Existing applicants/evaluators log in here
Gaining Experience Grant (2A)

Science and Technology Project, World Bank Loan Nr. 7320-HR

Unity through Knowledge Fund
Call for Proposals

”Gaining Experience” Grant (2A)



The Republic of Croatia received funds through the World Bank for the Science and Technology Project (World Bank Loan Nr. 7320-HR). The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports has an ultimate objective to improve business infrastructural environment for science & technology through the Project. Within this framework, the Ministry has established the Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF) for promotion of professional exchanges and contacts and joint projects between Croatian scientists and experts working abroad with their Croatian colleagues.


Under the motto Connectivity – Cooperability – Creativity, the Unity through knowledge Fund has mission to unite scientific and professional potential in Croatia and diaspora in the development of the knowledge based society.

In order to achieve this task, UKF strives towards the following goals: fostering internationally competitive science and technology (S&T), fostering science and technology that provide new values to Croatian economy and supporting projects that develop science and technology infrastructure.

This Call for Proposals together with Connectivity Program – Application Form 2007, Connectivity Program – Curriculum Vitae Form 2007, Connectivity Program – Instructions for Applicants and the UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007 (www.ukf.hr), sets out the terms and conditions on which the Grant is awarded.


Connectivity Program aims to attract expertise and knowledge of scientific/technological diaspora to Croatia through mobility and networking of highly skilled people. The Program offers travel grants for outstanding young or distinguished researchers and professionals – both expatriate and domicile – in order to advance science and technology in homeland.

The program fosters the researchers and experts mobility in order to provide benefits to Croatian science, technology, industry and society. The benefit may be in terms of important expert contribution to: (a) increasing of international competitiveness of S&T in Croatia through attracting foreign financing; (b) innovation activities that facilitate development and growth of Croatian industry; (c) participation in demand-driven activities that advance Croatian S&T infrastructure.

The Fund will support activites from all area of science and technology, that are chosen on competitive basis, according to the below stated criteria. The total amount foreseen for the program in 2007 is 140.400 EUR.


The objective of the “Gaining Experience” Grant is to open opportunities for outstanding young scientists and professionals from Croatia to visit the excellent research and development facilities abroad in order to establish cooperation and/or acquire new skills necessary for advancing S&T competitiveness in Croatia.

The visit should be targeted at: (1) setting up/improving an international joint project, with precise goal to attract investments or prepare a grant application; (2) transfer of necessary know-how that contribute to strengthening of commercial potential of a knowledge-based SME; (3) acquiring knowledge and skills essential for generating other societal benefit as natural environment preservation or cultural heritage protection.

Talented young researchers and professionals affiliated to Croatian R&D organizations or small or medium enterprises may apply for support of short-term visits lasting maximum for 6 months. Within this period, applicant can request support for one or more travels, as required for the proposal outcome. The “Gaining Experience” grant may include both travel costs and allowances for visiting researcher/expert.

Prerequisite for successful application is a personal and professional development plan approved by the applicant’s host abroad, with clear benefit for Croatia from her/his stay abroad. Applicants’ employing organization has to demonstrate a need and benefits of the visit.

Additionally, all supported visitors are obliged to deliver at least one lecture to general public after their stay abroad.


The grant may include application of the following instruments (see the enclosed UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007):

- short-term visit, up to 6 months (allowance, travel and accommodation costs)
- supporting consulting and expertise (including the administering organization’s overhead)


Who can apply?  Outstanding young researchers and professionals who are employed at Croatian organization are eligible applicants (including those who prepare doctorates or work as experts in knowledge-based enterprise). If they have completed their Ph. D., it should be no earlier than 5 years ago (at the earliest in 2002). Candidates should not be more than 36 years old at the time of the application (allowance can be made for compulsory military service and childcare).

The eligible applicant has to show her/his potential as a future leader in science and technology by her/his excellence and innovativeness. She/he should have achieved outstanding success during her/his previous work.

For this Grant a co-applicant from abroad is mandatory, and she/he should be an outstanding experienced researcher or expert affiliated to the successful R&D institution/company abroad. Applicant from Croatia (visitor) has to be the main applicant, who is responsible for the outcome of the proposal.

Which areas are eligible? All science and technology areas are eligible. Proposed visit must clearly demonstrate benefit for Croatian science, economy, natural environment, cultural heritage and society.

What is necessary institutional support?  Support of at least two organizations (legal entities) is necessary: an administering organization in Croatia and a hosting organization abroad.

The support will be awarded to the administering organization to which the applicant is affiliated. Eligible organizations are small and medium enterprises, public and private institutions and universities, which have necessary infrastructure for proposed activities. The administering organization should be based in Croatia.

The project proposal should contain a separate commitment of the Croatian organization to administer the proposed visit, explaining the reason why specific expertise is needed. This commitment includes financial management, support to the applicant’s engagement on the proposed activities, and other support according to the proposed work plan.

The administering organization should accept all responsibilities originating from and connected to the proposed visit. The main applicant is responsible for proposing and agreeing suitable arrangements with the administering organization and hosting organization. Responsible person from the administering organization is required to co-sign the project proposal.

The hosting organization that the main applicant is going to visit should provide a separate letter of commitment with clearly stated personal and professional development plan of the applicant.

What are the budget requirements? 

Proposal should provide a guarantee for matching funding of the project from other sources, e.g. administering or host organization, foreign or private fund or investor. The matching funding should be at least 20% of the costs requested from UKF for activities that produce only scientific result at non-profit organization, 30% of the costs requested from UKF for the activities that produce only scientific result at for-profit organization and at least 50% of the costs requested from UKF for the activities that produce a potentially commercial result.

Any existing or planned financial support from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports is not eligible as matching funding for this Grant. The matching funding from other sources can include financial and in-kind resources (goods or services) needed for project.

The total Fund’s subsidy cannot be higher than 72.000 HRK. If requested from the Fund, allowance for the applicant cannot exceed gross amount of 144 HRK per work hour. Travel expenses may be requested according to Croatian regulations for civil servants’ reimbursables and, additionally, according to the Fund’s regulations (cf. Instructions for Applicants). If approved, Fund pays 50% of the support in advance, and 50% after successful completion of the project applied for.


All proposals are evaluated against the fixed set of criteria stated bellow. The proposal should address the points stated in these criteria with measurable and provable information. Steering committee will evaluate the eligible proposals and propose the best for financing. They may nominate one or more anonymous, internationally recognized and independent expert to evaluate every eligible proposal. The Steering Committee will assure that his own members as wall as the proposal evaluators are in neither direct nor indirect conflict of interest (as described in Procedures for choice of evaluators). The Approval Committee will finally approve or reject the recommendations of the Steering Committee. The evaluation procedure is described in detail in the enclosed UKF Procedures and Guidelines 2007.

The scientific/technological excellence of the proposal and the innovation potential of the candidate are prerequisites for awarding the grant. The contribution to the Fund’s goals – international competitiveness of S&T, and providing benefit to Croatian society – is a cornerstone of the assessment.

Specific assessment criteria for this Grant are described below (i, ii, iii) and their relative importance is under the authority of the Steering Committee.

i.        Scientific/technological purpose, added value and importance of the proposed visit, assessed by all of the following:

a.      Scientific/technological quality of the involved projects and organizations

b.      Clarity and feasibility of the goals, proposed plan and budget

c.      Potential contribution to Croatian science and technology, economy, natural environment and society

ii.      competence and innovativeness of the visitor assessed by both of the following:

a.      Previous successes, demonstrated innovativeness and overall career development

b.      Potential for future collaboration development

iii.     Proposed visit’s importance for acquiring future financing assessed by one of following:

a.      prospect for setting up (or improving) strategic collaboration for applying to EU/international funds

b.      prospect for improving know-how in order to gain investments from non-public and private sources


Proposal is to be submitted on the official forms: Connectivity Program- Application Form 2007 and Connectivity Program– Curriculum Vitae Form 2007, which are available on the Fund’s website or on request. Proposal should contain all details and annexes as described there and in accompanying Connectivity Program– Instructions for Applicants. The proposal must be signed by the main applicant and the responsible person of the administering organization.

The proposal must be submitted together with the relevant annexes to UKF in twofold: (1) as an electronic version (rtf, doc, odt or pdf format) using the UKF web application, which can be accessed through the UKF website www.ukf.hr, including this Form, Curriculum Vitae Form and all requested annexes in electronic format; (2) as a signed hardcopy along with the annexes to be sent to: UNITY THROUGH KNOWLEDGE FUND, Planinska 1, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia. The electronic and hard-copy version should be identical, and possible differences may cause in rejection of proposal. The applicants will receive a notice on successful submittal by e-mail.

This call is continuously open until the UKF announces its closing. The evaluation and approval rounds will take place every three months.


Letters rejecting or accepting proposals, with statements of opinion, will be sent to all applicants within three months after the first next beginning of evaluation procedure (excluding the periods from 15 July and 31 August and from 20 December and 7 January, according to Croatian law). The accepted proposals are subject to further negotiations and final approval, according to the UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007. The summaries of successful proposals will be published on the UKF’s website.

Please note that the submission of project proposal does not establish any form of legal claim or responsibility of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. All decisions of the UKF Committees are final and are not subject to further claims or revisions, with exception of administrative mistakes.

Any inquiries should be addressed to the contact person at the Unity through Knowledge Fund: Alessia Pozzi, Senior Program Manager or Nikolina Čuljak, Assistant; e-mail: office@ukf.hr; phone: +385 1 23 52 685; address: UKF, Planinska 1, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

    Powered by Globaladmin