Announcement on Passing the Law “On Scientific Research, Development, and Innovation”
The Hungarian Parliament passed Law T/1768 “On Scientific Research, Development, and Innovation” on November 25, 2014, terminating the OTKA Office with legal successor and overruling the previous OTKA law as of December 31, 2014. Given this legal regulation, the OTKA programs, the administration of the running projects, and the new calls for proposals will be handled by the National Office for Research, Development, and Innovation (http://www.otka.hu/en/contact/announcement-on-the-overrule-of-the-otka-law-1).
The text of the new law will be available later.
25 November, 2014
Memorandum of Understanding between the NRF of Korea and OTKA
Following an extensive period of preparations, the presidents of the National Research Foundation of the Republic of Korea (NRF) and the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) signed a memorandum of understanding in Budapest on November 13, 2014: the two funding agencies commit themselves to engage in cooperative activities in general and in establishing a joint funding scheme in particular. The drafting of a joint call for proposals to be evaluated in a lead agency method is underway – making the already existing bilateral lead agency call of FWF of Austria and OTKA a trilateral call of NRF, FWF, and OTKA. Further details will be made public as soon as they become available.
International Evaluation of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA)
Based on an agreement of 2013, the European Science Foundation (ESF) carried out the evaluation of OTKA and posted its report on its website (http://www.esf.org/publications/corporate-publications.html) – as it did after the evaluation of the Research Council of Lithuania and the Slovenian Research Agency. OTKA’s international evaluation has been preceded by a long process of development. In order to effectively carry out a constant task of more than 25 years (supporting internationally competitive basic research projects in an open call system), OTKA introduced English as the language of proposals and strict rules on conflicts of interest in the peer review process. The number of foreign referees has gradually increased; international review panels, consisting of foreign experts, have been established. The OTKA Board decided to order the evaluation in 2012 (OTKA Strategy). This evaluation has the overall goal of identifying strengths and recommendations for further improvement related to OTKA governance and management structures.
Announcement on the Overrule of the OTKA law
The draft of the law T/1768 on “Scientific Research, Development, and Innovation” terminates the OTKA Office with legal successor and overrules the OTKA law as of December 31, 2014. According to the draft, the OTKA programs, the administration of the running projects, and the new call for proposals will be taken over by the National Office for Research, Development, and Innovation from January 1, 2015. As president of the OTKA Board, since I was informed about the proposed changes on October 7, 2014, I have considered it my obligation until the end of my mandate to oversee the administration of the OTKA programs, to assist the OTKA Office in preparing for the changes and in carrying on OTKA’s spirit in order to provide continuous research funding.
28 October, 2014.
László Péter Kollár
President of the OTKA Board
The Hungarian Scientific Research Fund: Funding Basic Research in Hungary
The Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (Hungarian abbreviation: OTKA) has been the major funding agency of basic science and scholarship since 1986 when the transition to competitive research funding started in Hungary. Its "founding fathers" modelled the principles of operation on the practice of German (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and American research funds (National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health). Upon a government decree, OTKA has been operating as an independent non-profit organisation since 1991. Its legal status and rules of operation were established in an act in 1993 and reinforced in 1997 by the Hungarian parliament in order to provide independent support to scientific research activities and infrastructure, to promote scientific achievements of international standards, and to provide assistance to young researchers. As an independent institution, OTKA reports to the parliament and the government of Hungary. With regards to the funds provided within the annual budget of the Republic of Hungary, the appropriations of OTKA are administered via the budget of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The administrative and financial tasks related to its operation are performed by the OTKA Office in Budapest.