HSE University is launching a competition for creating project groups among staff and students. First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev explains what kinds of projects are eligible and how to apply.
This is a new competition that has been announced to encourage project activities by staff and students at the faculty level. We want to identify and support interesting and useful initiatives by our peers. The competition is organized as an open university-wide event with a standard deadline and application period. All the applications are then forwarded to faculties, which will evaluate them.
In fact, this is actually two competitions held simultaneously: we will award project groups by staff members (with student participation) for a period of up to two years, and project groups by students themselves (including doctoral students) for a period of up to one year. In both cases, there will be an opportunity to extend the project if it is a success.
A project group is not a department of the university. This is an initiative by groups of staff and/or students numbering five persons and more who wish to implement a certain project aimed at a clear and important outcome.
The projects may be varied, including fundamental or applied research, education or publishing, social educational or art projects, social work projects, and other projects determined by the faculty based on its specifics.
Obviously, the potential projects should be original, not imitations of something that already exists. In addition, they should not have funding from other sources.
The competition is a truly open. Any staff members and students from all faculties and HSE departments in Moscow can apply. The only limitation is that the head of the group should be a student or an employee of the faculty to which they are applying. Accordingly, they can only apply to one faculty.
We do not want to needlessly form new organizational entities, so the selection and decision-making processes will be performed by existing faculty committees. All applications for staff project groups (independently of the project type) will be considered by Academic Committees, and all student project groups (independently of the project type) will be considered by Educational Initiative Support Committees (abbreviated as Educational Committees).
These committees will determine the criteria of application assessment taking into account the faculty specifics. The same committees will also assess the reports on outcomes and decide whether to extend the support of a project.
If there are interdisciplinary applications (which may be quite natural), they may be considered by committees from different faculties. But it is up to the committees to negotiate the process.
The main funding source will be faculties’ own research and student initiative support budgets. It has also been announced that following a December Academic Council resolution, a considerable part of these funds has been set aside for departments and schools. This money remains in the university fund, but will be spent upon requests from departments and schools. This means that project initiatives are most expected from their staff and students.
In the event of a positive decision, the project will receive a grant for the period of its implementation. But since we are willing to support more initiatives, while the funds are always limited, many of those who don’t receive a grant, will be eligible to the so-called ‘basic funding’ (a small one-time grant for project administration). They will be able to create a project group and start working, and in the future, request special funding. The size of funding will be determined by the faculties.
Yes, there will be a special university committee to evaluate applications for staff project groups (with student participation). It will be able to make decisions regarding special funding from the HSE University central budget.
Similarly, specific applications from students will be able to be considered by the HSE Student Initiative Support Fund Council and the Centre for Student Academic Development competition committees, with the opportunity to receive additional funding. But this is not a separate competition, and there is no need to make additional applications for it.
The first round of the competition is already starting. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2020. There is a competition page on the university website. There, you can read the regulations and competition conditions, download the application forms, fill them out, and upload your application. Everything is simple and online.
We invite everyone to participate in the new competition and hope to see a lot of new project ideas!