The Restart Program was designed to ensure gender equality and the right to parenthood and aims to support the resumption of scientific activities after parenthood, promoting competitiveness at a critical stage in researchers' careers. 

The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has opened the applications for the first edition of the program RESTARTa new funding program aimed at researchers who have recently taken parental leave to pursue and develop an original and innovative research idea, with the possibility of associating other human and/or material resources, according to the funding made available and the expected execution time. This program has a budget of 1.25 million euros andapplications may be submitted until March 30th.

RESTART is a competitive call for individual R&D projects in all scientific fields, with a maximum amount of 50 thousand euros and a duration of execution of 18 months. This funding is aimed at all researchers who have recently taken parental leave, including by adoption, which seeks to bridge the period of absence from research, supporting the restart of their R&D activities. Aligned with public policies in this area, RESTART also covers, with specific eligibility conditions, cases of shared parental leave, which privilege equality in the provision of care and the sharing of family responsibilities and duration of leave.

With the creation of this program, FCT, alongside its commitment to promoting the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge, based on high international standards of quality and competitiveness, intends to promote gender equality in R&D activities and careers, inseparable from equal opportunities for the entire national scientific community.

This new financing instrument is in line with the concerns and recommendations of the Council of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on this matter, and Portugal is now one of the pioneering countries to respond in this regard.

The call also presents some new features compared to other FCT instruments. In particular, a narrative CV system is adopted for a comprehensive and effective evaluation of the careers of researchers working in Portugal. This system seeks to simultaneously promote more qualitative, robust and integrated evaluation methodologies. Under RESTART, this approach will value the impacts of future research, and the contexts and conditions in which it will take place, on the career development of researchers.

Finally, this call benefits from a significant simplification of procedures, both in terms of submitting applications and by adopting a simplified cost management scheme after the funding has been awarded.

The creation of this program was announced by FCT in the commemorative session of the World Science Day and National Scientific Culture Day, held on November 24, 2022.

More information on the page on the FCT website dedicated to the call.

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