FAQs

Here you can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about grant submission.

European Commission 

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about European Commission (EC) funding, including the framework programme Horizon 2020 , European Research Council (ERC) and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

General Horizon Europe
  • Current status and recommendation

    The rules of participation are still in discussion on European level. Switzerland is interested to be associated to the programme. SERI regularly publishes information on the programme and the Swiss status. SERI recommends researchers in Switzerland to already take part in the first calls for proposals.

  • How does Horizon Europe look like?

    The discussion on the programme (strategy, rules of participation) and the financing are ongoing. The European Commission asked around 100 bio Euro for Horizon Europe. Commission, Council and Parliament found a partial agreement on the structure of the programme and the main areas.

    The programme is structured again in 3 pillars like in Horizon 2020: Excellent Science, Global challenges and Industrial competitiveness, Innovative Europe. There is also a horizontal line called widening participation and strengthening of the European Research Area.  

    More details:

     

  • What is new in Horizon Europe?
    • The European Innovation Council: one-stop shop to bring the most promising ideas from lab to real world application and support the most innovative start-ups and companies to scale up their ideas. It will provide direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment.
    • EU-wide R&I missions: ambitious, bold goals to tackle issues that affect our daily lives. Examples could range from the fight against cancer, to clean transport or plastic-free oceans. They will be co-designed with citizens, stakeholders, the European Parliament and Member States.
    • Open Science will become the modus operandi of Horizon Europe. It will go beyond the open access policy of Horizon 2020 and require open access to publications, data, and to research data management plans.  
    • A new generation of European Partnerships: Horizon Europe will streamline the number of partnerships that the EU co-programmes or co-funds with partners like industry, civil society and funding foundations.
    • Simpler rules: This will increase legal certainty and reduce administrative burden for beneficiaries and programme administrators.

    (taken from Euresearch Webpage)

     

    More details: Euresearch HE page

     

  • What will be the status of Swiss researchers in Horizon Europe?

    The rules of participation are still in discussion on European level. Switzerland is interested to be associated to the programme. SERI regularly publishes information on the programme and the Swiss status.

    More details: SERI 

General H2020
Project preparation
Project submission
Project negotiation
Project running phase

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) 

Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funding.

University of Fribourg 

Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions about University of Fribourg funding.

  • I would like to prepare an SNSF or EU project. Can I get financial support from the University of Fribourg?

    Two sources of funding exist at the University of Fribourg:
    - Research Pool (request of funding above CHF 10,000; deadlines are 1 February and 1 August each year)
    -Research Fund (requests below CHF 10,000; four deadlines per year)

  • Can I publish information on my project to make it visible?

    You can list your project in the FUTURA database, which contains information related to research activities (projects, publications, presentations) at the University of Fribourg. FUTURA is part of researchportal.ch, a joint research data portal connecting several Swiss universities, including the University of Fribourg. Project results can also be communicated to the Communication and Media Service in order to prepare a press release and article.

  • How can I publish my thesis electronically in order to support the Open Access Principle?

    Please consult the instructions on our website, which contain information related to the electronic publication of your documents. You can find more information about the Open Access support provided by the university and its libraries under its dedicated website only available in French and German. You can also get answers to your questions in the specific Open Access FAQs.

  • Is there any fund provided by the University in order to invite visiting students or researchers?

    Yes, the International Relations Office of the University grants twice a year scholarships for visiting students or researchers living abroad (3-4 semesters for students, 4-6 months for researchers at PhD level and 1-3 months for Post-PhD level).

  • Do and Don't - when writing a recommendation letter

    Things to Avoid When Writing a Recommendation Letter

    (https://www.kaplaninternational.com/blog/letter-of-recommendation)

    (https://www.wordrake.com/blog/avoid-these-words-and-phrases-in-a-letter-of-recommendation)

    Aside from the immediate awkwardness of having to articulate how we think and feel about another person’s work, figuring out how to write a letter of recommendation often induces anxiety that a poorly written letter will weaken your contact’s chance at success.

    Writing a letter of recommendation in a second language can be tricky, whether you are writing a letter for an employee, co-worker, or student, there are some essential Do’s and Don’ts. These basic guidelines will ensure that for whatever recommendation letter you are writing, you’ll be putting your best foot forward and doing right by the person requesting the recommendation.

    Avoid These Common Mistakes.

    1) To whom it may concern

    Address your letter to a real person. If you cannot find that person’s name, send a professional recommendation to the “Hiring Manager” and an academic recommendation to the “Admissions Committee.”

    2) Don’t forget to introduce yourself.

    Do explain who you are and your relationship to the person you’re recommending.

    In order for your recommendation letter to carry weight with the recipients, you need to provide context. Otherwise, your recommendation may as well have been written by a stranger.

    At a minimum, you need to explain:

    • Who you are
    • What your title is
    • How you know the person you’re recommending
    • What the nature of your relationship is/was with that person How long you have known this person

     

    3) Don’t generalize.

    Do adapt your recommendation to the job description and the job application.

    If you agree to write a reference letter for someone, make sure you understand what it is you are recommending them for and that you are the best person to assess their abilities for that opportunity.

    To this end, make sure you ask for and review:

    • The job description or education program
    • The applicant’s cover letter and resume or CV
    • Any additional application materials that could help you understand how the applicant is positioning their skills
    • Even if the applicant cannot provide a job description—as in the case of applying to multiple jobs in a similar field or a LinkedIn recommendation—make sure you have a clear idea of kinds of positions or skills this person will be using. Be specific about how this person is the best fit for the job.

     

    4) Don’t exaggerate.

    Do write positively and honestly.

    When someone toots their own horn too loudly, people respond with skepticism, frustration, and sometimes hostility. The same slew of emotions are provoked when a well-meaning reference sings praises for someone else too enthusiastically.

    To avoid misleading or triggering negativity, apply the same balance you would use positive self-promotion to your letter of recommendation. Focus on honesty, positivity, and clarity rather than “the best ever" superlatives and “very helpful” intensifiers.

    Here’s a tip: Rather than gloss over or ignore weaknesses of an amazing person, discuss the weakness openly–including how the person you’re recommending has learned from or overcome it.

    5) “Think and believe"

    Rather than write that you “think” or “believe” someone will be a good fit or has a certain quality, use facts to tell your reader a brief story. Facts are more convincing than opinions. If you think Bianca has strong public speaking skills, recall a great speech she gave and what made it memorable. Anecdotes and concrete words always persuade a reader faster than thoughts and feelings.

    6) Clichés such as quick learner, organizedteam player, creative, passionate, and dedicated

    These descriptors are so overused they have become meaningless. Rather than use one of them to describe your candidate, write a quick story that illustrates that word. Instead of using team player to describe Ahmed, write a sentence that describes his working 18-hour days during a strike to provide the media with the company’s up-to-the-minute information. This will make your letter fresh and original, your recommendation clear and meaningful.

    7) Comments referring to the person’s age, sex, disability, race, national origin, or religious beliefs

    Colleges and businesses may not discriminate, but an innocent comment in a letter of recommendation that alludes to someone’s race, age, nationality, sex, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion might trigger unconscious bias affecting a reviewer’s opinion. Rather than mention the mission of the organization where Jordan volunteered, highlight the work she did for the organization.

     

    8) Don’t ignore formatting and editing.

    Do format your letter professionally and remember to proofread.

    Depending on the field, formatting can make or break one’s perceived professionalism. In general, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and keep it traditional. This means making sure that you format the heading and address the recipient correctly, then cover your bases in terms of content.

    Once you have the letter written, absolutely make time to proofread. If you don’t already have a proofreading routine in place, here are our best proofreading tips. If you are going to have a third-party review and edit the letter, for ethics purposes you should remove any mention of the person you are recommending.

     

    9) Don’t agree to write a recommendation you can’t give.

    Do tell the person that you cannot write the recommendation or serve as a reference for them.

    Yes, we know it’s awkward to tell someone you can’t write a reference letter for them, but it’s the right thing to do. Maybe you aren’t familiar enough with their work or you don’t feel like you can in good faith write a glowing recommendation. Either way, attempting to spin your perspective into an actual recommendation is dishonest. Give the person in question an opportunity to find someone who will happily write the reference for them.

    What if they ask you why?

    If you’re uncomfortable stating exactly why you cannot write the letter, here are some soft explanations that might fit your situation:

    • If you don’t know them well or are unimpressed with their work→ explain that you don’t feel like you know their work well enough to write the letter.
    • If you know them well but are unimpressed with their work→ explain that you don’t feel you are the best person to give them a recommendation and, if possible, suggest a better fit.

     

    10) How to write a letter of recommendation basics

     In the end, writing an effective letter of recommendation comes down to a few basics:

    • Being prepared
    • Being honest
    • Being clear
    • Being professional
    • Being willing
    • Being ethical

    By approaching your letter-writing with these fundamental ideas in mind, you’ll deliver an effective reference without compromising yourself or the person you’re recommending

     

    ABSOLUTE NO-GO: Making generalizing comments about Nationalities or Races, Religions, sexual orientations or disabilities. Even not if they are meant to be “funny”. Be professional and ethical.

European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)

FAQs provided by COST
FAQs provided by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)

 


 

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