to 13. General Annexes to the Work Programme 2023-2024, p. 8, which excludes entities subject to EU restrictive measures as well as legal entities established in Russia, Belarus, or in non-government-controlled territories of Ukraine from receiving financial support to third parties.

Q: If not, what are the other eligibility criteria?

A: One more aspect, but that could also be verified after the ranking is completed, is an endorsement for the proposed project from the Science Clusters or an ESFRI Research Infrastructure (RI). Without an accompanying letter, we would contact their references for confirmation.

Q: What are the eligibility criteria? Do the usual HE criteria apply, only participants from member states and associated countries can receive funding?

A: No, third parties receiving financial support are not subject to the rules on eligibility for funding provided in Article 23 of the HE Regulation.

Q: Do we have to submit regular technical reports?

A: There is no formal technical report to be submitted but monitoring of progress will be performed by the Consortium. The applicants must commit to provide, for public dissemination, at the OSCARS final (or dedicated) event in Brussels the following deliverables:

  • A final project summary in PDF format of maximum 5000 characters, including spaces.
  • A presentation 
  • A “scientific journal or journal-type” article summarising the main project results and methodology used to achieve them.
Q: Do we have to submit a financial report?

A: There is no finance report required. The funding will be provided in form of a lump-sum.

Q: When will we receive the funding?

A: 85% of the total funding will be paid out at the start of the project, after signature of the Third-Party Project Agreement (TPPA). The remaining 15% will be paid after the final deliverables have been provided.
Please be aware that EC funding rules apply (see also the EC's Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement).

Q: Will there be a contract/agreement that needs to be signed and who is signing it?

A: Yes, there will be a so-called Third-Party Project Agreement (TPPA) that sets out the details of the funding regulations. It will be signed by the coordinator of OSCARS at CNRS-LAPP and the coordinator/lead organisation of the funded project. Please note that as the TPPA is a standard contract based on the OSCARS Grant Agreement and the Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement, the provisions of the contracts are not open to individual negotiations. This ensures the equal treatment of all OSCARS Open Call applicants and a timely conclusion of the TPPAs. 

Q: What is the maximum time to implement the funded projects and do we need to start immediately after the signature of the TPPA? 

A: Project duration can be between 1 and 2 years. All projects need to start at the latest 4 months after the signature of the TPPA. This time is meant to be used for recruitment or other necessary preparations for the project.

Q. Alignment to some of the evaluation criteria will be obscure for scientists who are not “part of the club”, or who have not been involved in the Science Clusters. How to tackle that?

A. The information about the Science Clusters is publicly available in a number of places(Science Clusters websiteOSCARS website). We have published all the necessary information to keep everyone informed at the same time and with the same type/amount of information. It is important to note that the call is open for any kind of scientific project, also for scientists who are not connected to, or haven’t participated in the activities of the Science Clusters. They are all eligible. The independent scientific evaluation panel will evaluate proposals on the basis of the criteria here. So, you don’t need to be part of the club to write a super good scientific proposal. The Science Clusters and the Research infrastructures (RIs) have this amazing mandate of providing data and services for everybody, and most of them for free, so take advantage of whatever is there on “on the market” and you will be able to write a great proposal. tent.

Q. What is a RI?

A. RI stays for Research Infrastructure. This can be any kind of collaborative infrastructure that has been built by institutes, universities, consortia from the European member states. Depending on the domain, it can be a large infrastructure, such as a neutron or light source, or particle accelerator, or a telescope, or a distributed infrastructure, a European network of research institutes, universities or similar. Many of them are set up as ERICs (European Research Infrastructure Consortia)..

Q. Is any mentoring service foreseen throughout the implementation of the project?

A. Yes, mentoring is foreseen for successful proposals. They will get help from the Science Clusters during the execution of the project. .

Q. Does OSCARS act as a funding agency?

A. Yes, but it is not a funding agency. OSCARS is a project funded by the European Union, which has launched and will implement two calls for Open Science projects & services through a cascading-grant mechanism. Its beneficiaries are Research Infrastructures, which are basically the research communities. Due to this and to the limited resources, there will not be a proper Help Desk service as a funding agency would offer. OSCARS supports Open Science and will provide a mentoring service. It is likely that there will be Ambassadors identified among the scientists, who will act as bridges between the PIs and the RIs. 

In addition, OSCARS has the goal to consolidate the work of the Science Clusters, further consolidating the development of services and Open Science environments that will be used for Open Research. 

Q. Do all proposals need endorsement letters? 

A. No. Proposals do not need endorsement letters. However, the Grants’ Platform (in the section with the project summary) gives the possibility to link and upload endorsement letters, or additional documentation, e.g., in the case there is a clear statement from a large Consortium. Although there might be one single PI, this kind of endorsement documents can be of  help to the reviewers, to better understand how these projects fit into the context of a scientific domain, or can build a bridge between different domains.

Q. Does the lump sum include overheads?

A. Yes, the lump sum includes the overheads, so the 100,000 to 250,000 EUR is the total amount you are getting. There is nothing coming on top. So, when you are putting your budget together, you need to include the overheads if that is required by your organisation. 

Q. Could you please elaborate on the requirement to have support from the Science Clusters? 

A. We do deploy a sort of virtual environment for conducting research. This environment is a potential host for a science project, or for a workflow. Then, depending on the domain and on the goals and activities that are proposed, 100% of the science project / workflow, or a smaller fraction of it, can be integrated in this environment. If you are a researcher based in a particular domain / area, have a look at the OSCARS’ website to see which of the Science Clusters is aligned with your domain. There may be even more than one. For any question, reach out to us using the contacts available here

We will soon create a page listing the resources that have been developed partly in the EOSC context, and that will obviously help you when writing your proposal, to align the work you want to do with the services out there. In some cases, you might want to develop such services further. In other cases, they may be relevant and might help you build stronger partnerships and proposals.

For example, the Science Cluster for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHOC) has the SSH Open Marketplace. If you have a look there, you can see all the services and datasets that are already on offer. So, you can reuse some of those in your proposals, or if you think there's something missing then this is where you can propose potential new services, or datasets. 

Q. Is it possible to have a Consortium with members of only one EU country? 

A. Yes, you can. It doesn't even need to be a country of the EU and there is no requirement for having more EU countries. It could also be one organisation from outside of the EU.

Q. Is there a maximum of Consortium members? 

A. No. We haven't set a maximum of Consortium members. However, the available budget is in a way setting a limit, because at one point you are ending up with very small money for all the different Consortium Partners. In the Grants’ Platform is a form for the Principal Investigator (PI), or the coordinator of the project, and one or more for the co-PI(s) from other institutes. This has been included because the proposal can come from a group, but it is important to note that you cannot multiply the 250.000 EUR for the number of co-PIs you have in the project. Projects have a maximum budget and a maximum duration, with one PI and potentially a series of co-PIs.  

Q. Could you please clarify the eligibility of Institutions from non-EU countries and Associated countries to Horizon Europe, such as Switzerland for example?

A. There are no eligibility criteria similar to Horizon Europe, which means it doesn't matter if you are from an Associated country or not. So, for example, the UK and Switzerland are eligible. 

Q. Is submission a once-only thing, or are resubmissions or updates of proposals possible up to the deadline?

A. When editing your proposal in the Grants’ Platform, you can save your draft and submit your proposal at the very last moment. During the 60 days from the call opening, until when your proposal is in draft mode, you may make all the changes you want to. But you have to respect the deadline. After the 60 days from the call opening, submission will not be possible.

On the other hand, if “resubmission” is conceived as the possibility to resubmit to the second OSCARS Open Call, you can do so.

Q. I see no stress in supporting community-driven Open Standards (needed by FAIR principles). Is this taken into account?

A. Supporting Community Driven Open Standards can of course be considered.

Q. Would projects need to include use cases, or pure technology development projects would be eligible?

A. The project's main idea is to increase the scientific impact. It could be a technology development, but if there's no clear scientific impact, it would be difficult to evaluate.

Q. Can a specific entity serve as the coordinator for multiple proposals simultaneously?

A. If you want to have a budget plan of a couple of millions submitting eight projects, no, this is not possible. One project can ask for 100,000 to 250,000 EUR. We will leave it to the reviewers to check if there are connected/chained proposals. Please keep in mind that we have to support a broad range of communities and sciences. 

Q. Is it possible for an entity to participate in more than one Consortium either as a coordinator or beneficiary?

A. Yes, it might be possible. To give some examples, you can have large multidisciplinary institutes (e.g., CNRS in France) to which different applicants from different disciplines may belong, which means that there might be a series of proposals coming from the same institute. There might also be the opposite case, in which a researcher who is PI in a proposal might also be co-PI in another proposal. Both scenarios are possible.

In another example, proposals may come from a facility, or national institute, or research infrastructure, which produces data. If there is a PI proposing a science project by using data that are generated by this facility, and another proposal is doing another scientific project using data coming from the same facility/-ies, this is also possible, because those research infrastructures are considered as generators, or producers of scientific data, and the scientific communities will exploit / use this data for scientific analysis.

The selection of a proposal will in the end depend on its quality.

Q. Could you confirm that funding does not have to be proportional to the duration of the project? For example, is it possible to propose a 12-month project with the maximum budget?

A. Sure, that is possible.

Q. Is there a limit of minimum FTE for one person?

A. If  you expect to have only one person in the project, you obviously cannot have more than one FTE, otherwise you need at least two persons in the project. There is no restriction on the number of person months, but of course you need to consider the budget limit. 

If the question is on whether there is a lower limit for the number of person months per person, i.e., if it is possible to have lots of people with a very small amount of time/funding, the answer is no, it's really up to what the project needs. If you need a lot of different knowledge and expertise, i.e., different people contributing small amounts of their time, that is also fine. It really depends on the project. In the part of the proposal with the budget breakdown, applicants need to be able to convince the evaluators on the reliability and effectiveness of the proposed budget for achieving the goals that are proposed.

Q. Will there be two Open Calls in total (those mentioned to open in 2024), or will there be also Open Calls in 2025/2026?

A. There will be two Open Calls in total, both opening in 2024. The reason is that OSCARS is a project with a lifetime of four years and all granted projects need to be completed and have to present their results before the end of OSCARS. 

Q. Can you clarify how the evaluation will take place?

A. There are two evaluators per proposal, and there is a panel that has an overview of all proposals. The evaluation will take place according to the rules that are usually

applied in EC calls and are part of, and agreed upon, in the Grant Agreement that was signed between the coordinator of OSCARS and the European Commission. In summary, we are going to have independent reviews by more than one reviewer. A ranking list will be produced, and according to the ranking and the quality, selected proposals will be funded on the basis of the proposed budget.

Q. Who is designated to administer the money? Is it the PI's home institution? Is it distributed among the different partners involved in the project? Or an institution that is freely chosen by the partners?

A. In the case of a consortium, one organisation needs to take the lead in the proposal and the contract with CNRS (OSCARS’ coordinator) will be signed by that one organisation, who is then responsible to distribute the money within their Consortium.

Q. Is the call open only for research institutions? If I am a UK-based company, can I still apply? 

A. There is an option to indicate the nature of the organisation the PI is affiliated to and one option is SME/industry, so this is possible. There is no restriction on countries as in general in Horizon Europe.

Q. Are projects fully financed (100%), and am I right that there is no co-financing by the PI and his/her organisation?

A. If you are proposing a project with specific goals, which you have clearly described, and you ask one penny for that scope, that is the 100% of the lump sum that you will receive. In the same time, if your project is an important phase of a longer-term project with a background where you have received two more pennies from a company or other stakeholders, or a research infrastructure, and there will be a co-participation, together with the single penny coming from OSCARS, that is  also possible. You will include this in the description of your project in the proposal form.  

This will actually add some value to the proposal, because it highlights the expected impact of the project.

Q. Can a project be successful but not get all the funding they requested?

A. A project will get zero, or 100% of what was requested in the proposal.

Q. Can an Institute that is a beneficiary member of the OSCARS Consortium, participate?

A. Yes, there is no limit. All the terms, procedures and approaches to eliminate potential conflicts of interests have been put in place and will be executed according to the contracts with the European Commission.

Q. Will the 16 million be split evenly between the two calls?

A. The funding will be shared between the two calls, but not evenly. It depends on the kind of popularity that we have and the quality of the projects. We will not share 50/50. We are not going to invest the full amount of the budget in the first call, but we cannot guarantee that the second call we receive 50% of the funding.

Q. How detailed, or specific, does the financial plan need to be?  

A. Financial plans do not need to be very detailed. We only  ask to provide a total of person months and personnel costs and, if applicable, other direct costs. Then, in the case there are more partners, we ask to split person months roughly across the partners and indicate the tasks the partners are doing.This is mainly to help evaluators understand if the expertise in the Consortium matches with what the applicants are planning to do and how the budget is split up.

Q. What happens if a project led by a CNRS unit is successful? Will there be a TPPA between the CNRS and the CNRS?

A. Actually, yes. It is foreseen, because on one side the coordinator will be the legal entity that is providing the funding (i.e, the president of the CNRS) and on the other side will be the PI, i.e., the researcher who is going to commit to a scientific project.

Q. Can you confirm that exploiting the Science Cluster services means that the research proposed only has to use Open Science practices, and either use or end with public datasets?

A. Yes. Whichever kind of proposal you submit, a requirement is that it has to end with public and reusable datasets. At the same time, it may start out with non-public datasets and it wants to make them public, or it may be using Open Science practices to improve the interoperability of a dataset, or a service, or a technical service. 

It is anyway correct that the emphasis in the proposal should be on using Open Science practices, which will help to get a higher score. 

As a suggestion, one of the ways of building a stronger proposal is to make sure that you reach out and potentially link to and use relevant mature services from the Science Clusters as well, or from the individual research infrastructures of your own Community, if they are operating mature Open Science practices. 

To providean example, in the Social Sciences and Humanities there might be sensitive data, or restricted data. Should this be the case, it is important to ensure such restricted data are properly documented, by including at least the metadata related to the dataset, making it openly available, and by making it clear how to access the data, e.g., by including the details of a key contact point. 

Q. In many calls, the evaluation committees tend to give an unfair advantage to the PIs who have already won many grants in the past to the disadvantage of younger researchers with a smaller track record. Will this be the case here as well?

A. There is no such thing. In addition, we do not ask for a CV. We are actually especially interested in supporting early-stage career researchers.  

Q. How are the expenses justified after the work is done?

A. Funding is a lump sum, based on the same mechanism the EC is using more and more, which means that we are not asking for any finance reporting. However, we monitor and expect that the declared scientific impacts and outcomes will be achieved and that results will be declared, because we are part of a global action and we need to provide the feedback that the European Commission is expecting.

Q. When the result of submission is shared with those who submitted a proposal, will it include some feedback from the reviewers?

A. Yes, feedback from reviewers will be shared. OSCARS commits in addition to publishing the list of funded projects.

Q. Will the available funding be spread evenly between the Science Clusters, or will the Clusters be competing against each other with a theoretical possibility that some Clusters get very little money and some get a lot?

A. There is no such risk, because the mandate that we have to ourselves is to support all Sciences. There is no competition between the Sciences. This is our duty, to encourage and support any kind of domain-based and multi-domain approach. 

Q. What's the best way to get an overview of and stay up to date on the Science Clusters’ services?

A. Please contact the Science Clusters directly. Find the related contacts here.

More information about the Science Clusters’ services will be made available soon in a dedicated page of the OSCARS website.

Q. In the case the research aims to result in a digital tool, what are the required levels of open access to the tool after the project?

A. It could be published in the catalogue of EOSC services. This would especially be the case if a digital tool is at a very high level of maturity. 

In the evaluation, it will also be considered how much impact the tool will have in the immediate and long-term future, and if it benefits one or more domains. So, while writing your proposal, if you are creating a tool, consider writing a few words about the sustainability of said tool after the project ends, to demonstrate that it will not die within a year or so after the project has ended. 

Q. Can multiple people edit the same proposal and how will this be handled technically?

A. No, a single proposal has to be submitted and edited by a single user. We suggest revising and building the proposal offline, to then upload the final text in the Grants’ Platform.

Q. If a proposal is about a new service or database for a specific RI, is there a mechanism planned to facilitate contacts between the RI and the proposer?

A. It is expected that these contacts take place before the submission of the proposal and will be even a sort of added value in support of the proposal. 

However, the project itself, and its resources, might be used to build a cooperation with a RI. 

Contact information about the Science Clusters and their RIs are also available via the the Science Clusters' website. This might help you to contact the relevant cluster before submitting your proposal.  

Q. I'm working on a project for researchers to document certain experiments pre-publication, locally producing FAIR metadata in their lab notebooks. Could OSCARS fund the implementation of this tool in several institutes, or research facilities?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you planning to have a forum for funded projects to share the results or outputs with the whole Community? If so, should travel associated with this dissemination activity be included in the proposal financial plan?

A. In OSCARS, we are aiming to organise training events, Open Science camps and conferences dedicated to the funded projects for networking, for exposing the results, and even taking advantage of these occasions to participate in the enhancement of the participation and involvement of researchers in Open Science.We recommend to consider some traveling for example to the OSCARS annual events and the final event dedicated to the outcomes of the Open Call projects. 

Q. Is training an eligible activity?

A. Yes. But always consider how your proposal will be impactful and scientifically relevant. 

Q. You encourage inter-cluster propositions, but considering the amount of money available, it would be difficult to include a lot of partners. 

A. Funding is proportional to the scope and the outcomes of the project, and not to the multidisciplinarity. The latter aspect does not necessarily imply using a high amount of resources.  

Q. Can I withdraw my application before the Open Call deadline expires?
A. You can withdraw a submitted application at any time before the call closes via your dashboard.  As with any application submitted to our Open Calls, the withdrawn application is stored on the platform and accessible via your dashboard.
Do note, however, that only an application saved in draft can be further re-edited.  After the formal, time-stamped submission of a proposal, this proposal cannot be modified; only withdrawn from the Open Call and a new application submitted in its place.