INTERACT Remote Access call is open in INTERACCESS
A continuous call is open for RA in INTERACCESS. The submitted applications are evaluated four times per year. The current call batch for RA taking place between May 2018 and April 2019 is closing on 31st January, 2018, and the results will be announced in April 2018.

What is Remote Access?
Remote Access (RA) is a modality of access, where the user group does not physically visit the station. Instead, the station staff conducts the study and collects the samples for the group/scientist according to the research plan, free of charge. The associated logistic costs related to sending the samples to the user group for analysis is included to the Remote Access. RA is very cost-efficient and especially suitable for comparative studies involving many stations and/or for long-term studies. Seventeen (17) stations are offering Remote Access in INTERACT, listing of the available infrastructures is here.

How to apply?
1) Check you eligibility as an applicant from below.
2) Register to the INTERACCESS on-line application system. Note: We recommend Mozilla, Chrome or Safari as the browser when using INTERACCESS.
3) Read the Information for Applicants, Applicant User Guide to INTERACCESS and Research Plan Instructions. They contain all information necessary to fill in the application properly, including the budgeting and cost specifications, and content and structure of required attachments. You can work on several sessions, and submit the application after you have completed the whole form. Note! A maximum of 90 person-days of RA can be granted per user group in 2016-2020, including previous INTERACT TA/RA visits within that time frame. Weekends are counted into access days if your stay at the station extends over several weeks.

4) Log in to INTERACCESS and fill in the application form. The RA call is continuous, and the incoming applications are assessed four times per year by the TA Selection Panel.

For more information about the INTERACT Remote Access and the continuous RA call, please contact TA coordinator Hannele Savela.

For detailed information about the research facilities available at the stations, please consult the Field Sites descriptions or relevant station managers.

In case of technical problems with INTERACCESS on-line application system, please contact the system support at customercare(at)cluweb.com

The RA decisions from the ongoing call batch will be announced in April 2017 via the INTERACCESS system (e-mail notification will be sent to the applicants when the decisions are available).

Stations included in the Remote Access call
The call covers Remote Access conducted between May 2018 and April 2019 to all 17 INTERACT stations offering Remote Access.You can find each station’s annual operating period from the Field Sites descriptions, and they are also pre-set in the INTERACCESS on-line application system.

Eligibility
A user group (=research group that applies for access to one or more research stations) eligible for RA must satisfy the following conditions:

  • The user group leader and the majority of the users must work in a country other than the country(ies) where the installation is located. In other words, a user cannot get access to an infrastructure/installation that is located in the same country where he/she works, or is operated by an institution located in same country where she/he works. Important: from the before mentioned reasons, also  the researchers working in following countries are not eligible for RA to the stations located in the following areas, operated by their national institutions:
    • Norway > Sverdrup station in Svalbard
    • Kingdom of Denmark > ArcticDefinitions of the Arctic vary according to environmental, geographical, political, cultural and scientific perspectives. Some scientists define the Arctic as areas having a high latitude, long winters, short, cool summers,... Station, Zackenberg Reserach Station, Sermilik Research Station, Villum Research Station, Greenland Institte of Natural Resources in Greenland, FINI in Faroe Islands
    • Poland > Polish polar station in Svalbard
    • Czech Republic > Czech Arctic Research Station in Svalbard
    • UK > NERC Arctic Stationin in Svalbard
  • There should not be a corresponding infrastructure in the country hosting the institution employing the user group’s leader. If such an infrastructure exists, the applicant should show how the specific conditions of the requested visit cannot be met by this national infrastructure.
  • Only user groups that are allowed to disseminate the results they have generated under the action may benefit from the access, unless the users are working for SME’s.
  • Access can only be granted to user groups to conduct research, not for arranging or attending courses, conferences, seminars or workshops.
  • Access to user groups with a majority of users not working in EU or associated countries is limited to 20% of the total amount of units of access provided under the grant. This is monitored and possible restrictions are set if the limit is close to be exceeded.
  • The maximum amount of access granted to one user group during the project period is 3 months.

Selection priorities
The selection of user groups is based on a scientific merit, but taking into account that priority should be given to user groups composed of users who

  • Have not previously used the installation
  • Are working in countries where no equivalent research infrastructure exists
  • Apply working at more than one location for generating comparative studies
  • To early career scientists (≤ 5 years from a PhD degree) **
  • In their application take into account the call priority area “Dynamic Arctic”, including the dynamics underpinning the Arctic system, long-term changes that formed the Arctic system, and current trends

**Applicants must hold a position at an institution of advanced research and/or education. Applicants without a PhD degree or equivalent research experience must provide letters of support from a supervisor.

Evaluation and selection procedure
The incoming applications are first checked for eligibility by the TA office. After that, the selection of user groups for Remote Access, is a two-step process. First, the applications undergo scientific evaluation by the TA Board that consists of five experts external to INTERACT and five representatives of stations in particular geographical regions. Each application is graded for several evaluation criteria: Scientific quality of the planned research, scientific merits of the user group leader, relevance of the planned research for INTERACT goals, and value for money. Each criteria is scored from 1-5, where 1=poor, 2=satisfctory, 3=average, 4=good, 5=excellent. Ranking of applications is made based on the total scores (max 20) received from the criteria, and the TA Board recommends user groups that they decide merit access to the research stations. The decisions are then finalized by the research stations, based on the TA Board’s recommendations, feasibility of the projects at the station, station strategy etc. The recommendations to the stations, and access decisions to the applicants are communicated by the INTERACT Transnational Access Office, which does not take part in the evaluation and selection processes.

Complaints
INTERACT staff have worked hard to gain funding from the EU that will support access for hundreds of researchers to 43 northern and Arctic research stations. They also work hard, together with external expert reviewers, to evaluate numerous applications for access while station managers offering Remote Access are committed to providing a service and procedure to facilitate successful RA with minimal administration. Although the ethos of INTERACT is to facilitate research in the North, occasionally complaints about procedures and decisions may arise. INTERACT therefore has a specific Complaints Policy concerning Transnational Access and Remote Access funding policy and procedures.

Arrangements and reimbursements related to granted RA
On completion of the RA project, successful applicants are required to

  • Agree to their project and project description being listed on the INTERACT website
  • Provide a Project Summary Report on results obtained during the RA
  • Publish the results within a reasonable time in open literature, specifying in Acknowledgements that the research has received funding from INTERACT under the European Union H2020 Grant Agreement

Note that the European Commission has the right to publish the list of users, containing their names, home institutions and description of the work

EU Logo