You must start the fellowship within one year of the date when the grant agreement was issued. The planned start of the project is to be defined in the declaration of acceptance and commitment. This is to be sent to the FWF no later than four weeks prior to the start of the project. If the project start is delayed for more than one year (without explanation or communication with the FWF), the funds will be recovered. The earliest possible project start is the date of approval (pre-dating is not possible).
Must I start the return phase immediately after the abroad phase of the fellowship?
You can start the return phase—after consultation with the Office—up to 12 months after the end of the FWF-funded stay abroad. Any delays longer than this must be explained in writing in advance and be handled by the Executive Board of the FWF.
What does the note in the approval letter about the project not being able to start until all the necessary permits and approvals have been submitted mean?
If the applicant and the host have indicated that specific permits and approvals are necessary in order to carry out the research project, the principal investigator is required, at the start of the project, to send the FWF copies of all the permits and approvals necessary to carry out the project.
Copies of all necessary extensions or renewals of permits and approvals that have expired during the course of the project are to be sent to the FWF without delay, and the FWF is to be informed immediately if any of the current permits and approvals are revoked or modified.
How is the fellowship paid out?
The fellow must have a current account with an Austrian bank for the approved research stay (e.g., personal account). Transfers to a foreign bank account can only be made in exceptional, well-founded cases. The principal investigator is responsible for any charges arising from this transaction. The required funds are transferred in semi-annual instalments upon submission of a written request (“Transfer request” form) and an interim report.
All further instalments can be paid out only upon submission of an interim report. What must this contain?
The semi-annual interim report must be submitted in good time together with the transfer request for the next instalment of the fellowship. The interim report is usually a brief (roughly two-page) summary of the progress of the project so far. Please note that it usually takes around three to four weeks to process the transfer of the fellowship instalments.
When can I expect payment of the additional subsidy for children and travel expenses?
Travel expenses are paid with the first instalment. The additional subsidy for children is also paid at the start of the fellowship. For projects running longer than 12 months, the second year’s portion is paid out with the third instalment. Please note that the fellow is only entitled to the additional subsidy for children and travel expenses for the family if the child/children reside with the fellow for at least six months. If a child is born abroad, a request to prorate the additional subsidy for children can be made to the FWF upon submission of a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
I would like to continue to make pension insurance contributions during my fellowship abroad. When and how can I request that the FWF refund these contributions?
Pension contributions to the statutory pension insurance (“voluntary” or “continued optional insurance” pursuant to the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG)) for the period of the fellowship abroad are refunded for all applications received by the FWF from 1 August 2010 on. The earliest you can request a refund is after you receive the second instalment of the fellowship (no more than semi-annually). To request a refund, you must send the FWF the relevant form (included in the approval letter) together with the assessment of the Pension Insurance Institution and proof of payment of the contributions in question.
Can I continue to attend conferences and congresses related to my project after the end of my fellowship?
Yes, conferences can still be requested up to three months after the end of the abroad phase, provided that the presentation is related thematically to the Schrödinger project and the funds for this grant have not been exhausted. However, the request for conference funding must be submitted during the course of the abroad phase. The funds for the costs will be dispersed after all the original receipts have been submitted.
What happens if I cannot carry out my project as originally planned?
The FWF is to be notified immediately in writing of any changes to the research project that deviate from the original project plan.
What happens if I have to interrupt work on my research project temporarily?
If the fellowship must be interrupted temporarily, a free-form request must be sent to the FWF. The request is to be sent before the planned interruption and should include an explanation for the interruption. A decision will be made on the request by the decision-making bodies of the FWF. In any case, the fellow should contact the FWF in advance. No funds will be transferred during the period of interruption.
When and how can I submit an application to extend the fellowship?
The FWF assumes that the project can be carried out in the proposed period of time. In justified cases, an application can be submitted to extend the fellowship by a maximum of six months (within the maximum funding period of 24 months). Applications to extend the fellowship between four and six months are subject to external review. The application must be submitted early enough that the review can be completed and the FWF Board can reach its decision before the first funding period expires.
What happens if I have to terminate the project prematurely?
For projects without a return phase, the final report must be sent to the FWF no later than three months after the end of the research project and must include a confirmation by the research institution abroad about the duration of your stay.
If a return phase has been requested, an interim report, including a confirmation by the research institution abroad, is to be sent to the FWF after the abroad phase, and the final report on the entire research project is to be submitted no later than three months after the end of the return phase.
The requirements, guidelines, and the form can be downloaded here.
What does it mean when it says that I am “not eligible for holiday entitlement” during my fellowship?
A fellowship does not include an employment contract. Therefore, the fellow is not eligible for “holiday entitlement” in the strict sense, but the work is to be conducted on the basis of a reasonable and flexible time schedule (and the work is to be confirmed by the final report and the statement of the research institution abroad).
How am I insured during my stay abroad?
The fellowship does not include any insurance coverage.