A “continuously – open” mechanism was applied to gather/select proposals but, as a general rule, applicant(s) had to submit their proposal between two and six months before they wish to begin their visit. ExpeER also offered “Fast Track” transnational access applications to researchers interested in visiting one or more TA sites for a brief period (max. 5 days).
1st Stage Application (eligibility phase):
Applicants were requested to firstly submit a short proposal (pre-application form) via the ExpeER website, which was automatically be sent to the TA Coordination Team, as well as to the Site Manager of the relevant research facility. At this stage the eligibility of the proposed access (in line with above referenced eligibility criteria) and the feasibility of the proposed work (in consultation with the ExpeER facility/site) was evaluated. Candidates were informed within 2 – 4 weeks of the outcome of the eligibility phase. If the outcome was positive, candidates were been asked to get in touch with the Site Manager of the ExpeER facility/site concerned before completing the full application form.
2nd Stage Application (full proposal):
Prior to submitting their application, applicants were advised to contact the Site Manager for which access is being requested to clarify the practical arrangements. Further clarifications of the proposed access could be provided via the downloadable TA forms (return address in the form).
1) General Information :
- Project Title and acronym: Self-explanatory
- Name(s) of the selected site(s): One or more sites can be included in TA applications. ExpeER encourages applications for experimentation at multiple sites.
- Application Type: Clarify the type of research you want to undertake. TA-1: Users will physically visit the site(s) to conduct research/measurements. TA will contribute to the cost of travelling/living expenses. TA-2: Users install specific instrumentation(s) at the site, but may not physically visit the site. The site manager will be responsible for data collection and management of installation, however TA users may still need/want to visit the site to inspect the local site conditions, install instrumentation, and maintain, control and collect data. Access involving new sampling and/or provision of biological or material to external users will also be considered.
- Joint Experiment: Indicate whether your project is linked to other existing EU projects and/or institutions.
- Project Participants: Provide applicant details (first and surname, citizenship, organization, address, email, telephone) and indicate whether the application is an individual or group application. If it is a group application, indicate whether the applicant is the Group Leader, and provide details (name, organization, citizenship) of other group/project participants.
2) Project Information:
- Outline of the scientific issue: Provide a background, context and justification for the submitted proposal (1 page maximum).
- Scientific aims and objectives: Explain why you want to perform your research at the selected site(s) and the general objectives of your research (1 page maximum).
- Methodology: Outline the methodology you want to use, the required instrumentation and the methodology of processing the obtained results (½ page maximum).
- Expected results: Describe the results you expect to achieve following TA (½ page maximum).
- Preliminary plans for publication: Define your plans for publishing the results of your research (e.g. journal name(s), conferences, meetings, etc)
- References: Provide a bibliography including key references.
3) Additional information:
- Preferred start date: Indicate when you would like to start your visit.
- Duration of visit: Indicate how many access days you need to achieve your goals outlined above.
- Please propose one or more external referee(s): Suggest one or more experts in your field of research to evaluate your proposal.
- Additional comments: Please add any additional information/comments.
The TA selection process gave priority to collaborative projects promoting science, methodology, and technology transfer and advancement. Since the successful completion of a transnational experiment and publication of the data do not only depend on a successful field period, but was also dependent on further support to complete the subsequent analysis of data and publishing process, users/user groups that could show sufficient funding for such completion of the experiment should be given priority over users that could not.
The review process was organised by the TA coordination team, largely via email. The submitted proposals were automatically sent to the TA coordination office and to the site(s) manager(s).
The evaluation of TA was a two-step process, in line with the two-step application process described above.
Evaluation criteria for 1st Stage Application (eligibility phase):
To be eligible to benefit from TA to the infrastructure available under the EXPEER project, applicants had to satisfy the following conditions:
- the TA applicant (or the group leader and the majority - i.e. 50% or more - of the applicants in case of a group application) must work in a organization established in a Member State or Associated State;
- the TA applicant (or the group leader and the majority - i.e. 50% or more - of the applicants in case of a group application) must work in a country other than the country(ies) where the legal entity(ies) operating the infrastructure is(are) established.
When the infrastructure was composed of several installations operated by different legal entities, this condition shall apply to each installation.
A pre-evaluation was performed by the Site(s)’ Manager(s) and TA coordinator who was assess the logistical and scientific feasibility of the proposal.
Evaluation criteria for 2nd Stage Application (full proposal):
A User Selection Panel composed of the TA coordination team and two external reviewers (experts in the field) evaluated the proposals basing its decision on:
- the scientific quality and impact of the proposal,
- the availability of the requested site at the time the proposal is made,
- the expertise of the user group in the research field,
- the network value and training potential based on: the experience gained by the scientist(s) the number of scientists and students involved the country of origin of the members of the group.
Priority was given to first-time users, young researchers, and new users (i.e. researchers who had not previously used the facility and who would normally not have access to it).
Following the initial review by the USP the proposal was sent to the Executive Committee that gave its final decision and budget allocation.
Applicants were notified within 4 weeks once a decision has been made by the USP. In the case of a negative outcome, the reasons for the decision will be provided.