Who can take part in the open call? 

Any ITMO university student, staff member, or graduate, as well as students and staff members of any other organizations. The competition is open to Russian and foreign citizens.

However, winning heads of projects (even if they are the only project members) who represent other organizations  will need to become employed at ITMO University within 60 days after the results are announced. This is a requirement for all participants.

How can I apply? 

First, choose one of four categories in which you would like to develop your project: 

  • ITMO’s core technologies within the scope of its M-platforms;
  • research conducted on the scientific frontier;
  • new research teams for the PI Group: Scientific Hyperjump initiative;
  • new technologies designed around the challenges tackled by the strategic projects.

To apply, you need to fill out a form (available after you click on the chosen field) and submit it before 5 pm (MSK), November 25, 2021. Applications can be both in Russian and English for all categories except frontier laboratories, where the application must be in English but you may also attach a Russian translation.

Can there be an overlap between the topic of the project I apply with and those that I’ve sent to other grant contests? 

There are no strict guidelines for the topic of your project, but the same tasks cannot be funded twice. However, if you’ve already won grants before you can list them in your application to demonstrate your previous experience with the topic.

Do I have to choose a specific M-platform if I decide to apply to the core technologies category?

Yes. As head of a project, you have to decide on the core technology you are planning to develop and the corresponding M-platform. If you are having trouble identifying the leading M-platform for your project, you can reach out to Sergey Kolyubin, who coordinates this category, or address heads of M-platforms directly.

Credit: 2030.itmo.ru/en

Credit: 2030.itmo.ru/en

What are the perks for winners? 

Apart from receiving funding for their projects, winners will enjoy access to ITMO’s expert, staff, and infrastructure resources, as well as the university’s partners. There is no strict limit on a project’s funding, but you will need to provide solid grounds for the suggested budget by listing the project’s events, tasks, and, most importantly, its expected results. It’s crucial that the project’s budget correlates to its results.

When do I have to implement the project? 

You have to complete your project within three years. There will also be yearly evaluations of acquired results to determine whether further project funding is warranted. 

What are the requirements for teams and participants?

Each of the four categories has its own requirements: 

  • Projects focused on new technologies corresponding to the Development Strategy goals

This category doesn’t have any specific requirements for participants and welcomes a wide scope of projects – from new technologies, personalized education technologies, and quality assessment mechanisms to conscious consumption and well-being. Some of the particular focus fields are collaborative projects with the Government of St. Petersburg, involvement in the city’s agenda, development of urban services, and technologies aimed at increasing the openness and availability of education. 

There is one important condition that your project must fulfill: the expected results of your project have to make a tangible contribution to the goals, tasks, and results of ITMO’s 2030 Development Strategy.

  • Projects focused on ITMO’s core technologies (M-platform projects)

All projects submitted for this category have to be flexible and universally applicable so that not only could the resulting solutions be implemented at a specific production site or company, but, most importantly, that they would provide a basis for further development of the so-called core technologies (you can find a full list of these technologies in the open call documents).   

The core technologies you choose should be part of one of the following categories: 

  • Cognitive Informatics;
  • Next-Gen Cyberphysical Systems;
  • Human. Nature. Technology;
  • Information and Functional Security; 
  • Art and Science. 

Applicants in this category will have to prove that their proposed technology is in demand and for this purpose there is a special requirement: the proposed project has to be co-funded (by a body other than the university). This will ensure that it is not only of interest to the industry, but also already has considerable support for its development. 

Moreover, projects submitted in this category have to not only focus on science and technology, but also contribute to professional training. 

The team of each project must consist of its head, at least 15 key executors from among ITMO’s Master’s and PhD students, as well as three key executors from among the university’s faculty or staff of its partners. 

Laboratory of Assembly and Alignment of Light-Guided Photonic Devices. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

Laboratory of Assembly and Alignment of Light-Guided Photonic Devices. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

  • Projects focused on the development of ITMO’s frontier laboratories

Application for this category is open to researchers with confirmed experience of working on cutting-edge research: namely, highly cited publications (according to Web of Science) or articles in leading journals from among the top 3% by citation rate according to SJR (for computer sciences, this criterion means presentations at A* conferences). Moreover, the applicants must also have experience in heading research projects. 

Another condition is that the project is supported by a collaborator – a leading researcher who has 10% of their total original publications in the last 5 years in top-1% journals according to SJR or at least 5 highly-cited publications according to Web of Science in which they are the last author or corresponding author. Applicants need not necessarily have a team when compiling the application, but they will have to form a research group of at least 7 members, half of whom are ITMO students. 

Apart from conducting research, frontier laboratories will have to disseminate the results of their work via media outlets and social media, conferences, and open optional courses. 

  • PI Group: Scientific Hyperjump

This category focuses on the creation of new and the enhancement and development of existing groups of young researchers and developers under the supervision of principal investigators (PIs) 

Applicants in this category should be aged under 40 and have at least four years of work experience following their PhD thesis defense. PIs will have to create an environment for personal development of young scientists – from school to PhD students. For instance, this can be done via events aimed at involving students in educational and research initiatives; or integration and collaboration with other university departments, including those engaged in real economy projects, such as those of M-platforms. 

Over the course of the project, its team must be made up of at least 70% ITMO students; 20% of the team must be international students. Moreover, at least five school students have to take part in the project’s research every year. 

ITMO’s Infochemistry Scientific Center. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

ITMO’s Infochemistry Scientific Center. Photo by ITMO.NEWS

Can I partake in several projects at once? 

You can be an executor in two projects or head one project and be an executor in another.

Is it possible to change the initially proposed team lineup over the course of the project?

Key executors (those core team members whose competencies will be evaluated when deciding whether to support the project) are expected to remain the same. However, it’s not a strict rule. Any changes in the core team’s lineup should be reported to the Development Strategy сoordinators.

Other executors can join the project over the course of its implementation.

Will I be able to join other projects as a co-executor?

Yes, you will be able to offer your skills and competencies to the winning teams. The list of chosen projects will be made available to the public after the results of the open call are announced. 

How will my project’s progress and results be evaluated? 

All projects will be supported by ITMO’s administrative staff, coordinators of strategic projects, heads of M-platforms, and the Development Strategy Coordination Council. You will have to report on all produced results annually in an open public presentation.

Who will review the applications and decide which one to fund? 

All applications pass through primary reviews and expert evaluations done by staff of ITMO or other organizations. These are leading experts in the scientific or technological field of the project, as well as in education, management, culture, or other fields. The final decision on each application will be made at the final session of the Development Strategy Coordination Council on December 8-9. 

How will the applications be evaluated?

The evaluation system includes qualitative and quantitative indicators that are unique for each category. 

Some of the qualitative indicators: 

  • Project relevance and significance: compliance with the goals and tasks of ITMO’s Development Strategy, novelty of the described problems and proposed approaches, correspondence of the planned results to the global level
  • Resources and prior developments: competencies of project head and team, accessibility of software and hardware necessary for project implementation
  • Quality and feasibility of the project’s design 
  • Impact: tangible social and economic effects of the project’s implementation and its application prospects 

Some of the quantitative indicators: 

  • Education activity: number of students who received another qualification in the course of working on an M-platform project; number of graduates of CPD (continuous professional development) programs
  • Research activity: number of Q1 publications 
  • Transfer and commercialization: income from IPs, external co-funding volume

Will there be another open call?

The next open call is planned for September 2022.