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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: If my research project is part of a greater multiannual project, can I use the overall project description as my own project description in the application form?
A: No. Your AFR project must be a research project on its own with a clear research objectives, hypothesis and workplan. However if the AFR proposal is part of a multiannual research grant, you should describe the overall project and explain how your proposal contributes to the bigger project.
2. Q: Despite being mainly based abroad for my research, can I conclude my employment contract with a collaborating research institution in Luxembourg?
A: No. Your employment contract has to be concluded with your host institution (HI), i.e. the institution where you carry out the major part of your research. In case your work is predominantly carried out abroad and you collaborate with an institution in Luxembourg, then the institution abroad is considered your HI.
If your HI cannot conclude an employment contract or, if the conclusion of an employment contract with your HI leads to a material disadvantage for you, then the FNR will offer you a AFR stipend (1.500 EUR/month) and a refund for health and accident insurance. You cannot conclude a contract with the collaborating institute instead.
3. Q: My Host Institution does not offer employment contracts. Is it possible to receive an employment contract by FNR?
A: No. See question 2.
4.Q: I am interested in an AFR grant. Where can I find an interesting Host Institution (HI) in Luxembourg?
A: If you would like to have more information about research institutions in Luxembourg, refer to the AFR Application guidelines where you can find the links to the websites of the public research institutions in Luxembourg.
5. Q: I do not have a supervisor yet, can I still apply?
A: In the evaluation of AFR PhD applications special focus is laid on the quality of supervision and the research environment of the project so that the supervisor needs to be known at the time of the application.
6. Q: Is it possible that my supervisor submits the reference letter after the deadline (e.g. because she/he is on a field trip)?
A: No. Incomplete applications are not eligible. It is your responsibility to start planning the research project and preparing your application well in advance in order to be able to submit all documents on time.
7. Q: Can I add any documents to support my application?
A: you may want to add few essential support documents for the reviewers to judge your application, such as letters of support by other scientists. However, you should keep in mind that if your application is overloaded with unnecessary documents, the reviewers might ignore them.
8. Q: After a positive funding decision, when can I start my research grant?
A: If your proposal has been accepted for funding, a contract (elaborated by the FNR) has to be signed between you, your host institution (HI) and the FNR. This grant agreement relates to the terms and conditions set by the FNR and specifies the rights and duties of the different signing partners (e.g. the reporting frequency, the supervision requirements, etc.). It also fixes the exact starting date of your research project/grant payments and the duration of the grant attribution. When fixing the date retroactive payment up to the application deadline can be taken into account.
If your project was evaluated in the spring call, then it will have to start until the 1st of January of the following year at the latest. If it was evaluated in the autumn call, then the latest start date will be the 1st of June of the following year.
9. Q: Which documents do I need to send to FNR to start my AFR grant after a positive funding decision?
Your funding will not start until the FNR has received all the missing documents, including the grant agreement to be signed by the FNR, your host institution and the FNR. In case of an employment contract with your HI, the FNR also requests a copy of this contract.
10. Q: Are PhD students and postdoc students allowed to teach?
A: The FNR strongly encourages AFR beneficiaries to gain teaching experience as it is a good way to acquire multiple skills, such as strengthening of communication skills, experience in the contact with students, etc. However, AFR beneficiaries should not be used as low-cost teaching staff. The task of teaching must not constitute an impediment on their research activity and the subject taught should be directly related to the research field. Your teaching missions should not exceed 90 hours per year. The AFR scheme does not award supplements for your teaching activities.
11. Q: I have an AFR PhD/postdoc grant and I have been on sick leave for more than 1 month. What shall I do?
A: If you have been on sick leave for more than a consecutive month, then you or your host institution have to notify the FNR in written as soon as possible. If necessary, you may ask for the suspension of the grant and a possible extension of the funding period maybe granted.
12. Q: I have a AFR PhD/postdoc grant and I am planning a research stay abroad. What shall I do?
A: If you are planning to stay abroad for longer than 2 months, then you should contact the Programme Manager of your domain as soon as possible (preferentially by email) and ask how to proceed.
13. Q: I would like to change supervisor/host institute? What shall I do?
A: A change of supervisor is a substantial change of the AFR grant and needs to be approved by the FNR otherwise the funding may be immediately terminated (see AFR Terms and Conditions).
If you are planning to change supervisor or host institution, then you should contact the AFR programme manager of your domain as soon as possible (preferentially by email) and ask how to proceed.
14. Q: I will be moving to Luxembourg. Where can I find help for my visa applicaton?
A: Euraxess Luxembourg ( http://www.euraxess.lu/eng) is a great source of information. Euraxess Luxembourg provides free of charge information and assistance to researchers on job and funding opportunities, visa applications, taxation, professional and daily life and mobility in Luxembourg.
15. Q: I’m working since 1,5 years at my research institution. Am I eligible to apply for AFR PhD funding?
A: It depends whether you have been working on your PhD or on other topics (e.g. as a technician). To be eligible for AFR PhD funding your PhD project (and research on this topic) should not have started longer than 1 year before the call deadline. However, if you have worked on another position and not on your PhD in the same institution for longer than a year, you are eligible to apply for AFR PhD funding.
16. Q: Can I apply for PhD funding, even though I don’t have my master diploma yet?
A: You can apply for AFR PhD grant prior to obtaining your University degree. However, you cannot start the AFR funding until the FNR has received a proof of the conclusion of your degree.
You should also take into consideration that, following the AFR rules, if your project was evaluated in the spring call, then you have to start the AFR funding until the 1st of January of the following year. If it was evaluated in the autumn call, then the latest start date will be the 1st of June of the following year.
17. Q: Can I apply for postdoctoral funding, even though I don’t have my PhD diploma yet?
A: If you are about to finalise your PhD and wish to continue with a postdoc, then you should only submit your application for postdoctoral funding if:
- you know the date of your PhD exam,
- your PhD exam will take place within 2 months following the call deadline.
If these conditions are not met or you do not pass successfully your PhD exam, then the application is turned down by the FNR without any further evaluation.
If you do not have your PhD certificate when applying, then you must join a statement by your supervisor who pledges the quality of the thesis and her/his confidence in the successful completion of the PhD.
The AFR funding only start when your certificate for the successful completion of the PhD has been received by the FNR. In this specific case, retroactive payments are only possible up to the date of the certificate.
18. Q: Can I apply for a second AFR postdoctoral grant?
A: No. You can apply for consecutive AFR doctoral and postdoctoral funding, but not for two consecutive AFR postdoctoral funding periods.
19. Q: I’m a PhD and plan to conduct a 5-months research stay abroad. Am I eligible for an AFR Postdoc grant for this stay?
A: No. The minimum AFR postdoc funding period is 1 year. In order to be eligible, you must apply for a research stay of at least 1 year and fulfil the mobility criterion.
20. Q: Which date counts for the mobility criterion?
A: The date of the call deadline is the relevant date for applying the mobility rule. Call deadlines are published on our website ( www.fnr.lu/afr).
21. Q: I receive an AFR Postdoc grant – may I apply for a Marie-Curie Action?
A: The AFR Postdoc scheme is co-funded by the Marie-Curie Actions of the European Commission. It is stated in your Grant Agreement whether you are a Marie-Curie Fellow or not. In general, you can only receive one Marie-Curie funding at the same time. However, you may apply for another Marie-Curie action, but in case of acceptance of the funding you have to opt for one or the other. Subsequent funding by an individual Marie-Curie Fellowship is possible, if you meet the eligibility criteria (especially the mobility clause) of the Marie-Curie Action.
22. Q: If I work part-time, do I also have to submit my intermediary reports at the same intervals than full-time beneficiaries ?
A: Yes. The FNR requests an annual progress report, independently of full-time or part-time contracts.