The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) launches a call for applications to establish new Lendület (“Momentum”) research teams 2020–2025

24 February 2020


Under the funding scheme of the Lendület (“Momentum”) Programme, the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, hereinafter referred to as “MTA”) launches a call for applications to establish research teams which will start working in 2020. The Lendület (“Momentum”) Programme (hereinafter referred to as “Lendület Programme”) aims at a dynamic renewal of the research work going on at research institutions and universities, via attracting internationally acclaimed scientists and highly-talented young researchers either by hiring them from abroad or keeping them in Hungary. The mission of the Lendület Programme is to support both excellence and mobility. Accordingly, its purpose is to provide funding for research teams to be set up at host institutions with a view to conducting research on new research themes. Based on the collaboration agreement of 28th August 2019 concluded between the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the one hand and the Secretariat of Loránd Eötvös Research Network (Eötvös Loránd Kutatási Hálózat Titkársága) on the other hand, as well as on the collateral certificate provided by the Secretariat of Loránd Eötvös Research Network on 12th February 2020, a total amount of HUF 300 million may be earmarked for the Lendület Programme under the appropriation provided for in Act LXXI of 2019 on the Central Budget of Hungary for the Year 2020, Chapter XXXVI “Loránd Eötvös Research Network” Title 4 “Chapter-managed appropriations”, Subtitle 2 “Support for excellence grant programmes”, to be used for the funding of 7 or 8 new Lendület research teams with starting dates between 1st September 2020 and 1st December 2020. The entire grant period, in accordance with the provisions of this call and with the grant award document, may extend to a maximum of 5 years. It is a precondition for the actual transfer of the grant amounts due to be paid that the budget earmarked for the implementation of the Lendület Programme in the central budget of the year concerned should be sufficient for the further funding of the Lendület research teams.

Who can apply? Conditions of participation

1. Researchers with a scientific degree PhD/DLA are invited to submit applications – in line with their respective age-groups and scientific achievements – to head new Lendület research teams in the categories specified below:

Lendület I – Researchers at the outset of their independent research career: promising young researchers, aged under 38, with an outstanding and steadily increasing scientific output. Grantees in this category must undertake to apply to any of the funding schemes of the European Research Council (ERC) either in the course of their Lendület project or after its completion.

Lendület II – Researchers consolidating their independent research career: internationally acclaimed leading researchers with excellent and steadily increasing scientific output, aged between 35 and 45. Grantees in this category must undertake to apply to the Consolidator Grant Call or the Advanced Grant Call of the European Research Council (ERC) either in the course of their Lendület project or after its completion; alternatively, they must undertake to obtain funding in the framework of any other international research grant scheme whose funding should be at a rate commensurate with the funding offered in the Lendület scheme, so that this might be sufficient to maintain the operation of the research team after the completion of the Lendület grant period.

In any of the above categories, a researcher raising a child shall be granted an age limit extension of 2 years per child as an extension of the standard age limit where prior to the submission of the application the researcher has received childcare benefit based on the Act LXXXIV of 1998 on Family Support or has received pecuniary health insurance benefits for childcare purposes pursuant to the Act LXXXIII of 1997 on the Benefits of Compulsory Health Insurance. Applicants must provide evidence of their eligibility for the age limit extension in the documentation of their application.

A researcher who has been awarded a grant in any of the above categories may not submit a new application in the same category.

2. In the Lendület Programme, applications may be submitted for research activities to be conducted either at research institutions belonging to the Secretariat of Loránd Eötvös Research Network (Eötvös Loránd Kutatási Hálózat Titkársága, hereinafter referred to as “ELKHT”) or at Hungarian institutions of higher education (hereinafter together referred to as “research institutions”) as host institutions. Applications are to be submitted jointly by the head of the host institution – that is either the head of the research institution or the rector of the institution of higher education hosting the research team – and the applicant researcher who is the prospective Principal Investigator of the research team to be established. Applicants shall decide which Lendület category to apply for upon consultation with the head of the host institution.

Only new research themes, or research themes that have been on the agenda of the research institution for no longer than five years, exhibiting considerable success, may be proposed in the application. The specific research themes must be in strategic alignment with a promising line of research attracting considerable international interest, i.e. a line of research whose performance indicator is considered by international assessment as excellent and as having been continuously on the rise over the last five years. A detailed account of the international recognition of the proposed topic must be given in the application.

3. The grant is non-repayable and its minimum amount is HUF 25 million per year throughout the grant scheme, while the maximum amount of the grant in Lendület I is HUF 50 million per year and in Lendület II HUF 60 million per year. Neither the entity announcing the call nor the grantor require the availability of own resources for the implementation of the project.

4. In the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the project activities may, when properly justified, include a study visit or a work assignment under fixed-term employment abroad the duration of which may not exceed 1 year.

5. Prospective Principal Investigators in Lendület I and Lendület II are expected to be actively involved in research and to act as research team leaders in the next 10-15 years, and they are expected, either in the course of their Lendület project or afterwards, to obtain an ERC grant (or other international grant based on excellence), or, alternatively, they are expected to be able to prove that they have been involved as a major partner in a research project which has been supported through such a grant. The planned research should be suitable to increase the host institution’s competitiveness, both in terms of scientific reputation and in terms of fundraising capability.

6. Conditions that are compulsory in the category Lendület II and are preferable in the category Lendület I are as follows:

  1. The scientific degree of the applicant was obtained at a scientific institution internationally recognized in the applicant’s scientific field; post-doctoral research experience gained at such institution; employment as a researcher or lecturer by such institution.
  2. Regular publication by the applicant of their independent scientific findings in leading science journals of their respective fields; attendance by the applicant as an invited lecturer on several occasions at scientific conferences; success in obtaining at least one research grant on their own.

Submission of applications, requirements regarding form and content

Applications must be submitted in English (applications in the fields of the Social Sciences and Humanities may, in justified cases, be submitted exclusively in Hungarian) via the electronic submission portal of Lendület ( The deadline for electronic submission is

16:00 CET, 30th March 2020

The host institution declaration to be downloaded from the electronic submission portal and to be signed by the head of the host institution and its chief financial officer shall also be submitted by post in one copy to the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA (name and address: MTA Titkársága, Kutatási Pályázatok Főosztálya, Nádor utca 7., H-1051 Budapest), with postage stamp dated the above indicated electronic submission date at the latest. The reference “Lendület-pályázat 2020” (“Application for Lendület 2020”) shall be put on the envelope containing the document. No application fee shall be charged.

For further information regarding the full application procedure, applicants are requested to contact the staff of the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA at the e-mail address lendulet [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu, or at the phone numbers below:

+36 1 411 6336 (humanities and social sciences)

+36 1 411 6100/626 (life sciences)

+36 1 411 6287 (mathematics and natural sciences).

The electronic submission portal of Lendület can be entered by using the username and password valid for MTA Akadémiai Adattár (the Academy’s Database, hereinafter referred to as “AAT”). The submission portal automatically retrieves the data stored in the AAT, so these data should and can only be modified in the AAT. To ensure that the data used are up-to-date, applicants are requested to update their data in the AAT, where relevant.

In case the applicant has not registered in the AAT yet, registration can be done using Guide 1. In case the applicant has already got an AAT username and password (or after registration has been successfully completed), the applicant should follow the instructions in the Guide from point 4 onwards, so as to fill in the obligatory data in the AAT.

On the electronic submission portal of Lendület, Guide 2 should be consulted for completing and submitting the application.

The Secretariat of MTA shall perform the administrative duties related to the management of the Lendület Programme pursuant to § 19 (1) of the Act XL of 1994 on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the “Academy Act”).

The application package must include:

The following details and documents to be uploaded to the electronic submission portal:

  1. Application data (application title, field of science, name of the host institution, name of the research group);
  2. Personal data of the Principal Investigator (PI) (name, date of birth, gender, nationality, contact details, name of employer);
  3. A brief summary of the proposed project (using the template which can be downloaded from the portal);
  4. A short description of the five-year research programme (using the template which can be downloaded from the portal), furthermore, in the case of applications in the social sciences and humanities, eventual suggestions by the applicant as to the major evaluation criteria to be used for the progress reports (for further details see the “Conditions of funding of the grantees” section);
  5. A detailed work plan for the first three-year phase of the programme, including a description of the tasks given in an annual breakdown (using the template which can be downloaded from the portal);
  6. An aggregated budget plan for the entire grant period with annual breakdown, supplemented by a justification (using the template which can be downloaded from the portal);
  7. Antecedents of the research plan in terms of personnel and institutional background:

a) the respective CV’s and lists of publications for the PI and for the main participants of the project, the publication-related and scientometric data for the prospective PI;

b) a declaration of the host institution (using the template which can be downloaded from the portal), describing the relationship of the planned research to the strategic plans of the research institution, and reasons for the support of the line of research represented by the planned project. In the case of applications submitted by researchers already working at the host institution, an explanation as to why the applicant is submitting a proposal for a Lendület project to be implemented at his/her own current research unit, and in what way the application differs from other research projects (e.g. announced by the National Office of Research, Development and Innovation Office, NKFIH) addressing predetermined research themes;

c) a description of the host institution’s research infrastructure, scientific capacities, and of the host institution’s contribution, where relevant, to the successful implementation of the planned research work (in case of allocation of financial resources by the host institution to the project, the relevant financial data shall be given in detail);

8. Where relevant, the title, the year of submission and the evaluation of any proposal submitted by the applicant to an ERC call and/or the topic as well as the starting and the closing years of the applicant’s successful ERC project;

9. The names of at least five expert researchers – possibly non-Hungarian nationals or Hungarian nationals working abroad – who are considered as capable of reviewing the application in line with high professional standards and who appear not to have any conflict of interest. The applicant may at the same time name persons whom he/she considers as not being prepared to give an unbiased review of his/her application.

In the form of original documents to be submitted on paper:

  1. By post: the host institution’s declaration (downloadable also from the electronic submission portal), which shall be signed by the head of the host institution and its chief financial officer;
  2. References from 3 recognised scientists who are not being employed in any form by the host institution. The referees shall send the references drawn up in the language of the application directly to the postal or e-mail address of the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA (name and address: MTA Titkársága Kutatási Pályázatok Főosztálya, Nádor utca 7., H-1051 Budapest, e-mail address: lendulet [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu).

The applications submitted will be checked by the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA. Where the application meets the formal requirements specified in the call, the Department of Grant Management will, at the latest on the 7th day after the submission, before 24:00 hrs, either send a confirmation of admission of the application for evaluation to the applicant or shall reject the application without evaluating it.

The application shall be rejected without evaluation if (1) the applicant is personally ineligible to apply, (2) the documents required in the call have been received after the time limit, (3) the applicant has provided information which is either false, forged or misleading, and which could substantially affect and alter the outcome of the decision upon evaluation. In the event that the application which has been admitted for evaluation turns out to be incorrect or incomplete, the Department of Grant Management shall call on the applicant to remedy the deficiencies identified. Such remedy of deficiencies may be allowed once, and the applicant must provide the correct or complete version within 5 working days after receipt of the notification to this effect. Should the applicant provide a rectification which contains an error or which is incomplete, or should the applicant fail to correct any irregularities within the specified time limit, the application may be rejected without further examination of its content. The grantor shall give reasons for the rejection.

Legal remedy

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

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 issue of the grant award document 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 scientific evaluation of the applications. The complaint shall 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 implying an instance of inaction, via e‑mail to the address lendulet [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. Where the complaint concerns the issue of the grant award document or the transfer of the state-funded grant amount or the recovery of an unduly paid amount, the Secretariat of MTA shall immediately forward the complaint to the ELKHT, which shall have 15 days to prepare an opinion on this and send it to the President of MTA. The complaint shall be decided on by the President of MTA 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 scientific evaluation shall be rejected without further examination.

Evaluation of the applications submitted

In the evaluation and ranking of the applications preference will be given to researchers presently living abroad who have already received international recognition for their research conducted abroad, and are planning to return to Hungary.

The evaluation of the applications proceeds in two stages. In stage one, formally valid applications are reviewed anonymously by at least three experts (Hungarian or foreign nationals) invited by the President of MTA. The reviews shall contain a descriptive assessment of the applications as well as a scoring along the guidelines previously determined. In their descriptive assessment, reviewers must make it clear whether or not they recommend the applications for funding, and also whether or not they consider the requested grant amounts realistic. If they are of the opinion that the grant amounts requested are not realistic, they may recommend a modification of grant amounts. Reviewers (and members of the jury at a later stage) shall apply the provisions of the call for applications which set out the compulsory and preferable conditions.


A) A comprehensive evaluation of the research programme in terms of the importance, novelty and international competitiveness of the topic, and in terms of the criteria of envisaged performance and feasibility (see Point 2 of the “Who can apply? Conditions of participation” section). Under this point the readiness of the research work for economic utilization and its potential for development / its societal relevance / its contribution to the preservation of the national cultural heritage may also be taken into account. Out of the three aspects, only the one which is relevant for the project should be considered. (Maximum score: 30 points)

B) An evaluation of the applicant’s scientific performance in the last five active years. This shall be scored taking into account the applicant’s most significant scientific achievement, the number of citations to his/her work, the structure of his/her publication output and the number of his/her of publications (in this order of importance). (Maximum score: 30 points)

C) An evaluation of the applicant’s scientific performance throughout his/her entire career, along the lines specified in B) (Maximum score: 20 points)

D) An evaluation of the applicant’s independent participation in research grant calls in the last five active years. (Maximum score: 10 points)

E) An evaluation of the host institution in terms of its research infrastructure and scientific capacities as well as in terms of the extent to which the host institution’s human and financial resources meant to be allocated for the purpose of the research project according to its letter of commitment are likely to enhance the successful implementation of the research as outlined in the application. (Maximum score: 10 points)
Maximum scores on each count must be specifically justified by the reviewers. Total of maximum scores: 100 points

Descriptive assessment

F) A descriptive assessment of the elements listed in points A) – E) above (the description of each point shall be limited to 1500 characters on average, including spaces).

G) A yes/no statement by the reviewer as to whether the application should or should not be selected for funding.

H) A statement by the reviewer as to whether he/she considers the budget plan of the application realistic. If the reviewer thinks it is not realistic, but the application seems to be otherwise worthy of support, the reviewer shall suggest another grant amount which he/she finds more realistic and sufficient for the implementation of the research programme envisaged.

After summarizing the assessments, in stage two of the evaluation process a jury invited by the President of MTA shall review the applications, taking into account the anonymous reviewers’ descriptive assessments and scores as well as the differences between scores and the provisions setting out the advantages to be considered, and shall set up the ranking of the applications. Based on all the above, the jury shall propose to the President of MTA a list of the applications to be selected for funding as well as their ranking.

The jury shall rank 30 per cent more applications than the number of applications that can be funded from the budget earmarked for the Lendület grant scheme. The jury may also relegate applications submitted for Lendület II to the category Lendület I.

The funding rate falls between 60 and 100 per cent, which means that the grant to be awarded will cover the percentage as specified above of the entire research project costs.

Based on the above, the final selection decision shall be made by the President of MTA, in his capacity as president of the entity announcing the call and providing the scientific evaluation, within 90 calendar days after the deadline for submitting the applications.

The call results shall be notified to the applicants by the Department of Grant Management of the Secretariat of MTA via e-mail within 10 working days after the decision has been made. Within 10 working days after the announcement of the call results, applicants will be provided access to the anonymous reviews of their own application on the electronic submission portal. A list of the winners and the titles of their research projects will be made public on MTA’s website.

Conditions of funding of the grantees

In case the conditions of the grant award document have been met, the grant is non-repayable, and is to be allocated on a yearly basis. The annual state-funded grant amounts shall be set in view of the part of the budget which has been earmarked for the Lendület grant scheme for the given year.

Based on the unilateral resolution addressed by the President of MTA to the ELKHT concerning the call results, the ELKHT shall issue a grant award document to the host institution, in which document the detailed rules concerning the transfer and the use of the state-funded grant amounts as well as the eventual repayment of undue grant amounts shall be laid down. The grant award document shall be issued within 30 days of the announcement of the call results.

Upon the entry into force of the grant award document, the PI of the Lendület research team concerned will be required to renounce any János Bolyai Research Scholarship he or she may have obtained before.

The grant may be used for personnel and operational expenditure as well. The grant shall cover the remuneration for the PI, including social security expenses. Unless the PI of the new research team had been previously employed by the host research institution, he/she shall be appointed to full-time public employee status for a fixed term. In case the PI is being employed by the host institution during the Lendület grant period, he/she may be entitled to a wage supplement the costs of which will be covered from the grant.

It is required that the PI of the research team retain during the Lendület grant period a full-time public employee status at the host institution and that at least 50 per cent of their full working time (at least 0.5 FTE) be dedicated to the Lendület project. The FTE value incorporating the PI’s involvement in other grants and projects cannot exceed 1 in any period during the Lendület project.

The remuneration of the PI shall be 1.5 times the amount of the regular remuneration in payment grade 1 of the “scientific advisor” position (gross amount of HUF 831,600/month) in Lendület I, and twice the amount of the regular remuneration in payment grade 1 of the “scientific advisor” position (gross amount of HUF 1,108,800/month) in Lendület II. Where the grantee is a member of staff of the host institution already, the amount that the host institution may incorporate in its budget as eligible personnel costs for covering the grantee’s remuneration under the project shall be the difference between the amount above together with the ensuing social security expenses and the grantee’s actual regular remuneration. This difference shall be given as a fixed-term monthly wage supplement in order to acknowledge and encourage the supplementary work performed.

In addition to this, the grant may cover, in accordance with what has been set out in the application, the remuneration of one or more researchers, including the ensuing social security expenses, current expenses such as material and supplies and overheads related to the project, and the purchase of new instruments needed for the research. Researchers whose employment is to be financed from the Lendület grant shall be appointed to public employee status by the host institution. PIs and members of the research team may not carry out under any other legal relation the same research activities as those carried out in the funded Lendület project.

The PI of the Lendület research team must prepare a progress report each year on the team’s work and submit it to the President of MTA, who will forward the report to experts and to the dedicated evaluation committee for evaluation.

The annual (first-year, second-year, fourth-year) progress reports are short summaries of the research work performed and the results achieved. The President of MTA shall ask one expert for each report to conduct its review.

The three-year progress report shall be a detailed summary of the research work completed by the research team in the past three years, highlighting the most important results of international importance and including an oral presentation. The final report, to be submitted following the 6th month of the 5th year of the project, shall be a comprehensive account of the performance of the research team, to be complemented with an oral presentation. For the three-year progress report and the final report, the President of MTA shall ask three experts each to conduct their reviews. The PI’s oral presentations shall be heard by the competent special committees.

Researchers applying in a field of the social sciences and the humanities may in their application propose a choice as to which of the procedures should be used in applying the major evaluation criteria for the evaluation of the project from the 3rd project year, however, later on this cannot be changed:

  • in evaluation procedure “A”, evaluation shall be based on originality of own discoveries, theories, interpretations, innovative achievements or the amount of grants obtained,
  • in evaluation procedure “B”, the evaluation criteria shall include the novelty of the research, publications, conference papers, international integration, mentoring of young researchers, public presence.

Evaluation procedure “A” is typically suitable for the social sciences, while evaluation procedure “B” is typical for the humanities.

Based on the reports and evaluations, the relevant special committees shall put forward their proposals regarding the acceptance and classification of the reports. The evaluation board invited by the President of MTA shall formulate its opinion based on the proposals submitted by the special committees and based on the reports themselves. Relying on the opinion formulated by the evaluation board, the President of MTA shall decide about the qualification of the given research team’s performance and he shall notify the President of ELKHT, the PI of the research team and the head of the host institution of his decision.

Where it is established in the evaluation that the research team’s scientific performance has been “insufficient” for the first 3 years, the grant amount meant to cover the period from the date of entry into force of the relevant decision of MTA’s President up to the end of the 4th year of the project may be used by the team only to such an extent as to cover the costs of the phase-out, that is, the costs of the dissolution of the research team.

Three months before the end of the grant period, the President of MTA shall pronounce on the scientific performance of the Lendület research teams with a view to allowing their respective host institutions to make the necessary arrangements for the operation of the successful research teams beyond the period of the Lendület grant.

During the grant period, Lendület research teams are expected to draw up their independent research programmes, to act as advisors of students preparing their MA and PhD dissertations or preparing for university-level scientific competitions, and to make every effort for their own successful participation in Hungarian and international research grant calls.

Where the PI of the Lendület research team wins an ERC grant during the Lendület grant period, the grant award document related to the Lendület project may be modified accordingly.

Further information

MTA hereby informs the applicants of the following:

  1. The Hungarian State Treasury operates a monitoring system regarding budgetary funding and is involved in the coordination of the use of budgetary support funds. A support decision not registered in the monitoring system may not serve as a basis for valid funding.
  2. By providing data for the monitoring system, the ELKHT shall ensure that in case of funding through a grant process, the data of the call for applications are published on the relevant website, and so are all data related to facts occurring or conditions determined by MTA in connection with the use of the grant amount, as well as data related to facts and conditions concerning the legal relationship between grantor and grantee, the provision of the grant amount, and any reporting requirement. The data registered in the monitoring system may be deleted after 5 years from the last calendar day of the year in which the decision of support was made.
  3. 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
  • who/which is in charge of the preparation of the call for applications,
  • who/which is in charge of the announcement of the call for applications,
  • who/which is in charge of the preparation of the decision on the award of the grant,
  • who/which is in charge of the decision-making, and which are 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.

    d. MTA and the ELKHT shall check the use of the grant in line with the terms of the grant award document, pursuant to the provisions of the Government Decree 368/2011 (XII. 31.) on the implementation of the Act on Public Finances.

The aim of and legal basis for the processing of personal data during the call procedure

  1. The personal data given by the applicant shall be processed for the purposes of the conduct of the call procedure by the Department of Grant Management at the Secretariat of MTA within the Consolidated Grant Management Framework of MTA.

    These personal data will be accessible to the competent organizational units of the Secretariat of
    MTA based on the MTA’s statutes and rules of procedures, as well as to reviewers participating in the evaluation process of the applications, in so much as it is needed for the performance of their duties defined by law.

    The personal data of the grantees will be processed by the host institution concerned in order to conclude the contract of employment, while they will be processed by the ELKHT in order to issue the grant award document and to process the financial reports related to the grant

  2. The legal basis for the processing of personal data is the duty to perform public service tasks as specified in the Academy Act and in the Act LXXVI of 2014 on Scientific Research, Development and Innovation.

  3. Any changes in the personal data of the applicant should be communicated at the following e-mail address: lendulet [at] titkarsag [dot] mta [dot] hu

  4. The guideline on MTA’s data processing policy is available on MTA’s website, under “Hasznos információk” (Useful information) selecting “Adatkezelési tájékoztató” (Data Processing Policy). The data processing policy of the ELKHT is available on its website under “Adatkezelési és adatvédelmi tájékoztató” (Data Processing and Data Protecting Policy).

Budapest, 17th February 2020

László Lovász
President of MTA