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Funding, promotion and internationalization of research in Luxembourg

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

The Fonds National de la Recherche - FNR (National Research Fund) provides since its creation in 1999, various thematic and strategic funding instruments in all scientific fields, including Humanities and Social Sciences, which aims at attracting excellent researchers from abroad, fostering international collaborations, promoting collaborations with the private sector, promoting the industrial exploitation of research results and supporting the training of young researchers (PhD and postdoctoral levels).

With a budget set by a multiannual performance contract signed with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the FNR pursues three strategic objectives:

  • Supporting researchers to build up scientific quality and excellence ;
  • improving Luxembourg's research environment and institutional framework ;
  • promoting scientific culture, particularly among the young.
To achieve these objectives, several research programmes in specific scientific fields have been implemented on the basis of Calls for proposals (regular, annual or open all the year). Among these programmes:
  • ATTRACT, which provides opportunities for foreign outstanding young researchers;
  • PEARL, which invites internationally recognised senior researchers to transfer their research programmes to a public-sector research institution in Luxembourg;
  • INTER, which strives to give Luxembourg’s public research a higher profile in an international context by facilitating and funding international collaboration.
In the framework of this last programme, a Call for bi-lateral projects with the Agence nationale de la recherche - ANR (France) is ongoing. Deadline for application : October 23, 2013. For more information, please read our article of September 28, 2013.

Since 2008, the FNR has also been in charge of allocating research training grants (Aides à la Formation-Recherche - AFR) which offer financial support to PhD (up to 4 years) and post-doctoral (up to 2 years) projects. The AFR scheme has no thematic limitations and is open to all researchers, regardless of their nationality.
Its main goal is to improve researchers’ working conditions by facilitating the access of early-stage researchers to work contracts and additional training opportunities. Furthermore, public/private partnership is promoted.
The 2014 AFR Call for proposals will be launched in mid-December 2013 with a deadline for applications scheduled for March, 2014.

To discover the world of science and research in Luxembourg, the FNR has designed and animates science.lu, a website (only available in French and German) dedicated to the scientific mediation of all actors of science and research in the country.
You can also subscribe to its monthly newsletter (only available in French and German). It is free.