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IBS Conferences


2018 Call for Application for IBS Research Center Directors

The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) is a Korean government-funded research institute established in November 2011 with the purpose of driving forward the development of basic science in Korea through large-scale, long-term, group research. IBS has so far established 28 Research Centers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, life sciences, earth science, and interdisciplinary sciences. This year, the institute will continue to operate the existing Center system (Category I) while introducing a new Center system (tentatively named “Pioneer Research Center (PRC)”, Category II) by recruiting outstanding young scientists as a co-director (tentatively named “Chief Investigator (CI)”). This year’s selection will be limited to a maximum of two Centers that are HQ-based only. We look forward to receiving many applications from excellent scientists.

January 8, 2018
KIM Doochul, President of IBS

I. Center Category I

1. Selection Type

◦ A scientist who is capable of conducting large-scale, long-term, group research will be selected as a new director of an HQ Center.

  • Applicant may organize his/her Center with various structures (e.g., having co-director(s) and/or associate director(s)).
  • Those who already submitted their application may re-submit after changing Center type into HQ Center.
      ※ The submitted application shall be valid for up to two years.
  • Applicants in theoretical physics may apply for co-director positions at the two HQ Centers (Center for Theoretical Physics of the Universe, Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems)
  • Those selected as a new director may commence their research in 2018.

2. Research Areas

◦ All areas of basic science and interdisciplinary sciences

  • Applications from those in IBS designated research areas will be given priority in review.
       ※ Please refer to(www.ibs.re.kr/eng/sub04_02_02.do)for details of the designated research areas.

3. Requirements and Selection Criteria for Director Position

◦ Requirements

  • A researcher who is capable of conducting large-scale, long-term, group research in basic science.
  • A researcher whose capability is equivalent to that of a chair professor at a globally recognized university or a director of a Max Planck Institute in a relevant area. Or a researcher who has potential to reach the aforementioned level in the near future.
  • A researcher who can devote himself/herself to research and Center operation for a long period of time.

◦ Selection criteria

  • Comprehensively examine applicants’ scientific excellence and adequacy of submitted research plans based on qualitative evaluation of domestic and overseas scholars, and select candidates.
  • (Scientific excellence) Supremacy of research outcomes, research capabilities and potential, etc.
  • (Adequacy of research plan) Adequacy and feasibility of Center organization and operation plan, research budget and its allocation, plan to foster young scientists, and mid- to long-term development plan and vision, etc.

4. Selection Procedure

◦ Candidate search by March 2018: Two means - open recruitment and recruitment by Search Committee (SC)* - will be utilized.
  * Committee where scholars from home and abroad participate will be formed by field to search for excellent candidates.

◦ Selection of in-depth evaluation candidates by April 2018

◦ In-depth evaluation by August 2018

◦ Comprehensive evaluation and consultation by Scientific Advisory Board by October 2018

◦ Negotiation and appointment by December 2018
  ※ Please refer to Attachment 3 for details of director selection procedure.

5. Center Budget

◦ The proposed budget on the application form will be carefully reviewed during the selection and evaluation procedure for directors. Once the selection is completed, the proposed budget will be adjusted and approved by the IBS Research Review Committee.

◦ Research plan, which is required to be included in the application form, must include details (e.g., research period, list of necessary facilities and equipment, required budget, annual plan) of start-up expenses for large-scale facilities and equipment that should be constructed at an early stage of Center establishment. Start-up expenses will be provided separately after deliberation. The expenses should be stated separately.
  ※ Whether or not to provide the expenses or the provided amount may change according to the circumstances of IBS.

◦ If a director applicant has plans to recruit co-director(s) or associate director(s) within the proposed research period, relevant plans and required budgets must be specified in the application.

6. Details of Director Position

◦ Directors are required to work full time in principle. Their labor costs will be negotiated with IBS President and will become effective upon signing of the contract.

◦ Directors will be given autonomy in organizing their Center, including personnel, research plan, and budget allocation.

◦ Directors are not allowed to apply for other Korean government-funded research projects.
  ※ Those who are participating in basic research programs by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) may commence their research as IBS directors after the completion of the (phased) programs.

◦ Center Review will take place every three years except for the first Review, which takes place five years after the Center’s research commencement. Review results will determine whether to provide continued support. If it is decided to close a Center/research group, a one-year grace period will be given.

7. How to Submit Your Application

◦ Fill in the application form (Attachment 1) in English, save it as a PDF (file name: applicant name_Director_submission date), and send it to apply@ibs.re.kr

◦ Submission deadline: 18:00 (KST), Wednesday, March 7, 2018

◦ Those who are qualified for in-depth evaluation will be notified by the end of April 2018.

Ⅱ. Center Category Ⅱ

1. Selection Type

◦ PRC: PRC is an HQ Center to explore new territories of basic science and will be organized by gradually selecting and appointing CIs.

  • A PRC will consist of up to five CIs and each CI will be given KRW 1 to 1.5 billion annual operation budget, including labor costs and other expenses.
  • A research area which has the most applications submitted will be prioritized in launching a PRC this year. Initial support will be concentrated on the construction of HQ core facilities.
  • If those who already submitted their application for a director position want to change their application type into CI for PRC, they may re-submit after filling in an application form for CIs.
  • Those selected as a new CI may commence their research in 2018.

2. Research Areas

◦ All areas of basic science and interdisciplinary sciences

  • Applications from those in the IBS designated research areas will be given priority in review.
       ※ Please refer to(www.ibs.re.kr/eng/sub04_02_02.do)for details of the designated research areas.

3. Requirements and Selection Criteria for CIs

◦ Requirements

  • An emerging researcher who is capable of organizing his/her own research group and carrying out challenging, creative, and independent research in basic science.
  • A researcher whose capability is equivalent to that of a PI at a globally renowned research institute or who has great potential to reach the aforementioned level in the near future.

◦ Selection criteria

  • Comprehensively examine applicants’ scientific excellence and adequacy of submitted research plans based on qualitative evaluation of domestic and overseas scholars, and select candidates.
  • (Scientific excellence) Supremacy of research outcomes, research capabilities and potential, etc.
  • (Adequacy of research plan) Adequacy and feasibility of his/her group organization and operation plan, research budget and its allocation, and mid- to long-term development plan and visions.

4. Selection Procedure

◦ Candidate search by March 2018: Two means - open recruitment and recruitment by Search Committee (SC)* - will be utilized.
  * Committee where scholars from home and abroad participate will be formed by field to search for excellent candidates.

◦ Selection of in-depth evaluation candidates by April 2018

◦ In-depth evaluation by August 2018

◦ Comprehensive evaluation and consultation by Scientific Advisory Board by October 2018

◦ Negotiation and appointment by December 2018
  ※ Please refer to Attachment 3 for details of CI selection procedure.

5. Budget

◦ The proposed budget on the application form will be reviewed during the selection and evaluation procedure for CIs. Once the selection is completed, the proposed budget will be adjusted and approved by the IBS Research Review Committee.

◦ Research plan, which is required to be submitted with the application form, must include details (e.g., research period, list of necessary facilities and equipment, required budget, annual plan) of start-up expenses for large-scale facilities and equipment that should be constructed at an early stage of PRC establishment and CI research group organization. Start-up expenses will be provided separately after deliberation. The expenses should be stated separately.
  ※ Whether or not to provide the expenses or the provided amount may change according to the circumstances of IBS.

6. Details of CI Position

◦ CI as a type of co-directors of HQ Centers is required to work full time in principle. CI’s labor costs will be negotiated with IBS President and will become effective upon signing of the contract.

◦ CIs will be given autonomy in organizing their research group including personnel, research plan, and budget allocation.

◦ CIs are not allowed to apply for other Korean government-funded research projects.
  ※ Those who are participating in basic research program by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) may commence their research as IBS directors after the completion of the (phased) programs.

◦ Review on each CI group will take place every three years except for the first Review, which takes place five years after the research commencement. Review results will determine whether to provide continued support. If it is decided to close a research group, a one-year grace period will be given.

7. How to Submit Your Application

◦ Fill in the application form (Attachment 2) in English, save it as a PDF (file name: applicant name_CI_submission date), and send it to apply@ibs.re.kr

◦ Submission deadline: 18:00 (KST), Wednesday, March 7, 2018

◦ Those who are qualified for in-depth evaluation will be notified by the end of April 2018.

8. Contact for Inquiries

◦ Selection and evaluation procedure for directors/CIs and application: JUNG Yu Jin, head of Research Evaluation Team (042-878-8226, jinny619@ibs.re.kr)

◦ Organization and operation of Centers/CIs: BAE Seok Hyun, head of Research Planning Team (042-878-8218, baesh@ibs.re.kr)


1. Application form for directors (English) docx downloaddocx Download
2. Application form for CIs (English) docx downloaddocx Download
3. Selection procedure for directors and CIs pdf downloadpdf Download
4. FAQ on director/CI selection & Center/research group organization and operation pdf downloadpdf Download
5. Current status of IBS Research Centers (as of Dec. 2017) pdf downloadpdf Download
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Content Manager
Research Policy Team : Ko, Young Wook   042-878-8142
Last Update 2018-07-11 14:07