Call for basic research proposals in natural sciences and engineering in 2021
In the framework of basic research funding program in natural sciences and engineering, the National Foundation for Science and Technology (NAFOSTED) would like to announce the call for proposals 2021 as below:
1. Funding objectives:
– To create favorable research environment in order to promote basic research activities of scientific and technological organizations in Vietnam.
– To enhance research capabilities and develop robust research communities in order to enrich Vietnamese science and technology workforce.
– To improve research quality towards international standards.
– To promote international cooperation and integration in scientific researches.
2. Funding scopes
Basic research projects in the fields of natural sciences and engineering, including: Natural sciences, Engineering , Biomedical – Pharmacy and Agricultural sciences. Research proposals should be applied under NAFOSTED’s scientific categories corresponding to the Scientific Committees, including Mathematics (101), Information and Computer sciences (102), Physics (103), Chemistry (104), Earth and Environmental sciences (105); Biology – Agriculture (106), Mechanics (107) and Biomedical – Pharmacy (108).
3. Subject of the funding program
– Vietnamese scientific and technological organizations; foreign organizations that are capable of conducting scientific research and currently operating in Vietnam; foreign organizations that are collaborating with Vietnam’s scientific and technological organizations in a joint research.
– Individual Vietnamese-citizen scientists; foreign scientists who are collaborating with Vietnamese scientific and technological organizations or with individual Vietnamese scientists.
4. Requirements for host organizations, participating researchers and research outcomes
For host organizations:
a) Must be registered as a scientific and technological organization whose expertise matches with the project(s) being proposed;
b) Fulfill all responsibilities of a host organization for the project(s) which have been funded by NAFOSTED.
For principal investigators (PI):
a) Possess relevant research expertise to the project being proposed and are employed by a registered scientific and technology organization. If a PI is not currently employed by any scientific and technological organization, he/she must be supported by a reputable Vietnamese scientific and technological organization that agrees to be the host institution;
b) Possess research abilities and skills that match the requirements of the project being proposed, including: holding a PhD degree or an associate professor/professor title, and having relevant research results published on prestigious international journals within the last 5 years just before the proposal submission date;
c) Commit sufficient time to complete the proposed research as required by In case the PI goes overseas for business trip, his/her time abroad must not exceed 1/3 of the total project conduction time;
d) Meet the conditions for PI registration and project participation as required by regulations.
Project member/researchers must obtain proper and technical competencies and skills for their proposed research, including:
a) Key researcher(s) and scientific secretary: holding a PhD degree or associate professor/professor title and have relevant research outcomes published on prestigious international or national journal within the last 5 years from the submission date.
If the key members are master-degree holders, they must have relevant research outcome(s), including at least one publication on prestigious international journal(s) within the last 5 years from the submission date;
b) PhD students participating in the proposed project must be working on relevant dissertations and acquire dissertation-approval decision within 24 months from the submission date;
c) Technicians and other support staff.
Requirements for the research outcomes
Research outcomes include at least 02 articles published on prestigious international journals and one article published on prestigious national journal. PI must be the first author of at least one article published on prestigious international journals.
Any publication(s) issued on journals belonging to the prestigious ISI list is considered equivalent to 02 publications issued on other prestigious international journals;
NAFOSTED announces the list of prestigious ISI, international and national scientific journals to evaluate eligibilities of the PIs (compared to the most recent list of prestigious ISI and international journals announced by NAFOSTED) and approval of publication results of projects funded y NAFOSTED (compared to the most recent list of prestigious journals that is announced by NAFOSTED prior to the date of publication submission).
2019 List of prestigious journal has been issued under Decision No. 151/QD-HDQL-NAFOSTED dated on 09 August 2019 by NAFOSTED’s Board of Trustees (download here https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-quy-ban-hanh/)
Proposal submission: from 08h30 May 17 to 17h00 June 30 2021
Proposal evaluation: July – October 2021
Project funding announcement: November 2021
Contract signing: January – February 2022
Electronic proposal must be summitted on OMS including:
a. Basic Research Registration Form (in English and Vietnamese)
b. Project Proposal (in English and Vietnamese) (Download the form here).
Note: the files in project proposal must be named using the following rules:
– Vietnamese version (proposal and budget): M2-name of PI
– English version (proposal and budget): M2E-name of PI
c. Scientific CVs of PI and all other research team members (in English and Vietnamese)
d. Evidences of research achievements (including at least one article done by PI within the last 5 years that was published on a prestigious international journal which belongs to the list of NAFOSTED).
After completing online submission on the OMS, the applicant must send the application to the NAFOSTED using one of the following methods:
Method 1. Send 01 hard copy of project proposal in Vietnamese that has been signed and sealed (original copy) to NAFOSTED’s offfice, including:
a. 01 Project proposal (printed from OMS) with approval from host or supporting organization of the project
b. Research proposal with approval from host or supporting organization of the project.
c. Scientific CVs of PI and all key research team members printed from OMS with approval from working or supporting organization (unless the member is working at the host organization).
d. A copy of PhD degree certificate (if any).
In addition, the PI must print 02 copies of Application Checklist form for reference and submission confirmation (Download here).
Evidences of research achievement of PI and research team members must be updated in the Scientific CVs on OMS, if necessary. PI must ensure the English and Vietnamese versions of research proposal are unified. Failure to update these evidences might lead to ineligibility of the proposal or inadequate evaluation of PI and research team’s capability.
Electronic proposal will be used for project evaluation.
International reviewer will evaluate the English version of the electronic proposal.
Electronic and printed proposals must be unified. Proposal that is not printed out from OMS shall be ineligible.
Please carefully read Guide on how to use the OMS.
Method 2. Send the copy with digital signature (01 set of application in Vietnamese) via the OMS: Please refer to the guidance here.
8. Proposal submission address
Administrative Office (Room 405)
National Foundation for Science and Technology Development
4th Floor, No. 39, Tran Hung Dao street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
9. Relevant legislative documents
– Circular No. 37/2014/TT-BKHCN dated on 12 December 2014 by the Ministry of Science and Technology governing the administration of basic research funding program of National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-do-bo-ban-hanh/)
– Decision No. 151/QD-HDQL-NAFOSTED dated on 09 August 2019 by NAFOSTED’s Board of Trustees approving List of prestigious international, ISI, and national journals in natural sciences and engineering for NAFOSTED’s funding programs (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-quy-ban-hanh/)
– List of NAFOSTED basic research orientations in natural sciences, promulgated along with Decision No 256/QĐ-HĐQLQ dated on 20 December 2019 by NAFOSTED’s Board of Trustees (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-quy-ban-hanh/)
– Joint Circular No. 55/2015/TTLT-BTC-BKHCN dated on 22 April 2015 by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology guiding norms for constructing and allocating cost estimates and settlement for scientific projects using state budget (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-co-quan-khac/)
– Joint Circular No. 27/2015/TTLT-BKHCN-BTC dated on 30 December 2015 by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology regulating funding allocation for conducting scientific projects using state budget in accordance with Decree No. 95/2014/ND-CP governing the investment and financial administration of science and technology activities (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-co-quan-khac/)
– Joint Circular No. 71/2018/TT-BTC dated on 10 August 2018 by Ministry of Finance governing the allowances for welcoming and receiving foreign delegation into Vietnam, and for organizing international workshops/conferences in Vietnam (https://nafosted.gov.vn/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-TT-71-2018-Hoi-nghi-doan-ra-doan-vao-1.pdf)
– Circular No. 40/2017/TT-BTC dated on 28 April 2017 by Ministry of Finance guiding cost-norms for domestic travelling and conference organization (https://nafosted.gov.vn/van-ban-co-quan-khac/)
– Circular No 109/2016/TT-BTC dated on 30 June 2016 by Ministry of Finance on prescribing estimation, management, use and statement of funding for statistical surveys and national statistical censuses.
10. Guidelines on preparing proposal budget:
Applying the Joint Circular No. 55/2015/TTLT-BTC-BKHCN of 22rd April 2015 of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology guiding norms for constructing and allocating cost estimates and settlement for scientific projects using state budget
1. NAFOSTED provides guidelines on preparing proposal budget for basic research in the fields of Natural Sciences and Engineering as below:
1.1. Labor costs: Being calculated base on the number of working days for each research team member.
1.2. Labor costs for hiring domestic and foreign experts to work on a project: Not applicable under basic research.
1.3. Fixed asset purchase and repair costs: Previously, NAFOSTED only funds for small and necessary research devices that are directly used for project activities. During merit review and evaluation, NAFOSTED prioritizes the host organizations that fully meet requirements on physical facilities and equipment to proceed their proposed research. Any subcontracts for purchasing equipment must comply with regulations specified in Decree No. 70/2018/ND-CP dated on 15 May 2018 by the Government governing the management and use of assets generated from the execution of scientific and technological tasks supported by State Budget.
1.4. Sending delegations abroad: Not applicable under basic research. If there is an urge need for sending delegations abroad, the research team must prepare a separate proposal and submit to “NAFOSTED support program for national science and technology competency enhancement” in accordance with Circular No. 09/2015/TT/BKHCN dated on 15th May 2015 by Ministry of Science and Technology.
2. Applying Joint circular No. 27/2015/TTLT-BKHCN-BTC dated on 30th December 2015 by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology regulating funding allocation for conducting scientific projects using state budget in accordance with Decree No. 95/2014/ND-CP governing the investment and financial administration for science and technology activities as below:
In order to be considered and approved funding as regulated in the above Circular, PI should demonstrate their intentions for applying partly or full administrative expense allocation in Project Registration Form (Form NCCB 01 and NCCB 01E).
NAFOSTED shall consider the accounting framework of full administrative expense allocation if a proposal meets all following conditions:
(1) Host organizations, PI explain and propose to apply full administrative expense allocation for their proposals;
(2) Total budget withdrew from State budget used for repairing, and purchasing fixed assets and sending delegations abroad shall not occupy more than 15% of total state budget for the whole project and shall not exceed VND 1 billion;
(3) NAFOSTED Scientific Committee(s) approves that the project(s) can apply full administrative expense allocation after peer review and evaluation.
11. Excellent research team’s application
Besides regular basic research project, NAFOSTED also fund for research project carried out by excellent research team. Regulations on the excellent research team are stated in the Circular No. 37/2014/TT-BKHCN as below:
11.1. Requirement for excellent research team’s application
For an excellent research team, apart from regular requirements as mentioned in article 4 of this announcement, the research team must fulfill the followings:
a) The PI must have relevant research results published on prestigious ISI journals within the last 5 years from the submission date, being able to gather large number of researchers with high level of expertise for the project and maintain frequent scientific collaboration with international research team of the same field;
b) Having at least 02 key members who meet the regular requirements of a PI;
c) Host institution must have sufficient facilities and research capacity, as well as commits to support the research team during conduction time of the project.
11.2. Requirements on research results by an excellent research team
The results of a project to be done by an excellent research team must include at least 02 articles published on prestigious ISI journal and one article published on prestigious national journal. The PI must be the corresponding or first author of at least one article published on prestigious ISI journal, which is the research result of the project.
Time and budget for conducting project as an excellent research team shall be requested by the PI based on the research topic and work volumne of the project.
Applications for excellent research team but failed to meet the requirements mentioned at Articles 11.1 and 11.2 shall not be re-considered as regular basic research project.
– PI of basic research projects that are being funded by NAFOTED but submitted report for final assessment of the ongoing project before 30 June 2021 are eligible to apply for the call of 2021.
– Host or supporting organizations must be a registered scientific and technological organization with independent legal standing, legal seal and its own No. 3713 account at Vietnam State Treasury.
– It is required to prepare proposals in compliance with NAFOSTED regulations. Any proposal lacks requisite information, fails to comply with standard forms, or have differences between the Vietnamese and English version shall be refused for review and evaluation.
– A scientist could not apply more than 01 project proposal in the same call.