CoAct is launching a call for proposals, inviting civil society initiatives to apply for our cascading grants with max. 20.000,- Euro to conduct Citizen Social Science research on the topic of Gender Equality. A maximum of four (4) applicants will be selected across three (3) different open calls. Applications from a broad range of backgrounds are welcome, including feminist, LGTBQ+, none-binary and critical masculinity perspectives.
Gender Equality & Sustainable Cities and Communities
CSOs in Berlin & Brandenburg area
Gender Equality & Decent Work and Economic Growth
CSOs in Eastern Europe
Gender Equality & Opportunities and Risks of Digitalization
International CSOs in the EU
We understand Citizen Social Science as participatory research co-designed or directly driven by citizen groups that share a particular social concern. In CoAct projects citizens act as co-researchers throughout the entire research process and are recognized as in-the-field competent experts being equal actors in all phases. Citizen science in general, and our open calls in particular, are relevant to civic organisations which incorporate citizen engagement, community building or any kind of collective action as part of their projects.
Why should I apply
CoAct will provide funding for a research project (10 months max), alongside dedicated activities, resources and tools to set up and run the research project.
CoAct will provide a research mentoring program for your team. In collaborative workshops you will be supported to co-design and explore available tools, working together with the CoAct team to achieve your goals.
CoAct will connect you to a community of people and initiatives, tackling similar challenges and contributing to common aims. You will have the opportunity to discuss your projects with the other grantees and, moreover, are invited to join CoAct´s broader Citizen Social Science network.
You should apply if you:
are an ongoing Citizen Social Science project looking for support, financial and otherwise, to grow and become sustainable;
are a community interested in co-designing research to generate new knowledge about gender equality topics, broadly defined;
are a not-for-profit organization focusing on community building, increasing the visibility of specific communities, increasing civic participation, and being interested in exploring the use of Citizen Social Science in your work.
How to apply
All the information presented here can be found in the Guide for Applicants. To apply for any of the three Open Calls, you should:
Be a not-for-profit organization, legally registered and operating in the European Union
Select the Open Call relevant to your work and interest
Verify the specific eligibility criteria of the Open Call
Use the online form to submit your application
Below you can find descriptions of each Open Call, including the specific eligibility criteria:
Open Call 1
“Sustainable cities and communities” (SDG 11) is addressing initiatives in the Berlin and Brandenburg region that aim for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable for all its inhabitants. Proposals should examine gender inequalities in affordable housing and/or urban planning as well as projects that promotes social, economic, environmental sustainability through community building around the topic of gender equality in its broadest sense.
Eligibility criteria: – Applicant should be a non-profit – The candidate organisation should be registered in the Berlin and Brandenburg region.
Open Call 2
“Decent work and economic growth” (SDG 8) is addressing organisations in Eastern Europe. Whereas women in the EU earn on average over 16% less per hour than men this figure becomes is even higher in Eastern Europe Countries. Trans and intersexual and none-binary people are facing even harder forms of discrimination regarding their work opportunities (EC 2018).
Eligibility criteria: – Applicant should be a non-profit – The candidate organisation should be registered in one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.
Open Call 3
“Opportunities and risks of digitalization” is open to international civic organisations operating in the EU. It has been pointed out that digital spaces are gendered spaces which hinder for example the participation of young women and that digital norms are exacerbated online (EIGE 2019). Proposals should address the issues related to gender inequalities in online spaces, due, in part, to issues such as the gender dynamics of online platforms and the exposure to online harassment.
Eligibility criteria: Applicant should be a non-profit The candidate organisation should have operations in at least two European countries. The candidate organisation should be registered in a member country of the European Union.
CoAct stands for Co-designing Citizen Social Science for collective action. It is a research project that explores the field of Citizen Social Science funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 873048). CoAct proposes a new understanding of Citizen Social Science (CSS) as participatory research co-designed and directly driven by citizen groups sharing a social concern. CoAct aims to provide and further develop methodologies supporting an understanding of research that can equally be led by academic researchers or citizen groups. Doing so, the project seeks to create an environment that provides a more equal “seat at the table” in process, which are oftentimes dominated by academic researchers. CoAct is running three so-called Research and Innovation Actions (R&I Actions) in which citizens act as co-researchers, actively participating in all phases of the research, from the design to the interpretation of the results and their transformation into concrete actions. Simultaneously, with the CoAct Open Call provides funding for citizen groups to lead their own participatory research, inviting academic researchers in.
Who are the partners of the CoAct consortium?
CoAct is a transdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions and civil society organisations. The consortium brings together experts from different disciplines and fields of practice, such as Participatory Action Research, Computational Social Science, Citizen Science, Research Policy and Development, Digital Transformation, Social Movement Studies and Participatory Development Communication. For further information check this link: https://coactproject.eu/partners/.
What is Citizen Social Science?
We understand Citizen Social Science as participatory research co-designed or directly driven by citizen groups that share a particular social concern. In CoAct’s R&I Actions citizens act as co-researchers throughout the entire research process and are recognized as in-the-field competent experts being equal actors in all phases. In the co-designed research, the citizens explore their lived experiences regarding the specific social concerns that motivate the research actions. In these R&I Actions, we focus on the topics of mental health care, youth employment and environmental justice and gender equality. Such an approach enables them to address pressing social issues from the bottom up, embedded in their social contexts. Co-designed research provides the foundation for socially robust evidence-based knowledge that strives for sustainable impact and social change.
Why an CoAct Open Call?
CoAct’s Open Call seeks to move beyond its own co-research activities and invite further actors to benefit from the project and its support mechanisms. We want to support civic organizations in making use of CSS methods and best practices in their own projects, directly from within civil society. Civil society organizations are directly dealing with specific social topics of concern and are mostly organized around these. Therefore, the CoAct Open Call seeks to connect to expert work at the grassroots level to explore the opportunities and challenges of citizen-led research.
Why a call on Gender Equality?
Gender equality is an ongoing major societal topic that constantly affects our daily life. The United Nations made “Gender Equality” the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and define it as follows: (1) End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere; (2) Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. In CoAct, we take SDG5 as the starting point for this Open call but we want to consider gender equality in a wider and inclusive manner, including all perspectives and collectives, such as LGBTQ+ communities for example. All perspectives related to any perceived gender identity, including non-binary ones, are thus welcome. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly brought the strongly rooted traditional role patterns in our system to light again, particularly regarding care work. Simultaneously, we are witnessing new manifestations and visibilities, and—at least in some locations—more attention from policy and society of the different feminist and LGBTQ+ movements with claims for equity appearing in various forms, for example in huge demonstrations (300,000 people in Barcelona on 8th of March of 2019), the #Metoo movement or also intersectional movements like Black Lives Matter. There is a vast variety of different attempts to tackle the social construction and structural embeddedness of gender inequality and many types of actors can play a relevant role. Movements range from demands for a women’s quota in decision making positions, to human rights movements against discrimination and violence up to more radical transformative approaches that criticize the basic exclusionary foundations of capitalism. From our perspective, Citizen Social Science can represent a powerful grassroots approach to this global issue. In our understanding of Citizen Social Science, citizens in vulnerable situations need to be at the centre of the research cycle, defining the focus on a specific social issue. This way, unprecedented scientific data related to gender inequalities could be collected, possibly leading to new scientific evidence-informed reactions and the proposal of new collective actions or policymaking. Therefore, we want to invite civil society organizations to apply for a short-term grant to investigate issues with a Citizen Social Science approach. Funded projects will receive financial backing as well as support via mentoring by partners from CoAct, including academic researchers, global networks, NGOs and others.
How long is the application process open?
The application process is open for three (3) months from 1st July to 30th September 2021 (12 am GMT).
To whom is the Open Call aiming to?
CoAct’s Open Calls are inviting: (A) ongoing Citizen Social Science projects looking for support, financial and otherwise, to grow and become sustainable; (B) communities interested in co-designing research to generate new knowledge about gender equality topics; (C) organizations in the third sectors that focus on community building, increasing the visibility of specific communities, increasing civic participation and who are interested in exploring the use of Citizen Social Science in their work. The funding is available to legal entities and consortia established in a country or territory eligible to receive Horizon 2020 grants. Only organizations legally registered and operating in an EU member state or associated country are eligible for funding from CoAct. For consortia of different organisations, all participants must be eligible. In this case, the participants also need to choose a research project lead, which will submit the application and engage with CoAct on behalf of the consortium. Every entity is allowed to participate in one application, either on its own or as part of a consortium as described above. CoAct has the following conflict of interest policy: Immediate family, domestic and non-domestic partners and those with financial ties to members of the CoAct consortium members are prohibited to apply. If you have a prior relationship with anyone contributing to CoAct that you feel may constitute a conflict of interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
What is provided by CoAct?
CoAct will provide: (A) funding for a research project (10 months max), alongside dedicated activities, resources and tools to set up and run the research project; (B) a research mentoring program for your team. In collaborative workshops you will be supported to co-design and explore available tools working together with the CoAct team to achieve your goals; connections to a community of people and initiatives, tackling similar challenges and contributing to common aims. You will have the opportunity to discuss your projects with the other grantees and moreover are invited to join CoAct´s broader Citizen Social Science network.
What are the topics of the Open Call?
In the CoAct Open Calls gender equality is combined with three secondary thematic topics that are corresponding with specific regional foci: “Sustainable cities and communities”, Berlin and Brandenburg Area, Germany “Decent work and economic growth”, Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) “Opportunities and risks of digitalization”, across all EU countries. Consequently, applicants will have to show the relevance of their project to both gender equality and the specific focus of the Open Call of their choice. It is possible for one organization to apply to several Open Calls, for different projects.
How much funding is available?
The funding will be set at a maximum of €20,000 for Call 1 and 3, for which only one applicant will be selected. Call 2 will select two proposals, which will share the €20,000 grant, with a maximum of €15,000 for a single organisation. The funding can be spent on salaries, equipment, consumables, travel, subcontracting to other entities, and indirect expenditure (calculated as 25% of the total direct costs ), in accordance with Horizon 2020 guidelines.
What is funded?
The budget you submit will have to include different cost categories, which are explained below. There is a general distinction between direct costs, subcontracting, and indirect costs (also known as overheads). Indirect costs are calculated at 25% of the direct costs; no indirect costs can be charged on subcontracting. All costs, except for purchased equipment, can be booked to the project’s budget covered by the grant. Indirect costs, which are charged on top of the total direct costs, should be included. All costs should be stated inclusive of any irrecoverable VAT.
Direct costs Personnel Applicants can spend CoAct funds on the staff directly involved in the execution of the project. Equipment Equipment with a useful life in excess of the project duration can only be reimbursed to the extent the asset would be depreciated for the ten-month project period. Therefore, the standard rate allowed under the contracted project will be 15% of the total costs of the asset for a ten-month period. Indirect costs can be applied to the 15% of costs charged to the project. The costs of equipment rental for the project period can be charged at full cost, as long as the rental cost is not greater than the depreciation cost had the equipment been purchased. Consumables, other goods and services Applicants can spend on consumables and other goods and services (including travel) if they are directly relevant for the achievement of the project. There is no hard-and-fast rule about the distinction between the equipment and other costs; small items such as moderation cards may be budgeted as ‘other goods and services. Subcontracting Applicants may subcontract some of their activities to other parties as long as they are also from an H2020 eligible country. No indirect costs (overhead) can be charged on subcontracting costs. Note that we expect the applicant to carry out most of the tasks of the project – subcontracting cannot be used to carry out key tasks in the project.
Indirect costs Indirect costs are within the €20,000 or €15,000 limit and cover items such as rent, admin, printing, photocopying, amenities etc. These costs are eligible if they are declared on the basis of the flat rate of 25% of the eligible costs, from which are excluded: Costs of subcontracting and Costs of in-kind contributions provided by third parties which are not used on the applicant’s premises.
How can I apply?
Submission is done online via an online form available on the Open Call page of the CoAct website. Applicants will be asked to describe their project proposal but also a series of questions about their eligibility to apply for funding, and their ability to conduct the research project. Only complete applications submitted before the deadline will be considered for review. All information provided must be in English. Before applying, we recommend that you read the Applicant Guide and review the Application Form.
How many projects will be funded?
A maximum of four (4) projects will be funded.
What is the expected outcome of the research projects?
Each research project is expected to provide a final report of the findings of the research at the end of the project. Furthermore, results can also manifest as videos, manuals, handbooks, exhibitions etc. will be funded.
Who can apply?
The funding is available to legal entities and consortia established in a country or territory eligible to receive Horizon 2020 grants. Only organizations legally registered and operating in an EU member state or associated country are eligible for funding from CoAct. Every entity is allowed to participate, either on its own or as part of a consortium.
Can individuals apply?
No, individuals cannot apply.
Can consortia apply?
For consortia of different organisations, the lead organisation must be eligible. Consortium members need to choose a project lead, which will submit the application and engage with CoAct on behalf of the consortium.
Which costs are eligible?
The €20,000 grant may be spent only on eligible costs. These are costs that meet the following criteria: – Incurred by the applicant in connection with or during the project; – Identifiable and verifiable in the applicant’s accounts; – Compliant with national law; – Reasonable, justified, in accordance with sound financial management (economy and efficiency); – Indicated in the budget you submitted with the short proposal. CoAct will provide training and guidance to all funded projects on financial matters. There is a general distinction between direct costs, subcontracting, and indirect costs (also known as overheads). Indirect costs are calculated at 25% of the direct costs; no indirect costs can be charged on subcontracting. All costs, except for purchased equipment, can be booked to the project’s budget covered by the grant. Indirect costs, which are charged on top of the total direct costs, should be included. All costs should be stated inclusive of any irrecoverable VAT.
Can I submit more than one application?
Yes, you can submit one application for each call.
Does CoAct offer a pre-proposal check?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer a pre-proposal check.
Can I submit an application if I am already receiving funds from another public programme?
Yes, you can but activities you plan to carry out with CoAct cannot receive double funding. Synergies with other sources of funding, including other Horizon 2020 projects, are encouraged if the grants are used for complementary, not overlapping purposes.
Can I submit documents that are not in English?
No, all submitted documents must be written in English.
Can I change my application once it was submitted?
Once submitted, you cannot change your application because we start immediately with the review.
Can I apply for all three calls?
Yes, you can apply for all three calls with different proposals.
Responsible Research and Innovation
Who keeps the intellectual property rights?
By default, you will be the sole owner of the results and outcomes of your project and all associated intellectual property. However, we expect all proposals to follow an open approach, sharing results and experiences widely with the community, as in any EU project. We will only accept proposals with a well-articulated plan that includes an open data approach. In addition, CoAct or the European Commission may ask you to present your work as part of our public relations and networking events, to showcase and discuss the benefits and challenges of the CoAct approach.
What happens with the data?
Applicants will have to be clear in their proposal about the data that they expect to collect, generate and manage through the project. The processing of that data should follow the general data protection regulation (GDPR). As noted earlier, we will only accept proposals that are committed to making their data, methods and outputs publicly available for reuse, following an open science approach. For that CoAct will provide technical, legal and operational support to successful applicants. In addition, CoAct will require Citizen Social Science projects funded through the programme to collect, manage and share data with and for the CoAct team for co-evaluation purposes. The specifics of the data to be collected will be defined with each project team.
Do I need to share everything openly?
Yes, within the limits of data protection laws. We will only accept proposals that are committed to making their data, methods and outputs publicly available for reuse, following an open science approach. For that CoAct will provide technical, legal and operational support to successful applicants. In addition, CoAct will require Citizen Social Science projects funded through the programme to collect, manage and share data with and for the CoAct team for co-evaluation purposes. The specifics of the data to be collected will be defined with each project team.
What about ethics?
CoAct expects all successful applicants to the Open Calls to follow the Responsible Research and Innovation guidelines set by the European Commission for the Horizon2020-programme: projects will be expected to: – Ensure the informed consent of any human participants, who should be provided clear and concise instructions on what is expected of them, what personal or sensitive data will be gathered about them and how they can request the deletion of this data. – Ensure adequate data protection practises are in place to securely store any data gathered by or about volunteers including, but not limited to: pseudonymisation, anonymisation and aggregation of data; encryption and use of secure servers. Although selected grantees will be provided support to make sure that their project follows the Responsible Research and Innovation guidelines, we will favour applicants who are able to identify and outline remediation strategies in response to the potential ethical challenges that their project may face.
How do we select applications?
For all applications we follow the same selection procedure: (1) Eligibility check of the organisation and the proposal; (2) Review and shortlist of the proposals by at least two reviewers according to the selection criteria on a 3-point scale; (3) Interview with shortlisted applicants between 6th and 8th October 2021; (4) Decision for applicants acceptance by the reviewers and CoAct team latest until 15th October 2021; (5) Negotiation including due diligence checks, work plan and budget agreement, (6) CoAct facilitation for accepted applicants during the ten-month project by the CoAct team.
Who is reviewing the applications?
Applications will be reviewed by a panel made of CoAct team members and external experts, selected for the relevance of their work to each open call.
What are the review criteria?
Idea Relevance to the call: Does the proposal match the focus of the specific call it was submitted to? Does it include activities compatible with Citizen Social Science? Project design: Are the planned activities realistic given the proposed budget and time constraints? Does the scope and complexity of the project match the profiles of the project’s team? Impact Link to a broader agenda: Is the project linked to a broader agenda/programme carried out by the applicant? Does the project have a chance to continue beyond the length of the programme? Is the idea reusable by other organizations working on similar topics? Does the project present a participatory evaluation and impact assessment strategy? Documentation & Dissemination: Which documentation strategies are planned? Is there a commitment to publish the data and results? Where would the results of the projects be disseminated? Ethics & Safety Ethical considerations: Are there any ethical considerations relevant to the project, and if so how are they taken into account? Is there a clear commitment to data protection and anonymization where relevant? How does the applicant plan to ensure that their activities are as inclusive as possible? Health & Safety: If the project requires physical meetings, what processes are put in place to protect the health of participants in the contest of the Covid19 pandemic?
When will I know if I am shortlisted?
You will be contacted by the CoAct team between 1st and 5th October 2021. Applicants who were not shortlisted will be informed at this stage as well.
What will be topics of the interview?
The interview will be an opportunity for the applicant to expand on their written application and answer questions that it may have raised.
Will I receive feedback?
Yes, we will provide feedback to applicants to improve their project. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications anticipated, we will have a very limited capacity to reply to any queries on unsuccessful applications.
When will be the interviews?
The interviews will take place between 6th and 8th October 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be proposed several interview slot options in order to make it possible for everyone to attend. If none of the slots are possible for the applicant, we will be forced to reject the application.
Can I reschedule the interview?Can I reschedule the interview?
Once you have agreed on a date it is not possible to reschedule the interview. Please ensure that at least two people are available for the interview, in order to ensure that at least once can attend the interview.
When will I know if my application was approved/rejected?
All applicants will be informed about whether they got accepted or rejected latest by 15th October 2021.
Costs, Payment and Legal
How much funding is available for each project?
The funding will be set at a maximum of €20,000 for Call 1 and 3, for which only one applicant will be selected. Call 2 will select two proposals, which will share the 20,000€ grant, with a maximum of 15,000€ for a single organisation.
For what can I spend the funding?
The funding can be spent on salaries, equipment, consumables, travel, subcontracting to other entities, and indirect expenditure (calculated as 25% of the total direct costs), in accordance with Horizon 2020 guidelines.
How are payments scheduled?
You will receive two payments—one at the beginning of the project and a second one when the CoAct team has reviewed the interim project report after the first five-month.
Is subcontracting allowed?
Yes, subcontracting is allowed.
What do I have to do to receive the final payment?
You would have to show that you are proceeding with the project in an interim project report to be delivered to the CoAct team after the first five month of the research.
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