Call for proposals – funding of up to 2 million euros

June 10th, 2015

The Romanian Institute of Science and Technology invites applications for research projects to be funded with up to 2 million euros for up to 4 years with European structural funds awarded by the Romanian National Authority for Research and Innovation. The current call is targeted to fund projects led by scientists having research or doctoral experience outside Romania.

Our institute welcomes scientists working in all fields of science, but we prefer projects from the following areas:

  • – Machine learning (with a focus on general artificial intelligence, Bayesian approaches, deep learning, curiosity-based learning, and recurrent neural networks), robotics, computer science, information & communication technology; with applications in: analyzing and managing big data, internet of things, internet of the future, agricultural robotics, waste sorting robotics, autonomous driving, autonomous transportation, intelligent cities, technologies and methods for software development, new computational models, personalized therapy;
  • – Neuroscience; with applications in new computational models, research in neurodegenerative and neuroinflamatory diseases, agriculture, husbandry, and fisheries.

The project may include basic research, but must include a component of applied research. The project must target, as a potential application field, one of the areas mentioned above, or another area included in this list.

Scientists are invited to send us an expression of interest to lead such a project (in English or Romanian) at by June 30, 2015 (extended deadline), including an abstract of the project, a CV and a list of publications, or links to webpages including this information. Following the approval, scientists will write the applications with the administrative assistance of our staff and the institute will submit the applications for assessment to the National Authority for Research and Innovation.

The deadline for the institute to submit the final applications is September 1, 2015 (extended deadline). Sufficient time should be allocated before this deadline for the institute’s staff to process the proposals provided by the scientists and submit the full applications. An intermediary deadline for scientists to submit the applications to the institute, most likely August 15, 2015, will be established as a function of the number of approved expressions of interest.

The current program will fund projects that will be led by scientists having a PhD and at least 5 years of research experience, out of which at least 3 years of research experience outside Romania (possibly including doctoral or postdoctoral studies). About 50 projects will be funded. We expect competition to be relatively low, because, unlike our institute, most universities and institutes in Romania are public, with organizational structures and incentives that typically lead to lack of openness to competitive scientists coming from abroad.

The project can fund personnel, travel to conferences, equipment, intellectual property, research services, rental of terrain, consumables, etc. If the grant is awarded, the project leader should come to Romania, hire the project’s team and lead the project within our institute. The project leader may be present in Romania only for a fraction of her/his work time (e.g., 3-6 months per year), while for the rest of the time the project may be led remotely.

Detailed information about the programme (English)
Detailed information about the programme (Romanian)

Other information, currently available in Romanian only:


Q: Does this call apply to scientists that are not currently working in Romania / that are not Romanian / that are not citizens to an EU country?

A: Yes, this call is open to all scientists, regardless of current place of work / citizenship / nationality, who have a PhD and at least 5 years of research experience, out of which at least 3 years of research experience outside Romania.

Q: When will projects start?

A: The results of the call are supposed to be known on December 11, 2015. Delays may happen, and signing of contracts will also take some time. February – April 2016 is a plausible timeframe for the start of the projects.

Q: What are the rules for the minimum time that the project director should spend in Romania?

The project director must work on the project for the time representing at least 50% of a full time employment over the project duration (and the project director will be paid for this work time). The project director must be present in Romania, in our institute, for at least 50% of the time he/she will work on the project. For example, for a project duration of 48 months, the project director must work on the project full time (8 hours per working day) for at least 24 months, out of which in our institute in Romania for at least 12 months; or the project director must work on the project half time (4 hours per working day) for the entire period of 48 months, out of which in Romania for at least 24 months.

Q: What are the researchers’ salaries?

A: The project director will decide the salaries included in the project’s direct costs, in accordance to the limits of the project’s budget and the maximum limits set by the funding programme, listed below:

Net salary (euros monthly) Gross salary (includes social security, health insurance and other charges paid by the employee; euros monthly) Total cost to be budgeted (includes social security, health insurance and other charges paid by both the employee and the employer; euros monthly)
Project director 3054 4300 5281
Postdoc, scientist 2059 2900 3562
PhD student 1349 1900 2333
Technician 710 1000 1228

The cost of living in Cluj-Napoca is significantly lower than the one in Western Europe or the USA (see, e.g., Numbeo).