An LBI offers excellent scientists the necessary freedom for outstanding research.
The Call 2023 is closed. The selected LBIs will be presented at the beginning of October 2023.
The aim of the call 2023 is to establish two LBIs. The fulfilment of all formal criteria is a prerequisite for forwarding the applications to the reviewers.
Our 2nd webinar with detailled information for applicants and introduction to the LBG submission portal was held on 28 March 2023. You can access the presentation here.
The LBI model
The focus of the research work of all LBIs is the scientific examination of the solution of societal problems and issues.
Excellent research in the field of Health Sciences
Health Sciences is an umbrella term for all disciplines concerned with health and is broad in LBG’s interpretation. The health sciences cover the spectrum from medical research to health system research, and from basic research to implementation. The focus is on human health, taking into account real factors of influence – such as the health system, the environment, the world of work or communication. Building on classic areas such as biostatistics, epidemiology, immunology, infectiology, metabolism, pharmacology, nutritional and behavioural sciences, etc., cross-cutting topics such as prevention, rehabilitation, environmental medicine or public health are also to be addressed.
Scientific excellence and translational research
A guiding principle is the focus on “People, not projects”. The focus is on excellent scientists (Institute Directors) who are able to generate new questions and carry out their research permanently at a high level of quality. Scientific excellence should also be demonstrated by the proposed research project of the LBI through its combination of subject matter, personnel, ambition and scientific approach. The proposed research should address important challenges, have ambitious goals and go beyond the state-of-the-art (e.g. novel concepts and approaches or developments between or across disciplines). At the latest by the end of the term of an LBI, the results of the excellent research should reach an application or uptake in society.
Research in LBIs is conducted in a partnership between, on the one hand, traditionally research-performing organisations (universities, private universities, non-university research organisations, etc.) and, on the other hand, traditionally research-applying organisations (“application partners” such as companies, public administration, medical and social care institutions, insurance companies, interest groups and umbrella organisations, NGOs, charitable institutions, etc.).
All details on the current call can be found in the application guidelines.
The Institute Director submits the application together with the Host Institution. A Host Institution serves as “home” to the new Ludwig Boltzmann Institute. This includes all Austrian universities according to the Universities Act BGBl. I No. 120/2002 as amended and private universities according to the Private Universities Act BGBl. I No. 77/2020 as amended.
An application to establish a Ludwig Boltzmann Institute must describe concisely:
- the qualifications of the Institute Director;
- the research programme;
- the programme lines;
- the aims and methods;
- the budget plan;
- the qualifications of the Research Group Leaders and Adjunct PI;
- the consortium as well as theresearch environment/ecosystem in which the LBI will be embedded;
- and the intended impact of the research.
The application and all supporting documents must be written in English due to the international peer review process. All dates and deadlines for submitting applications, as well as required forms and templates, are available via the LBG website.
The expert jury
The expert jury provides strategic and operational support for the review process. It comprises the following highly distinguished international scientific experts:
- Chair: Prof. Karolin Luger, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
- Prof. Frank Kee, Belfast University, UK
- Martijntje Bakker, Director VeiligheidNL, NL
- Prof. Sonia Johnson, University College London, UK
- Prof. Jakob Zinsstag, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, CH
- Prof. Genevieve Almouzni, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Institut Curie, FR
- Prof. Yang Shi, University of Oxford, Ludwig Cancer Research, UK
At the hearing, the following experts will also evaluate criteria for career advancement and OIS/Citizen Science/Outreach methods.
- Career expert: Manuela Egloff, Independent Personal and Business Consultant, DEU
- Open Innovation Science expert: Marte Sybil Kessler, Stifterverband, DEU
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Last Updated 07/03/2023
Funding and Costs
1. Is the €75k for adjunct PIs meant as a gross sum or rather per year?
Adjunct PIs may be provided with budgetary packages of up to 75,000 euro per year, for e.g. a predoc position or research material.
2. Is the salary based on the FWF Scheme?
The salaries should be based on the appropriate schemes e.g. FWF, university collective.
3. Does VAT count as eligible costs?
VAT is an eligible cost. VAT would not be an eligible cost for tax deductible organisations. However, this does not apply to LBG and its associated LBIs.
4. Are the 40% institutional costs (calculated on personal costs) part of the 1.5 M€ maximum budget?
Yes, the reimbursement to the host institution, as calculated as 40% on personnel costs of direct employees at the LBG, is included in the 1.5 million Euros per year.
1. The guidelines state that team members will be employed by LBG. How about people already employed at universities joining the team? They have to quit their job there and get a new contract for these 7 (maybe +3 years) at LBG?
All staff except people on tenure track positions, clinical staff and PhD students will be employed at the LBG. However, there is also the possibility that existent staff can be brought into the LBI as in-kind personnel. Alternatively, split positions may be an option.
2. Can there also be part time employees or only full time.
There can be part time and full time employees in the LBI.
Eligibility criteria for Institute Director
1. Is an application as Institute Director and the associated 75% time commitment at the LBG compatible with the (minimum) working time requirements of any existing excellence third-party funded projects (such as ERC Grant)?
In justified cases of existing obligations from excellence funding programs, agreements compatible with the multiple requirements can be made if the application for an LBI is successful.
2. Is PhD a prerequisite for applying as an Institute Director?
We are guided by the ERC Policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees. People with doctoral degrees equivalent to that of a PhD are eligible to apply as Institute Directors.
A medical doctor degree will not be accepted by itself as equivalent to a PhD award, however medical doctors need to provide the certificates of both a medical doctor degree and a PhD or proof of an appointment that requires doctoral equivalency (e.g. post-doctoral fellowship, professorship appointment) and provide information on their research experience. In these cases, the certified date of the medical doctor degree completion plus two years is the time reference for calculation of the eligibility time-window (min. 6 years and max. 17 years past medical doctor degree).
3. How do you calculate the years after PhD completion?
We are guided by the ERC Policy on this. For people who have multiple doctoral degrees (e.g. MD and PhD), the date of the earliest degree that makes the applicant eligible takes precedence in the calculation of the eligibility time-window (min. 4 years and max. 15 years after PhD or min. 6 years and max. 17 years past medical doctor degree).
4. What type of interruptions can be considered when calculating the years of experience since completion of PhD?
Work experience may have been interrupted and extended accordingly for documented circumstances, such as parental leave, clinical training, long-term illness, or military service (to be duly documented). Applicants can include any event that they consider relevant and that can be documented. The expert jury will decide on a case-by-case basis.
1. Is the focus on supporting young careers? How do you factor in the fact that a scientist with 15 years experience has likely more grants more impact/excellence publications than someone with 7 years experience?
The reviewers will take the career stage into account when evaluating the scientific contributions.
1. Can participating institutions be located within Austria as well as outside of Austria?
Partner organisations and network partners can be from Austria or abroad.
2. What is the influence of the advisory board and the partner organisation on the research programs? Or put the other way around: how autonomous/free is the Institute Director in the development of the research program done at the new LBI?
The Institute Director is quite autonomous in the development of the research programme. There are yearly partner board meetings where the Institute Director discusses with partners the progress of the LBI.
The scientific advisory board has a supportive role in the development of the LBI.
Organisation of LBI
1. Could you give an example of programme lines within the LBI? I suppose this goes much further than e.g. work packages in a research project?
Programme lines may be defined as appropriate for the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute. They could encompass different thematic focuses or different scientific disciplines.