All sponsorship contributions, including the yearly ‘membership fee’ for the ELLIS Society, go through the ELLIS units. This is because ELLIS strives to encourage and prioritize local ecosystem development. The ELLIS units earmark funds for the Society, and these funds are used to support Society-wide activities, such as organization of network events and workshops. Direct contribution to the ELLIS society is only possible through donation.

One of the reasons that sponsorship goes through the ELLIS unit is to ensure that all contributions meet local requirements and abide by national regulations. In countries where tax applies, the sponsorship amounts are excluding tax. Donations to the ELLIS central society are tax-free, but for donations to ELLIS units, additional regulations may apply per country.

In the case of funding PhD students or postdocs, only the number of students / postdocs funded is taken into consideration, not the actual amount paid. This is to accommodate the difference in salary requirements per country.

It is possible to become a sponsor at multiple ELLIS units, which is especially beneficial to developing the strength and quality of local ecosystems. It is also possible to ‘split’ your sponsorship across several ELLIS units. In this case, your society-level benefits will be determined by the total amount contributed across all sponsored units, but your unit-level benefits will be determined by the individual contribution to that unit. For example, if you provide Bronze-level sponsorship to 5 units, you will have Bronze-level benefits at each individual unit, but Gold-level benefits at the society level.

Unit-level benefits are discussed between the unit and the sponsor, as different units organize different types of events depending on their size, research capacity, number of sponsors, and the maturity of their local ecosystem. To inquire about potential unit-level benefits, contact the coordinator of the local ELLIS unit.

ELLIS sponsors are expected to pay a yearly membership fee, which is used to support the central ELLIS society’s tasks and functions. The yearly membership fee is 20% of the sponsorship contributions, and is the same amount for both Type 1 and Type 2 sponsors. The membership fee is transferred together with the sponsorship amount to the ELLIS unit, with an annual deadline agreed on between the unit and the sponsor.

No, the sponsored PhDs or Postdocs must be employed by a university. Directly employing a PhD or Postdoc does not make the company eligible to be an ELLIS sponsor. Employing PhD students or Postdocs whose supervisor is an ELLIS member at an academic institution also does not make a company eligible for sponsorship.

If a PhD or Postdoc employed at the company satisfies the requirements for ELLIS PhDs and Postdocs, they are still eligible to participate in activities in the ELLIS PhD and Postdoc program, even if the company they work for is not an official ELLIS sponsor.

Yes! We’ve created a slide deck with a short overview on the sponsorship program for easy sharing. For units, we’ve also developed a template benefits slide that you can use to plan with your own sponsors.


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