In 2019, approximately 776,5 million € was spent on R&D in Slovakia (0.83 % of GDP). 46,8 % came from private sources, 40,5 % from governmental sources, 2,1 % from other national and 10,7 % from foreign sources.
The system of R&D funding at a national level is governed by Act No. 172/2005 on Organisation of State Support for Research and Development. Subsidies for solving research tasks are granted to entitled applicants through grant agencies (in particular the Slovak Research and Development Agency) and state programmes for R&D support.
Since 2014, the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Slovak Republic for 2014 – 2020 is in force (RIS3 SK). Its overall goal is to contribute to the strengthening of the key industry anchoring and to the diversification of the economy by a strong increase of research, innovation and creativity usage. Other aims and principles include strengthening of excellence and of internationalisation of science and technology, research and development capacity building, innovation capacity in economic practice building, and promoting a business environment favourable for innovation and its internationalisation. The RIS3 SK strategy also defines priorities of research and development to be funded in the forthcoming years via national funding schemes but also via EU structural funds.
Research and Development priorities:
1. Material Research and Nanotechnology
2. Information and Communication Technologies
3. Biomedicine and Biotechnology
4. Industrial Technologies
5. Sustainable Energy
6. Environment and Agriculture
7. Selected areas of social sciences (with respect to the most pressing problems of the Slovak society)
Research and development projections are included in the national goals of the Slovak Republic arising from the Europe 2020 strategy. It is presumed that the overall level of public and private investments in research and development will increase to 1.2 % of the GDP by 2020.
State research funding agencies
Slovak Research and Development Agency (Agentúra na podporu výskumu a vývoja – APVV) – is the major R&D grant agency in Slovakia. It was established in July 2005 and it is a successor of the previous agency running since 2001. In 2014 – 2020, the expenditure on operations and programmes of APVV is planned for 316 million €.
The Agency acts in compliance with the long term objective of the S&T policy and its programmes are approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic.
The Agency supports R&D (basic and applied research and experimental development) by providing funds for the implementation of the following types of projects:
Projects can be submitted to the Agency within Agency’s Calls for Proposals. The project support usually does not exceed three years.
The Agency provides funding based on grant schemes. A grant scheme represents a system for the support of research and development activities, which specifies the fields of promotion of joint R&D programmes; the criteria for evaluating project proposals; the forms of providing funds.
Grant schemes are usually in the form of:
General Calls – Research and development support in all scientific areas
The general calls have no predefined thematic priorities; the bottom-up approach is applied. The applicant defines the specialisation, objectives and subject content of the R&D project. Projects in the following groups of disciplines are supported: natural sciences, technical sciences, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Agency’s programmes support individual projects in areas defined by the Slovak government.
Bilateral scientific and technological cooperation
Based on international agreements concluded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. Calls for submitting projects on bilateral research cooperation are regularly published.
The projects of bilateral cooperation are intended to have these objectives:
The maximum duration of projects is 24 months. The financial support is strictly limited to short term participants’ mobility.
Science Grant Agency (VEGA) is a grant agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (MESRS SR) and the Board of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Researchers from universities in the Slovak Republic, from the institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and from organisations directly controlled by the MESRS SR may apply for financial support from the agency. VEGA accepts applications for grants for scientific projects that solve problems of basic research. A project submitted to VEGA must represent a proposal for a solution to an integral mono topical scientific problem within a specific period. There are no predefined thematic priorities; the bottom-up approach is applied. Calls for submitting proposals are published annually by the MESRS SR, with the deadline usually in April of the calendar year prior to the year of implementation.
More information at the website of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport (in Slovak only).
The Cultural and Education Grant Agency (KEGA) is an internal grant agency of the MESRS SR focused on the financial support of projects of applied research in the field of education and creative art in defined thematic areas. Applicants from public universities may apply for financial support from KEGA. Thematic priorities and calls for submitting proposals for the forthcoming calendar year are published annually by the MESRS SR, with the deadline usually in April of the calendar year prior to the year of implementation.
More information at the website of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport (in Slovak only)
National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak RepublicProgramme (NSP) is the flagship of Slovak mobility funding, established in 2005 by the Government of the Slovak Republic. The NSP is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
The NSP supports incoming and outgoing mobility – the incoming scheme supports international university students, PhD students, university teachers, researchers and artists to come and stay at higher education institutions and research organisations in Slovakia. The outgoing scheme supports students, PhD students and postdocs with a permanent residence in Slovakia to spend a part of their studies or conduct their research at a higher education institution or research organisation abroad (outside Slovakia).
The scholarship for the incoming applicants is provided for 1 – 10 month stays at higher education institutions and research organisations in Slovakia. The scholarship does not support the pursuit of the entire Master/PhD programme in Slovakia, nor Slovak nationals studying abroad. Citizens of any country are eligible to apply for the NSP scholarship. The scholarship covers living costs during the study/research/teaching/artistic stay of international applicants.
Amount of a monthly scholarship:
a) university student €400
b) PhD student €734
c) university teacher/researcher or artist:
– early-stage university teacher/researcher/artist (without PhD and less than 4 years of work experience)
– experienced university teacher/researcher/artist: €734
– with PhD and less than 10 years of work experience €980
– with PhD and more than 10 years of work experience €1050
In addition, students and PhD students can be awarded a travel allowance, (travel grant), if they apply for it along with their scholarship application. Travel allowance is awarded as a lump sum and it will be paid to the scholarship holder at the end of his/her stay together with the last scholarship payment. Travel allowance amount depends on the distance (in a direct line) between the applicant's place of residence and the place of his/her stay in Slovakia:
distance up to 350 km – €0,
distance more than 350 km, max. 2,000 km – €250,
distance more than 2,000 km, max. 7,000 km – €500,
distance more than 7,000 km – €1 000.
Scholarship applications are submitted online. The online application system is opened at least six weeks before the application deadline.
31 October at 16:00 CET – scholarship stays during the summer semester of the current academic year
30 April at 16:00 CET – scholarship stays during the next academic year
The Government of the Slovak Republic annually awards scholarships for doctoral (PhD) degree programmes to students from the countries eligible for the Official Development Assistance (ODA). Scholarships offered under the OECD defined terms and conditions for implementing the ODA also include scholarships for persons with the status of Slovaks Living Abroad.
Studies can be carried out only at public higher education institutions in Slovakia and are held in the Slovak language. The support includes a scholarship for a 10-month language preparation course in the case that the applicant has not completed his/her previous education in the Slovak Republic.
Studies can be carried out only at public universities in Slovakia and are held in the Slovak language. The Scholarships of the Government of the Slovak Republic include a scholarship for a 10-month language preparation course in the case that the applicant has not completed his/her previous education in the Slovak Republic.
Applications are submitted online.
Deadline: 30 May.
Scholarships are awarded by the Assessment Committee of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.