INTERACT TA/RA Call for access taking place in s/s 2022 and a/w 2022-23 opens on 12th September, 2022! 

The next TA/RA Call is open 12 September – 15 November 2022 for access taking place in s/s 2023.

An on-line webinar was be arranged on Wed 5th October at 14-15 CEST to provide information about the TA/RA call and for answering any questions related to the application process and TA and RA in general. You can watch the webinar recording and take a look at the webinar slides (pdf) for further information about the call.

COVID-19 and the ongoing call: we proceed with the call in a regular manner, but reserve the possibility to postpone the granted accesses or negotiate shift from physical access to remote access if the situation so requires.

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 2020-2023, including previous INTERACT TA visits within that time frame. Weekends are counted as access days.

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, and Information for Applicants how to prepare the application.

5) For more information about the INTERACT Transnational Access and the ongoing TA/RA call, familiarize yourself with the overarching goal of INTERACT activities, including Transnational Access. For detailed information about the research facilities, please consult the Field Site Descriptions or relevant Station Managers and Contact Persons. You can also utilize our Infrastructure Matrix and Access Modality Selection Tool in identifying the most suitable stations and form of access (TA/RA/VA) for your study.

6) Contact information: In case of additional questions about the call, please contact TA Coordinator Hannele Savela, hannele.savela(at)oulu.fi. In case of technical problems with the INTERACCESS on-line application system, please contact the INTERACCESS helpdesk, help(at)inkode.it

7) TA/RA decisions will be announced to the applicants by 15th March 2023 via the INTERACCESS system (an e-mail notification will be sent to the applicants when the decisions are available).

Stations available in the call. The call covers access conducted in April-October 2023 to 39 stations offering Trans-National Access and 26 stations offering Remote Access. You can find the stations available in the call from the Infrastructures page, and information about the station location, environment, facilities and annual operating time from the Field Sites descriptions.

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

1. Country of work and residency. 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 is not 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, scientists working in UK are not eligible to UK Arctic Research Station in Svalbard, and so on.

2. Justification of the research infrastructure where access is applied. There should not be similar infrastructure in the country where the user group leader is working and residing. If such an infrastructure exists, the applicant should demonstrate and provide a scientific and/or facility-based justification on why the requested research cannot be done at the national infrastructure. Note: this also applies in cases when the applicant has a national infrastructure in the same location where access is applied such as in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard.

3. Dissemination of results. 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. Research focus. Access can only be granted to user groups to directly conduct research, not for arranging or attending courses, conferences, seminars or workshops. The research supported should be focused on the terrestrial environment; any other kind of research (e.g. marine or atmospheric) should demonstrate strong linkages to terrestrial realm in order to apply for INTERACT TA.

The maximum amount of access granted to one user group during the INTERACT project period (2020-2023) 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.

Selection Priorities. 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)

**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 eight experts external to INTERACT and eight 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.

Complaints. INTERACT staff have worked hard to gain funding from the EU that will support access for hundreds of researchers to 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 and at e-Library/Info materials.

On completion of their access visit(s), successful applicants are required to

  • Agree to their project name and description being published 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 III under the European Union H2020 Grant Agreement No.871120

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 and from our e-Library/Info Materials page.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier. The GDPR applies to all handling of personal data such as how to collect, handle, store and delete the data. The INTERACT Transnational and Remote access application, evaluation and reporting process follows the EU GDPR. The TA/RA related issues and procedures concerning the EU GDPR are provided in our Data Privacy Policy. General information is also provided in the INTERACT GDPR policy.

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