Mobility programme for young researcher

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SUMMARY

This manual describes the MELODI Mobility actions and grants, the eligibility criteria for applicants, and the selection process of the MELODI Mobility Programme.

 

INTRODUCTION

MELODI (Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative) is a European Platform dedicated to low dose ionizing radiation risk research. The aspects of the research as defined in the MELODI Strategic Research Agenda are: basic mechanisms, health risk evaluation, and impact of radiation exposure characteristics. The Education and Training Working Group is supporting the goal of MELODI to coordinate and build long term competence following its statutes and Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).

To achieve this, the following objectives are pursued to identify, support, foster and promote E&T initiatives at all levels:

  • entry level for attracting new students;
  • graduate and post-graduate level for helping students in a research career;
  • young scientist assistance and networking;
  • continuing professional career development of scientists in the area of low-dose research.

By the terms training course, visit, internship, exchange and conference we mean:

  • Training course = a set of classes or a plan of study on a particular subject, optionally with an assessment to measure the gained competences, leading to a formal qualification;
  • Visit = a stay during which the visitor undergoes formal qualification or observes the activities performed at a certain institute;
  • Internship = a period of time during which a student or a young career researcher participates to the local activities in a certain institute or company in order to increase knowledge and /or skills.
  • Exchange programme = a reciprocal internship, (person A from institute B doing an internship institute C and person D from institute C visiting institute B);
  • Conference = active participation to a conference by submission of abstract for an oral or poster contribution.

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

The MELODI Mobility Programme is intended for those who would like to improve their knowledge and skills in the field of low dose ionizing radiation research. This means early career researchers, PhD and MSc students working in the broad field of radiation research including but not limited to: biology, chemistry, physics and medicine.

The support is only granted

  • To early career researchers (up to 8 years post-PhD, pro rata), PhD and MSc students;
  • To applicants proposing activities related to the MELODI Strategic Research Agenda;
  • To applicants with an affiliation to an institution within the European Union or an associated country as governed by Article 5 Regulation (EURATOM) 1314/2013 (i.e. currently Switzerland and Ukraine). Priority will be given to applicants from organizations which are members of MELODI;
  • For For travel costs outside the country of employment or study;
  • For online meetings or events, with reimbursement only for registration fees;
  • Once to a person in any period of 3 years, meaning that a person cannot receive support twice during a 3 year period;
  • If the quality of the proposal/training/benefits/motivation/impact is found significant by the Evaluation Committee;
  • If the activity takes place within 12 months after the application deadline.

Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to apply again, with a total of no more than two applications for the same activity.

 

WHICH COSTS ARE COVERED?

To successful applicants, the MELODI Mobility Programme will provide mobility grants intended exclusively to cover mobility costs and will be provided as lump sums up to € 625 directly to the selected candidates. These include:

  • Travel;
  • Daily allowance;
  • Accommodation;
  • Access/registration fees.

Potential other costs related to the mobility action might be covered at the discretion of the Evaluation Committee.

 

HOW TO APPLY?

The call will be announced at the MELODI website.

An electronic application form is available where the applicants will have to answer the questions relevant to their application, such as:

  • Type of mobility activity;
  • Personal contact data;
  • Scientific and personal motivation;
  • Description of the proposed activity;
  • Detailed budget covering all expected costs;

Besides filling out an application form, applicants will be asked to submit additional documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Letter of support of the unit head or supervisor (in case of exchange, visits and internships also from the receiving mentor);
  • The following additional evidence:
    • An abstract if the applicant is applying for a conference travel support.
    • An invitation letter with motivation if the applicant is applying for travel support to carry out an exchange, visit or internship
    • A training course programme and letter of acceptance if the applicant is applying for travel support to participate in a training course.

Only complete applications will be considered.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Cumulatively, a maximum of € 5000 will be paid to the top applicants on an annual level. The maximal level of support per activity is € 625 and after 3 years, successful applicants can apply again. The decision about support (for activities within the next 12 months) will be made within 30 days after the nearest application deadline. The applicant has to provide a reasonable budget in his/her application, based on an honest estimate, and the evaluators will check if it is a realistic budget (as defined in the application form). If the application is accepted, the amount will be paid to the applicant independent of any receipts or proof of payments by the applicant.

 

APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS

  • The applicant applies for the Mobility Programme by using the provided template;
  • The application is evaluated (see ‘Submission and Evaluation’) by the MELODI Evaluation Committee, taken from the E&T WG;
  • The MELODI Evaluation Committee informs the MELODI financially officer for approval of the costs;
  • The Evaluation Committee informs the applicant of approval and the awarded amount;
  • MELODI financially officer transfers the payment to beneficiary;
  • Beneficiary performs mobility action and completes the mission report;
  • The Evaluation Committee reviews the mission report (see ‘Submission and Evaluation’);

 

REPORTING TO MELODI

The MELODI Evaluation Committee reports on a regular basis towards the Executive Council about the granted applications. On a yearly basis detailed reporting is made in the MELODI General Assembly. On the public webpage a summary of the number of granted applications will be made visible (taken into account GDPR compliance).

 

DEADLINES

Submission deadlines:                                        Decision deadlines:

March 1                                                                    March 31st

September 1                                                            September 30th

 

Each applicant may only submit one application within one application deadline.

Submissions should be sent to MELODI-mobility@sckcen.be

Applicants will be informed within 30 days after the submission deadline.

 

SUBMISSION AND EVALUATION

The complete application file should be sent to MELODI-mobility@sckcen.be before the next submission deadline (see ‘Deadlines’). After submitting the application online, the applicant will receive by email a delivery receipt. The decision about financial support will be made within 1 month after the nearest application deadline. The time of application in relation to the deadline has no influence on the evaluation outcome.

A recommendation for funding will be based on simple majority, with at least three evaluators participating in the evaluation. The members of the evaluation committee are taken from the Melodi E&T WG. The evaluation committee will propose the top candidates to the Executive Council  and the Executive Council takes the final decision.

The following criteria for evaluation of the applicant and of the proposed mobility action and ranking will be applied:

  • Scientific and personal motivation: 1 (poor) – 4 (excellent)
  • Compliance of the proposal with the SRA of MELODI: 1 (poor) – 4 (excellent)
  • Scientific quality of the abstract or plan of visit: 1 (poor) – 4 (excellent)

In case of internships/exchange programmes/visits, the host institution can unilaterally decide to decline certain candidates, a motivation should be then provided. The distribution of funding will be done taking into account the balance between countries and institutions.

Specific thematic priorities are expected to be proposed by the Mobility Committee at different times during the project. These may include specific courses, summer schools, student competitions in international conferences, etc. The specific thematic priorities will be published at the MELODI website.

 

OBLIGATIONS OF THE BENEFICIARY OF THE MELODI MOBILITY GRANT

Successful applicants are obliged to submit a mission report not later than 2 months after completion of the activity. This report should be sent to MELODI-mobility@sckcen.be. Failure to submit the mission report will require the applicant to return the entire received lump sum.

The mission report (written by the beneficiary) should be written in English, should conform to the provided template and should be complete. The overall quality of the report will be assessed based on following criteria:

  • Obtained scientific knowledge benefit to the education of the applicant
  • Compliance with original proposal as submitted by the applicant

These mission reports will be stored and will serve as valuable output to evaluate the MELODI Mobility Programme.

All publications resulting from the mobility activities shall acknowledge the MELODI Mobility Programme by using the following sentence:

This work has been partially supported by the MELODI Mobility Programme.