Frequently Asked Questions


General questions about the Programme SASPRO

What is the Programme SASPRO?

The programme SASPRO is a mobility programme of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), which offers scientists from abroad to employ in scientific organisations of SAS.

Who is Programme SASPRO dedicated for?

Programme SASPRO is dedicated for experienced scientists from abroad, who are in possession of PhD degree or equivalent title and whose professional experience is maximum 14 years after obtaining a PhD or equivalent degree. Programme SASPRO is divided into two mobility schemes, each of which is dedicated for a different type of scientists:
  • Reintegration scheme – is dedicated for Slovak nationals who have carried out their main activity in the Third countries at least 3 years prior to the application submission and who have resided or carried out their main activity in the Slovak Republic for maximum 3 months prior to the application submission;
  • Incoming scheme - is dedicated for researchers who have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Slovak Republic for more than 12 months in the last 3 years prior to the application submission.

What does Programme SASPRO offer?

It is possible to receive financing of fellowship under the Programme SASPRO, while funded scientist must enter into a contract with one of the scientific organisations of the SAS (host organisation). Funding includes funding of salary, mobility allowance/travel allowance, contribution to research costs and funding of indirect costs of scientific organisation.

How is funded the Programme SASPRO?

The Programme SASPRO has two sources of funding. The first is funding of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, which makes up 60% of the total Programme SASPRO budget and other sources of funds are from the European Union (EU) received from the scheme "Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND)", which is part of the Marie Curie Actions, EU 7th Framework Programme. EU contribution can be maximum 40% of the total Programme SASPRO budget.

Which organisations can be the host organisations?

Host organisations may only be the scientific organisations of the SAS. Their list along with links to their websites are listed in the Contact section.

Eligibility criteria

Who is eligible to submit an application to the Programme SASPRO?

Scientist who are in possession of PhD degree or an equivalent degree, and at the time of submitting of the application has no more than 14 years of working experience after obtaining a PhD degree or equivalent title may submit an application to the Programme SASPRO. Furthermore, the eligibility criteria for the scientist varies according to the selected scheme of mobility:
  • Incoming scheme- dedicated for researchers who have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Slovak Republic for more than 12 months in the last 3 years prior to the application submission.
  • Reintegration scheme – dedicated for Slovak nationals who have carried out their main activity in the Third countries at least 3 years prior to the application submission and who have resided or carried out their main activity in the Slovak Republic for maximum 3 months prior to the application submission.

Can Slovak nationals apply under the Programme SASPRO through the scheme Incoming?

Yes, Slovak nationals are eligible applicants within the mobility scheme Incoming if they comply with all criteria set by this scheme.

Will be the duration of maternity leave/parental leave/military service etc. taken into account when calculating the duration of work experience after obtaining a PhD degree or equivalent title?

Career break shall be taken into account in justified events. However, it should be supported with relevant confirmation document or a solemn declaration. Justification of career break and its duration is performed by the Evaluation Committee of the Programme SASPRO.

What are the fields of science in which the application to the Programme SASPRO can be submitted?

The applicant is fully responsible for selecting a field of science in which shall be the application submitted. Scientific field must correspond with the focus of selected host organisation.Some fields are excluded from funding for ethical reasons.

What formal and technical requirements must meet the application?

The application must be written in English, must be submitted electronically through the system for applications, must be sent before the deadline for submission of applications and must include all requirements, as described in the Guide for applicants.

Who evaluates the compliance with formal and technical requirements?

Monitoring the compliance with formal and technical requirements is part of the first round of the evaluation of applications, and it is the responsibility of designated staff of the Department of Research and Development of the SAS Office. Designated staff consequently informs the relevant Evaluation Committee of the Programme SASPRO, which will decide whether to reject the application due to failure in formal and technical requirements.

Is it possible to correct errors in the application?

In the event that the deficiencies in the application which can be removed were found in the first round of evaluation, the applicant will be asked to remove them within a specified period. If the applicant shall not remove criticized deficiencies within a specified period, or he/she eventually will not remove them in accordance with the recommendations contained in a deficiency letter, the application is rejected in the first round of evaluation. It is not possible to make changes in the application in the second round of evaluation.

Can the application be submitted to the Programme SASPRO, even if does not meet some of the eligibility criteria?

Meeting the eligibility criteria is necessary in order to evaluate the application in the second round of evaluation. If during the first round of evaluations the failure in the eligibility criteria is revealed, the application will be rejected.

Can I submit the application to the Programme SASPRO, although currently being a holder of another Marie Curie Actions grant?

No, it is not allowed to simultaneously receive several grants financed or co-financed by Marie Curie Actions.

How is the equivalence of titles compared to PhD title assessed?

Equivalence of titles is assessed according to ERC standards and in compliance with Slovak legislation.

The evaluation criteria

What are the main evaluation criteria for the Programme SASPRO?

There are 4 main evaluation criteria: the quality of the applicant, the quality of the project, the quality of the host organisation and the anticipated impact of fellowship. All these main criteria are divided into sub-criteria, which serve as a guide for evaluators, but also for the applicants to be able to focus during to the preparation of the application on the essential parts. All major criteria with sub-criteria are set out in the Statute of the Programme SASPRO.

Are all evaluation criteria taken into account equally?

Evaluators assign score to the evaluation criteria – each criterion receives score from 0 to 5. Moreover each criterion is weighted:
  • criterion "Applicant" - 30%
  • criterion "Project" - 25%
  • criterion "Host organisation" - 25%
  • criterion "Anticipated impact" - 20%

Who assesses compliance with the main evaluation criteria?

Fulfilling the main evaluation criteria will be assessed in the second round of evaluation. Each application will be assessed by three independent evaluators, who assign score to each criterion and write verbal comments. Evaluations obtained are then negotiated by the Evaluation Committee of the Programme SASPRO.

Is it needed to reach a certain minimum threshold for the number of points for the criterion?

The minimum threshold for each criterion was set at 70%. This means that if the application has not reached even in a single evaluation criterion the set minimum threshold, this application cannot be funded.

Who will be invited to the interview?

Only applicants whose applications achieve at least threshold (70% of the maximum score) for each criterion in the evaluators' assessment will be invited to the interview and presentation of their projects (possibly replaced by the video-conference). Also directors of the suggested host organisations will be present at the interview.

Evaluation Committees and experts

How many Evaluation Committees are there in the Programme SASPRO and what are they specialized in?

There are three Evaluation Committees in the Programme SASPRO:
  • Evaluation Committee for Physical, Space, Earth and Engineering Sciences;
  • Evaluation Committee for Life, Chemical, Medical and Environmental Sciences;
  • Evaluation Committee for Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts and Culture.

Who are the members of the Evaluation Committees of the Programme SASPRO?

The members of the Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committees are renowned foreign and Slovak scientists, who guarantee an objective and well-founded evaluation. Chairman of the Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committee is invariably the Vice-chairman of the relevant SAS scientific division, to focus of which corresponds the Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committee. At least 50% of the Evaluation Committee members are foreign experts. The Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committeee members can not be employees of SAS.

What is the role of the Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committees?

Programme SASPRO Evaluation Committee proposes and approves evaluators for each application, negotiates obtained reports, elaborates a final ranking of applications based on negotiated reports along with their own negotiations and based on personal interviews with applicants, negotiates interim and final reports on projects´ progress.

Is the composition of the Evaluation Committees public?

Yes, the composition of the Evaluation Committees is published on the Programme SASPRO website in the section of Experts.

Who can be the evaluator of the applications?

The evaluators are selected from an international database of evaluators while the important criterion for the selection of the evaluator is identity or similarity between the scientific field in which the application is submitted and the scientific field of the evaluator.

On what basis is selected the evaluator for a particular application?

The evaluators are selected on the basis of the field of science in which the applicant submits the application. This is important, evaluator must be able to make a well-founded assessment of the scientific quality of the application. Of course, objectivity and impartiality of evaluators are important aspects during selection.

Will be published which particular evaluators assessed which application?

No, names of evaluators will not be published.

Financial issues

What everything covers the Programme SASPRO?

Applicants are reimbursed the cost of living allowance (salary),travel allowance/mobility allowance and research allowance from Programme SASPRO. Indirect costs, incurred in responding to the Programme SASPRO are paid to the Host organisation.

What determines the amount of salary under the Programme SASPRO ?

The amount of salary, or the cost of living depends on the applicant's work experience. Three categories are defined:
  • 1-5 years of experience after obtaining PhD: €2860 - 3140 per month (full-time)
  • 6-10 years of experience after obtaining PhD: €3640 - 3900 per month (full-time)
  • 11-14 years of experience after obtaining PhD: €4000 – 4280 per month (full-time)
Required amount of salary specifies the applicant in the application, while the final amount will be agreed during the negotiation of the Grant Agreement.

Is it possible to get a higher salary as specified in the documents of the Programme SASPRO?

No, salary depends on experience of applicants and these categories are limited to a maximum of 14 years after obtaining a PhD degree or equivalent title.

Does the aforesaid amount of offered salary include deductions and tax or not?

The amount is referred before tax, including mandatory deductions.

What for the mobility/travel allowance can be used?

Mobility/travel allowance is designed to enable successful applicants to travel abroad to visit their famil , or eventually to enable their family come with them to Slovakia. Therefore, the amount depends on existing family obligations of the applicant, as well as on number of dependent children. The contribution can also be used to maintain contacts with the previous host organisation abroad.

What for the contribution to research costs can be used?

The contribution to research costs can be used to buy small supplies, chemicals, to use services, it can be used for conference fees, printing posters, purchase of books etc.

How is the mobility/travel allowance paid?

Mobility/travel allowance is paid to the successful applicant monthly together with a salary.

How is the contribution to research costs paid?

The contribution to research costs is not paid directly to the successful applicant, but is paid to the host organisation, which will enable the successful applicant to dispose of the allowance.

What are indirect costs?

Indirect costs are costs incurred to the host organisation due to the project. This includes for example: expenditure on electricity, gas, water, sewerage, communications, postage.

How are paid the funds for indirect costs?

Funds for indirect expenses are paid to the host organisation.These funds are not made available to the successful applicant.

What are the unjustified expenditures in the project?

Unjustified expenditures include:
  • Any identifiable indirect taxes, including VAT or duties;
  • Interest owed;
  • Exchange losses;
  • Provisions for possible future losses or charges;
  • Costs declared, incurred or reimbursed in respect of another project;
  • Costs related to return on capital
  • Debt and debt service charges;
  • Excessive or reckless expenditure.

Are indirect taxes, for example VAT, eligible expenses?

No, indirect taxes such as VAT belong to the ineligible expenditure.


Submission of Application

How to submit an application?

Applications can only be submitted electronically through the system for applications available on the Programme SASPRO website.

Do I need to register if I want to submit an application to the Programme SASPRO?

Yes, the first step to submit the application is to register, it means to create your own account. To register in the applicant enters his/her email address, password and determines the mobility scheme, in which he wishes to submit the application. After the registration is confirmed by pressing the "Register"button the applicant shall receive on specified email address the verification email. Only after verifying of the email address is the created account active. Consequently, it is possible to log into the system.

Can I submit the application by e-mail, eventually by post?

No, the only possible way to submit the application to the Programme SASPRO is to send it through the Programme SASPRO system for applications.

Can I modify the application after it has been sent?

Yes, application can be edited, if necessary, deleted until the deadline for applications (deadline). Thereafter, the system closes, and the application can not be modified.

Shall I receive any confirmation of successful submission?

Yes, after successful submitting of the application the applicant receives an email confirming acceptance of submission.