Call for proposals of joint lab projects

Call for the establishment of two CNR International Joint Laboratories -Thematic: Physical Sciences (three-year period 2024-2026)

Interested parties are advised that the procedures for submitting proposals for the establishment of two thematic International Joint Laboratories in the subject discipline are available in the online procedure "Joint Laboratories": accessible with SIPER credentials

Instructions for the submission of proposals aimed at the launch of two joint Laboratories have been published on the Cnr web site, accessible with SIPER credentials.

Research Areas

Proposals should address only one of the following research areas:

1. Advanced materials for nanotechnology;

2. Photonics and quantum technologies.



Applications must be completed and submitted exclusively to the above address, under penalty of proposal exclusion, no later than noon on March 1°, 2024.


General modalities

Funding is provided for two Joint Laboratories to be established between researchers from Cnr (Principal Investigator of the Joint Laboratory proposal) and research institutions from foreign countries.

The Joint Laboratory is open to the participation of other Italian and foreign research organizations and institutions and/or industries, which will be able to participate in the establishment of the laboratory with their own personnel and/or funding. Proposals for the establishment of the Joint Laboratory must meet the requirements listed below. The Laboratories must be funded by each participating Institution for a period of three years.

The Cnr will fund each Joint Laboratory (in the amount of between 30,000.00 and 50,000.00 Euros per year), depending on the program and budget submitted. Any additional funding made available by other institutions should be indicated in the application.

The foreign Partner Coordinator, agreeing with the scientific approach and cost estimate indicated in the proposal submitted by the Principal Investigator of the CNR, must sign the proposal itself, committing to make available an amount equal to or less than, at most, 10% of that requested by the Principal Investigator of the Cnr to fund its own research network:

Example: if the Italian Principal Investigator makes available € 50,000, the foreign partner will have to make available an equal amount i.e. € 50,000 or an amount lower by a maximum of 10% i.e. € 45,000, and not a lower amount).

The proposal should contain a prospect of financial sustainability capable of guaranteeing the continuation of the Joint Laboratory's activities when the three-year Cnr funding expires. Participation in the Joint Laboratory by new Italian and foreign Partners may take place from the second year of the start-up of the Laboratory itself always with its own funding. Any funding of the Joint Laboratory excludes the Principal investigator from obtaining, for the duration of the Laboratory, other funding from this Cnr Unit.

Principals of projects funded under ‘Bilateral Agreements’ may not submit a Joint Laboratory proposal for the entire duration of the bilateral project. For the realization of the Joint Laboratory, the winning Italian Principal Investigator will have to commit to finalize the signing of a "Scientific Cooperation Agreement" (based on the attached template) with the co-funding foreign Partner Coordinator of the initiative between Cnr, in the figure of the President, with an equal representative of the Partner Institution within the first year of funding of the Joint Laboratory. This document should show the mutual commitments of the parties (Italian and foreign) in relation to the establishment of the joint laboratory and in particular: - regulation of intellectual property between the Italian partner(s) and the foreign partner(s); - financial endowment; - duration of its operation (which must be at least three years). The Cnr Institute that does not have the "Scientific Cooperation Agreement" signed by the foreign partner within the first year of operation will not be funded for subsequent years.


Requirements for participation 

The Italian Principal Investigator (Italian Head of the Laboratory) must fill out the proposal paying particular attention to the section regarding the annual cost estimate. The following will be eligible to submit the Joint Laboratory proposal:

a) Directors of Cnr institutes, Researchers and Technologists (I-III level) of Cnr;

b) personnel in possession of a provision of association to the Cnr valid for the entire duration of the Joint Laboratory (according to the modalities provided by the regulations in force for the institution of association to the CNR), even if through annual renewals for the entire duration of the laboratory. In the absence of this requirement, a new Principal Investigator must be appointed under penalty of suspension of the laboratory.

The Italian Principal investigator will have to ensure his or her commitment to carrying out the activities envisaged by the laboratory proposal for the entire three-year funding period requested, since any funding will be transferred directly and exclusively to the Cnr Institute of his or her affiliation, which will manage the funds allocated, reporting annually on the activities carried out and the expenses incurred according to the modalities that will be communicated later and according to the budget indicated in the proposal.

It should be noted that the funding that will be disbursed for the second and third years of the Joint Laboratory's activities will take into account the reports submitted and the expenses incurred. Rescheduling of the submitted business plan may be requested by the Principal Investigator, only for ascertained and supervening reasons, but must always be authorized by this Unit. Any replacement of the Principal Investigator, must be submitted to this Unit for approval, otherwise funding and laboratory activities will be suspended. In case the Principal investigator is not a Cnr employee but an Associate, the measure of association must be attached. The Principal investigator, in identifying the members of the research group (non-Cnr and non-Cnr Associate) who will have to make stays abroad, must follow the regulations in force regarding the granting of collaborative assignments.


Submission of applications

Submission of applications, in English, by the Italian Responsible, must be made exclusively using the new online procedure "Joint Laboratories":

For CNR staff, access is allowed using the credentials used for SIPER. In case the Responsible is a Cnr Associate, it is necessary, in order to obtain the credentials, that he/she is registered by the web contact of the Cnr Institute where the Responsible is associated, within the procedure following the path "New User". The application must contain all the required information and report elements useful for evaluation. In addition, the application must be accompanied by the following documentation:

- the measure of association in the case of Responsible associated with the Cnr;

- the Italian Head must declare that he/she has read, by means of the appropriate flag in the online application procedure, the information notice regarding the processing of personal data; the information notice in English attached in the procedure must, on the other hand, be duly signed by the foreign Head for acknowledgement and to provide his/her consent to the processing of personal data, under penalty of exclusion of the application.

The processing of the aforementioned data will be carried out by the CNR in accordance with Article 6(c)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (EU);

ATTENTION: the application and the cost estimate must be duly signed by the Italian and foreign Responsibles under penalty of exclusion of the Laboratory application. It is recommended not to include graphics, images, tables and special characters that alter the formatting of the text.


Limitations to the submission of applications

  • Members of the Committee of Experts for the scientific evaluation of Laboratory proposals may not submit an application for joint laboratory;
  •  No more than one application may be submitted by the same Italian Responsible in the same call for laboratories.


Closing of the application

At the conclusion of the compilation process, the application must be "closed" by the Principal investigator of the proposal. The application must be validated by the Director of the relevant Cnr Institute.

However, the Director's validation must be strictly carried out no later than the deadline of 12:00 (noon) on March 1°, 2024 since, in its absence, the application cannot be considered valid and accepted. If, before the deadline, it becomes necessary to reopen the "still not valid" application in order to verify its correct filling in, the nature of the attachments, or to otherwise make any changes, the Director will have the opportunity to "send in modification" the application. The application will subsequently have to be "closed" again by the Principal investigator and then validated by the Director, again within the specified deadline. For technical problems inherent in the computer procedure contact only:


Reasons for the of exclusion of the application

The application will be excluded from selection if:

  • it has been forwarded to the Cnr in a way that does not comply with what is indicated in this call for applications;
  • the files attached in the procedure to the application (cost estimate, data processing consents, any measures of association) are non-compliant;
  • the application and the cost estimate are not duly signed by the Italian and foreign responsibles;
  • the Italian responsibles does not declare that he/she has read, through the appropriate flag in the online application procedure.

Of the notice regarding the processing of personal data:

  •  the notice regarding the processing of personal data is not duly signed by the foreign responsibles;
  •  the association measure does not comply with what is required.


Eligible expenses

  • Personnel expenses: ad hoc selection for Research Fellowship (possible until 31-12-2023) or for two fellowships (at least 60% of the requested funding). -
  • Mission expenses of Cnr or Cnr-associated staff (at least 10% of funding): missions carried out in the foreign partner country for research activities related to the joint laboratory; staff on mission must be paid the foreign mission allowance required by current regulations.

Any replacements or insertion of new collaborators in the Italian group of the Laboratory, must be communicated in advance to and authorized by the writing Unit. Otherwise, expenses included in the report cannot be considered eligible.

The 30% of the funding may be used for the following expenses:

  • Expenses for non-inventory laboratory materials: materials for research activities concerning the Joint Laboratory;
  • Expenses for the purchase of small laboratory instrumentation: specific for carrying out the research, excluding purchases and maintenance of PCs, tablets and similar products;
  • Expenses for dissemination of results: organization of workshops, publications, posters, brochures, etc., protection of knowledge (limited to the Cnr's share of the patent).


Ineligible expenses

  • Laboratory instrumentation maintenance expenses;
  • Project management;
  • Subcontracting;
  • Office supplies and stationery;
  • Purchases and maintenance of PCs, tablets and similar products;
  • General expenses (e.g., telephone, fax, various utilities, toner etc.).


Evaluation and selection of projects 

Proposals will be evaluated by the members of the Commissions of Experts for 'Short Term Mobility' and for Bilateral Agreements already constituted by the Cnr for the evaluation of international projects by Presidential Measures and resolutions of the Board of Directors: Proposal evaluation criteria will be as follows:

  1. scientific relevance of the proposal (methodology, degree of originality and innovation);
  2. documentation and presentation of the proposal;
  3. usefulness and necessity of bilateral collaboration;
  4. involvement of young researchers in the Italian research team*;
  5. potential to successfully participate in European Union or other international funding;
  6. potential to create research and development for the CNR;
  7. potential to attract private investment;
  8. exploitation and/or dissemination/publication of results;
  9. existence of previous agreements and/or joint publications;
  10. economic appropriateness of the project.


Publication of selection results

The outcome of the scientific evaluation of the application will be communicated to the Italian Laboratory responsible. The list of selected Laboratories will be published on this web site.


For information:

Antonella Briuglia
Cnr - International Relations Unit
Tel.: 06 4993-3833

Note: 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 01.03.2024, 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.

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.

Last update: 09/02/2024