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National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS)

The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a governmental organization which supports research projects that have a direct impact on the productive sectors, the environment, public health and socio economic development in accordance with its set national research priorities.

I. CNRS Research Programs:
CNRS promotes research and related activities in Lebanon and maintains Research Centers, funds research projects, sponsors various task forces, and is engaged in continuous scientific programs. It awards research grants in different fields of study especially those that are related to sustainable development. It gives priority to the support of research projects of an applied nature that may have direct impact on production, the environment, public health, human development, and the economic sectors in Lebanon. It also supports basic and social sciences research projects that would contribute to the enhancement of higher education and enhance applied research.

The Council gives priority to projects presented in a specific scientific area by a group of researchers forming a research team or part of a laboratory that is a participant in the Council's programs (associated laboratory CNRS), as long as the projects are of an applied nature. The Council encourages the formation of research teams from researchers who work in similar or complementary fields and who had previously received support from the Council.

CNRS has two types of support:

A)     Grant Research Program (GRP)

The Council supports projects which fall under various disciplines and which have a direct impact on the productive sectors, such as the environment, public health, human development, and economy in Lebanon. The Grant Research Program (GRP) supports all fields of knowledge, mainly in agriculture and food, basic sciences, environment and natural resources, medical sciences, economics and finance, sociology and political science, cultural heritage, and Arabic language and history. For more details please visit CNRS’s website.

Period and Funding: The Council funds one to two year projects for a maximum of 10,000,000 to 20,000,000L.L per year. Applicants are requested to provide a detailed justification for the requested funds. The requested budget must be expressed in Lebanese Pounds. 

Eligibility Criteria: The 2016 call for proposals is open for full-time professors (this does not apply to FM faculty, part time FM faculty are also eligible to apply) and for those who do not have current on-going CNRS grants. Eligible applicants are those who have published
a minimum of two scientific articles, preferably related to the proposed project.

Evaluation Criteria:
Proposals should address CNRS’s topics of interest and priorities. After review of proposals the Council will
submit them to referees for review. Proposed projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Innovation of the project objectives, scientific impact of the project, positive outcome of project on Lebanese society, scientific and technical merit of the proposed project, the experience of principal investigators and their ability to successfully implement the project, and the well-defined timeline and research plan.

Application Procedure: Applications are submitted online after receipt of the needed signatures. Applicants should follow these steps:

1)      Registration: Register yourself as an applicant on the following website http://grp.cnrs.edu.lb/ - Applicants are encouraged to download and read the GRP Guidelines.

2)      Fill the online application: the application is divided into the following sections:  introduction, administrative information, research project details, budget, and signature page (to be signed by the applicant PI, Dean and the President)

3)      OGC review: Once the online application is filled out, provide OGC with your CNRS online application username and password. OGC will review and provide you with feedback before proceeding to the next step.

4)      Signatures: To obtain signatures and approvals, print the application as well as the CNRS pdf signature page (generated by the CNRS online system), attach them to the CNRS Proposal Transmittal and Approval Form, sign the Form and send for the Department Chairperson’s signature. Please note that the Dean should sign on both the CNRS Proposal Transmittal and Approval Form as well as the CNRS signature page.

Once the application package is received by OGC, OGC will review and forward for the Provost’s and the President’s approval. Once all signatures are obtained a pdf of signed signature page will be scanned and sent back to applicant for his or her online submission.

B)      Associated Research Units (ARU)

The Council will support an "Integrated Research Project" in a specific research area which the research unit will implement for a
period of up to three years. Associated Research Units (ARU) should focus on multidisciplinary research and aim to serve the long-term development strategy of Lebanon.
The project should be carried out by at least three Principal investigators supported by several co-investigators affiliated with a number of universities. 
To be eligible for benefiting from grants and obtaining research support from the Council, an Associated Research Unit should consist of:

1)      A research team of a minimum of three main principal investigators (from 3 different universities/research institutions), in addition to a number of co-investigators and assistants, who work on specific scientific topic. The research team should be supervised by a unit coordinator responsible for the unit’s overall research and coordination with the Council.

2)      The Principal investigator should have at least 5 scientific articles published, of which at least two or more of these articles are related to the topic of proposed research

3)      Partnership between universities should be built on at least 20% participation of each institution in the proposed ARU. All publications produced at the end of project should include the names of PIs of both participating universities.

4)      Research topic(s) of an Associated Research Unit should be in accordance with the CNRS’s research priorities.

Selection Criteria:

Research units are chosen on competitive basis; here are some of the criteria that the Council will consider:

§   Scientific achievements of investigators and research outputs that have a positive impact on the national economy and developmental programs.

§   A list of Peer-reviewed scientific publications of the main principal investigators related to the topic of research of the suggested unit.

§   Research projects and cooperation of the principal investigators that are supported by local and international funding agencies.

§   Focus on subjects in line with CNRS’s “Science, Technology and Innovation Policy” (STIP) Characteristics and Criteria of Collaborating Research Units

§   The availability of basic equipment and specialized technical assistants to implement the research program(s).

§   Projects that have been previously supported by the Council.

§   Host university acceptance of the Council’s conditions set for the research unit program.

§   The Council encourages units that include a clear cooperation between the research team of the unit and any productive or service sectors 

For more detailed information kindly visit CNRS’s website


Funding: CNRS provides up to 60,000,000 L.L. per year for maximum 3 years as follows:

1)      Partial funding for equipment that a research unit may need for implementing the Unit’s project

2)      Maintenance costs of equipment which are financed by the Council

3)       Provide financial support for one or more part time or a full time research assistant and/or a post-doctoral fellow for a specified period of time.

4)       Provide support for the research expenses and operational cost of the Unit.

Application Procedure: Applications are submitted online after receipt of the needed signatures. Applicants should follow these steps:

1)      Registration: Register yourself as an applicant on the following website http://grp.cnrs.edu.lb/ - Applicants are encouraged to download and read the ARU Guidelines.

2)      Fill the online application: the application is divided into the following sections: an introduction, Administrative information, research project details, Budget, and Signature page.

3)      OGC review: Once the online application is filled out, provide OGC with your CNRS online application username and password. OGC will review and provide you with feedback before proceeding to the next step.

4)      Signatures: To obtain signatures and approvals, print the application  as well as the pdf signature page (generated by the CNRS online system) attach them  to the CNRS Proposal Transmittal and Approval Form, sign the Form and the cnrs's signature page and send them for the Department Chairperson for his/her signature.  Please note that the Presidents, Dean and Investigators of all participating institutions should sign on the pdf signature page.

5)      OGC will send all application documents for the Provost’s and the President’s approvals, and send you back the signed pdf signature page for you to upload and submit online.

Note that the CNRS advises applicants (coordinators) to discuss their Research Unit ideas with the Council before actually preparing their applications. Contact Person at CNRS is Mrs. Elise Njeim: enjeim@cnrs.edu.lb

II. PI and Office of Grants and Contracts Responsibilities

While the faculty member is responsible for writing the proposal, The Office of Grants and Contracts can assist in answering any queries related to the format, structure and budgeting. The Office is the official liaison between the University and the CNRS and is responsible for reviewing the proposal application and budget before sending it to the president for his signature. The Office is also responsible for the formal submission of the proposal to the CNRS.

IV. Proposals Requiring Special Review 

a.    Human Subjects
Proposals involving human testing must obtain the approval of the
Institutional Research Board (IRB). For application to the IRB, faculty members should follow IRB's principles and procedures which can be found under the Institutional Review Board (IRB) website. Please note that faculty members are required to include the IRB approval with their proposals, as no proposal will be processed by OGC unless the human subject protocol has been either submitted for review or has been already approved.

b. Animal Subjects
Proposals involving animal subjects must obtain an animal use application and approval from the
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to submission of the proposal. For application to the IACUC, faculty members should follow IACUC's principles and procedures, and filing out the Animal Use Form. Please note that faculty members are required to include the IACUC's approval with their proposals, as no proposal will be processed by OGC unless the animal subject protocol has been either submitted for review or has been already approved.

c. Radio Active Material
Research proposals that involve the use of radioactive material or radiation producing machines, or use of radiation in structural programs, radiation medical applications must obtain the written approval of the University Radiation Safety Committee. This can be achieved by submitting an application for a license from the Department of
Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management. The application must be approved by the Committee before the ordering of radioactive material or radiation producing devices.

V. CNRS Grants Administration

Project Interim Reporting and Renewal
If the researcher received an award for a period of two years, the project may be renewed for a second year upon reporting of satisfactory scientific results and findings. However if a PI has initially requested a one year period for his/her project, the CNRS will not approve its renewal for another year.  

For two year projects, principal investigators are requested to submit a progress report detailing the project findings and outputs as well as an account detailing the planned activities for year two. The renewal is assured if the researcher published an article in the Lebanese scientific journal entitled: Lebanese Science Journal or any specialized and recognized academic journal (or has had an article accepted for publication), or has published a book on the researched topic. 

Two copies of the interim report (a hard copy and an electronic word document) should be submitted upon end of year one of the project and within a maximum period of two months. Failure to do so within the 2 months deadline will result in the halting of project funding.

If the project period ended without producing results, and if the researcher did not publish an article as a result of the funding, the Council will suspend any further research funding for the researcher in the future. This decision is subject for review and consideration if the researcher submits or publishes an article in the Lebanese journal entitled: Lebanese Science Journal or in a specialized and recognized academic journal.

Project Renewal Application Checklist

Investigators wishing to renew their projects and receive additional funds for year two of their projects they are requested to submit the following documents to the Office of Grants and Contracts:

1.     Two copies of the interim report (a hard copy and an electronic word document). The progress report should include and address the following questions:
a) Description of what has been achieved as a result of CNRS support and the project findings and outputs.
b) What were the outcomes of the project? Were any abstracts, articles, or any other publications produced? Was there a conference or workshop on the subject?
c) What are the planned activities for year two of the project?

2.     Renewal Application Form (filled out and signed by the PI)

3.     Two copies of published articles or papers.

Final Reporting
Upon the completion of projects (for both one year and two year projects), principal investigators are required to submit a final report to the CNRS. The Office of Grants and Contracts is responsible for the formal submission of the report. The Council evaluates final reports based on their scientific merit as well as on published articles using various international standards and indicators including the Impact factor, and Citation Index in order to assess the scientific importance of published articles. All publications should include acknowledgement of CNRS support for the project. The report should include:

A.     Final Report Form – filled and signed by the Principal Investigator

B.     A final report which should include the following:

  • Title of the project (in English and Arabic) and the start date and duration of the project (as stated on the CNRS contract)
  • A detailed description of the achieved objectives and the project outcomes and findings. The report will not be accepted if the PI does not include a clear and detailed account of what was achieved against what the initial planned outputs and achievements were when the project was accepted.
  • Provide a list and a copy of publications that were published in scientific journals or presented in international conferences.
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