Call for proposals of joint lab projects

Launch of two Cnr Joint Lab Projects - Research Area: Bio-agri-food sciences (three-year period 2021-2023)
Research Areas: proposals will have to fall under the following scientific areas:
1) Sustainable intensification and defense of agricultural and forestry production through exploitation of natural substances and interactions with other organisms.
2) Converging mechanisms of ageing across agricultural plants and animals and their application to improve active ageing of consumers through functional diets.

Deadline: all applications must be filled out and forwarded to Cnr only using the required on line procedure by and no later than November, 20th, 2020 h.12.00.

General Information:  a financing is available for Joint Laboratories to be jointly set up between CNR researchers (the Italian researcher will be the Principal Investigator of the Joint Lab Project's Proposal) and researchers from foreign countries’ research Institutions. Joint Labs are open to participation of other Institutions or Research Centers and/or Private Italian and foreign Business Enterprises willing to take part, with their own staff and/or own financing to the project.
Proposals for the creation of each Joint Lab will have to meet the following necessary requirements. The Laboratories will be funded by each and every participating Institution for a duration of 3 years.
CNR will finance two Joint Labs (with a contribution ranging from €30.000 to €50.000 each per year) this, depending on the project and the expenditure plan drafted by the team, this representing the total amount of the overall financial support, granted to the proposed Joint Lab.

The foreign partner involved, will have:

  • to approve the scientific line and the expenditure estimate mentioned in the proposal submitted by the Italian Coordinator;
  • to endorse the proposal itself committing to provide a sum exactly corresponding or lower (of 10% at the most) to that required by the Italian Coordinator to finance his/her research group. (for example, if the Italian Principal Investigator makes € 50,000 available, the foreign partner must make available a figure equal to € 50,000 or a figure lower than the maximum of 10% or € 45,000, and not a lower figure). 

The proposal will have to contain a plan for the acquiring of new, further investments so that the cooperation activity carried out under the Joint Lab, could continue at the end of the 3-year-long Cnr  financing.

Participation in the Joint Lab of new Italian and foreign Partners, (not initially involved) can be allowed only as of the second year of the Joint Lab’s activity.

Submission of a Proposal for a Joint Lab prevents the Italian Principal Investigator to be entitled to submit further requests for obtaining other types of financing from this same Cnr's Office.

Researchers already responsible for ongoing joint projects under bilateral Agreements for scientific and technological cooperation cannot submit a proposal for a joint laboratory for the whole duration of the very joint projects. They will be allowed to submit an application for a joint Lab. provided that their bilateral projects expire on Dec 31st 2020.

As for the implementation of the Joint Laboratory, the Italian principal investigator, winner of the selection, will have to commit to finalize, within the first year of the Joint Laboratory funding, the signing of a "Scientific Cooperation Agreement" (based on the attached pattern) with the foreign partner co-financer of the initiative. Said Agreement will have to be signed by Cnr’s President and a representative from the Partner Institution having equal legal status.

The above-mentioned document must contain mutual commitments of the parties (Italian and foreign) regarding in particular:

  • regulation on intellectual property between Italian and foreign partner/s;
  • financial endowment;
  • duration of the activities to be carried out within the Joint Lab (at least three years - mandatory -)

Should a Cnr Institute not have the 'Scientific Cooperation Agreement' signed by the foreign partner within the first year of joint activity, will not receive further funding in the following years.  

Operating Modes: the Principal Investigator on the Italian side, must be part of Cnr personnel or, alternatively, be a holder (by decree) of an ‘Associatura’ to Cnr according to the rules in force regulating the official temporary affiliation to Cnr ) and will have to fill out, the proposal with particular attention to the section regarding the estimated yearly expenses.

Proposals can be submitted by:
a) Cnr Institutes Directors, Senior Researchers, Researchers and Technologists of CNR (levels I –III);
b) All those holding a decree of ‘Associatura’ to Cnr valid for the duration of the Project (3 years)

The Italian Principal Investigator will have to ensure his/her commitment to carry out all necessary activities as described in the Proposal for the whole duration (3 years) of the Project, considering that the sum will be transferred directly and only to the Cnr Institute where said Investigator is affiliated, who will administer and manage the funds, also providing annual reports on the expenditure and activities.

Possible amendments to the financial plan can only be requested, in writing, by the Coordinator, following new, unexpected and well- documented serious reasons and will have to be necessarily authorized  by this Office. Possible replacement of the Italian Coordinator will have to be notified to this Office for approval. In case of no notification, funding and activities will be ceased.

The Application, which includes mandatory fields marked with a red star (*) must be filled out, online, by the Principal Investigator, following the procedures, as detailed in Cnr Intranet, at this address: ( following : Area personale – Attività Internazionali – Domande Lab. Congiunti). Access to such link can be allowed only by entering Siper credentials and password.  

Should the Principal Investigator not be part of Cnr permanent staff but holds a decree of ‘Associatura’ to Cnr , it is necessary for the Web Administrator of his/her Cnr’s Institute to register his/her credentials in the ‘Institutes’ Area of Cnr Intranet: .  

The Principal investigator, selecting the researchers for the Italian team, will have to follow the enforced guidelines regulating the assignement of collaboration contracts for those ones who are neither Cnr 's nor Cnr's associates, for whom scientific visits abroad are planned.

Following the completion of the application, the proposal must be ‘finalized’ by the Principal Investigator and afterwards validated by the Director of his/her Cnr Institute via an on-line procedure which will generate an automatic email response addressed to the Principal Investigator, notifying the same, on the correct validation of the Proposal. Such operation by the Director of the Institute MUST be performed by and no later than the deadline of November 20th, 2020 at 12 o’clock (noon); should this not be the case, the application will not be accepted nor considered eligible for evaluation.

Should it be necessary to access and amend an already–validated Application before the deadline, in order to check, amend, or integrate it, Cnr Institute’s Director will have to void the previous validation and proceed to repeat the whole process, until the new Application is ready to be validated and ‘closed’ again; all this must be done before the above-mentioned deadline. For technical problems regarding the on-line  procedure,  you  can  contact  exclusively  the  dedicated Helpdesk:  at the following email  address : 

Eligible expenses: 

  • Expenses for Personnel: assignment of research grants (60% of requested funds).
  • Expenses for research trips of Cnr staff or Cnr’s associated personnel (10% of the funds): research trips to the foreign partner- country for scientific activities related to the joint laboratory. Staff on research trips abroad, shall receive the mission reimbursement as ruled by the enforced law. In case of replacement of previous staff or adding of new employees, the same must be communicated in advance to this Office and authorized by it. Differently, the expenses included in the financial report will not be considered eligible. 

30% of the funds could be used for the below-mentioned expenses:

  • Expenses for durable laboratory material: material for the research activity connected to the Joint Laboratory. 
  • Expenses for the purchase of small laboratory equipment: essential for the implementation of the research activity.
  • Expenses for the dissemination of results: workshops, publications, posters, brochures, etc., protection of knowledge property (limited to patent fee owed to CNR). The costs for participation in workshops/conferences (closely related to the laboratory) are eligible only if said events are held in Italy or in the partner-country.


Non-eligible expenses:

  • maintenance costs of laboratory equipment
  • purchases and maintenance costs of PCs, tablets and similar products
  • project’s management
  • subcontracting
  • consumables (e.g. stationery)
  • any further general expense (e.g., phone, fax, utilities, paper, toner etc.)  


Evaluation and Selection of Projects:  

The assessment the Joint Lab Proposals received will be performed by members of CNR’s Expert Boards already nominated by CNR President Provisions: for the bilateral Agreement no. n. 56/2020 (dated 30/6/2020 prot. 0035072/2020) and modified by no. 95/2020 (dated 2.10.2020 prot 0060763/2020);and for Short Term Mobility (STM) two Resolution of CNR’s boards of directors no. 238/2019 of 26th july 2019 and n. 129/2020 del 15 may 2020 no. 238/2019.

The evaluation criteria are specified below:

  1. Scientific relevance of the project ( methodology, novelty and innovation of research)
  2. Documentation and presentation of the Project;
  3. Importance and need of bilateral cooperation;
  4. Involvement of young researchersi;
  5. Possibility to successfully apply to EU or other international Funding;
  6. Possibility of enhancing research and development within Cnr;
  7. Potential for acquiring private financial investments;
  8. Spreading and/or publication and/or dissemination of results;
  9. Presence of previous or ongoing Joint Agreements and/or joint publications;
  10.  Financial viability of the project.


Publication of selection results: the Italian Coordinators will be informed about the selection results via e-mail by Cnr Intranet. The list of selected Laboratories will be published on this web site.

For information: Antonella Briuglia,  Cnr - European and International Relations Unit, phone: +39/06/4993-3833; Rita Carbonetti Tel.: 06 4993 4112; e-mail:
*Note - For young researchers are intended researchers under the age of 35, who have obtained a PhD or have completed at least three years of post- graduate research experience at Universities or qualified public or private national or international Research organizations.

It is reiterated that, at the end of the compilation process, the application must be "closed" by the Principal Investigator of the proposal and subsequently validated by the Director of the Reference Institute (as specified above). The validation of the Director must, however, be strictly carried out by the deadline of 12.00 pm on 20.11.2020, as, in the absence of the same, the application cannot be considered valid and accepted. Requests will not be accepted by way of derogation from the above provisions as it will not be possible to reopen the online procedure once closed.

Last update: 29/10/2020