OSCARS 1st Open Call for Open Science Projects and Services

Funding available: 13,120,000.00 €

Submission and Evaluation Process


The 1st Open Call is now closed. Learn more!

 OSCARS 1st Open Call

Proposal Submission

OSCARS will run a cycle of 2 Open Calls. Each call will remain open for proposal submission for a period of sixty days.  All proposals must be submitted using the online application form through the OSCARS grants platform and confirmed with a timestamped, Submission Receipt email to the email address registered at the time of submitting the proposal. Any proposals not confirmed with timestamped, Submission Receipt email will not be accepted.

Who can receive financial support?

The financial support provided through OSCARS  is open to Research Infrastructures, Universities, Institutes, consortia as well as individual researchers. Third parties receiving nancial support are not subject to the rules on eligibility for funding provided for in Article 23 “Legal entities eligible for funding” of Regulation 2021/695 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 28th of April 2021 establishing Horizon Europe.

Open Call Topics

The aim of the call is to support researchers engaging in or developing Open Data Research by conducting science projects that facilitate and foster sharing research data and results based on FAIR principles. Proposals that develop and/or make available services or tools (software; hardware; middleware; protocols; standards; benchmarks; documentation and training/mentoring materials; activities and resources), which enable Open Research in a field and encourage open science practice based on FAIR principles, are also eligible. 

The calls are open to proposals responding to Open Science / Data FAIRNESS challenge(s) in the domains shown in the grid below.  

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.
 

 Astrophysics, Cosmology, Particle or Nuclear PhysicsSocial Science and HumanitiesPhoton/neutron sources-based experimental researchLife sciencesEarth and environmental sciencesOther (specify)
Open Science Project      
Open Science Service      
Industry cooperation      
Citizen science      
Main RI concerned      
Cross-domain/ Cross-RI      
Other (specify)      

Applicants should indicate the domain, indicated above in the X axis, and the type of challenge indicated in the Y axis.  Multiple choices are allowed. 

Type of contribution

Each application can apply for funding from a minimum of €100,000 (one hundred thousand Euro) to a maximum of €250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand Euro) with a duration from  12 to 24 months.

Eligible Costs

Costs should meet the eligibility criteria for funding by the European Commission as set out in Chapter 3, Article 6 of the EU Model Grant Agreement

1st Open call Timing

Call Launch: Friday 15th of March 2024, 15:00 CET

Call Closure: Wednesday 15th of May 2024, 17:00 CEST

The Evaluation Process 

Upon call closure, all proposals submitted will be screened for eligibility by the OSCARS Consortium to assess compliance of the applications to the Open Call. Proposals that are ineligible for any reason or that do not meet the call criteria will be identified as such and the applicant notified by the system as soon as the eligibility screening is completed. 

The consortium will consolidate all eligible proposals and submit them for evaluation to the OSCARS Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC). The applications will be scored and ranked for funding to depletion of the budget available for each call. The evaluation and ranking process will last a maximum of 60 days after which applicants shall be notified of the outcome of their proposal. 

Applicants should note that to guarantee maximum fairness and transparency the evaluation of each proposal submission is entirely independent of the OSCARS Project Consortium and will be  carried out by two external experts from the OSCARS IEC which will include top-level researchers from the domain of the five Science Clusters as well as potential FAIR-data ambassadors. As the IEC members are highly-skilled experts whose qualifications have already been assessed their decisions are binding. Therefore, any redress requests or complaints received in relation to the evaluation will be dealt with strictly in relation to the procedural aspects of the evaluation and not on the merits of scientific or technical judgement of the expert.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluations of  each proposal will be performed on the criteria described below, with each sub-criteria scoring from 1 to 5 and the weighting and maximum points  indicated below: 

Proposal Section 1:  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?

Questions 1, 3 and 4  are scored from 1 to 5 each one (1 lowest score; 5 highest score) (score weighting factor for each question = 2); Questions 2 and 5 are scored from 1 to 5 each one (1 lowest score; 5 highest score) (score weighting factor for each question = 1)
=> maximum number of points in section 1 = 40.

Proposal Section 2:  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 its capacity to engage through the Science Clusters with multiple RIs clearly illustrated?

Question 1, 2 and 3 are scored from 1 to 5 (1 lowest score; 5 highest score) (score weighting factor for each question = 2) 
=> maximum number of points in section 2 = 30

Proposal Section 3: Digital resources
Subcriteria

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

Questions 1 and 2 are scored from 1 to 5 (1 lowest score; 5 highest score) (score weighting factor for the question = 1)
=> maximum number of points in section 3 = 10

Proposal Section 4: Project Implementation, Budget Breakdown 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?

Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4 are scored from 1 to 5 each one (1 lowest score; 5 highest score) (score weighting factor for each question = 1) 
=> maximum number of points in section 4 = 20

The final scoring and ranking will be automatically determined by averaging the scores provided by the two independent members of the External Pool of Evaluators. 

Ranking and Communication of the outcome of the applications

The IEC’s ranking list and funding recommendation is forwarded to the PMB who will verify and confirm in a dedicated meeting that the evaluation process has been carried out in full transparency and in accordance with EC rules. 

Notification of Outcome

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their proposal via email to the email address registered at the time of submitting the proposal.  Notifications should be given in mid July 2024.
The outcome of the call will be published without delay, including a description of third-party projects, the date of the award, the duration, and the legal name and country.

Follow on steps for proposals retained for funding

If your proposal is retained for funding, upon notification you will be provided with the information necessary to prepare the financial and administrative paperwork necessary to receive  funding. Please note that a deadline of 5 business days from notification to confirm your intention to take up the funding.  Funding is subject to signature of a Third Party agreement.  The Third Party Project Agreement (TPPA) will state the maximum amount to be received and the other terms and conditions of the funding and should be concluded within 1 month from notification. Please be aware that certain obligations of the beneficiary deriving from the Annotated Grant Agreement AGA need to be extended to the recipients of the cascading grant funding. These obligations are listed in article 9 of the TPPA. 

Projects will have a maximum of up to four months from the signature of the TPPA to hiring staff and/or getting everything in place for the start of the 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. 

As OSCARS Consortium commits to undertaking their research in adherence with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, this commitment will also be required by the Third Parties who are awarded funding from the OSCARS open calls. The Project Management Board (PMB) and the SCB will conduct an ethics pre-screening of the applications retained for funding. The applicants will also be requested to perform an ethics self-assessment of their datasets and methods. The IEC will point out potential ethics’ issues to the applicants. Responsibility for ethics clearance for the proposed projects belongs to the Third Parties applying (i.e. they should obtain ethics clearance from their home institution).

All digital research data generated by the project will be deposited in a trusted repository federated in the EOSC in compliance with EOSC requirements.  As a minimum, the applicants must commit to provide at the OSCARS final (or dedicated) event the following deliverables. This will ensure that material is available for public dissemination.

a. A final project summary.

b. A presentation (format to be announced no later than two months prior to the OSCARS final event).

c. A “scientific journal or journal-type” article summarising the main project results and the methodology used to achieve them.

Summary 

OSCARS aims to further consolidate past achievements of the Science Clusters into lasting interdisciplinary FAIR data services and working practices.  Through an open call mechanism for financial support to third parties, a broad range of research communities will be involved for the development of new, innovative Open Science projects, that together will drive the uptake of FAIR-data-intensive research throughout the European Research Area (ERA).

The topics and priorities for the two OSCARS Open Calls, which will run in two cycles (starting March 2024 and November 2024 respectively) are defined by the OSCARS consortium. Both cycles of Open Calls will be vouched by the OSCARS consortium, and particularly by the Science Cluster steering Board (SCB), in terms of current priorities/expected technical content and allocated budget. The OSCARS consortium has already established a list of themes and types of projects expected to maximise the impact of the OSCARS action.

1st Open Call Topics 

Examples can be found here

Applications that address any of the terms, themes or scopes mentioned below  will be considered of equal validity and merit during the evaluation process.

The main potential terms, themes and scopes of the Open Call are:

  • Proposed Open Science Projects and Services are expected to leverage and/or exploit the Science Clusters’ services aimed at demonstrating and piloting the use of EOSC resources;
  • Cross-RI and/or cross-domain Open Science projects or/and services, as well as projects with a high societal relevance (potentially multidisciplinary), will have a higher chance of receiving Science Cluster, RI or EOSC FAIR resources;
  • Projects that extend beyond the current group of RIs encompassed within the Science Clusters will be encouraged. This aims to achieve a greater inclusiveness of new RI communities, e.g. new RIs recently included in the updated ESFRI Roadmap, or other world-class science infrastructures;
  • The Science Clusters’ cross-fertilisation work context will be leveraged to enhance the involvement of researchers in Open Science. Specific plans to reach out to multiple scientific communities include pilot projects that would engage with academic groups and industry, University Associations/Learned Societies, citizen scientists and the long tail of science;
  • All projects should foresee the use of data and services already on-boarded to the EOSC platform, the Science Cluster resources and/or bring new digital research objects and RI services to the EOSC Exchange platform. The proposals shall support the FAIR principles and adopt relevant FAIR metrics and EOSC policies;

Projects must deposit the digital research data generated in the Science Clusters’ trusted catalogues or other trusted repositories federated in the EOSC.