CLOSED – Internal invitation to submit proposals for the development of the CERIC research infrastructure


Art. 5 of CERIC-ERIC Statutes states that CERIC’s objective shall be to contribute to European top-level research and technological development and demonstration programs and projects, thus representing an added value for the development of the European Research Area (ERA). It should also further the integration of national multidisciplinary analytical, synthesis and sample preparation capabilities of Partner Facilities operating mainly in the Central European Area, into a unique, EU-level Distributed Research Infrastructure, open to researchers at world level.

With this mission in mind, the General Assembly has approved investment in the CERIC-ERIC Research Infrastructure. To implement it, CERIC is publishing this internal Invitation to collect proposals from its Members for the development of the research infrastructure available in the Partner Facilities that will contribute to their improvement, promoting the further integration of the national resources and contributing to the development of the European Research Area.

Goal and scope of the invitation

The objective of this Invitation is to select a proposal for a large research infrastructure development designed and implemented by the interested CERIC Partner Facilities. The goals can be summarized as follows:

  • To advance the quality and variety of the instrumental offer of the CERIC consortium, for example, by enhancing the functionalities of existing RIs, by setting up a new beamline, etc. If relevant, the proposal should also include information on how will the operation costs be covered, for the five years following the construction.
  • To further the integration of the Partner Facilities into a unique European Research Infrastructure.
  • To pool resources available across the CERIC member countries, thus contributing to coherence and decrease the fragmentation of the RI landscape in Europe.

The amount foreseen is up to 2,000,000 EUR, optimally used to co-fund one proposal, although the possibility of co-funding several smaller ones is not excluded. Proposals might involve supporting either the purchase of the complete equipment or of the parts needed for its construction, in which case they should be based on an integral Technical and implementation Design. While, typically, the project should ideally be completed within 2 years from the signing of the contract, although longer periods may be proposed, if well justified.

Who can apply

The proposal should be submitted by the Director of a CERIC Partner Facility, with the Director of the Representing entity co-signing the application. While single applicant proposals are also possible, collaborative proposals, bringing together two or more members are preferred. In any case the proposal should have a wider impact than on a single Partner Facility or Country. The infrastructure development may be proposed jointly with non-CERIC institutions.

Each facility can submit up to three proposals, but it is advised to provide a priority between multiple proposals.


The International Scientific and Technology Advisory Committee of CERIC (ISTAC) will be in charge of the assessments of proposals. If needed, it may invite external experts to provide an opinion. A one-page assessment of the proposal by the CERIC Central Administration will also be submitted to ISTAC for their consideration. The evaluators will only consider proposals able to demonstrate:

  • Sustainability. Proposals should present a credible plan of how the operation of the new facility will be funded and sustained.
  • Undisputed added value for all of the co-funding Member States and CERIC as a whole.
  • Proposals missing this requirement will not be considered for funding.

The ISTAC will formulate their recommendations based on the following criteria:

  • The expected impact of the proposed infrastructure on the overall scientific and technical quality and capability of CERIC, including the share of the time foreseen for the CERIC open access. Of particular interest are uniqueness of the proposed RI on global level and complementarity with the present offer of CERIC. Other impacts, such as the opportunities to stimulate the setting up of industrial activities in the CERIC Countries or of socio-economic returns will also be considered.
  • The expected impact on the integration of the Partner Facilities.
  • Amount of the complementary funding raised and resources made available (e.g. personnel, other instruments…) for the implementation of the proposal. Resources need to be to be additionally allocated for the purpose of the implementation of the proposal by a Funding body, Representing Entity, or third parties), as demonstrated by the submitted Commitment letters. Commitments by participating Member States are strongly encouraged.
  • The quality and clear structure of the proposed project and its implementation.

The first criterion will be preponderant.

It will be possible to submit a three-pages proposal within two months from the publication of the call, to have an assessment of the eligibility and appropriateness of the concept, before the full development of the proposal.

Following the assessment, ISTAC may decide to engage in a discussion with shortlisted proposals in order to contribute to its content and formulate its recommendation to the General Assembly. The ISTAC may decide not to propose any proposal for funding.

General Assembly will take the decision on the proposal/s to fund, optimally in the October 2018 meeting.

Eligibility criteria

The proposals must be submitted by the Director of a CERIC Partner Facility. All proposals must be complete and be submitted before the relevant deadline. Proposals exceeding the maximum budget specified for the CERIC-ERIC contribution or incomplete may be considered ineligible.

Eligible costs

The proposal must give a full account of the costs of the overall project, from design to implementation, including the part to be charged on the CERIC contribution and the costs of resources contributed in-kind (e.g. for the design and preparatory studies.) and ‘in cash’ by the hosting institution or third parties. Eligible costs for the CERIC contribution are limited to durable equipment and consumables. If absolutely needed for the construction and/or installation of the infrastructure, temporary personnel costs are eligible to a maximum extent of 1 FTE per year with the possibility to include a reasonable budget for travel of this FTE. External costs e.g. needed for the installation are also eligible. External services and overheads are not eligible costs and are considered in-kind contributions by the proposing Facilities.

All the purchases funded with CERIC contribution will be done by CERIC central administration.

Ownership and the share of operational costs covered by the co-funding parties (including CERIC) will be a part of the implementation contract concluded between the parties.


All documents must be sent by email to

The proposals must be submitted on the template in annex to the present call, together with the Commitment letters demonstrating the additional funds raised.

The deadline for submission is 6.9.2018 24h CE.

Three-page proposals for pre-evaluation may be submitted by 10.04.2018 (or date of BOD 2018.2)

For further information or questions regarding the Call please contact Replies will be published on a dedicated CERIC web page (