Under certain circumstances, the FWF can allow researchers to take funded projects along with them if they leave Austria. This option is intended to guarantee the continuation of research projects, for example when a researcher is offered a professorship in a partner country. FWF offers this opportunity for Stand-Alone Projects (programme category “P”) as well as for International Projects (programme catgegory “I”).
The following conditions apply:
- Projects which have been approved but not yet launched may continue to received funding in a partner country for up to one year. The grant recipient can use this time to request continued funding from an organisation in the partner country to which the project is transferred. For transfers to Germany or Switzerland other rules apply (see below).
- Ongoing projects must have a remaining duration of at least six months when transferred to a partner country.
The transfer of an FWF grant to a partner country must be approved by the FWF Executive Board. A request to transfer the project must be sent well in advance to the scientific administrator in charge of the respective project, who will then forward the application to the Executive Board. The application must cover the following points:
- Schedule for project transfer
- Information on the new research institution (including information on project-related infrastructure at that institution)
- Confirmation from the new research institution that the infrastructure required to carry out the project will be made available
- Information on the effects of the transfer on the original project plan
- What effects will the transfer have on existing project staff?
- Where equipment belonging to the Austrian research institution is transferred: Confirmation that ownership rights to the equipment will be transferred to the new research institution.
The FWF allows grants to be transferred to those countries which vice versa also allow grants to be transferred to Austria. The transfer of projects is thus only possible with countries in which there is a partner research funding organsation, which also allows for such a transfer to Austria. In this regard, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding of the umbrella organisation of the European research funding and performing organisations, Science Europe, is decisive (cf. here)
If an FWF project which has been approved but not yet launched is to be transferred to Germany or Switzerland, however, the project will not be funded by the FWF. Instead it can be funded in its entirety by the German Research Foundation (DFG) or the Swiss National Science Fund (SNSF) in accordance with their respective national funding rules. Principal investigators are first required to submit a request to the FWF to transfer the project to the DFG or SNSF. The FWF will then forward the request as well as all relevant information to the partner organisation in question which then decides on the funding of the project. Conversely, when projects are transferred to Austria, a request to transfer the project to Austria must first be submitted to the DFG or SNSF. Once the DFG/SNSF has forwarded the application to the FWF, the relevant FWF application forms as well as abstracts (in accordance with the guidelines for FWF stand-alone projects) must be submitted to the FWF by the applicant. Costs calculations must be made in accordance with the FWF guidelines. The funding decision is then taken by the FWF Board.