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Call for applications

Faculty members and researchers of CIVIS universities are invited to submit proposals for initiating new collaborative research projects or the preparation of applications for larger research grants. CIVIS welcomes proposals related to one (or more) of the five CIVIS Hub themes:

  • Climate, Environment, Energy
  • Society, Culture, Heritage
  • Health
  • Cities, Spaces, Mobilities
  • Digital & Technological Transformation

Background and objectives

CIVIS – Europe’s Civic University Alliance connects 11 research-oriented member universities in Europe, which jointly design educational offers, foster mobility of staff and students, and promote a socially engaged academy. As shown with the CIVIS Research & Innovation Strategy (RIS4CIVIS, 2020-23), CIVIS also seeks to support joint research among its member institutions.

In 2022, CIVIS and six leading universities in Africa entered a strategic partnership for contributing to closer African-European science collaboration across all academic missions.   

The aim of this Call for Applications is to encourage innovative research as well as to initiate or widen, longer-term collaboration between CIVIS member institutions in Europe and strategic partner universities in Africa.
This call is currently closed


Photo: Copyright University of Tübingen Valentin Marquardt

Online information session on this Call

Do you want to learn more about the background and possibilities of this Call, or guidelines on how to prepare an application?

You can watch on our YouTube channel the recording of the online information session held on Friday, 23 of February 2024. The slides of the session are also available in the document below.

FAQ compilation for this Call (constantly updated)



Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be permanent faculty members or employees with a long-term contract
  • The duration of the contract of the faculty members or employees involved must go beyond the end of the funding period and allow for contributing to the sustainability of the activity after its completion
  • For organisational reasons, the contact person for the proposal (main applicant) should be a member from a CIVIS University in Europe
  • Postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to participate in this Call

What types of activities are funded?

1) THEMATIC ACTIVITIES: This refers to any initiative with a research dimension, thematically related to at least one of the five interdisciplinary CIVIS Hub themes (see above), and with the potential to establish a longer-lasting collaboration among participants beyond the activity itself.

Examples for supported activities:

  • Workshops/training measures for early-stage researchers
  • Network meetings for establishing a research group, for reaching out to non-academic stakeholders or both
  • Fact-finding missions
  • Workshops for preparing a larger publication on research outcomes
  • Citizen science projects
  • Research-oriented summer/winter schools

​​2) APPLICATION DESIGN MEASURES: This refers to activities with the explicit aim of preparing an application for a larger research grant. All types of collaborative research projects are eligible if they relate to at least one of the five CIVIS Hub themes (see above). The proposals should clearly state how they will lead to a fully-fledged research grant and which funding programme or Call they target. (In case of applications for Horizon Europe, the CIVIS Expert Groups EU Research Funds should be consulted or its member at the university hosting the meeting should be invited to provide advice.)

Examples for supported activities:

  • Meetings of potential or designated applicants/consortium members
  • Meetings of the writing team
  • Visits of the PI, other key participants to (potential) consortium members or both

Which costs are eligible?

  • Staff mobility costs (travel, accommodation, and subsistence) can be covered according to Erasmus+ rules for participants from CIVIS member universities in Europe. (For budget estimation, the application form includes a template using the following formula: up to 850 EUR per participant travelling in Europe and up to 1 500 EUR per participant travelling from Europe to Africa.)
  • Staff mobility costs for participants from African partner universities can be funded by some, not all CIVIS member universities in Europe through co-funding measures (own institutional funds, Erasmus+ ICM or both). Please consult your local CIVIS office for checking whether such options for the funding of African partner visits to an event at a European CIVIS university exist. Alternatively, applicants might want to consider holding meetings/events at a partner institution in Africa
  • The co-funding of activities from other sources is possible and encouraged. Double funding from the same third-party funding institution or programme may be restricted. In case of doubt, please consult your local CIVIS Office
  • Adequate supporting documents to prove costs may be requested; local rules may apply. For more details, please contact the CIVIS Office at your respective universities before submitting the application (see contact details below).
  • Organisational costs for meetings at a European CIVIS university (e.g., catering, hiring a student assistant for an event)

What is the budget of this call?

  • This call is primarily financed from the CIVIS Erasmus+ budget; some universities will use institutional funds in addition. UNIL and UofG will only use own funds
  • Each project can receive up to 10,000 EUR. Please note, if activities involve academics from the University of Lausanne or the University of Glasgow, applications can exceed this limit as those participants are financed by UNIL/UofG institutional funds
  • Budget plans should state costs for each participating institution. Any travel and accommodation costs should be budgeted under the participants home institution, which usually covers the expenses of its members (except participants from strategic partner universities in Africa).

What are the selection criteria?

Proposals must:

  • Involve at least three CIVIS Universities from Europe or Africa (with a minimum of two European universities)
  • Relate to at least one of the CIVIS Hub themes (see above)
  • Align with one of the activity types described above (thematic activity/application design measures)
  • Demonstrate the potential for a sustainable, longer-term collaboration among project participants, e.g., by including plans for a grant application, follow-up activities, lasting links among project participants. Application design measures must state the funding programme or the call for applications targeted (e.g., Horizon Europe)
  • Be implemented by July 31, 2025.

Proposals should:

  • Include participants from at least one of the six strategic partner universities in Africa (more are desirable)
  • Ideally include partners from more than two European universities
  • Address societal challenges
  • Be interdisciplinary.

Applicants for Thematic Activities are especially encouraged to include or contribute to citizen/participatory science.

How to apply?

  • Please submit your online application only through the CIVIS Application Portal.
  • Application deadline: March 31, 2024 (24:00 CEST/UTC+2)
  • Applicants who plan to organise an event at a CIVIS Member University should consult the local CIVIS Office/contact person at the potential host university before submitting the application. All contact persons for proposals (main applicants) should inform their local CIVIS Office about their application. 

Evaluation and timeline

  • April/May 2024: CIVIS Hub Councils examine the academic relevance of proposed activities. The CIVIS Management Committee will verify their financial and organisational feasibility. The CIVIS Research Council and Steering Committee will decide on the funding of activities.
  • By June 15, 2024: Applicants will be notified about the funding decision.
  • By July 31, 2025: Proposed activities are completed.

Further information

For general inquiries about this Call, please contact:

For inquiries regarding local funding options and circumstances, please contact your local CIVIS Office/contact person:


Contact Person(s)


AMU – Aix Marseille U

Eve-Laure GAY

NKUA – U of Athens


ULB - U libre de Bruxelles


UB – U of Bucharest

Raluca AMZA

UH2C – UH2 Casablanca

Mustapha LKHIDER; Omar EL-GHAZI;


Aminata NIANG DIENE; Aminata MBOUP;;

UG – U of Glasgow


Wits - U of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Mahommed MOOLLA

MAK – Makerere U


UNIL - U Lausanne


UAM – UA Madrid


UEM – Eduardo Mondlane U


SUR – SU Roma


PLUS – PLU Salzburg


USF – U Sfax


SU – Stockholm U

Johanna DIEHL

UT – U Tübingen



Online Partner Search Platform

Are you looking for partners for your project proposal?

Use the online partner search platform for this call.

Applicants can fill in the online form to share project descriptions and contact details with potential partners from CIVIS universities in Europe or Africa.
CIVIS university staff will support your search by disseminating the information provided. It will also be published online.
You can share projects at any stage of development  – from a first project idea to an already established consortium looking for new partners.

Are you open to becoming a project partner in an existing project?

View existing project proposals for this Call, open for further partners, here.*

[* Partner searches with consent to public display only.]