Thematic Activities and Seed-Funded Research

Thematic Activities and Seed-Funded Research

The first CIVICA Call for Thematic Activities is now open

Faculty, together with postdoctoral researchers and/or doctoral students in CIVICA universities (Bocconi, CEU, EUI, Hertie School, IE, LSE, Sciences Po, SGH, SNSPA, SSE) are invited to submit proposals for ‘thematic activities’ and/or ‘research proposals for seed funding’.

The call aims to foster collaborative activities, to further existing links or to establish new ones. Activities may include, but are not limited to, organising CIVICA workshops, or small-scale CIVICA conferences with the involvement of (primarily) CIVICA faculty, postdoctoral, and doctoral researchers. Alternatively, applications for seed funding for research projects that lead to larger grant applications are also welcome.

The application deadline is 15 January 2024, 12:00 pm (CET) 

  • What types of activities are financed?
  • Who can apply?
  • How will the proposals be evaluated?
  • What is financed?
  • How much money is available?
  • What are the deliverables for winning projects? 
  • How long should project last?
  1. THEMATIC ACTIVITIES: These are typically small-scale, CIVICA-branded workshops, or conferences that broadly relate to one of CIVICA’s core, interdisciplinary themes (Democracy in the 21st Century, Europe Revisited, Societies in Transition-Crises of Earth, Data-Driven Technologies for the Social Sciences).

    For instance, a 2-day CIVICA workshop on the ‘transition to green economy’, led by permanent faculty, accepting applications from CIVICA faculty, postdocs, and PhDs. The event includes at least 4 CIVICA partners and is completed by 31 January 2025. The application can also be for co-financing an event but the benefit for CIVICA will have to be convincingly laid out. The application can be used to cover hosting-related (a dinner, catering) and travel & accommodation costs for participants already known at the time of submission. Travel & accommodation costs should be budgeted under the participants’ home university. Should the event include an open call for abstracts, accepted faculty and postdoc participants should apply to one of the bi-monthly Calls for Faculty Short Visits.
  2. ​​SEED FUNDING FOR RESEARCH PROJECTS: These are typically low-cost, exploratory, collaborative research projects with the explicit aim of preparing an application for larger grants. All types of collaborative research projects are eligible, but we encourage links to CIVICA’s four research themes. Only innovative, new research ideas will be considered. The proposals should be clear about how they will lead to a fully-fledged research grant. 

    The projects are led by permanent faculty as PI(s) (see eligibility criteria below), involving other CIVICA faculty or postdocs from at least 3 CIVICA institutions but we strongly encourage involving 4 or more CIVICA partners. The projects are to be completed by 31 July 2025, and they are considered completed when the grant application (to EU, national, private funding agencies) is submitted.

Thematic activity leaders and/or PIs of research applications should be permanent faculty from CIVICA universities, or employees with long-term contract. The duration of the contract must go well beyond the end of the funding period. Postdoctoral researchers and doctoral students at CIVICA universities are encouraged to be involved in the thematic activities. Postdoctoral researchers at CIVICA universities can also be involved in research projects.

Submitted applications will be evaluated by the ‘Permanent Design Team’ (PDT) of CIVICA. The PDT consists of vice-presidents for research and/or senior faculty of the 10 CIVICA universities. Selected applications will be financed by the sending/home university in accordance with the home university’s financial rules and allocated CIVICA budget.

Formal grant decisions are made by each CIVICA partner following the decision of the PDT. Rejected applications may only receive informal feedback.  

The selection committee evaluates proposals on various dimensions: scientific quality, contribution to CIVICA’s effort for integrated research, feasibility, budget, and the diversity of partners. 

All expenses directly related to activities and research projects are eligible, provided they are realistic and in line with the expected results; primarily personnel specifically hired for the research project, travel, and individual cost items as per Erasmus+ rules. Recurring institutional costs, including personnel costs (overhead, faculty salaries) are not eligible. For details on what specific expenses are eligible, please contact grant units at your respective universities before submitting the application. Adequate supporting documents to prove costs may be requested. Local rules may apply.

This call is financed from CIVICA Erasmus+, except for LSE which is self-funded. Each CIVICA partner university may have a slightly different budget for this call. Budget plans should detail costs per institutions participating/represented in an activity/project. Any travel & accommodation costs should be budgeted under the participants home institution as each partner finances their own faculty/postdoc/doctoral student. To find out more on available funding, please contact your local grant coordinating unit before applying. The list of contact persons at each CIVICA partner is attached.  

For thematic activities, workshops/conferences take place. Daily attendance sheet of participants, affiliation is submitted to research(at) after the event. The event is advertised and/or covered on the website by CIVICA’s communications team (in case of public events). Public events are also streamed on Zoom.

For research projects, a submitted grant application concludes the project. During the funding period, details of the project and their progression is provided to the CIVICA’s communications team upon request.

Projects can officially start in February 2024. Thematic activities must take place within 12 months, i.e. by end of January 2025. Research projects must finish within 18 months, i.e. by end of July 2025. Research projects are considered completed when a grant application is submitted.    

Application process

The application form available here needs to be submitted electronically to research(at) by the deadline: 12:00 pm (CET) – 15 JANUARY 2024  


  • 31 October 2023 – Call for Thematic Activities announced 

  • 15 January 2024 – Application deadline 

  • 1 February 2024 – Announcement of winners on the CIVICA website 

  • 31 January 2025 – Thematic activities completed

  • 31 July 2025 – Research activities completed

Contact persons at partner institutions

Application process and deadline

The application form needs to be submitted electronically to research(at) by the deadline: 
12:00 pm (CET) – 15 January 2024  

CIVICA Thematic Activities

The CIVICA Call for Thematic Activities is an annual call (next in October 2024) that can be used in combination with other CIVICA- and non-CIVICA funded activities but the added value to CIVICA has to be convincingly laid out in the application. (A Call for Research Proposals will be announced in March 2024.)