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KRF Program

Q What is the eligibility of Type 1 and Type 2?

  • A) The eligibility of the KRF candidates shall be as follows:

  • Post-doc researchers who have received their doctoral degree within the past five years (foreign nationals or Korean nationals residing overseas)

  • [Type 1] Foreign national or Korean national* post-doc researchers currently residing overseas that have received their doctoral degree within the past five years (as of the date of the official announcement that accepts KRF applications)
  • *Korean Nationals - limited to those who are residing overseas and have earned their doctoral degree abroad.

  • [Type 2] Foreign national post-doc researchers currently residing in Korea that have received their doctoral degree within the past five years (as of the date of the official announcement that accepts KRF applications)

Q Is it possible for a host to apply for the KRF Program to invite a Korean national researcher residing in Korea?

  • A) Korean nationals are limited to those who are residing overseas and have earned their doctoral degree abroad.

Q Can KRF fellows undertake only lectures?

  • A) It is not allowed for KRF fellows to perform lectures only since this is an R&D program. However, upon obtaining approval from the head of the competent host institutions and host researchers, fellows may undertake university lectures (up to 2 subjects)

Q Can corporate research institutes apply for the KRF program?

  • A) It is possible to apply if the host is a research institute affiliated with corporation registered with the Korea Industrial Technology Association
  • * Corporate research institutes are those which established as SMEs and venture businesses under Article 14 (1) of the Basic Research Promotion and Technology Development Support Act and Article 16 (1) of the Enforcement Decree of the same Act can apply.

Q Are the post-doc researchers who are going to receive their doctoral degree eligible?

  • A) The KRF candidates have to be officially awarded their doctoral degree by the date stated in the announcement.
  • - Please note that KRF candidates need to have obtained their physical doctoral degree certificate or diploma within the past five years based on the date stated in the announcement. As a rule, provisional certificates are not accepted. Proof of work as a postdoctoral fellow without submitting the copy of actual degree certificate is not accepted.

Q Are any post-doc researchers with their doctoral degree eligible?

  • A) Post-doc researchers who have not officially been awarded their doctoral degree yet or who have more than five years of R&D experience (as of the date of the official announcement that accepts KRF applications) are not eligible.

Q Can the documents including the final degree certificate, certificate of career, the certificate of employment and the letter of reference of the fellow written in local languages such as German or French be submitted?

  • A) All documentation including the application form shall be written in Korean or English. If any documents required are written in a language other than Korean or English, please submit certified translations for all foreign language documents into Korean or English.

Q Can fellows apply for the KRF program undertaking joint research abroad?

  • A) Fellows are required to engage in full-time research at host institutions during KRF tenure, so therefore the KRF program does not support overseas collaboration.
  • ※ The duration of any overseas business trip that is not recognized as an official business trip will be deducted from the number of days for paid leave: If the duration exceeds the maximum number of days for paid leave, personnel costs corresponding to the excess will be retrieved.

Q Can KRF candidates apply for the KRF program by themselves?

  • A) The head of the host institution that desires to participate in the KRF Program shall apply for the KRF program and submit the related documents such as the arrival report, changes in the agreement, and the final results report. After the Fellow submits his own parts such as academic contents in the KRF program proposal, the head of the host institution shall submit the proposal gathering and check as needed.

Q Will a short research period (3~6 months) be acceptable?

  • A) This is a long term program (3~5 years) to support young scientists who are willing to stay in Korea for research on a long term basis.
  • Less than a 3 years research period will be not be acceptable.

Q What does a letter of confirmation to provide support from the host institution consist of?

  • A) The confirmation letter needs to express the willingness of hosting the KRF candidate, how to support him/her completely and comply with the KRF Guidelines for the management during the KRF Program, and submitted with the official stamp of the host institution at the bottom of confirmation letter.

Q From whom should the fellow get the letter of reference?

  • A) 2 or more letters of reference including from Ph.D professors or persons in charge of previous work except for the host researcher (no fixed form)

Q Who should be designated as an assigned staff?

  • A) Anyone who works at the same host institution such as a student researcher in the same lab or an administrative staff, who can support the fellow to adjust in research environment and Korean society during KRF tenure.

Q Shall a KRF application form be written only in Korean?

  • A) A KRF application form shall be written in Korean by host researcher, however, portions regarding academic contents can be written in English in order to share research plans with the KRF candidate.
  • -“Chapter Ⅱ. Overseas Post-doc Researcher (Candidate)” shall be written by KRF candidate in Korean or English.

Q Is it possible to conduct another National R&D project simultaneously during KRF program?

  • A) Fellows may undertake in another national R&D project related to the research project under the KRF program (Up to 30 % of participation rate). However, please double confirm with the terms and conditions of the other project that you wish to join .

Q What is the level of KRF Funding?

  • A) Please see the table below.

  • [Level of Funding]

  • Level of Funding
    Type Personnel Costs Living expenses Others Subsidies for
    Host institutions
    [Type 1]
    Inviting
    Researchers
    residing overseas
    (Overseas=> Korea)
    Up to
    KRW 50 Million
    (To be set based on the criteria of each host institution)
    Up to
    KRW 12 Million
    (for housing)
    Up to
    KRW 5 Million
    (injury/disease insurance premiums, attending Korean class, domestic travel expenses, Relocation expenses,etc.)
    KRW 5 million
    (fixed amount)
    (for the assigned staff, etc.)
    [Type 2]
    Long-Term Residency in Korea
    (Korea=>Korea)
    Average
    KRW 40 million
    (matching funds by Host is mandatory)
    Not applicable

Q Are research grants included in the KRF funding?

  • A) This program does not cover research costs. Research costs for KRF fellows need to be funded from the matching funds of the host.

Q How can the fellow get his/her airfare reimbursed?

  • A) Airfares shall be the actual amount of the shortest nonstop flight to Korea (on an economy-class basis, including domestic flights) for the Fellow’s entry to Korea. The payment of airfares shall be made after at least six months from the commencement of the project or after the confirmation of the results of the annual evaluation for the first year

Q What can be utilized for “Subsidies for Host Institutions”?

  • A) Subsidies for Host Institutions: A maximum of KRW 5 million per year shall be provided for the support of the assigned staff of the Fellow (not less than KRW 200,000 per month) and the project management costs. The host institution may, excluding the portion for the assigned staff from the financial assistance for the host institution, use the project management costs to cover the performance and management of the KRF Program such as the additional costs for the Fellow’s performance of the project, the domestic travel expenses (business travel expenses) of the assigned staff, and other expenses.

Q In the case KRF fellows find a place to live with Jeonse (Korean Deposit system) not rent, can it be supported from KRF housing allowances?

  • A) KRF budget primarily covers your housing rent, maximum 1 million a month. However, in the case you get “Jeonse” not “Rent” (in Korean, we say Wolse), the amount of the house support needs to be calculated based on Jeonse /Wolse conversion rates (전월세 전환율) posted by Korea Appraisal Board (한국감정원: http://www.r-one.co.kr/) and approved by your host.

Q Can the fellow join car insurance using KRF funding?

  • A) The private insurance allowance under “other budget“ only covers when the fellow joins the disease/injury insurance premiums with no surrender value arose.

Q Can the fellow use “relocation allowance” to pay for the moving service when changing places to live in Korea?

  • A) "Relocation support fund" is for covering moving expenses coming into Korea from overseas when joining KRF program.
  • So it cannot be used when the fellow is already in the program and moving within Korea.

Q Is there any case where items are not reimbursed including moving expenses?

  • A) All items cannot be reimbursed unless receipts are submitted. Proof of moving expenses should be via the receipt issued by the moving companies in principle.

Q Is it possible to apply for a change of KRF project itself or the KRF fellow?

  • A) It is prohibited to change the KRF project or the fellow since they are the main factors via an evaluation procedure considered to be selected for the program. If the host wishes to change the project itself or the KRF fellow selected for the KRF program, the host needs to apply for the program with a new proposal after cancelling the current KRF program.

Q How can the KRF fellow apply for an official business trip or private vacation?

  • A) Only when the overseas business trip is directly related to the R&D project for the KRF project, can it be considered a business trip. For a personal trip, the KRF fellow should use paid vacation (e.g. student consultation, the examination of a thesis, participation in conferences or events).

Q Are there any conditions for overseas business trip for the KRF Fellow?

  • A) Up to 20 days per year are allowed (based on the fellowship period set under the agreement)
  • - If the accumulated number of days spent for overseas business trips exceeds 20 days per year, or if the number of days for one business trip exceeds 10 days, a plan for business trips must be approved first by the head of the host institutions, which in turn shall submit the details of approval and the plan for the business trip to the NRF.
  • - A report on each business trip must be submitted to the head of the host institutions upon the end of the overseas business trip (within 7 days from the trip’s end).
  • ※ The duration of any overseas business trip that is not recognized as an official business trip will be deducted from the number of days for paid leave: If the duration exceeds the maximum number of days for paid leave, personnel costs corresponding to the excess will be retrieved.

Q What if the fellow needs to stay over 10 working days in a row abroad for research?

  • A) If the accumulated number of days spent for overseas business trips exceeds 20 days per year, or if the number of days for one business trip exceeds 10 days, a plan for business trips must be approved first by the head of the host institutions, which in turn shall submit the details of approval and the plan for the business trip to the NRF.

Q Is it possible to apply for sick leave for more than a month?

  • A) A maximum of 3 months are allowed in unavoidable cases such as sick leave or maternity leave, after official approval from NRF. Maternity leave researchers are entitled to 90 days paid leave in accordance to the employment policy set by Ministry of Employment and Labor

Q Is there a procedure in KRF (or else) for paternity leave?

  • A) KRF regulation does not specify regarding paternity leave. Maternity leave is only available for female KRF fellows. However, according to the Article 18-2 (Paternity Leave) of EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND WORK-FAMILY BALANCE ASSISTANCE ACT by Ministry of Labor
  • Article 18-2 (Paternity Leave)
  • (1) Where a male worker requests leave on grounds of his spouse's childbirth, the employer shall grant leave for at least three up to five days. In such cases, he shall be paid for the first three days out of the period of leave used.

  • So you may consult with your host to see if they allow you to have a paternity leave under Article 18-2 (Paternity Leave) by Ministry of Labor.

Q How many days of paid leave the fellow can claim a year?

  • A) The Fellow shall have paid leave of no more than 20 days per year on the basis of the research period of the agreement. KRF only regulates the maximum days for paid leave a year for the fellow, which is 20 days.
  • However, the number of days you can take depends on your contract with your host institution.
  • (For example) If your employee contract with your host institution states that you have 14 days paid off a year, your paid leave stated in your host contact takes precedent.

Q In case the KRF program cannot be fulfilled for the entire period for any reason, are there any sanctions on the relevant project participants or returning grants to NRF?

  • A) Regarding early withdrawal of the KRF program, upon receiving an official note from your host to NRF, There will be several steps for evaluation- by visiting your lab with KRF evaluation committee members, the KRF steering committee will judge whether granted or not. Depending on the results, there will be sanctions against the relevant host researcher, the Fellow, and the host institution in the worst-case scenario. Please refer to the KRF guidelines, Article 22-1.

Q Can overseas travel expenses (including conferences) be covered under KRF budget?

  • A) Overseas Travel expenses cannot be covered by KRF funding.
  • For the expenses domestic travel and for attending academic conferences or seminars shall be covered based on the actual amount paid for the KRF fellow in relation to the performance of the KRF Program projects.

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