Research chair Grant Program. The Research Council

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1 Research chair Grant Program Policy & Regulation The Research Council Sultanate of Oman 1

2 This document has been released by the Research Council on xx xxxx 200x. It is the first version. Subsequent versions shall include a table of modifications. Table of Modifications: Void (first version) 2

3 Table of contents 1. Introduction Objectives of the program Definitions Research themes The location of the research chairs 5 2. Overview of application process Eligibility for submission Submitting a research chair proposal Call time cycles and deadlines Research chair committee Committee structure Committee roles and responsibilities Summary of the process 9 3. Pre-award rules and processes Commitments from hosting institutions Focal points roles and responsibilities TRC Focal point Application to several grants Evaluation criteria Scoring of proposals Proposal feedback Appeal process Agreement and reporting Research chair agreements Preparation Content Progress report Scientific report Financial Report Final Report Support acknowledgment Financial management Maximum funding limit Eligible cost Payment to the team member Payment process Grant management Financial monitoring Project start date Flexibility to transfer of fund Equipment ownership Research and human resource management Constitution of research team Flexibility to change research strategy and team members Changing team members Changing hosting institution Changing the strategy 18 3

4 6.3. Leaves, teaching load and retirement Leaves Teaching load Retirement Renewing or terminating a research chair grant Renewal of a chair Early termination of a chair grant Ethics, intellectual property, security and copyright 19 4

5 1. INTRODUCTION The research chair program has been developed as part of the national research strategy of the Sultanate of Oman. It is based on allocation of research funds for long term projects to selected individual researchers at higher education and research institutions to develop research projects or/and programs on specific disciplines. It aims at increasing research capacity in Oman and promoting research excellence in selected areas of strategic importance OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM The objectives of the research chair program are to: provide financial resources to set up research chairs on strategic themes in higher education institutions; develop the local research capacity and research excellence in particular research areas; advance the frontiers of knowledge through focused research in identified fields or problem areas; strengthen and improve the capacity of local higher education institutions to generate and apply new knowledge; assist local higher education institutions in setting up postgraduate programs; offer a attractive research career track to highly skilled researchers; and establish linkages among local research institutions as well as with international institutions 1.2. DEFINITIONS Research chair program: research grant provided to a local research institution to host a research project/program on a strategically selected research area of national importance. Chair holder: researcher with at least a PhD qualification in charge of the chair; Co-Investigator: researcher with at least a PhD qualification who is involved in the research project; Research Assistant: post-doctoral, postgraduate or undergraduate student who is involved in the research project; Technician: person whose main tasks require technical knowledge and experience in one or more fields of engineering, physical and life sciences or quantitative techniques and participate in the research project by performing scientific and technical tasks normally under the supervision of the chair holder; Support staff: other staff that may include skilled and unskilled craftsmen, secretarial and clerical staff participating in the research project; 1.3. RESEARCH THEMES The Research Council has established a national research strategy which will guide local institutions to develop proposals for hosting research chairs in themes related to the national strategy. The Research Council shall receive research chair proposals only on themes identified by the national research strategy THE LOCATION OF THE RESEARCH CHAIRS The research chairs may be physically located in any local research institutions that can hold such chairs in their own right or jointly in collaboration with other local or international institutions. Hosting institutions must be located in the Sultanate of Oman. 5

6 2. OVERVIEW OF APPLICATION PROCESS The Research Council welcomes proposals from local and qualified research institution in the identified research areas of the chair program. The research institution has to have the essential research infrastructure necessary to host the chair project ELIGIBILITY FOR SUBMISSION Eligibility for the research chair grant covers two parts: the host institution and the chair holder. For an institution to be considered for hosting a research chair, the following criteria shall be used: the institution s research capacity and infrastructure; the institution s capacity to train research students; the relevance of the proposed theme with the strategic research plan of the institution; the institution s commitments to provide the research holder with the needed support; For the chair holder, the following elements shall be reviewed: PhD qualification at a minimum academic level of associate professor, with preference to a full professorship; outstanding and innovative research whose accomplishments have had a major impact in the relevant field; international recognition as leader in the relevant discipline; superior record of attracting and supervising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; and willingness to reside full-time in Oman for the duration of the research chair grant SUBMITTING A RESEARCH CHAIR PROPOSAL The process of submission and assessment comprises two distinctive phases: Phase 1: the selection of the institution that shall host the chair; and Phase 2: the recruitment of the chair holder. The above processes are shown on the following diagram 6

7 Research Institutions submit initial proposal TRC research chair committee Reject Institutional focal points Approve Approve Reject Select host institution End Phase: 2 Host institutions hire a chair holder and submit a detailed proposal Research chair committee Peer reviewers Research chair committee Institutional focal points Reject Approve Awarding & Signing agreement Chair holder Modify proposal and re-submitt Evaluation, reporting and follow-up End 7

8 The Research Council has initiated the process by defining a national research strategy that contains themes for research including research chairs. Eligible institutions may apply for participation in the program at any time. The candidate institutions submit a proposal to the Research Council that should include a detailed description of the proposed research chair program with objectives, outcomes and available/required resources. Institutions are also requested to submit their research strategy to insure that the proposed chair program is aligned with the institution plan. Proposals shall be assessed by a research chair committee selected by the Research Council (plus any representatives of the co-sponsors of the Chair if required). This assessment shall focus on the ability of candidate institutions to host a research chair and meet its objectives. Once selected, the institution should retain a candidate as a chair holder. The institution has the responsibility to select an eligible candidate. Phase 2 then begins with the host institution submitting a full proposal, which should be written by the chair holder candidate. In addition to the curriculum vitae of the candidate, it shall include details on how the chair holder intends to achieve the chair objectives. In particular, the proposal should contain a five year program including high-level research directions and budget requirements. Assessment of the proposals shall be undertaken by external peer reviewers who will make recommendations to a research chair committee who shall take the final decision CALL TIME CYCLES AND DEADLINES Applications can be submitted to the Research Council at any time. It is envisaged to process the phase 1 requirements within 3 months of the formal proposal for hosting and the phase 2 requirements within 2 months of the candidacy RESEARCH CHAIR COMMITTEE Research Chair Committee is responsible for the pre-award, award and post-award processes of research proposals. These include, but not limited to, evaluating proposals, negotiating the research agreement with the successful chair holders and managing the financial and scientific reporting during and after the project Committee structure Research Chair Committee is composed of the following members: The Minister of Higher Education chair; The Minister of Oil & Gas; The Secretary General of The Research Council; The Presidents of the universities members of the Research Council Board Committee roles and responsibilities The research chair committee performs the following tasks: familiarization with the proposals in preparation for the Committee meetings; and participation in the Committee meetings; It is expected that the research chair committee shall take the following decisions when it is satisfied that requirements are met: approval of the proposal by an institution that applies for hosting a chair; approval of the candidacy of a chair holder; and 8

9 renewal of a funding after periodic reviews Summary of the process The Research Chair Committee shall be assisted in its role by: the TRC Research Area Manager who shall coordinate activities, provide research administration support and ensure a smooth running of the evaluation and follow-up processes; external peer reviewers who shall provide the inputs necessary for the evaluation of the candidacies. The process shall follow the steps below. 1. Research institutions prepare an initial proposal for the research chair project 2. The research chair committee reviews the proposal; 3. A decision is made on the ability of the candidate institution to host a research chair and the consistency of the proposal with the Research Council s national research strategy; 4. The research chair committee performs an initial screening of candidate for the chair before submission to external peer reviewers. If the proposal put forward by the candidate is deemed to require clearance from the Research Ethics Committee, it should be sent for clearance in parallel to the review process; 5. The research institution advertises internationally in appropriate media for the Chair, ranks the candidates and interviews in Oman the top two candidates 6. The selected candidate chair holder, through the institution focal point, submits to the research chair committee a detailed research proposal for the chair program 7. The research chair committee selects at least four external peer reviewers from a list prepared by the TRC Research Area Manager based on the relevance of their research experience to review the detailed proposal; 8. The research area manager shall ensure the availability and willingness of external peer reviewers to participate in the review process; 9. The research area manager on behalf of the research chair committee sends a letter of intent, a guideline on peer reviewing and a request for acceptance; 10. The research area manager receives a formal acceptance from the external peer reviewers; 11. The research area manager prepares the proposals to be sent to the relevant external peer reviewers; 12. Each external peer reviewer evaluates the proposal based on the set of criteria provided by the research chair committee 13. The research area manager ensures that evaluations have been received and completed. In cases where evaluations are incomplete, the research area manager contacts the external peer reviewer(s) to obtain the relevant information or send a request for additional reviewer after seeking the approval of the research chair committee; 14. The research area manager shall seek written comments from the financial controller of the Research Council; 15. The research area manager forwards the proposal evaluations and other relevant material to the research chair committee; 9

10 16. In a meeting held at the Research Council, the research chair committee discusses the evaluation outcomes prepared by the external peer reviewers on the proposal in terms of scientific merit of the proposal, the relevance of the proposal to the national research strategy and the funds requested in the proposal. 17. The research area manager prepares a report of the evaluation results based on the outline prepared by the research chair committee; 18. Post award, the research area manager ensures that the host institution and the chair holder both provide the necessary progress report and financial report; 19. The research area manager sends the progress report and financial report to four external peer reviewers and to the financial controller; 20. External peer reviewers and the financial controller comment on the consistency of the progress and financial status with the initial plan; 21. The research chair committee reviews the research progress report in light of the comments provided by the financial controller and external peer reviewers; 22. The research chair committee agrees with the host institution and the chair holder on an action plan to address any possible issues and/or recommend the early termination of the funding. 3. PRE-AWARD RULES AND PROCESSES 3.1. COMMITMENTS FROM HOSTING INSTITUTIONS A research chair grant may be awarded if the institution that hosts the chair position offers appropriate conditions for the chair holder to direct independently the research and manage efficiently its funding for the duration of the project. The host institution can be any local research institution, which has the infrastructure and capacity to carry out a research chair project. The host institution must be located in the Sultanate of Oman. It is a condition for all Research Council funding that the host institution commits to the following conditions of independence, ensuring that the chair holder may: manage the research and the funding for the project and make appropriate resource allocation decisions; supervise team members, including research students, doctoral students or others; have access to reasonable space and facilities for conducting the research; and at least 75% of the total chair grant is spent in research activities based in Oman 3.2. FOCAL POINTS ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES A focal point must be nominated by the institutions wishing to host research supported by the Research Council. The person who shall act as a focal point must be accepted as such by the Research Council. The role of focal points is as follows: ensure that no research proposals is conflicting with hosting institutions policies and regulations before submitting the proposal to the Research Council; follow up the operational, financial and administrative processes of the research projects funded by the Research Council such as the release of installments in a timely manner, management of changes, procurement and ownership of equipment; 10

11 ensure that research teams are committed to the agreement with the Research Council in terms of research duration, research plans, and research deliverable; and keep the research team up-to-date with any announcements, new rules, adjustments, in the Research Council s policies TRC FOCAL POINT The Research Area Manager for the relevant sector at the Research Council serves as a focal point. This person is responsible for call-related practical questions and for the efficiency of the overall administration of the proposal reception, evaluation process and post-award processes APPLICATION TO SEVERAL GRANTS There shall be no restriction on the number of research chair grants that may be awarded to a single institution EVALUATION CRITERIA The general framework to evaluate proposals may be based on a series of indicators. Phase 1 the institution s research strategy; the institution s research strengths and experience; the institution s ability to develop research capacity and train research students; the relevance of the proposed research areas to the national research strategy; the support that the host institution can give to the chair in terms of: o o o academic support (related research groups, facilities, information, etc.), financial support (direct and indirect); the space availability for offices and laboratories; the proposed method for the management of the chair. Phase 2 expected knowledge outputs of the proposal in the first five year period; expected human capacity to be developed; proposed research management method; the track record of the chair holder in: o o o o o supervising postgraduate students; obtaining external funding; synergizing with the competencies at the institutional, national and international levels leading research teams; and research activities including publications and patents. 11

12 3.6. SCORING OF PROPOSALS For phase 1, the research chair committee shall use its discretion and assess collegially the proposal. For phase 2, each reviewer attributes a score to the proposal according to the following guidelines: each reviewer attributes a score to the proposal according to peer review and evaluation policy guidelines each criteria as described in the request for proposal, must be scored separately. The external peer reviewers provide written comments in non-technical language to support their choices of scores. The scores provided by each external peer reviewer are confidential and to be reviewed only by the research area manager and the research chair committee. For each criterion under examination, the external peer reviewers assign a score value that indicate the following assessments: 0: The proposal fails to address the criterion under examination or cannot be judged due to missing or incomplete information; 1: Very poor. The proposal addresses the criterion in an unsatisfactory manner; 2: Poor. The proposal has serious weaknesses in relation to the criterion in question; 3: Fair. The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, yet there are significant weaknesses that would need correcting; 4: Good. The proposal addresses the criterion well, although certain improvements are possible; 5: Excellent. The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion in question. No proposal is acceptable when its score value is less than 3 on any criteria on average across the peer reviewers. The score values for each criterion are added and an additional value of 0 to 5 tops the total to reflect the external peer reviewers general impression on the proposal PROPOSAL FEEDBACK Research institution is notified with a full explanation on the outcome of the peer review evaluation in the form of an evaluation report. This indicates whether the proposal meets the quality threshold and is retained, and provides the final total score and corresponding comments given by the research chair committee as well as the comments given by the individual reviewers. Note that the comments by the individual reviewers may not necessarily be convergent controversy and differences in opinion about the merits of a proposal are part of the scientific method and are legitimate. Furthermore, the research chair committee may take a position that is different from what could be inferred from the comments of the individual reviewers, for example, if the research chair committee discussion reveals an important weakness in a proposal that had not been identified by the individual reviewers. The evaluation report of the Research Council is comprised of three components: the final decision of the research chair committee; comments by the research chair committee.; and the comments given by external peer reviewers. 12

13 3.8. APPEAL PROCESS There is no appeal process for this program. 4. AGREEMENT AND REPORTING 4.1. RESEARCH CHAIR AGREEMENTS A research chair agreement is the document which establishes the rights and obligations of the parties and specifies, amongst other things, the name of the host institution, the name of the chair holders, the duration and start date of the project, the maximum amount of the financial contribution attributed to the project and the periodicity of submission of reports. The hosting institution and the chair holder shall agree to ensure the minimum requirements for the project implementation, such as the hosting institution's commitment to grant the chair holder the requisite basic support and the independence to manage the research funding within the regulation of the organization and for the duration of the project, amongst others. The research chair agreement must be signed by the hosting institution, the chair holder and the Research Council Preparation The Research Council prepares the research chair agreements for projects on the basis of the proposal and the recommendations of the research chair committee, also verifying the legal status and financial capacity of the host institution. The agreement involves no negotiation of scientific/technical substance. Host institutions and chair holders are expected to provide, if requested, further information on the project and its envisaged management in view of the rules applicable to the Research Council grants Content A research chair agreement contains: description of work (the scientific/technical section of the proposal taking into account the committee s recommendations) the proposed budget and financial arrangements; the detailed proposal as an appendix; the reporting requirement; the present guidelines as an appendix; and the commitment to comply with these guidelines. The agreements are concluded following signature by the relevant parties; the Research Council always signs the agreement after having received the duly signed Agreement from the chair holder and his/her hosting institution. The start of the project normally takes place the month following conclusion of the chair agreement PROGRESS REPORT Chair holders must communicate and send the reports to the institutional focal point who shall forward to the Research Council as described in the research chair agreement. 13

14 Scientific report The chair holder is required to send, through the focal point of the host institution, periodically electronic scientific reports. These reports inform the Research Council on progress and achievements of the project. Specific outputs from the project should be included (e.g. publications, thesis completion, etc). The scientific reports may be subject to review by the research chair committee convened by the Research Council, which may also involve site visits. The research chair committee will make recommendations as to the future course of the project. Each year, within thirty days of the anniversary of the grant start date (as indicated on the agreement document), the Research Council must receive from the host institution jointly with the chair holder, an annual report that summarizes the progress and achievements thus far. Failure to submit an annual report will result in the suspension of payments. The research chair may be subject to progress review assessment in the form of a site review performed by external peer reviewers during the period of the award. The outcome of such a review will be taken into consideration in the assessment of future applications from the host institution to the Research Council or into renewal opportunity of the chair. The Research Council reserves the right to terminate an award if, in the opinion of the Research Council, progress is not deemed to be satisfactory as per the reviewers recommendation Financial Report Chair holder should periodically, through the focal point of the host institution,, update the financial controller at the Research Council about their financial consumption. There shall be a mechanism of auditing of the chair holder to ensure the Research Council resources are used as per the research chair agreements and on the right time Final Report Within three months of the end date of the grant, the final scientific report should be sent along with the final statement of expenditure SUPPORT ACKNOWLEDGMENT Whenever achievements resulting from the Research Council-funded research chair are published (such as in journals, patents, presentations, etc.) the chair holder should highlight the Research Councils financial support. This may imply a written acknowledgment and/or the application of the Research Councils logo. The recommended form of acknowledgment is: "The research leading to these results has received funding from the Research Council of the Sultanate of Oman under the Research Chair Program / TRC Grant agreement no [xxxxxx]" 5. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 5.1. MAXIMUM FUNDING LIMIT Research chair grants aim at research areas with a potential significant impact on scholarship and knowledge and thus no limit is put on the proposed research budget. However, the research chair committee shall review and assess the proposal requirements in accordance to the proposal significance and the resources available. 14

15 5.2. ELIGIBLE COST A research chair grant can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research activities. Normally, indirect costs shall be covered by the hosting institution. However, it is possible to propose a contribution to these indirect costs in the proposed budget for the chair. The costs are defined below: Direct eligible costs are those which support all the research, management, training and dissemination activities necessary for the conduct of the project, such as: personnel costs; equipment costs; common office equipment such as PC s, laptops, office software; consumables; travel and subsistence costs; and publication costs. Indirect eligible costs are those which cannot be identified as directly attributable to the research project, but which are incurred in direct relationship with the project's direct eligible costs, such as: costs related to general administration and management; costs of office or laboratory space, including rent or depreciation of buildings and equipment, and related expenditure such as water, heating, electricity, maintenance, insurance and safety costs; communication expenses, network connection charges, postal charges and office supplies; miscellaneous recurring consumables. Non-eligible costs cannot be reimbursed through TRC grants. In particular, they include: interest owed; provisions for possible future losses or charges; costs declared, incurred or reimbursed in respect of another project; costs related to return on capital; debt and debt service charges; excessive or reckless expenditure. Normally, a research chair grant covers all eligible costs of a project. However, it is possible that specific cost items are covered partially or in full by the hosting institution or by a third party. Insurance coverage is the responsibility of the host institution ands must demonstrate sufficient coverage is offered to protect personnel and equipment against hazards. Project costs covered by third parties are allowed but need to be declared and will be deducted from the total of eligible costs covered by the grant. 15

16 5.3. PAYMENT TO THE TEAM MEMBER As a general policy, the Research Council recognizes that salaries of faculty members and other personnel associated directly with the project constitute appropriate direct costs and may be requested in proportion to the effort devoted to the project. That said, the Research Council regards research as one of the normal functions of faculty members at institutions of higher education. Compensation for time normally spent on research within the term of appointment is deemed to be included within the faculty member s regular organizational salary. Grant funds may not be used to augment the total salary or salary rate of faculty members during the period covered by the term of faculty appointment or to reimburse faculty members for consulting or other time in addition to a regular full-time organizational salary covering the same general period of employment. Exceptions may be considered under certain project solicitations and work done as overload. If anticipated, any intent to provide salary compensation above the base salary should be disclosed in the grant proposal budget justification and must be specifically approved by the Research Council in the award notice. These same general principles apply to other types of non-academic organizations, such as research institutions. A chair holder may propose to employ team members on a part-time basis. In most circumstances, particularly for institutions of higher education, salaries of administrative or clerical staff are included as part of indirect costs. Salaries of administrative or clerical staff may be requested as direct costs for a project requiring an extensive amount of administrative or clerical support and where these costs can be readily and specifically identified with the project with a high degree of accuracy. Salaries for administrative or clerical staff shall be budgeted as a direct cost only if this type of cost is consistently treated as a direct cost in like circumstances for all other projects and cost objectives PAYMENT PROCESS Grants are paid in several installments: an advance payment (as pre-financing) is made within a maximum of 45 days of the date of entry into force of the grant agreement, which is the date of the signature by the Research Council. Advance payment corresponds to 20% of the total budget. Interim payments are made on the basis of actual expenditures accepted for each financial management reporting period. The total amount of the pre-financing and the interim payments paid out to the beneficiary shall not exceed 85% of the maximum amount of the financial contribution attributed to the project. A final payment is made corresponding to the last financial management reporting period plus any adjustment needed subject to approval of the final report by the research chair committee and TRC financial controller GRANT MANAGEMENT The research chairs program awards are administered by the host institution in coordination with the financial controller of the Research Council FINANCIAL MONITORING To ensure that the Research Council policies and regulations relevant to the research chair grant are followed and that research funds are well managed, there will be an annual financial monitoring on the chair grant account in the host institution. These visits ensure that host institution jointly with the chair holder are following appropriate and sound financial practices, and that they are making expenditures in accordance with the conditions set forth on the research chair agreement document. Furthermore, the visits also help to maintain good communication between the Research Council staff and the host institution counterparts and 16

17 provide an opportunity for feedback on the Research Council policies and procedures related to chair grant management PROJECT START DATE The research team has up to six months after the proposed starting date to activate the award otherwise it could be withdrawn FLEXIBILITY TO TRANSFER OF FUND The Research Council provides the flexibility for chair holder to transfer and allocate the fund between the headings within the project. However, chair holder has to provide the Research Council with explanation and justification for the changes and re-allocation of fund. The research chair committee must be satisfied that the proposed change is acceptable before the transfer of fund EQUIPMENT OWNERSHIP Equipment is defined as an item of property that has an acquisition cost of OMR 500 or more and an expected service life of more than one year. It is important to note that the acquisition cost of equipment includes modifications, attachments, and accessories necessary to make the property usable for the purpose for which it was purchased. Instrumentation and equipment to be acquired must be described with precision in the proposal. Each potential major user must describe the aspect of the project for which the equipment will be used. These descriptions must be concise and must emphasize the intrinsic merit of the activity and the importance of the equipment to it. Equipment to be purchased, modified or constructed must be described in sufficient detail to allow comparison of its capabilities with the needs of the proposed activities. Equipment proposals also must describe comparable equipment already present in the country and explain why it cannot be used. Ownership of facilities and equipment provided under the research chair grant is to be vested in the host institution of the chair. Agreement on time sharing and access to equipment or facilities must be reached between collaborating institutions before application. It is recognized that at times it may be desirable to fund and support the location of equipment or major national facilities outside the host institution or even outside a university campus, when access is provided to several institutions to better utilize research potential. In these circumstances, the terms of access must be guaranteed and agreed to by the parties in a contract prior to application. The costs of managing the equipment or facility should then be proportionally distributed across the users of the facility and also agreed to prior to application. In such cases, ownership of the equipment or facility is vested with the institution which receives the Research Council grant. A copy of the signed agreement specifying location, access and sharing of recurrent costs must be attached to the application 6. RESEARCH AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 6.1. CONSTITUTION OF RESEARCH TEAM Research chair program supports projects carried out by a research institution and headed by a chair holder of any nationality, working in the Sultanate of Oman. The constitution of the research chair team is flexible. Commonly, it involves other researchers - such as senior researchers, post docs, graduate and PhD students. However, depending on the nature of a project the research team may also involves team members from other research institutions within the Sultanate. Team members operate under the leadership of the chair holder, including those team members hosted by other institutions. Their participation and funding is subject to appraisal by the research chair committee, 17

18 which assess whether their involvement is properly justified and essential in terms of scientific competence and capacities. Non-academic staff may also be involved as constituents of an individual team, such as technicians, or secretarial support staff. The research chair committee will carefully assess the scientific added value and expertise of any team member to the project; in particular the participation of foreign institution will only be permitted if it is clearly necessary from the scientific perspective FLEXIBILITY TO CHANGE RESEARCH STRATEGY AND TEAM MEMBERS Changing team members The hosting organization must consult the Research Council if it is proposed to change the chair holder, for example, following retirement, resignation or death. The hosting institution may nominate a replacement chair holder. The Research Council will wish to be assured that the replacement meets the eligibility criteria for chair holder and has the expertise and experience to lead the project to a successful conclusion, in accordance with its research objectives. Any other change of any team member, permanent or temporary, must also be notified by the chair holder. The focal point at the hosting institution shall seek approval from the Research Council for such a change to be effective Changing hosting institution The research chair grants are not transferable from one host institutions to another Changing the strategy The chair holder is expected to carry out the project as described in the research chair agreement. However, it is possible to adjust the scientific strategy and allocate or re-allocate expenditure (e.g. regarding staff, equipment, and consumables), provided the research performed is still in line with the original scientific or scholarly objectives. In case of significant changes, the chair holder shall notify the Research Council for negotiations and eventual agreement LEAVES, TEACHING LOAD AND RETIREMENT Leaves Chair holders are eligible to leaves as per the host institution s rules and regulations. However, chair holders are not eligible for sabbatical leave. The host university must inform the Research Council of all leaves Teaching load Chair holders are expected to be involved in teaching and supervising graduate students. However, the teaching load has to be consistent with the objectives of the chair program, which are primarily related to research capacity and excellence. Normally, teaching load does not exceed one course per semester or is equivalent to the load of a dean Retirement If the chair holder retires before the end of the research chair grant, the host institution has the responsibility to initiate a phase 2 selection process and suggest a new candidate. 18

19 6.4. RENEWING OR TERMINATING A RESEARCH CHAIR GRANT Renewal of a chair The research chair program places no limit on the number of times the host institution can apply for a grant. However, the program permits only one five-year re-appointment. Applying to renew a chair involves most of the same procedures and documentation as the original nomination Early termination of a chair grant Both research chair parties (host institution and the Research Council) have the right to early terminate the chair grant. If the host institution decided to terminate the chair holder contract, in cases of non-compliance or poor performance, it must notify the Research Council. Upon termination, the host institution must submit the following documents to the Research Council: a letter stating the date and reason for termination; a detailed list of outstanding commitments made by the chair holder prior to termination, including employment contracts/agreements for research personnel a statement of account The chair holder must submit: a final activity report ; an exit survey; a report of scientific achievements. No new commitments or expenditures may be authorized from the grant account after the date of termination. The host institution may replace the chair holder. However, a new nomination for a full term of five years needs to be submitted to the Research Council for peer review according to the normal evaluation criteria. Following the date of termination, the university shall have up to nine months to submit a replacement nomination. Should there not be a replacement nomination submitted by that time, the research chair will be forfeited and reclaimed by the Research Council. If the Research Council decides to terminate the grant agreement due to unsatisfactory performance or research chair mismanagement, the host institution will be informed in writing and the termination will be effective at three months notice. 7. ETHICS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, SECURITY AND COPYRIGHT Throughout the entire process from the proposal stage to project closure, all necessary steps must be taken so that policies pertaining to ethics, intellectual property, security and copyright are respected. A dedicated guideline addresses those questions. 19

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