Distinguished Guest Scientists Fellowship Programme

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences launches a call for applications for inviting internationally acclaimed foreign researchers for a period of 3-12 months to conduct research in Hungary


With a view to fostering the global competitiveness of research groups operating in Hungary, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, hereinafter referred to as MTA) launches a call for applications for inviting internationally acclaimed foreign researchers as Visiting Fellows (hereinafter referred to as Visiting Fellow) to conduct joint research work in research groups operating at MTA’s research network or in research groups receiving MTA funding and operating at Hungarian universities. The Visiting Fellows invited on the basis of the successful applications are expected to take part in the work of the research group within the framework of public employment.

Joint research projects can be carried out in all fields of science – natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and humanities. The Visiting Fellowship Scheme is not meant to fund visits to research units, or participation in conferences or delivering lecture series in Hungary.

Conditions of participation

Within the framework of the Visiting Fellowship Scheme, funding will be available for the invitation of a limited number of foreign researchers pursuing top-level research and possessing a record of outstanding research performance of worldwide recognition, for a period of 3-12 months. Applications may be submitted by leaders of research groups (“Lendület–Momentum” or other research groups) operating at MTA’s research centres or research institutes, as well as leaders of MTA-funded research groups or “Lendület–Momentum” research groups operating at Hungarian universities (hereinafter referred to as Host PIs, where PI stands for Principal Investigator). The Host PI may submit the application, to be drawn up in cooperation with the Visiting Fellow to be invited and to be approved by the head of the Host Institution (general director of the research centre or director of the research institute or rector of the university concerned), to the President of MTA. The research to be conducted in Hungary under the Visiting Fellowship Scheme is to be completed by 30th June 2019 at the latest.

The amount and form of funding to be requested

The total amount of funding available under this scheme for the year 2018 is HUF 50 million. Individual grants may reach the maximum amount of HUF 2.5 million per month. This is a gross amount, which is to cover all costs of the visiting researcher (personnel costs including social security contributions, and operation expenses). No additional costs will be accepted as eligible costs.

Terms and conditions

  1. The Host PI will undertake, in cooperation with the administrative unit of the Host Institution, to provide appropriate research facilities for the Visiting Fellow.
  2. If needed, the Host Institution (MTA’s research centre or research institute or the university) will undertake to provide logistic and administrative support for the Visiting Fellow concerning his/her entry and stay in Hungary.
  3. The Visiting Fellow and the Host PI must submit a joint research report within one month after the end of the Visiting Fellow’s stay in Hungary. This report shall have an annex containing the manuscripts of the scientific papers the Visiting Fellow and the Host PI have prepared together and the title of the scientific journal in which they intend them to be published, containing the manuscript of at least one scientific paper meant to be published in one of the top periodicals of the respective scientific field. The research report has to state the exact dates of the Visiting Fellow’s stay. The research report has to be supplemented with a maximum two-page abstract for communication purposes written in Hungarian, summarizing in an easily understandable way with illustrations if necessary the main ideas behind the joint research work undertaken in the course of the fellowship and the results achieved.
  4. The joint scientific publication has to be forwarded electronically to the e-mail address meghivas [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu. In the publication reference has to be made to the invitation under MTA’s Visiting Fellowship Scheme.
  5. Visiting Fellows are required during their stay in Hungary to spend the time determined in the employment relationship entered into under the Fellowship fully on the implementation of the joint research project. They are allowed to deliver university lectures subject to the consent of the Host PI, and without any remuneration.
  6. When requested by the President of MTA, Visiting Fellows shall give their opinion on MTA’s Visiting Fellowship Scheme, shall summarize the experiences they have gathered concerning the state of play in the field of scientific research at large in Hungary, and shall put forward proposals concerning the possible ways of improving the Visiting Fellowship Scheme.
  7. The names of the Visiting Fellows selected for invitation, the Host Institutions and of the Host PIs, as well as the abstracts of the research reports prepared for communication purposes will be published by MTA.

Submission of applications, requirements regarding form and content

The application package should comprise of the application form, the CV’s of the Visiting Fellow candidate and the Host PI, as well as an accompanying letter written both in English and Hungarian.

  • The application form (to be found in Attachment 1) should be completed in full, and should contain the signature of the Visiting Fellow to be invited, as well as the respective original signatures of the Host PI proposing the invitation and of the head of the Host Institution. A short summary of the scientific career (CV) of the Visiting Fellow candidate and that of the Host PI should also be attached to the application form.
  • The accompanying letter, both in Hungarian and in English, should be signed by the Host PI, should be maximum of 2 pages long, and should point out the significance of the joint research envisaged, the expected impact of the Visiting Fellow’s activity in Hungary, and a maximum 10-sentence-long summary, designed for communication to the public, about the joint research work envisaged. The full name of the employer of the Host PI as well as that of the employer of the Visiting Fellow candidate, together with their respective e-mail addresses, should also be given in the accompanying letter.

Application procedure

  1. Contact is established between the Host PI and the foreign Visiting Fellow candidate.
  2. They draw up a joint plan for research to be done in Hungary for a period of minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 months.
  3. The Visiting Fellow candidate sends the completed application form, containing his/her signature, to the Host PI (electronic version is acceptable).
  4. The head of the Host Institution (general director of a research centre of MTA, director of an independent legal person research institute of MTA, or rector of a university) approves of (signs) the application form which has already been signed by the Visiting Fellow candidate and the Host PI, and approves of (signs) the bilingual accompanying letter.
  5. The Host Institution forwards the application package (application form, CV’s of Visiting Fellow candidate and Host PI, accompanying letter in two languages) to the President of MTA.

Deadline for application

Applications are to be addressed to the President of MTA and submitted before 14th March 2018, 12:00 (CET) as follows:

  1. the application form, the two CVs and the accompanying letter in Hungarian and in English in a PDF file, as well as the application form without signature in a Word document file, are to be sent via e-mail to meghivas [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu;
  2. hard copies of the documents mentioned in point 1) are also to be posted or delivered personally to the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA (name and address: MTA Titkárság Kutatási Pályázatok Főosztálya, Nádor utca 7., H-1051 Budapest). The latest date of postage shall be 14th March 2018.

The Department of Grant Management will send a confirmation of the receipt of the application to the applicant. Should the applicant not receive a confirmation of the receipt of the application within eight days after the deadline of submitting the applications, he or she may prove that submission of the application took place before the deadline by presenting the relevant documentation to the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA.

Checking the formal requirements

Applications exhibiting a failure in terms of form or content may not be considered. Lack of any required component may not be remedied. The application submitted will be checked by the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA. In the case of applications submitted in the required form, the Department of Grant Management shall send a confirmation of acceptance to the applicant within 7 days following the submission of the applications, otherwise it shall reject the application without considering it on its merits.

Evaluation of the applications submitted

Applications shall be evaluated by reviewers invited by the President of MTA. Based on the proposals by the reviewers, the members of the jury invited by the President of MTA shall set up the ranking of the applications based on the specific research plan prepared by the Host PI and the Visiting Fellow candidate, the significance of the scientific outcome to be expected from the cooperation and the general impact of the cooperation on the Hungarian scientific community. The jury shall group the applications into three categories (highly recommended for funding, eligible for funding, non-eligible for funding) and shall set up the ranking within each category. The total sum of the grants provided for applications which are judged to be highly eligible for funding shall not exceed the total amount of funding announced in the call for applications. Based on the ranking, the final decision shall be made by the President of MTA until 5th June 2018 at the latest.

Notification of selection results

  1. The President of MTA shall notify the heads of the Host Institutions of the final decision in writing on 12th June 2018 the latest, he shall send an invitation letter to the Visiting Fellows selected (sending a copy to the head of the Host Institution concerned), and shall publish the list of the names of successful applicants on MTA’s website mta.hu.
  2. All further correspondence is to be done directly by the Host Institutions and the Visiting Fellows selected for invitation.

Conclusion of the grant agreement, payment of the grant and reporting

Once the application has been selected for funding, the Secretariat of MTA shall provide the Host Institution with the amount of the grant awarded. The grant is non-repayable, and it may be transferred to the grantee in a single amount pursuant to the grant agreement.

The amount of the grant may be used to cover personnel costs and operating expenses. No other cost of any type may be covered by the grant. Any amount which was unused or unduly used, or illegally used or used for purposes other than it was meant for shall be repaid increased by late payment interest, in accordance with the relevant specific legislative provisions. The time schedule for repayment shall be fixed in a separate agreement.

The detailed rules concerning the settlements of the accounts will be laid down by the grantor at the start of the grant period.

Information on how to lodge a complaint

Applicants may lodge a complaint addressed to the President of MTA, should they believe that a procedural element of the call procedure or of the decision-making concerning the award of the grant, or of the conclusion of the grant agreement or of the transfer of the state-funded grant amount or of the recovery of undue payments has violated in any way a legislative provision or has been contrary to what has been provided for in this call for applications. No complaint can be lodged concerning the evaluation of the applications. The complaint has to contain the name and address of the applicant lodging the complaint, the specification of the contested measure or of the instance of inaction, the description of the relevant facts, the identification of the specific legislative provision or provision of this call which has been allegedly violated by the contested measure or instance of inaction, and the signature of the applicant lodging the complaint.

The complaint may be submitted only once within 15 days following the receipt of the notification about the decision containing the contested measure or an instance of inaction via e mail to the e mail address meghívas [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu and at the same time by post using the postal address of the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA (MTA Titkársága, Kutatási Pályázatok Főosztálya, Nádor u. 7., H-1051 Budapest). Processing of the complaint shall be completed within 30 days following its receipt, whereby examination and revision may only cover matters which are being specifically contested in the complaint. Incomplete complaints, or complaints lodged after the above-mentioned deadline or complaints concerning the evaluation shall be rejected without further examination.

Legal remedy

No legal remedy may be sought concerning the substance of the decision on the results of the call.


The intensity of the financial support is 100 %. Applicants are not required to provide own financial resources. There is no application fee.

For further information on the call for applications, please contact the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA at the address meghivas [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu or visit the website of MTA (www.mta.hu).

Additional information

The grantor hereby informs the applicants of the following:

  1. The legal provisions on the right to informational self-determination set out what shall be considered as data of public interest. The data which would not qualify as such in the first place but are being processed by an individual or a body
  2. By providing data for the monitoring system, the Funder ensures that in case of funding through a grant process, the data of the call for applications are published on the relevant website, and all data occurring in connection with the utilisation of support or observed by the Funder, regarding the facts and conditions of the legal contract, the provision of support, and reporting, will be published on the pertinent website. The data registered in the monitoring system may be deleted after 5 years from the last calendar day of the year the decision of support was made in.
  3. The Treasury operates a monitoring system regarding budgetary funding, and collaborates in synchronising the utilisation of budgetary supports. A support decision not registered in the monitoring system may not serve as a basis for valid funding.
    1. who/which is in charge of the preparation of the call for applications,
    2. who/which is in charge of the announcement of the call for applications,
    3. who/which is in charge of the preparation of the decision on the award of the grant,
    4. who/which is in charge of the decision-making, and which is related to the call for applications or to the application process or to the decision on the award of the grant, shall be considered data which are public on grounds of public interest, provided that they are not to be considered sensitive or special personal data.
  4. the grantor shall check the use of the grant in line with the terms of the grant agreement, pursuant to the provisions of the Government Decree 368/2011. (XII. 31.) on the implementation of the Act on Public Finances.

Budapest, 19th December, 2017.

László Lovász
President of the MTA