Statement of the GACR Presidium to the announced public tenders to support projects with the expected start of implementation in the year 2021

In the context of the coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic, the scientific community warns that the announcement of a state of emergency disrupts the preparation of project proposals in the currently announced public tenders.

In an effort to respond to the current state of emergency and to accommodate as much as possible all researchers, the GACR Presidium has decided to cancel public tenders in research, development and innovation to support the EXPRO, JUNIOR STAR, standard and international bilateral projects announced by the Czech Science Foundation on 21 February 2020 in the Business Register (with the beginning of the competition period on February 22, 2020 and the end of the competition period on April 7, 2020) with the anticipated start of the implementation from January 1, 2021 and at the same time GA CR Presidium further decided on the immediate re-announcement of all these tenders in research, development and innovation from today with the expected implementation to begin on January 1, 2021.

The conditions of the newly announced public tenders in research, development and innovation will be identical to the conditions of the cancelled public tenders. By cancelling and re-announcing the tenders, the Czech Science Foundation meets the request of a large part of the scientific community for an extension to the period for submitting project proposals until 4 May 2020. This would otherwise not be possible within the current legal framework of the Act on Support of Research, Development and Innovation.

After careful consideration and consultation with representatives of research organizations, the GACR Presidium chooses this solution and these terms. This will ensure the extension of the submission period whilst keeping to the original deadlines for the evaluation (i.e. 2 November 2020 for the EXPRO and JUNIOR STAR projects and 1 December 2020 for standard grant projects and international bilateral projects).

Neither the period of uncertainty for organizations and research teams nor the beginning of project implementation will need to be extended to the following year. The Czech Science Foundation thus acts with maximum effort to maintain continuity of basic research funding as well as to provide more time for project proposal preparation to all applicants.

The GACR Presidium is aware of the fact, that it will only be possible to fulfil these commitments with the maximum effort of both evaluators and the GA CR Office staff and believes that this decision will be accepted by the scientific community with understanding.

Thank you for your understanding.