Policy

General

1. The OPRA Association Research Grant Program is a program managed by the OPRA Association (hereafter “the Association”) devised for researchers in the field of Nuclear and Particle Physics (hereafter: “the Researcher”). It is important to ensure that the candidate’s research (hereafter “the Research”) will explore at least one of the topics listed in the Funding Areas section.

2. The grants will provide financial support to research which will be conducted within a certified academic institution, e.g. of higher education institutions or research institutes (each an “Institution”).

3. This policy (hereafter “ The Policy”) regulates the nature of the relationship between you, as a Researcher, and the Association, in all matters concerning the submission of the application for a grant, research management, etc. With the submission of an application the applicant accepts this Policy and its terms and therefore he should read it attentively.

4. The Association’s management will have sole discretion in appointing the members of the Research Grants Committee (hereafter “the Committee”). The Committee will be responsible inter allia for the following tasks:
a. Establishing rules for the allocation of the grants, supervising the choice of awardees and the allocation of the grants. It will manage any issue which may arise from this Policy, as directed by the managing committee of the Association.
b. The Committee will issue a call for proposals, specifying the dates for submitting them and adding at its discretion any other relevant information, that will be subjected to the decision of the managing committee of the Association, regarding the allocation of grants.
c. It should be clear that the Committee is not under any obligation to award grants in any given year and will act solely in accordance with the guidelines provided by the managing committee of the Association and according to budgetary considerations.
Each chosen Researcher shall be solely responsible to obtain all necessary approvals for conducting the research and shall submit them to the Association on demand at any time. If the Researcher fails to submit the approvals, the Association will be free to suspend the grant.

5. The research must start as close as possible to the date of the grant’s allocation and in any event within 12 months from receiving the grant award letter.

6. The Researcher will inform the Association imminently about any significant change to the scope of the research, or about any factors that might adversely affect the research or does not in compliance with its Policy.

7. For the avoidance of any doubt, it is hereby stated that neither the Researcher nor any participant in the research will be considered as an employee of the Association. It is the Researcher’s responsibility to sign any necessary employment’s contracts related to the grant, and to comply with any relevant employment law and regulation.

8. The Researcher must make sure that his Research, including all related activities, comply with all relevant legal, health, safety, ethical and regulatory requirements, that all the necessary licenses and approvals were obtained and to make sure they will be in full force and effect throughout the Research period.

9. The Association reserves itself the right to terminate the grant at any time, in case the researcher fails to meet with this Policy. In such a case the researcher will receive a notification 2 months in advance and will have the right to pursue an  appeal within 30 days. The Association will specify its reasons for the termination in writing and send it to the researcher within a reasonable timeframe.

10. In the event that the grant will be terminated as described in this section above, the Association will pay the Institution all research expenses that it has incurred up to the date of termination, including expenses (if they exist) that cannot be canceled prior to the termination date of the agreement.

11. The Researcher and the Institution shall disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest that may arise in relation to the Association’s grant.

Research topics

Subject to the discretion of the Committee – support will be given to Research topics that are likely to advance the knowledge concerning issues directly related to the work of the Association.

Funding Areas

Who is eligible for a Research Grant?

1. Researchers from local and foreign Institutions are eligible to submit applications for grants (Hereafter the “Application”). The person submitting the Application must be in charge of the scientific execution of the research.

2. The applicant must be a researcher/faculty member of an Institution, or be a Postdoctoral student. The Institution to which the Researcher is affiliated must sign a contract with the Association as a precondition for receiving the Grant.

3. The Researcher will specify the research group which will conduct the research, no other third party will be allowed to conduct the research. The Researcher will be directly in charge of conducting the research. The Association must be immediately informed in case the Researcher, or any other member of the research group, leaves the research and/or the Institution (for any reason, including, without limitation, a sabbatical or an unpaid leave of absence, a dismissal, a resignation or a suspension).

4. If the Researcher transfers to another Institution, the grant may be transferred to that Institution, on the condition that it  fully meets the criteria detailed in the Policy of the Association.

5. The research period, as specified in the Application, will not exceed three (3) years.

6. The grant awarded by the Committee will be determined and approved at the sole discretion of the Committee. The maximum allocation for one (1) year is up to $50,000, subject to the Policy. In some cases the Committee will consider approving larger budget requests.

7. The continuance of the grant to the next year be approved on the condition that the research shows a proper progress and advancement. Researchers will be required to submit a progress report by the end of the academic year, along with a letter of recommendation from the Institution to proceed with the grant.

Application submission

1. A Researcher is allowed to submit several Applications to the Association at each of the submission dates to be announced by the Association.

2. A Researcher who submits a number of Applications dealing with the same field during the same academic year, must notify it to the Association, provide information and details regarding each additional Application and clarify the essential differences between the various Applications submitted.

Assessment and selection of applications

1. The Committee will assess the Applications and select the winning Applications.

2. A member of the Committee will not participate  in any deliberation or decision-making process regarding an Application if he/she has any relation and/or conflict of interests related to this application.

3. The Committee may define and update the criteria as well as the ways and means of selection of the Applications, at its sole discretion.

4. The decisions of the Committee will be formulated in writing and include the rationale behind the decision. The Committee will keep minutes of its deliberations and decisions. The Committee and/or the Association will have sole discretion to publish or not the content of the Committee’s deliberations, decisions and minutes in a way they deem fit.

5. The decisions of the Committee are final and irreversible they cannot be appealed and/or contested.

6. Hereafter are some criteria among others which will lead the Committee in its Applications deliberations:

a. An assessment of the proposed research feasibility and the determination of its potential to succeed in advancing the Association’s vision.

b. The Committee may give preference to proposals of an applied nature that, in the Committee’s opinion, will advance knowledge in fields in which the Association is active, and which correspond to its goals.

c. The Committee will verify whether the research has clearly defined aims, schedule and measures of success.

d. A review of the accordance between the declared aims, the proposed process and the requested resources.

e. An assessment of the Researcher’s ability to conduct and complete the proposed research.

f. The review of the proposed research budget.

g. The review of previous research initiatives, if any, conducted with the support (scientific and budgetary) of the Association Research Grant.

7. An Application that does not comply with this Policy will be disqualified – at the sole discretion of the Committee.

8. The Committee has the sole discretion to allow a Researcher to resubmit a proposal, for reasons that will be notified. In its response to the Researcher in question the Committee will clearly state if there is a  possibility to resubmit the Application. 

9. In case an Application is rejected, with no mention of an option of resubmission, the Application in question, or a similar one, may not be submitted again to the Association, unless there are special reasons which the Researcher must stipulate in his/her re-application.

10. The Application shall be evaluated based on the proposal submitted to the Association. Therefore, the option of a continuance of the funding requires adherence to the proposal submitted.

Budget management

1. Without derogating from any other provisions stipulated in this Policy, the Researcher may slightly deviate from the budget proposal while conducting the research. The Researcher is permitted to make changes in the budget’s components if, in his/her opinion, the research will benefit from such changes.

2. Notwithstanding the above, the following changes shall require the approval of the Committee:

a. The Researcher must report to the Committee his/her intention to make a significant change in the composition of the budget and receive the Committee’s explicit written approval before making any changes.

b. The Committee must be informed of any significant postponement of a budgetary clause from one year to the next. An explicit written request for approval should be sent to the Committee ahead of such postponement.

3. The Institution and the Researcher are hereby informed and agree that expenditure incurred prior to  receiving the Association’s grant, does not compel the Association to reimburse such expenditure in case the  continuance of the support for the research is not approved.

4. Equipment purchased for the research will remain at the disposal of the Researcher, on the condition that  the Institution’s regulations so allow. Elsewise, the Committee will have the sole discretion to determine the future of  this equipment, and it may decide whether to leave it in the Institution and/or to transfer it to any other organization and/or entity. As  stated in this agreement, reports sent by the Researcher and the Institution will include precise itemization of the equipment in question.

5. Transfer of grant payments to the Institution will be subjected to signing and accept this policy.

Continued funding

1. The continuance of funding to a  research with an approval for more than one (1) year will depend on the completion of the milestones defined by the Association at the end of each applicable year, and subjected to submission of a short scientific report and a short financial report concerning the research’s fulfillment of the milestones specified in the approved budget (hereafter the “Report”).

2. The Report must be submitted to the Committee in English, no later than thirty (30) days before the end of twelve (12) months from  the commencement of the research (hereafter the “Research Year”). The Committee has the sole discretion to determine whether the Report is satisfactory. The research ‘s funding continuance depend on this approval.

3. The Researcher must submit a final financial report, approved and signed by the Institution, within six (6) months from the conclusion of the research period.

Financial management

1. The research’s approved grant budget will be transferred to the Institution of the Researcher shortly before the date of the decision to award the grants for that academic year.

2. The Institution must hold a bank account in the currency specified in the Award Letter and must notify the Association of any changes made in its bank account.

3. The Institution must either provide the Association with an evidence as to the existence of a designated bank account opened for the grant, or of a separate accounting cost code, specific to the grant, including evidence of all costs and incomes related to the grant that should be accounted for through that cost code. The Institution should ensure that the appropriate records supporting the entries made on the cost code are kept.

4. The Grant will be activated starting from October 1st in the year of the award and is conditional on the Researcher and the Institution signing on accepting this Policy. 

5. In the case of a grant not being used for various reasons (such as termination of the research), the Institution is under the obligation to notify the Association and reimburse the remainder of the budget without delay.

5. The financial and organizational management of the research is under the responsibility of the Institution with which the Researcher is affiliated and should  be operated according to the rules of the Institution in question.

6. Financial reports must include itemization of actual expenses incurred by the Institution to advance the supported research (within the restrictions stated herein).

7. Up to fifteen percent (15%) of reported expenses may be set aside for overheads of the Institution – to cover infrastructure and administrative costs for the research.

8. Expenditures reported to another entity outside the Institution may not be submitted in the Report, and similarly, expenditures submitted for the Association Research Grant should not be submitted afterwards to an outside entity.

9. The Institution must have formal standards, procedures, audit and control arrangements, including regarding monitoring and prevention of fraud, tax evasion, bribery or any other corrupt practices, and that grant expenditure is controlled in conformity with these arrangements.

10. The Association will hold back ten percent (10%) of the grant (hereafter the “Contingent Payment”) until it receives: a) the final expenditure report; and b) the complete end of grant report form (if required). The Association will not release the Contingent Payment until  all invoices, receipts and other relevant documents relating to the grant are kept and provided to the Association upon request.

Scientific reporting

1. The researcher will submit a scientific progress report, written in English, (hereafter the “Scientific Report”) annually, within thirty (30) days from the end of each academic year.

2. The researcher will submit a final scientific report, written in English, to the Committee near the end of the research period, but no later than six (6) months thereafter.

3. The Scientific Report must give a detailed account of the researcher’s achievements. It must also include a list of the work papers, intellectual property and other publications based on the results of the research (hereafter the “Results”).

The research and results

1. Research methodology must be rigorous and well-planned to ensure that the Results are as robust and unambiguous as possible, and to enable the reproducibility of studies.

2. Researchers should maintain accurate records of their methodologies, procedures and the results received during their research. These should be reported clearly in any publications to enable the study to be repeated.

3. The Researcher shall publish the Results to a suitable public audience as wide as possible. The Results must be propagated as soon as possible. Unless otherwise agreed by the Association, the costs for publishing the Results should be included within the amount of the grant.

4. It is hereby agreed that any Intellectual Property rights arising from this research shall belong to the Researcher and the Institution.

Conflict of Interests

1. Researchers must:
a. ensure that commitments to other activities do not prejudice the timely conduct of the research;

b. disclose to their Institution and the Association, as soon as possible, any actual or potential conflict of interest related to the conduct of research and/or the potential use of research outputs.

2. In case a Researcher or an Institution breaches this Policy the Association may suspend or terminate the relevant award.

Rights of the Association and other rights

1. It is expected that the results of research supported by the Association will be published by the Researcher within 1 year from the completion of the research.

2. The Institution and the Researcher (whichever is relevant) shall inform the Association of all publicity, promotional activity and press statements that are to be be issued about the grant.

3. If during the research a database was set up/organized, the Researcher must make this database available to the scientific community, after the publication of the Results. The Researcher will inform the Association about access to the database established (by mentioning it in the final scientific report). The Association will have the right to add a link to the database on the Association website and/or any other publication, as it sees fit.

4. The following note will appear in publications containing Results attained during the funded research: “The research was supported by a grant from “The OPRA Association”.

5. Grants will be awarded in accordance with this Policy and the Association’s rules. The Researcher and/or the Institution will have no claim and/or demand whatsoever against the Association, the Committee and/or any of their representatives, concerning the way the Committee works, this Policy, the conduct of the Committee, its election of chosen Applications, withdrawal of grants, etc.

6. The Researcher undertakes to meet all ethical and moral conditions and requirements that pertain to the field of research and ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with all legal and ethical requirements. The Researcher declares and acknowledges that to the best of his knowledge, no obstacle and/or limitation by law and/or contract exists that would preclude him/her from undertaking to follow this Policy fully.

7. In carrying out the research, the Institution and the Researcher shall not (and ensure that the Participants shall not) take any deliberate action which may damage or have a detrimental effect upon the name of the Association and its good status.

8. The Researcher must also contact the Association immediately in the case he/she becomes aware of anything related to the grant that may have an adverse reputational impact on the Association.

9. The Association does not accept any responsibility for financial or other liability incurred by the Researcher or the institution that may arise from the research.

10. The Association shall use the data, including the personal data, (both hereafter the “Data”) the researcher provided in his/her Application and/or in connection with the research for sole purpose of assessing the researcher’s Application and in connection with the research. These processing activities are based on different legal bases including performance of a contract between the Association and its legitimate interests. In some cases, the Association may transfer the Researcher’s Data to affiliates and/or data processors (such as hosting services) located in countries outside the searcher’s geography. All the Association affiliates and/or data processors will be subject to non-disclosure and non-use obligations. Nevertheless, some countries may have levels of protection of personal and other information, which are not as high as in the researcher’s country of residence or business. By providing such Data to the Association, the researcher expressly consent to such transfer and use, including transfers outside of the country of his/her residence and further transfers thereof. Depending on the researcher’s country of residence, he/she may have certain rights with respect to his/hers Data, including right of access, data portability, correction, right to be forgotten, right to restrict processing and/or right to object to the processing. The researcher may have the right to lodge a complaint regarding the processing of his/her Data with the relevant supervisory authority. The researcher is welcome to contact the Association in regard to any concerns he/she might have. The Association implement measures aimed at protecting the researcher’s Data, but they do not provide absolute information security. The Association retain Data for as long as necessary for the purposes set forth in this Policy.

Administration

Correspondence between the Researcher and his/her Institution and the Association will be conducted by e-mail. Scientific and financial reports will be sent as e-mail attachments in PDF format. The e-mail address of the Committee is grants@oprassn.org

Legal status and jurisdiction

This Policy and its implications are subject only to Israeli law. The applicable court in the Tel Aviv Jaffa District shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any claim and/or demand relating to this Policy and or any Application (whether approved or disapproved).

Final regulations

1. We reserve the right to amend this Policy and the terms of an Award Letter at any time. We will publish on our website any such changes which shall be binding.

2. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this Policy as amended from time to time, and of the Award Letter, the provisions of the Award Letter will take precedence.