Estonian Research Council Personal and Post-Doctoral Research Grants 2017

Publish Date: Mar 22, 2017

Deadline: May 05, 2017

About grants

Personal research funding means funding or for a high level research and development project of a person or a research group working in a research and development institution. 

Personal research funding comprises three categories of grants corresponding to different levels of research career:

A postdoctoral research grant is a grant to support launching a research career of persons with a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification at strong research and development institutions or high level research groups. There are two types of postdoctoral grants:

  • a grant for a postdoctoral researcher coming to Estonia;
  • a grant for a postdoctoral researcher going abroad. 

A start-up research grant is a grant to support the researchers with initial research experience to launch independent research career at an Estonian R&D institution, to set up their research group and to contribute to furthering the next generation (incl doctoral candidates) of researchers. 

A team grant is a grant to support researchers in continuing their research career at an Estonian R&D institution, ensuring high level research, leading a strong research group and furthering the next generation (incl doctoral candidates) of researchers.

Siret Rutiku
Head, Department of Research Funding
+372 731 7381


The call for personal research funding applications in 2017 will open on 1 April 2017 and close at 17:00 hours Estonian time on 5 May 2017.

NB! The application is submitted only after the institution has confirmed it via ETIS. Please follow the deadlines of your institution.

NB! The information days will be

  • on 28th March 12-14 pm (in Estonian) in Tartu, Dorpat Conference Centre (Turu 2) Baer Hall
  • on 28th March 14-16 pm (in English) in Tartu, Dorpat Conference Centre (Turu 2) Baer Hall
  • on 29th March 12-14 pm (in Estonian) in Tallinn, Estonian Academy of Sciences (Kohtu 6)

Fixed Grant Volumes for Personal Research Funding

The management Board of the Council shall set the fixed grant volumes for postdoctoral, start-up and team grants for every year as well as the relocation allowance in case of postdoctoral grants.

As the basis for setting the grant volumes is the calculated amount of direct expenses corresponding to the grant type (postdoctoral, start-up or team grant). Overhead expenses will be added to the direct expenses.

The direct expenses consist of personnel costs (remuneration of employees and research scholarships of students) and research related costs (depending on the specifics of the research field or methods involved). Based on the estimated personnel costs, the grants are either small or large ones (in case of a start-up grant, the estimated wages for 1-2 FTE persons; in case of a team grant, 2-5 FTE persons). Depending on the specifics of a research field, the small and large grants are divided into experimental and non-experimental (the former have higher estimated research related costs than the latter).

The calculation of direct expenses is based on the assumption that personnel costs generally make up 60% of the direct expenses and research related costs 40%. This is a calculated ratio and is not fixed for calculating the real expenditure of a research project.

The calculated grant volume should generally cover all the project related expenses.

The justification of personnel costs serves as the basis for the grant type applied for (why is it necessary to involve the number of primary or other staff as listed in the application, i.e. what are their roles and tasks, what is the role of students to be involved), what are the planned research related costs, and which expenses justify the experimental nature of the grant.

The applicant of a start-up or team grant has the right to request a smaller grant amount than the fixed grant volume.

In the grant reports, the Principal Investigators have to show only the volume of personnel and research related costs, which may vary over the grant period. Personnel costs must be broken into wages and scholarships; in case of research related costs no breakdown is requested. The continuance part of the report should indicate the division of personnel costs and research related costs for the next budget year. The division of expenses need not be the same compared to the previous year but correspond to the planned activities.

The fixed grant volume will be the same over the years, except in case when the Principal Investigator requests a smaller grant type. In case the project is a fixed small volume grant, it is not possible to apply for a large grant in the continuance part of the annual report. As an exception are grants, which, upon the request of the applicant, are smaller in the first year and whereby the re-establishment of the fixed grant volume is requested.

Fixed grant volumes apply for all applications of personal research funding submitted in 2017.

Postdoctoral grant

The budget for the postdoctoral project shall be drawn for the whole period.

The following direct expenses serve as the basis for fixed grant volume of a postdoctoral project:

  • Personnel costs (wages of postdoctoral fellow along with any and all state taxes, contributions, benefits and compensation arising from law), and

  • Research related costs (travel costs, subcontracting costs, costs relating to the publication and popularisation of results of R&D obtained by way of implementing the project, and expenses relating to the protection of intellectual property as well as other research related direct costs based on the characteristics of the project).

Overhead expenses of the postdoctoral grant are ongoing operational expenses incurred by the host institution related to the management of the grant by the institution and providing a high quality research environment for the project participants. Overhead costs are 25% of direct expenses in case of an incoming postdoctoral grant and 5% in case of an outgoing postdoctoral grant.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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