Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) First Call for Cascade Funding

CoARA Boost first cascade funding call is now open!

Turning agreement into action, CoARA Boost is funding up to 1.1M EUR for institutions to implement reform of research assessment.

Call for applications open from 26 April until 26 June 2024, 17:00 CEST.

Summary of the Call

This call for Cascade Funding aims to enhance institutional change and target pilot and exchange-of-knowledge initiatives. It will fund +20 projects facilitating knowledge-exchange, piloting new initiatives within institutions, and enabling lasting institutional change. As such, it encourages and supports research organisations to investigate and test what will efficiently work ‘in real life’.

More specifically, the first call aims to:

  • Facilitate the exchange, transfer and adaptation of proven good practices and their adoption in research organisations.
  • Catalyse the set-up or transformation of research assessment practices and tools in line with the commitments of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment.
  • Support the development and testing of new and innovative research assessment approaches, models and procedures.

Projects can be proposed by any of the organisation types specified below through a cascading grant mechanism. By the end of the programme, it is expected to have a diverse portfolio of projects available that will translate the shared vision outlined in the Agreement into tangible, lasting institutional changes in research assessment practices.

Key Figures

Total funding2.75 million EUR: 40% (1.1M EUR) for the first call
Funding per project30,000 EUR to 60,000 EUR: a lump sum, depending
on the type of project
Number of projects
to be funded
+ 50 overall: 20-25 projects in first round.
Target applicantsLegal entities interested in reforming research assessment practices in their institutions
1st call26 April – 26 June 2024
2nd callDecember 2024, open for 60 days.
Duration of the projectsImplementation within 12 months after signature of a Third-Party Project Agreement – TPPA
Start of the projectsWithin 4 months from TPPA signature

Context of the Call

Over 700 research organisations, funders, assessment authorities, professional societies, and their associations have agreed on a common direction and principles for reforming the assessment of research, researchers and research organisations, outlined in the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. They have also committed to implement changes within their organisations.

CoARA, the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment, offers a platform for collaboration and mutual learning. However, given the complexity of the reform process, providing support for institutions to test, design, and carry out in-depth institutional changes is crucial to implement the Agreement commitments.

The CoARA Boost project, funded by the European Union, strengthens CoARA’s operational capacity. It provides a means to develop a critical mass for reforming research assessment, to generate gravitas for new members as well as to investigate and implement new models for research assessment.

The Cascade Funding Programme within CoARA Boost represents more than half of the project’s overall budget. This programme will support a minimum of 50 organisations in tackling specific challenges related to reforming research assessment and implementing the Agreement commitments. By supporting different types of proposals, the programme will maintain a balanced portfolio of projects. The cascade funding programme consists of two rounds of open calls, the first one launched in April 2024 and second one in December 2024.

Practical Information

The primary targets of the CoARA Boost Cascade Funding Programme are legal entities of the following types:

  • Academies, learned societies that implement some form of research assessment;
  • National/regional authorities or agencies that implement some form of research assessment;
  • Public or private research funding organisations;
  • Research centres, research infrastructures;
  • Universities;
  • Other relevant non-for-profit organisations that implement some form of research assessment.

Applications from faculties of universities are also eligible. However, the university needs to be formally the applicant.

As the call is meant to support institutions from across the European Research Area (ERA), only legal entities based in the EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation are eligible to apply.

The proposal is submitted by a designated point of contact authorised to do so on behalf of the organisation they are affiliated with.

A maximum of one application per organisation is allowed for all calls.

Beneficiaries of the CoARA Boost project are not eligible to participate in the call.  In the case of beneficiaries that are umbrella organisations, their member organisations are eligible. Nominating organisations of the CoARA Steering Board members are also eligible, as the Steering Board does not directly participate in the evaluation of the proposals. The Steering Board will not have any role in both the evaluation and selection of winning applications.

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