Grant schemes and eligibility
Q: I already have an existing account in the Fund’s online application system. Can I use it for creating a new application?
A: Yes. To create a new application with an already existing account:
- Go to the homepage (http://my.visegradfund.org) without logging in.
- Under registration, select the program that you want to apply for and register again using the e-mail address and password belonging to your existing account.
- Fill out the data of your organization and click on the Register button.
Q: Can I submit more than one application at the same time?
A: You can submit one project application for each deadline. Please note that if you submit more than one applications, we will only consider the first submitted one. Any further applications will automatically be disregarded.
Should your application be approved in a grant scheme (e.g. Visegrad Grants), you will not be able to submit another project until the previous one is fully concluded. It is, however, possible to apply for another project in a different grant scheme (e.g. Visegrad+ Grant) for another deadline.
Q: What is the maximum size of a grant?
A: Although Visegrad, Visegrad+ and Strategic Grants have no strict limitation for the size of the financial support you can apply for, our average project budget does not exceed €20.000. Each submitted proposal is evaluated on its on merit, taking into account the potential outreach and impact of the project, the elaboration of the grant budget in the "Outputs" section and adherence to the "value-for-money" principle.
In order to get an estimate of the average size of our grants, check out our previously approved projects here.
Q: Can I consult my project with someone from the Fund?
A: Consulting your project proposal with the Fund’s staff is possible via e-mail, phone, Skype or personal meeting, on an appointment basis. Consultations can take place up to 14 days before the given application deadline.
Q: How and where can I apply?
A: Project proposals are only accepted electronically through the Fund’s online application system (http://my.visegradfund.org), which opens 30 days before each deadline. Registering your application is possible only with a valid e-mail address. Each application is password-protected, and can be accessed and edited later.
Our application system is fully electronic and therefore we require no printouts or hard copies of the application form. Please note that the Fund will not accept nor evaluate any external documents, attachments, official letters sent to us via e-mail or regular post.
Q: When is the deadline for project application?
A: Proposals for Visegrad Grants, Visegrad+ Grants or Visegrad Strategic Grants are accepted regularly three times per year, always by February 1, June 1 and October 1. Applications must be submitted 12:00 p.m. (noon) CET on the given deadline date.
Q: Can I have two parallel projects?
A: A grantee can have a maximum of two running projects at the same time, in different grant schemes (e.g. applicants having a running Visegrad Grant may apply for Visegrad+ Grants or Strategic Grants.)
Q: I have a running project. Can I apply with a new one?
A: Organizations with running projects cannot reapply in the same grant program with another project until the previous one is concluded (officially closed by your assigned project manager). It is, however, possible to be a partner in any number of projects.
Faculties of universities, institutes, or organizational units of academical, artistic, social, educational, cultural, research and/or science organizations can be exempt from this rule if a different organizational unit applies (e.g. the university has a running project managed by the Faculty of Arts and the new application is submitted by the Faculty of Economics). Please note that this exemption is valid only if the applicant can, according to their own internal rules, apply for funding independently.
The new application will be accepted only if the organizational unit is correctly entered when filling out the application form (section “Organizational unit”).
Q: Are there any topics of projects that are excluded from eligibility?
A: No. Preference is given based on the project content as long as the project is in line with the Fund’s main mission, objectives and the Grant rules (see also the IVF official website).
Q: What Countries are included in the Eastern Partnership?
A: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
Q: What countries are included in the Western Balkan region?
A: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia
Q: Which are the Visegrad countries?
A: Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
Q: What is a Visegrad+ Grant?
A: Visegrad+ Grants support projects which contribute to the democratization and transformation processes in non-EU member states of the Western Balkans (WB) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Projects can address one of our regular objectives. Visegrad+ Grants should be implemented in the Eastern Partnership or Western Balkans region, or have a strong impact on local communities in at least one of those countries.
Please note that simply having a project partner/applicant from the EaP or WB region does not automatically make an application qualify for a Visegrad+ Grant!
Conditions for applying:
Projects must develop meaningful cooperation and ensure active involvement of at least 3 V4 partners and 1 entity from the EaP region or the Western Balkans countries.
The maximum duration of project implementation is 18 months.
Q: What is a Strategic Grant?
A: Strategic Grants support projects addressing the annual strategic priorities of the Visegrad Group. These priorities are announced on a yearly basis by the V4 country holding the rotating presidency over the group.
Please note that Strategic Grants have a different set of conditions than our other grant programs:
A strong partnership involving at least 1 organization from each V4 country (full V4 participation).
An implementation period of min. 12, max. 36 months.
Projects must clearly address one of the annual strategic priorities of the Visegrad Group, available on our website.
Please keep in mind that projects applying with objectives marked as “(Strategic)” in our application system will be evaluated based on the rules applying for Strategic Grants. Should your application not comply with these criteria, the application will be automatically considered non-eligible.
Q: What is a bilateral cross-border cooperation? Who is eligible to apply?
A: Bilateral cross-border cooperation is a sub-type of the Visegrad Grants, involving at least 2 organizations from two neighboring V4 countries. Here the “3xV4” rule does not apply; you can implement your project with another partner from the other side of the border if your proposal addresses a specific geographical area and a local issue/problem. If the project addresses a general issue, this problem should be tackled and addressed while taking the local context into consideration and from a local perspective. Consequently, all project activities within cross-border projects should take place within approximately 40 km from the state border, preferably on both sides (the grantee’s and project partner’s official seats do not necessarily have to be located within the 40 km limit).
Keep in mind that projects applying as cross-border cooperation (by ticking the field in our application system) will be evaluated based on the rules applying for this project type. Should your application not comply with these criteria, the application will be automatically considered non-eligible.
Please note that only the following partner combinations are possible:
Polish and Czech partnership
Czech and Slovak partnership
Hungarian and Slovak partnership
Slovak and Polish partnership.
Q: What is a Visegrad Grant?
A: Visegrad grants support regional partnerships among civil society organizations, public institutions and municipalities, private companies and non-profit organizations as well as education and research centers that contribute to cooperation in the Visegrad region.
Conditions for applying:
Projects must develop meaningful cooperation and active participation of organizations from at least three V4 countries.
Projects must address at least one of the objectives of the grant program´s seven focus areas.
Maximum duration of project implementation is 18 months.
Q: Who can be project partners? What is the role of the partners in the project? What does a good consortium of partners look like?
A: Any non-governmental legal entity from any country can be an official partner. As a general rule, however, all IVF-funded projects must have at least three organizations from three different V4 countries in the consortium. Logically, if the applicant has its seat in the V4, only two more partners are required (e.g. the applicant is a Polish organization, the partners are from Czechia and Hungary). If applying from outside the V4, however, make sure that you fulfil the condition of having three V4 partners. We recommend having the whole Visegrad region covered in the partnership and, therefore, proposals with a full V4 consortium will have preference.
The selection of relevant partners is fundamental for a successful project bid. In principal, all partners within the consortium should have experience in the area your project is dealing with and show commitment for joint action. To show the benefits of working as a consortium, you need to describe the role of each partner in the application and the specific tasks that they will carry out.
Please note that the role of the partners cannot be limited to simple logistical help or participation in project events. We expect our applicants and their partners to actively work together throughout the project’s implementation and share their skills and know-how for the benefit of the whole region.
Bilateral cross-border projects are an exception from the “3xV4” rule but only in proposals that directly benefit a specific border area between two neighboring V4 countries (see section 1.10). Exceptions may also apply in cases when projects respond to concrete calls for proposals published by the Fund.
Q: Who is not eligible for our grants?
A: Natural persons (individual citizens) or institutions of state administration (ministries, government agencies, regulatory agencies, embassies, state-funded cultural institutes, etc.) can neither apply nor be valid project partners.
Private entrepreneurs are not eligible to apply or be partners.
Q: Who can apply?
A: Any non-governmental, legal entity from any country can apply for support, if they fulfil the partnership criteria. Our main targets are civil society organizations (CSOs), public educational, cultural, research and scientific institutions, municipalities and local governments, but market actors, e.g. companies – especially innovation and startup-related ones – are also eligible, if their project is of non-profit character.
Submit your proposal
Q: How will I know that my project got selected for funding?
A: The results of each call are published on the Fund’s website. All applicants—whether your project is approved or rejected—are also informed by e-mail.
Q: What are the Fund’s selection criteria?
A: We evaluate each proposal individually based on the following guidelines:
Project relevance/context clarity
Quality and Impact
Transparency and Accuracy
Experience and Mission
Detailed explanations of the selection criteria can be found in Grant Guidelines section 3. Project Selection, subsection 3.2 Selection criteria.
Q: What are the outputs?
A: These are all the events, products or activities that you will carry out during your project. The outputs are the main means by which your consortium reaches the specific goals you set in your application form. They bring you closer to the desired “outcome” and, ultimately, to the bigger solution to the problem/issue chosen.
When completing the IV. OUTPUTS section in your online application, keep in mind that for each output (publication, events, data collection) of the project you have to give an estimated cost. This shall be realistic and respect the “value-for-money” principle. All cost estimates shall be in EUR (€) based on average prices at the site of delivery. Always indicate the unit cost of respective expenditures (hotel price per night, transport per person per specific distance, expert fee per hour, page, etc.).
The Fund can cover the total costs of the project according to your estimates but may also choose only some specific outputs to be supported. Therefore it is important to adhere to the list of eligible cost categories, i.e., costs that can be covered by the grant
Q: What are the grant objectives?
A: To apply for Visegrad and Visegrad+ Grants, your project must fit into one of the seven focus areas eligible for funding. Specific thematic priorities may apply to Visegrad+ projects that target the countries of the Eastern Partnership or the Western Balkan countries (see section 1.7.). For Visegrad Strategic Grants, distinct strategic priorities are defined on an annual basis (see section 1.6.). Each project proposal should be identified with one focus area and one concrete objective which best corresponds with the project’s aims. The focus areas and objectives to each grant program can be found on the Fund’s website.
Q: What should I keep in mind when preparing the application?
A: When planning your project, make sure that you properly identify and describe the problem or issue that you wish to address and name the most relevant target groups that this project will affect (both direct and indirect targets). It is crucial to see the logical connection between the proposed outputs (the events or products of your project) and their short-, medium- and long-term impacts.
In assessing the application, the Fund also considers these balancing criteria:
Relative strength of the application compared to other applications received for the same program area.
Geographical balance of the projects seeking support.
Q: Can the Fund cover the total costs of the project?
A: The Fund can cover the total project costs estimated in each proposal but may also choose concrete outputs to be supported by the grant. Additional support from actors other than the Fund is highly encouraged – be that support financial (contributions by the applicant, partners and/or other donors or sponsors) or non-financial in nature (in-kind contributions of the applicant or partners such as volunteer work or use of own premises, etc.). Project budgets shall be realistic and respect the “value for money” principle. All cost estimates shall be based on the project’s expected expenditures in EUR (€) based on average prices at the site of delivery. It must be clear from the budget what the unit cost of each expenditure is.
Q: Should I or my partners send letters of intent?
A: No, the partners confirm their participation in the project directly in our online system, through an online link sent to their e-mail address once your project is approved.
Q: Do I have to send my application by post? Can I attach documents to my application?
A: No application form printouts or accompanying documents in hard copies or electronic version are required when submitting the proposal. Any such attachments (e-mails, letters, promotional materials) will be disregarded by the Fund during evaluation.
Q: How should I name my project?
A: The project title should be attractive and capture the project’s content while (preferably) referring to Visegrad cooperation / Central Europe (max. 5 words). Do not use acronyms as they are hard to understand, do not be vague and too abstract.
Q: Do I need a bank account in EUR?
A: You don’t need to open a new account in EUR, but it is vital that the chosen account will be owned and managed by your organization. In order to avoid the fluctuations of exchange rates and extra transaction costs, it is advised to have the preferred account in EUR (€).
Q: What bank account should I insert into the online system?
A: You are obliged to provide a bank account for the purposes of the grant payments. All project transactions must be carried out through the bank account owned by the grantee; private bank accounts and accounts of the project partners cannot be used.
The bank account must be made available within 20 working days (ca. 4 weeks) after the approval of a project. The Fund does not require a specific account to be opened only for the purpose of the project, you can use your existing accounts as well.
Please remember that you have to conduct bank-transfer (non-cash) transactions for the entire duration of the project, as cash operations are not allowed.
Q: What if the website is part of my project deliverables and will only be created later?
A: If the project website is part of your planned outputs, you still need to create a temporary site which meets the criteria mentioned above. Once the new website is ready, we can change the link in our system.
Q: What should the project website look like?
A: The project website can be a webpage within an existing website or can be set up on social media/networking sites or blogs. Each project web page must have a unique address (URL) and contain:
- the description of the project in English
- the details of the project partners and direct links to their websites
- the Fund’s logo with a direct link to the Fund’s website
When publicly communicating through social media, grantees and partners are obliged to make references/link to the Fund’s active accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Q: When do I have to set up the project’s website?
A: The project webpage shall be set up and made available within 20 working days (ca. 4 weeks) after the approval of a project and must remain active during the whole contractual period.
Q: What is the Output update section?
A: When you submitted your grant proposal, you had already made a list of the proposed deliverables (products, events) and the corresponding budget. In this stage we need you to go through this section and check the individual costs for each output, for two reasons. Firstly, the approval of projects always comes at least 2 months after the submission deadline. In that period the prices for certain services might change compared to your original estimates, and therefore, require some adjustments.
Secondly, when evaluating your project, the Fund might consider supporting only a certain number of outputs from the list and/or propose certain budget adjustments.
Therefore, once your project is approved, check the approved sum of your grant on our website (in the Results section, using your project ID). If you see the same amount as you requested and you don’t wish to make any changes in the budget, just open the Output update section and click on “CONFIRM” at the bottom of the page.
Should you notice a lower amount than in your original proposal, open the Output update section and adjust the sums in the “Expected” column so that they correspond with the ones under “Approved”. Those numbers that need adjustments will be marked by red colour. Once all lines are cleared, click on “SAVE”, then “CONFIRM” if you don’t plan further changes.
Please note that changes between budget categories (e.g. Accommodation and board and Expert fees) are possible up to 1000 EUR. Any change exceeding this amount needs to be approved by the Fund in advance. Also, when making changes to individual budget lines, keep in mind that the total sum for each output must remain the same (e.g. reducing travel costs by 100 EUR and increasing accommodation by 100 EUR, so that the final sum would not change).
Q: Can I change my partners? What if my project partner wants to withdraw?
A: Changing or removing one of your project partners is considered a serious change compared to your submitted application and as such, it requires prior approval of the Fund.
In both cases we need a written request by the statutory representative of the applicant in which he/she states the reasons for removing/changing the project partner. The request must be prepared in English, on a letterhead paper, and must be sent to your assigned project manager via e-mail.
If a new partner organization is to enter the consortium, we will also need a letter of intent by their statutory representative (for the format, see 2.9.)
Q: There is a typo in one of the e-mail addresses. How can we fix it?
A: Your assigned project manager will change the e-mail address once you provide the new/correct email address to them.
Q: My partner did not receive the confirmation e-mail. What should we do?
A: Firstly, make sure the email you provided in the application is correct. Secondly, please check with the partner whether the email is in their spam folder. If, for technical reasons the partner is not able to confirm their participation via email, they can provide a letter of intent (see 2.9.). Provide the scan of the letter of intent to your project manager and she/he will confirm the partner’s participation in the system.
Q: How do partners confirm their participation in the project?
A: In the section Overview you can see all your partners listed. By clicking on “Send/Resend Email” next to the partner’s name, an automatically generated e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address of the respective partner, containing a web URL. Following the link, the partner will be able to see their own contact details and the submitted application form, enabling them to check for any mistakes in their data. They have to click “Confirm” to formally agree to participate in the project.
In exceptional cases the Fund may request a letter of intent from one or more partners, once the application has been approved for funding. Please note that the Fund does not provide samples of these documents. The letter of intent must be written on a letterhead paper, stating the partner’s main identification data, expressing their willingness to be involved in the given project (the project title should be mentioned) and including the basic information regarding the purpose of the co-operation and the role of the partner. The letter must bear the signature of the statutory representative and the stamp of the partner organization. It must be sent to your assigned project manager in scanned form, via e-mail.
Q: What information should be inserted regarding each event?
A: The following information should be provided:
- Project name and event title
- Whether the event is public or private
- Event type (you can mark more than one option)
- Event Web Page or a separate Facebook event – at the stage of pre-contractual steps you can insert the general project website
- Short description of the event, exact dates, city and country
Q: What if some of my events last longer than a few days?
A: If justified, some events can be indicated in this section for a longer period of time (e.g. a month-long training, an exhibition, etc.).
Q: I don’t know the exact dates of our events. How should I confirm this part?
A: In the Event Calendar you provide information about the approximate date/dates of the planned project events. Please do not write big time intervals, e.g. 2 months for a one-day conference. Once the event is confirmed during implementation, it will be automatically published on the Fund’s website, hence why we need as precise a date as possible. The dates of events can be changed once the project has been contracted, but it is necessary to confirm the preliminary dates in the Event Calendar, as the events become part of the contract.
Q: When do we receive the first payment?
A: The first installment of the grant will be sent to your bank account within 15 working days after receiving the signed copy of the contract to the Fund's secretariat. In order to avoid delays, always make sure that you enter the correct mailing address to our system.
Contracts without the signatures (on multiple pages) of the statutory representative of the grantee will be returned to the sender.
Q: When we can start spending the grant?
A: All costs connected to your project have to be paid within the implementation period, which cannot start sooner than the date of the contract’s electronic confirmation. If the implementation period of your project starts later, you must wait for the given start date to start utilizing the grant.
Q: Do we have to print the contract?
A: No, the contract will be sent to you by post.
Q: When do we sign the contract?
A: When all the pre-contractual steps are finished and checked by your project manager, you will receive an automatic notification that the contract is ready to be confirmed in the online system. You should read it carefully, then click on CONFIRM. The contract copies will be printed and signed by the Fund, and sent to you by post. The statutory representative of your organization should sign them and send one copy back to the Fund via post.
Changes in the budget
Q: Some of our project costs have been spent after the end of the project’s implementation period. Will the Fund accept these payments?
A: No. The Fund will only reimburse expenses carried out within the contracted implementation period. Should you have any issues with payments, contact your assigned project manager in advance. Retrospective or unannounced payments will not be considered.
Q: We paid a small amount of our expenses in cash. Will the Fund accept these payments?
A: No. The Fund will only reimburse expenses carried out by bank transfer or card payment, initiated by the grantee. If one of the partners needed to pay some bills in cash, the same rule applies as in case of every other spending on the side of the partners: the amount needs to be reimbursed by the grantee via bank transfer.
Q: My partners have expenses connected to the project. Can I send them an advance payment?
A: No. The Fund signs the contract only with the main applicant (grantee), who bears all responsibility for the received grant. If your partners must pay certain costs related to project outputs or events, two options are possible:
- The grantee can settle the invoice directly. (Example: The partner made a hotel reservation, but the invoice will be issued by the hotel directly to the grantee. The grantee then pays the bill to the hotel via bank transfer.) or
- The partner settles the bill and later issues an invoice to the grantee/signs a contract with the grantee, covering the real costs of the partner. (Example: The partner has paid a restaurant bill for project participants. The partner will issue an invoice to the grantee with the exact sum they paid in the restaurant, providing the original bill to the grantee. The grantee then pays the amount to the partner via bank transfer).
If the partner’s legal status does not allow them to issue invoices, a contract must be signed with the grantee in which the parties specify those costs that the grantee is willing to reimburse.
Q: Can we change the experts?
A: Yes, the experts can be changed during the implementation period. You can also involve more experts than stated in the application.
Q: How can we add a new output or cancel the previously planned output?
A: These kinds of changes have to be consulted with your project manager. In the case of a cancellation you should justify in written form why you want to resign from previously planned activities.
Please note that canceling outputs or significantly modifying the project’s structure without the Fund’s prior knowledge might result in paying a contractual penalty.
Q: Can we increase the overheads?
A: Overheads cover administrative costs connected with the project implementation. They cannot exceed 15% of the grant. You can transfer up to 1000 EUR to overheads from other budget categories, but the final amount of the overheads cannot exceed 15%.
Q: Can we create a new budget category?
A: A new budget category can be created only upon agreement with your project manager. Such changes can be requested under the "Change requests > Budget change" tab in our online system by clicking on "+ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". You should justify why the new budget category is essential for a smooth project implementation. Once the request has been submitted, you will receive an automated e-mail on the decision within 7 working days.
Q: What kind of changes can we introduce to the budget?
A: You can change up to 1000 EUR between budget categories (e.g. between “Transportation and delivery” and “Promotional Costs”). For changes higher than 1000 EUR/category you have to file an official request in our online system under the tab "Change requests > Budget change" by clicking on "+ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". The request must include a justification and the summary of the new budget based on the individual budget categories under the "Requested change" column. Once the request has been submitted, you will receive an automated e-mail on the decision within 7 working days. The Fund no longer requires official letters for budget change requests.
Events and project timeline
Q: Can we extend the implementation period of our project?
A: The Fund will only agree with the extension of the implementation if the successful financial and administrational conclusion of the project is seriously endangered by unexpected and unforeseeable events. Such an extension must be consulted with the Fund beforehand and requested in our online system, under the tab "Change requests > Implementation period change" by clicking on the button "+ ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". The request must include a detailed reasoning and the specific date by which the implementation period should be prolonged. Once the request has been submitted, your assigned project manager will forward it to our Deputy Director for approval. You will be informed about the decision via e-mail.
Due to our new procedure we do not require official letters any longer.
COVID-19: Please note that from January 2021, extensions cannot be granted to those projects when the grantee could not implement the project activities in time due to the global pandemic. In such cases the project must be concluded by the original deadline without delays.
Q: Can we add new events?
A: Yes. New events can be added in the section Current Calendar, using the function Add event at the bottom of the page.
Q: When and how do we confirm events?
A: According to your contract, all events must be confirmed in the calendar 7 working days (10 calendar days) before their planned date. If this is not done, you will receive an automatic reminder from our online system. In case you wish to modify the date of the given event at this point, you can do so up to 3 calendar days before its originally planned date.
Unconfirmed events and any connected costs will not be accepted by the Fund.
Example: an event in the calendar is scheduled on 25 January 2021. If you do not confirm it by 15 January 2021, the system will notify you via e-mail. In case you wish to postpone the event for a later date, you can make the modification by 22 January 2021. After this day the event cannot be modified.
Q: What are the Fund’s expectations in terms of visibility?
A: As a donor organization, the Fund expects to be publicly acknowledged throughout the project’s entire duration. For all requirements regarding promotion and visibility read Article 7.4 of your contract and the Logo And Acknowledgement Manual (Annex 3 of the Grant Guidelines).
Failing to comply with these requirements might result in paying a contractual penalty.
Q: Will the Fund reimburse VAT?
A: If your organization is a registered VAT payer, you are obliged to request the VAT reimbursement from your local tax authorities. The
Fund only reimburses VAT amounts to those grantees that are not registered as VAT payers. Exceptions can only be made upon the approval of the Fund.
When filling out the Interim Financial Settlement or (Final) Financial Settlement, you are also asked to indicate whether your organization is a registered VAT payer on the top of the main sheet.
Q: Can we buy computers, cameras or other electronic devices from the grant?
A: The Fund allows the purchase of office equipment needed for web-based communication and overall digitalization in the category of “Office supplies and consumption materials”, in limited numbers, up to 1000 €. Such purchases, however, must be well justified and consulted with the assigned project manager in advance.
Q: Can we pay expert fees to our employees for project management duties, general organizational tasks or bookkeeping?
A: No, you cannot. Such fees can only be reimbursed in the Overheads category, even if they are based on a service contract.
Q: How can I pay out expert fees?
A: The easiest way is for the expert to issue an invoice for the services (as a private entrepreneur, legal entity or company). Alternatively, the grantee can sign a service contract with the expert, specifying the tasks to be carried out and the offered remuneration. Please note that contracts based on the labor code of the respective country (e.g. employment contracts) cannot be used to pay out expert fees.
Salaries and wages originating from a work contract can only be reimbursed in the Overheads category.
Q: Can we use our company car to travel to our project partners?
A: Company cars and their related costs cannot be reimbursed in the category “Transportation and delivery”, only in Overheads.
Q: Our colleagues have travelled to a project event by car and presented a fuel bill. Can we put the cost into the Financial Statement?
A: Fuel bills cannot be reimbursed in the category “Transportation and delivery”, only in Overheads. For more information about travel cost reimbursements, see above.
Q: Are we allowed to pay per diems to our participants to cover their travel and catering costs?
A: No, you are not. Lump sums, pocket money, daily allowances or per diems can only be reimbursed in the Overheads (up to the given limit set in your contract). Accommodation and catering costs will be reimbursed based on real invoices only if the payment was made by the grantee via bank card or transfer. Travel costs can be reimbursed to individuals if they provide the original documents to the grantee (see above).
Q: How can I cover travel expenses?
A: If the grantee purchases transportation tickets with the organization’s bank card (or through bank transfer from the grantee’s account), these costs must be put directly into the Financial Settlement with proper description.
If tickets are purchased by individuals (experts, project participants), they must submit the original documents (invoices, bills, e-tickets, etc.) to the grantee, who then reimburses the travelers via bank transfer after issuing a confirmation to them. Grantees with a project cost of over 10.000 EUR can use their internal document for this purpose, in compliance with their bookkeeping rules.
Grantees with a project cost of under 10.000 EUR are obliged to present the filled-out Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheets together with copies of the original tickets/invoices attached to the Financial Settlement.
If participants have travelled by private car, reimbursement can only be provided according to the official rates of the respective country based on the vehicle’s consumption and official reimbursement per 1 km (this information can be usually found on the website of the national taxation offices.) Grantees with a project cost of over 10.000 EUR can use their internal procedures for such reimbursements, in compliance with their bookkeeping rules.
Grantees with a project cost of under 10.000 EUR are obliged to present the filled-out Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheets together with copies of the car registration document.
Fuel bills cannot be reimbursed in the category of “Transportation and delivery”.
For more information on travel cost reimbursement, please read Annex 2 of the Grant Guidelines. For the list of eligible costs in the category “Transportation and delivery” check Annex 1 of the Grant Guidelines.
Q: What kind of costs can I cover from the grant?
A: The Fund has identified 11 cost categories that are eligible for reimbursement:
- Printing and publishing
- Rent and related technical services
- Expert fees/fees for authors or artists
- Accommodation and board
- Transportation and delivery
- Translation and interpreting costs
- Awards and prizes
- Office supplies and consumption materials
- Promotional costs
- Copyright, licenses and fees
For a detailed list of specific cost items within each category, check Annex 1 of the Grant Guidelines.
Q: We haven't spend 50% of the first installment. Can I submit the Interim Report later?
A: Yes, but you will have to consult it with the Fund's project manager in advance. If the delivery is delayed with more than a few working days, an official request letter must be submitted to the Fund for approval. The letter must be written on a letterhead paper, contain a detailed reasoning and specific date for the new delivery of the Interim Report. The request must be signed by the statutory representative and sent to your project manager in scanned form.
Q: When we can expect the second tranche?
A: The Fund has 10 working days to review the Interim Report counting from the date of their postal delivery. If the report is incomplete or if further documents are needed, the deadline applies from the day of delivery of these additional documents. Once the Interim Report is approved the Fund has 15 working days to transfer the 2nd tranche of the grant. Therefore, the sooner you provide us with the Interim Report and Interim Financial Statement, the sooner you will know whether the Fund approves the continuation of your project and receive the next tranche from our side.
Please keep in mind that you are only eligible for the second tranche if you have already spent approximately 50% of the first installment by the given deadline. Otherwise the Interim Financial Statement cannot be approved and you will need to prepare another report complying with this criterion.
Q: What should the Interim Report look like?
A: The Interim report is a textual summary of the preliminary progress and results of the project implemented within the marked period. When filling out the Interim Report, try to be as specific as possible. The Interim Report is not only a checklist of events and output that were implemented, but also serves as a means to evaluate your own work, different aspects of the implementation and the role of the partners in the cooperation. Describe whether the implementation is on track as you planned, highlight any changes that were made compared to the original plan and any obstacles that hindered your work.
Q: Do you require any invoices/contracts attached to the Interim report?
A: No, we do not require additional documents by default, however, the assigned project manager may ask for them on an individual basis if some cost items or descriptions are unclear.
Q: How should I fill out the Interim Financial Settlement?
A: Instructions can be found on a separate sheet in the Interim Financial Statement XLS file. When describing the individual costs in Column 5 “Cost description”, be as specific as possible. The Fund cannot accept insufficient descriptions such as “expert fee”, “hotel” or “bus ticket” without the proper indication as to whom the cost was paid, for what reason, and for what output/activity.
Q: Our organization has two or more bank accounts in different currencies, how should we proceed?
A: If your expenses have been incurred in more than one currency, you must create a separate Financial Settlement sheet for each currency. Please do not forget, however, that the total sum should always be indicated in EUR (€) in each sheet.
Q: Which exchange rate should be used in the Interim Financial Statement?
A: When choosing the proper rate, you have two options. You may either use the exchange rate of the national bank (where the grantee resides) on the date of converting the first installment into the local currency or the monthly average exchange rate of the respective national bank in the last full month in which the first (interim) period of the project ends.
Q: Are there any templates for the Interim report?
A: Templates are found at https://www.visegradfund.org/archive/documents/visegrad-visegrad-strategic-grants/
Q: How do we send the Interim documentation?
A: The Interim Report and the Interim Financial Statement need to be uploaded to the online system, under the tab “Interim Report”, and sent to the Fund via post as well by the given deadline.
Q: Do I have to submit an Interim Report?
A: In case the contract specifies three or more payments of the awarded grant, the grantee will have 20 working days after the marked period (see Article 6.2) to prepare the Interim Documentation, which consists of the following elements:
- Interim Report – a textual summary of the progress and results of the project implemented within the marked period (you can find the template on our website).
- Interim Financial Statement – a spreadsheet containing all the expenditures covered by the grant in the marked period (template on the website).
Q: Which documents must be sent by post?
A: The following documents must be delivered to the Fund’s address 20 working days after the end of the implementation period.
FOR PROJECTS UNDER €10,000:
- Final Report – printed out from our online system, last page signed and stamped by the statutory representative of the grantee.
- Financial Statement – all pages and additional sheets filled out, signed and stamped by the statutory representative of the grantee.
- Copies or samples of promotional materials that cannot be uploaded to our system.
- Signed Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheets (if applicable) – see instructions in Annex 2 of this document.
- Copies of all invoices connected to the costs described in the Financial Statement and their corresponding bank transcripts.
FOR PROJECTS OVER €10,000:
- Final Report – printed out from our online system, last page signed and stamped by the statutory representative of the grantee.
- Financial Statement – all pages and additional sheets filled out, signed and stamped by the statutory representative of the grantee and by the auditor.
- Copies or samples of promotional materials that cannot be uploaded to our system.
- Audit Report with all necessary annexes – signed and stamped by the certified auditor, indicating his/her credentials as member of the relevant national chamber of auditors.
Q: Our organization has two or more bank accounts in different currencies, how should we proceed?
A: If your expenses have been paid for in more than one currency, you must create a separate Financial Settlement sheet for each currency. Please do not forget, however, that the total sum should always be indicated in EUR (€) in each sheet.
Q: Which exchange rate should be used in the Financial Statement?
A: When choosing the proper rate, you have two options. You may either use the exchange rate of the national bank (where the grantee resides) on the date of conversion of the previous installment into the local currency or the monthly average exchange rate of the national bank in the last full month of the project implementation period.
Q: How should the Financial Statement be filled out?
A: Instructions can be found on a separate sheet in the Financial Statement XLS file. When describing the individual costs in Column 5 “Cost description”, be as specific as possible. The Fund cannot accept insufficient descriptions such as “expert fee”, “hotel” or “bus ticket” without the proper indication as to whom the cost was paid, for what reason, and for what output/activity.
Q: Where can I find the template for the Final Report?
A: In 2020 the Fund introduced a web-based final reporting interface, which can be accessed in our online system (my.visegradfund.org). Grantees need to fill out all sections under the tab “Final Report” and click on SUBMIT on the last page. Once the electronic report has been submitted, you must print out the Final Report by clicking on the PRINT button. This printout shall be signed and stamped by your statutory representative and sent to the Fund via post.
After online submission, the report cannot be modified any longer. Should any problems arise, please contact your assigned project manager.
Q: What kind of documents do I have to prepare?
A: Once the entire project implementation period has come to an end, there will be 20 working days available to prepare the following Final Documentation:
- Final Report – a narrative overview of all activities undertaken and results achieved, accompanied by photos, attendance lists and other documentation. The Final Report must be prepared in our on-line system under the tab “Final Report”. After filling out and saving all sections, you must submit the report by the given deadline and print out a paper version from the system.
- (Final) Financial Statement – a spreadsheet containing all the expenditures covered by the grant, and the summary table (template on the website).
- Audit Report – for projects with a budget over €10,000 (template on the website)
- Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheet (only applicable for projects without an Audit report) – see instructions in Annex 2 (p. 29) of this document
Q: When is my project officially finished? When do I receive the final installment?
A: The Fund has 20 working days to review the final documentation of the project, counting from the day of delivery of all required documents via post. If all reports and attachments comply with our rules, the Fund authorizes the transfer of the last installment or requests that the unused grant amount be returned to the Fund’s bank account. After all obligations have been cleared, the assigned project manager confirms the conclusion of the project.
Q: Which institutions are eligible hosts?
A: Any higher-education institution (accredited in the respective country) is eligible as the potential host and so are institutes of science academies in the respective countries.
Q: Does the Visegrad Fund help me with admission at the host institution?
A: No, the scholarship is meant for supporting scholars already accepted (at least preliminarily) at host institutions. The admission process at the host institution is the responsibility of the applicant.
Q: Do I have to study in English?
A: No. You can also study in the native language of the university. We don’t need any language certificates from you either. Please note, however, that the application form must be filled out in English.
Q: Can I leave my host university/institution during the scholarship period?
A: The scholarship is an attendance scholarship. The scholar is expected to work on his/her study/research project at the host institution for the entire scholarship period.
Q: Can I receive an Erasmus (or other) and a Visegrad Fund scholarship at the same time?
A: You are obliged to inform the Fund of any other scholarship you will receive from any Member State or the European Union simultaneously with the scholarship of the International Visegrad Fund. The Fund may, based on each individual case, determine whether to uphold or withdraw its offer to the scholar.
Q: Can I apply for more than one study program within an application form? Can I submit several application forms for one deadline?
A: No, each scholar can submit only one application to one host institution and for one study program/research project at a time (within a single deadline).
Q: Can I apply if I will not have the acceptance letter (from the host university) by the deadline?
A: Yes. If your program requires admission tests or a personal interview (results of which will be known only after the deadline), you can submit proof of your application (a scan or print screen of the submitted application form) or a preliminary acceptance letter. The final acceptance letter is to be submitted before signing the contract with the Fund.
Q: If I am enrolled in a doctoral program, can I apply for scholarship to continue my doctoral studies at the same university?
A: Yes, you can, if your previous degree (MA or equivalent) was finished in a different country.
Q: If I am enrolled in the first year of a MA program, can I apply for a scholarship to finish my studies at the same university?
A: Yes, you can, if your previous degree (BA or equivalent) was finished in a different country.
Q: If I completed my bachelor’s studies abroad, can I continue in the same country (e.g. MA)?
A: No. If you completed your previous studies in one of the V4 countries (e.g. you hold a Czech BA degree), you cannot apply for further studies in the same country (e.g. MA in Czechia) but can decide to apply in a different V4 country.
Q: Which academic disciplines do the scholarships cover?
A: In the application form you will be able to choose from 25 different disciplines that cover the large majority of study fields.
Q: Is there an age limit for applying?
A: No, we do not take into account the applicant’s age.
Q: Can I apply if I am currently not a student?
A: To apply for a master’s or post-master’s scholarship you don’t need an active student status, but you must have completed at least 6 semesters of higher education or hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s (BA/BSc) degree at the time of starting the scholarship. If you apply for bachelor-level scholarship to another V4 country, you must be enrolled as an active student.
Q: Can I apply for a scholarship for my bachelor’s studies?
A: A bachelor’s degree level is only available for the Intra-V4 scheme, i.e., citizens of one of the V4 countries studying in another V4 country. Citizens of the Eastern Partnership or Western Balkans countries can only cover studies at master’s (MA or equivalent) or post-master’s level (doctoral studies programs or independent research).
Q: Who can apply for the Visegrad Scholarship Program?
A: Our scholarships are available only to citizens of V4 countries, the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries. The full list of possible combinations can be found in the Scholarship Instructions on our website.
Apart from being a citizen of the above-mentioned countries, the following criteria apply to all applicants:
- Applicants cannot apply for a scholarship in the country of their citizenship.
- Applicants cannot apply to the same university where they completed their previous level of studies.
- The distance between the applicant’s last (or current if the applicant is an active student) university and the host must be more than 150 km.
- The applicant must have a permanent residence more than 150 km from the host.
Q: How and when will I be informed of the results of my application?
A: All applicants (approved, rejected or those on the reserve list) are notified in writing via e-mail and the results are also published on the Fund’s website 45 working days after the submission deadline at the latest.
Q: What documents should I send by post?
A: You do not need to send us any documents or hard copies by post. All documents must be uploaded to our online system by the deadline.
Q: What documents do I have to upload with the application form?
All applicants must upload a scan of their valid national ID card or international passport. In addition to that, the following documents are required.
If applying for a bachelor’s scholarship (for V4 citizens only), you need to upload:
- A scan of your transcript of records for the last two duly terminated semesters (if applying in your first year of studies, one closed semester is enough).
- A scanned letter of acceptance from the host university/institute.
If applying for a master’s scholarship:
- A scan of your transcript of records for the last two duly terminated semesters.
- A scanned letter of acceptance from the host university/institute.
If applying for a post-master scholarship:
- A scanned letter of acceptance and approved working plan from the host university/institute.
Q: Can I submit my application form after the deadline?
A: There is no possibility to submit the application past the deadline. The deadline is strict and the IVF will accept no application past it.
Q: Where and how can I submit my application?
A: Applications are submitted in our online system (http://my.visegradfund.org) by the given deadline. The system opens approximately 45 days prior to the deadline. Once you register, you have to remember your ID (the application number), since it will be used in all future communication with you, and a password which will enable you to access your application form in the future.
You must fill out all the required fields and upload all requested documents. PDF is the recommended file format for uploaded documents. If a document has more than a single page then please convert it into a multi-page PDF file.
Starting your scholarship
Q: What documents do I have to submit at the end of my study stay?
A: You must submit the following documents no later than 30 days after the end of the scholarship period:
Bachelor’s or master’s studies:
- Transcript of records with at least 30 credits (ECTS) obtained for the last semester covered by the scholarship.
- Copy of master’s diploma in case of full master studies.
- Summary of the final results and contributions during the research stay (max. 2-3 pages), list of articles written by the scholar during the scholarship period.
Q: Do I have to acknowledge the Fund’s support?
A: Yes, you should promote your accomplishment in becoming a Visegrad scholar. Please remember to acknowledge our support in any documentation related to your scholarly activities and at any public events where you present the results and outcomes of your study/research acquired during the scholarship period. You should also use our logo to visually acknowledge the Visegrad Scholarship Program’s contribution to your study/research.
Q: I received the scholarship for more than 1 semester. What should I do in order to receive the next installment?
A: The second (and any further) instalments of your scholarship are transferred once the Fund receives the following via e-mail, in scanned format:
Bachelor’s / master’s scholars:
- Transcript of records with at least 30 ECTS credits obtained for the previous semester
- Confirmation of continuation/enrollment issued by the host institute for the new semester (signed by the international office/head of department)
- Progress report written by the scholar and confirmed (signed) by the supervisor, detailing the interim results, conference attendances, published articles
- Confirmation of continuation of studies/research indicating the planned completion dates issued by the host.
Q: Does the Fund arrange/facilitate my visa, health/travel insurance, accommodation, travel to the host country?
A: No, but the Fund issues a scholarship confirmation which can be used as an enclosure to the visa application. You will receive this confirmation together with your contract copy.
Q: How much is the scholarship I receive?
A: The scholarship amounts to €2,500 per semester and is paid to each scholar’s bank account. This money is at the scholar’s full disposal and the Fund cannot cover any additional costs (visa fees, health insurance, accommodation, etc.).
Q: Does the scholarship cover tuition fees?
A: The scholarship does not directly cover the tuition fees, but the host university/institute receives €1,500/semester for every scholar (this is separate from your scholarship payment). For bachelor’s or master’s studies, the host university/institute must use the lump sum to cover your tuition fees or any other administrative costs. However, if the tuition fees exceed the lump sum per semester, you are responsible for covering the remaining sum yourself. We recommend finding out about the tuition fees at the host university/institute in advance. For post-master’s scholars, the lump sum is to cover all possible costs of the host university connected with hosting a foreign scholar, e.g. publishing the scholar’s monograph, related office supplies, short-term conference costs, access to databases for research purposes, the scholar’s supervisor fee, etc..
Q: When and how do I receive the money?
A: The scholarship is paid in advance for each semester (5-month period) only after the host university sends to the Fund a written (scan) confirmation of your arrival. The confirmation must be issued:
- in English
- on letterhead paper of the host institution
- stating the exact date of your arrival there
- stating your status as an active, full-time student/researcher
- stating the planned month of (final) completion of your project/your placement at the host institution
- stating your application/contract number
- with the signature and stamp of the host university representative (your supervisor, the international office, or dean).
You will also need to provide us with a bank account where we can send you the scholarship funds. The bank account must belong to you personally, but can be opened in any country.
Q: When and where will I receive the contract for signing?
A: The scholarship contract will be mailed to your permanent (or correspondence) address after you submit the final acceptance letter (if not submitted at the time of applying) and confirming your details in our system. You will receive two copies, of which one copy should be sent back to us via post, with your signature.
Q: When can I start my scholarship?
A: As the results of the scholarships are usually published at the end of May, the scholarship can only start afterwards, from September/October (the fall semester of the upcoming academic year) at the earliest.
Q: My application got approved. What should I do now?
A: You should take the following steps:
- Check your passport’s (or ID card’s) validity. If you need a visa for the host country, start the visa application as soon as possible.
- Confirm your personal data in the system and contact your assigned project manager, following the instructions of the e-mail you received from us.
- Inform your host university/institution about the Fund’s decision and the possible date of your arrival.
Q: Can I transfer funds within my organization?
A: Internal transfers within one institution (between different divisions or organizational units) are not allowed without the Fund’s preliminary approval. All such transfers must be requested beforehand and have proper justification.