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The Slovak researchers working abroad who consider returning to their homeland, and the researchers from abroad who want to do science in Slovakia have the last chance to join the SASPRO 2 grant program. On 1 November, the Slovak Academy of Science (SAS) announced the final Third Call for submitting projects. Candidates can apply until 28February 2022. As many as 123 scientists from all around the world responded to the previous two Calls.

SASPRO 2 is a joint project of the Slovak Academy of Science, Slovak University of Technology and Comenius University. Its aim is to reinforce the scientific organizations of these institutions by researchers from the top foreign institutions, in order to improve cooperation between the scientific and application sectors, and to support multidisciplinary approaches to solving projects. Those three leading science and research institutions offer 40 vacancies covering various research areas in 70 potential host organizations. Each of the universities will accept 10 scientists to its workplaces; the remaining 20 will work at the institutes of SAS. The First Call offered the grant to 16 applicants. The selection process for the Second Call will have been completed by the end of 2021.

"Since the number of places and those who may obtain SASPRO 2 funds is limited, in the first round we offered a grant to eight candidates applying to SAS.  It is, however, important to add that they were selected from 55 submitted applications. The competition was really tough, thus we could choose from the best applicants. I believe that we will be just as successful in the final round, and the number of applications will be high again, "says Pavol Šajgalík, the Chair of the Slovak Academy of Science.

"The interest in high-quality foreign scientists at STU is reciprocal; in the First Call we filled a third of the vacancies. I believe that evaluation of the previous two Calls will prove the success of the SASPRO 2 project," adds Oliver Moravčík, Rector of the Slovak University of Technology.

"I believe that the SASPRO2 project will attract those excellent Slovak scientists who, after having gained long-year experience abroad, want to work in Slovakia again. I do hope that the Call will also appeal to the foreign scientists who are interested in cooperating with our experts, and thus enhancing their professional portfolio," says Marek Števček, Rector of Comenius University.

PhD. degree researchers of all nationalities are welcome to apply for the SASPRO 2 program. They can apply for a work stay of duration from 12 to 36 months in any preferable field of science. After completing the selection process of the Third Call, the first researchers could start working in the host institutions in the summer of 2022. All projects must be completed by 30 September 2025.

The SASPRO 2 program is implemented within the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Marie Curie Skłodowska COFUND. For more information, including frequently asked questions, visit the SASPRO 2 website.

Source: SAV