The next INTERACT Transnational/Remote Access call will be open 13th Aug – 12th Oct, 2018
The call is for TA visits and RA taking place between March 2019- April 2020.
See the materials of an on-line webinar held on 11th Sept at 15:00 CEST to learn more about the ongoing TA/RA Call, including the eligibility rules and application and evaluation process!
Watch the material from the previous TA/R A Call in autumn 2017 to learn more about transnational and remote access, and about the application process ( Webinar 1, Webinar 2 ) and read the webinar material (pdf). More information about the application process of the future TA/RA call can also be found from below.
How to apply?
1) Check your 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 for optimal techical performance.
3) Read Information for Applicants and Research Plan Instructions. They contain the information 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 access can be granted per user group in 2016-2020, including previous INTERACT TA 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 Application Manual available in INTERACCESS provides the technical instructions how to use INTERACCESS.
For more information about the INTERACT Transnational Access and the ongoing TA call, please contact TA coordinator Hannele Savela, hannele.savela(at)oulu.fi. For detailed information about the reseach facilities, 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
5) The TA/RA decisions will be announced by Feb 15th, 2019, via the INTERACCESS system (e-mail notification will be sent to the applicants when the decisions are available).
Stations included in the call
The call covers transnational access (both physical and remote) conducted between March 2019 and April 2020* to all 43 INTERACT stations offering Transnational 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. *Exception to this time frame is Station Samoylov in Russia, to where the access can be applied only for April 2020 – Oct 2020.
A user group (=research group that applies for access to one or more research stations) eligible for Trans-national Access must satisfy the following conditions:
1. 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; trans-national access cannot be granted to an infrastructure/installation that is located in the same country where the user works. In other words, applicants are not eligible for TA to their national infrastructures, i.e. stations that are located in the same country or operated by institutions located in the same country in which the applicant is working/residing. For example: Scientists working in Finland are not eligible for TA to Finnish research stations; Scientists working in Denmark are not eligible to Greenlandic research stations operated by Danish institutions, and so on.
2. There should not be a similar 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 research cannot be done at the national infrastructure.
3. 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.
4. Access can only be granted to user groups to conduct research, not for arranging or attending courses, conferences, seminars or workshops.
The maximum amount of access granted to one user group during the INTERACT project period (2016-2020) is 3 months, including both Transnational and Remote Access. Access for 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 selection of user groups is based on a scientific merit and novelty of the research, 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 specific call priority area, which is introducing new or enhancing the existing activities within networks to INTERACT stations (e.g. ITEX, CALM). A detailed listing of different networks supported and/or participated at the INTERACT Stations can be found from the INTERACT Research and Monitoring Report.
**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.
Applications to stations located in countries requiring visa
Assistance and support are available to successful TA applicants for obtaining visas and other required permits for the user groups who will be granted transnational access. Please contact TA coordinator and relevant station managers for additional information.
Evaluation and selection procedure
The incoming applications are first checked for eligibility by the TA office. After that, the selection of user groups for Transnational Access, including both physical and 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 evaluated for several 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. TA Board discusses all applications and recommends user groups that they decide merit access to the research stations. The TA 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. The applicants are provided with the access decision and a conclusive Evaluation Statement via the INTERACCESS system.
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 Transnational Access are committed to providing a service and procedure to facilitate successful TA visits 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 funding policy and procedures.
Travel arrangements and related reimbursements of successful applicants
Accepted users are required to make their own travel arrangements and keep all original tickets and receipts. The travel costs will be reimbursed after the visit to the station(s) where the visit(s) was/were made. Advice on travel options can be obtained on request. Detailed information about the reimbursement policy is provided to the users at Information to User Groups.
On completion of their access visit(s), 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 visit(s)
- 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 No.730938.
Note that the European Commission has the right to publish the list of users, containing their names, home institutions and description of the work.
Detailed information for the selected TA/RA User Groups can be found from Info to User Groups page.