Evaluation based on the Lead Agency principle (LA projects)


Projects evaluated on the principle of Lead Agency are among the increasingly preferred forms of cooperation between foreign agencies supporting basic research due to reduction of administrative burden. Projects duration is 3 years. Project proposals from all fields of basic research can be submitted. Czech applicant determines the project topic in cooperation with foreign applicant. Applicants process and submit only one grant project based on the call of the partner agencies, which is evaluated by the bodies of the partner agency acting in the Lead Agency role. The evaluation process is based on an international peer review system. Lead Agency informs the partner agency of the evaluation result and proposes project funding to the partner agency. The evaluation system on Lead Agency principle is based on mutual trust of the partner agencies. Each national provider finances activities connected to the parts of project within his own territory.


Projects duration is maximum 3 years.
Projects with well-founded cooperation of teams from the Czech Republic and partner countries.
All scientific fields and disciplines of basic research are included.
Scientific teams are financed by their national agencies.
Budgets are reflecting the principles of international cooperation (budget is not limited on any side, but its needs must be described).
Grant project proposals are submitted for evaluation to only one of the agencies (Lead Agency).
Evaluation system is based on peer review.
Recommendation for Lead Agency funding serve as a basis for GACR decision, unless GACR is in the role of Lead Agency.
When carrying out the grant projects, national laws and regulations in force apply (in the case of the Czech Republic, the Act on the Support of Research and Development; the Act on Accounting etc.)


12 national research funding organisations, with the support of Science Europe, launch on December 18, 2020, Weave, a cross-European initiative to fund and support excellent international research projects. It is the first time a large network of this scale has developed an initiative of this kind to enable bilateral and trilateral scientific cooperation in Europe.


CEUS - logo

On 17 June 2019, the highest representatives of GACR, FWF (Austria), NCN (Poland) and ARRS (Slovenia) signed the “CEUS – Central European Science Partnership” Lead Agency Agreement: Memorandum of Understanding on the unilateral administration and mutual recognition of evaluation procedures. This new cooperation enables scientists from the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Slovenia to carry out scientific projects with new foreign partners. Within the CEUS initiative for support of basic research in the Central European region, scientists will be enabled to submit bilateral and also trilateral project proposals on Lead Agency principle. The main criterion for determination of Lead Agency is the agreement of international scientific team on the origin of leading idea, which will become a subject of research of the grant project and the international team’s budget amount, via which the project proposal is submitted. Based on these “Lead” criteria, scientists determine the national LA agency that will evaluate the project proposal.

On 14 October 2019, the government approved the document on International grant projects evaluated on Lead Agency principle (LA grants), thanks to which it is possible to start this cooperation.



Austria – FWF (CEUS)

FWF - logo

On 27 May 2013, The Czech Science Foundation (GACR) signed an agreement on cooperation in basic research with the Austrian agency Funds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) on the occasion of GRC Summit in Berlin.
The first call for project proposals based on this principle was announced in 2013.
In connection to the launch of cooperation under the CEUS initiative, the cooperation with the Austrian agency is moving under the new rules adopted under the CEUS partnership. These rules will be published in January 2020.


Dr. Christoph Bärenreuther
+43 (0)1 / 505 67 40 – 8702
Mojca Boc
+386 1 400 5971
Magdalena Godowska, PhD
+48 12 341 9016



Switzerland – SNSFFNSNF - logo

On 27 November 2019, GACR signed an agreement on cooperation in basic research with the Swiss agency Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) on the occasion of Science Europe General Assembly in Brussels.
The Czech Science Foundation agreed with the Swiss partner organization, that in 2020, the Swiss agency will be in the role of Lead Agency. The first call for project proposals based on this principle was announced in 2019. The starting date of carrying out the projects funded in the first call is the year 2021.
The last day for submitting the project proposals is set by the Swiss agency on 1 April 2020 at 17:00. In agreement with SNSF, the rules of project submission, as well as GRIS application, will be available from January 2020.


Paul Pignat
Division Social Sciences and Humanities
+41 31 308 22 22
Jana Segmehl
Division Mathematics, Natural and Engineering Sciences
+41 31 308 22 22
Barbara Schellenberg
Division Biology and Medicine
+41 31 308 22 22


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