Public call for financing research projects in primary and secondary schools (24.01.2020)

CHALLENGE FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS 3

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION OF "CHALLENGE FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS 3" HAS BEEN EXTENDED

 

Due to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to stop teaching in all educational institutions, the deadline for applying for the Public Call for funding of research projects in primary and secondary schools "Challenge for Young Researchers 3" has been extended to 06.04.2020.

 

The decision to extend the deadline comes after the Fund received many written requests from teachers and schools.

One of the goals of the modern education systems is to encourage pupils to think freely and find creative solutions to the problems and issues they face. At the same time, it is important to nurture children's curiosity about the world in a way that re-examines the pre-defined truths. To encourage teachers and pupils to recognize their abilities, to improve their skills and to cooperate in order to achieve common goals. Only by this way we will be able to raise generations that will improve the way we think, the way we practice our daily activities and communicate with each other.

Based on this, the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development (FITD) and the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) invite you to participate in the Challenge for young researchers.

Research projects should be in the fields of natural and technical sciences. The research process should be based on a "scientific method", i.e. it should include the formulation, testing and confirmation / modification of a hypothesis by experiment and observation.

The duration of the research project should not exceed 6 (six) months.

The proposed projects should result in visible results, such as a research essay, project assignment, prototype design, audio-visual material, digital material, etc.

The proposed research projects should be complementary to the syllabus and correspond to the cognitive abilities of the age group.

The total budget for this challenge is 6,000,000 (six million) denars.

Awards will be allocated in two categories:

  • Category 1: Research projects in primary education
  • Category 2: Research projects in secondary education

The budget of an individual project proposal can be in a minimum amount of 100,000 (one hundred thousand) denars and cannot exceed 300,000 (three hundred thousand) denars.

The funds will be paid in advance, in two instalments, the first instalment in the amount of half of the total project budget will be paid after the signing of the Award granting contract and the second instalment will be paid in accordance with the dynamic of spending the funds after minimum 80% of the first payment is spent.

The Fund for Innovation and Technology Development and the Ministry of Education and Science will award certificates for participation in the challenge to all team members from the pre-selected project proposals.

The teachers who will lead the awarded teams for the successfully implemented project will receive a reward in the total amount of 30,000 (thirty thousand) denars to cover costs (travel costs, accommodation costs, participation fees) for professional improvement at training, seminar, conference, etc. of one’s own choice. The award funds can be used within 1 (one) year from the day of receipt and will be transferred to special purpose bank account of the project.

The equipment supplied with the award funds will remain in property of the schools awarded with funds.

The Fund reserves the right not to allocate all awards if there are not enough quality project proposals or the conditions for awarding the award in accordance with the Rules are not met.

The call refers to all primary and secondary schools on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia that have creative pupils with a desire to explore and win awards.

The competitor should be a primary or secondary school which is:

  • established in accordance with the Law on Primary Education, i.e. the Law on Secondary Education
  • registered in the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia and
  • to have Decision for verification adopted by the Ministry of Education and Science

Each competitor must register with a competitive team consisting of:

  • 1-2 (one to two) teachers - project leaders
  • 3-7 (three to seven) pupils

Through this call, the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development and the Ministry of Education and Science want to emphasize that every child has the ability to be involved in the process of research activities. To encourage members of our community to think about nurturing and using these skills, we encourage projects that:

  • have an interdisciplinary character
  • provide an inclusive approach in the formation of the teams (they have equal gender representation, they include children with different ethnicity, children with special needs, children of different ages, etc.)
  • are submitted by schools from rural areas.

The activities estimated in the project proposal should correspond to the research and development activities, i.e. the project proposal should include activities that will test the defined hypothesis through experiment and observation.

The costs estimated in the project budget should correspond to the activities provided in the project application.

Eligible costs for financing are:

  • procurement and/or rental of research and development equipment (laboratory equipment, digital equipment, etc.)
  • procurement of research and development consumables (including office supplies)
  • travel expenses intended for conducting research activities (if applicable)
  • costs intended for promotional materials production, up to 10,000 (ten thousand) denars
  • administrative costs (bank fees, submission of an annual account for the special purpose bank account of the project, costs for publishing a public procurement notice).

Only costs made for activities carried out for the duration of the project are eligible for funding.

The Fund reserves the right to negotiate with the winners regarding the definition of project activities and project budget based on recommendations received from the Evaluation and Selection Committee prior to the signing of the Award granting contract.

In the formulation of project proposals, as well as during their implementation, competitors and awarded parties should comply to the basic ethical principles of research work, as follows:

  • To respect individual autonomy and the right to self-determination
  • Not to harm humans, animals and the environment
  • To strive for equal and fair treatment of all
  • Not to infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties

The evaluation, selection and adopting of final decision for election of award winners is performed by the Evaluation and Selection Committee.

Project evaluation consists of several steps:

  • Administrative verification of the applications (whether the application is complete and in accordance with the eligibility conditions stated in the public calls)
  • First evaluation of project proposals (pre-selection)
  • Selection of the best project proposals - after the presentation of the pre-selected project proposals before the Evaluation and Selection Committee
  • Signing contracts with awarded schools.

Each project proposal is evaluated by The Evaluation and Selection Committee, of at least 5 (five) members and includes:

  • Representative of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development
  • Representative of the Ministry of Education and Science
  • Representative from the Bureau for Development of Education
  • Representatives of partner organizations.

Each project proposal will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

CriterionValue
1. Compliance of the project proposal with the objectives of the public call

The most points under this criterion will be given to those project proposals that will offer original ideas for research projects that are complementary to the syllabus but are not part of the standard syllabus.

The most points will be given to those project proposals that actively involve team members in generating scientific knowledge.

Interdisciplinary projects will have priority.

25%
2. Capacity of the project team

The most points under this criterion will be given to the competitors whose project team includes members with different motives, skills and abilities appropriate to the activities provided in the project proposal.

30%
3. Quality of the project proposal

The most points under this criterion will be given to those project proposals that have clearly and adequately defined the hypothesis, the stages of the research and development and the expected results.

25%
4. Applicability of research results and dissemination

Most points under this criterion will be awarded to competitors whose project proposals lead to results that have the potential for practical application in the field of industry or results of social interest.

The most points will be given to those projects that predict activities to promote the results of the project in order to multiply the experienced scientific research process and the acquired knowledge.

20%
Total100%

To apply for the Challenge for young researchers, each competitor should:

  • Submit a Project Application with the Project Budget, completed, signed and stamped in a form determined by the Fund, scanned in PDF format

The Project Application Form is available and can be downloaded from the Fund's website via the "DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTATION" button.

The submission of the Project application is performed by filling in the basic data and attaching the Project application through the "APPLY" button.

The Fund reserves the right to ask the competitor for additional documentation at all stages of the procedure. The competitor is obliged to submit the requested documentation within the deadline determined by the Fund.

The application for the Challenge for young researchers lasts until March 16, 2020, not later than 11:59 PM.

For granting awards only those project proposals that are completed in the forms determined for this challenge by the Fund, submitted in the above manner and within the given deadline will be taken into consideration.

The rules and procedures for the implementation, monitoring and supervision of the project are defined in the document Rules for organizing and conducting competitions or challenges to encourage innovation in priority areas in science and technology.

For all additional information you can:

  • visit us at the Fund office in Skopje, address GTC, local 6, DE 220
  • write to us at e-mail address: predizvikzamladi@fitr.mk
  • call us on the telephone number 389 (0) 23145258.

In order to assist you in preparing project proposals, for the duration of the call, the Fund will organize info events and consultative meetings. Information about these activities will be published in a timely manner on the Fund's website and on our Facebook profile.