The TA/RA Call is open until 15th October 2020 for access taking place in s/s 2021 and a/w 2021-22 >> the call closes at 23:59 CEST on Thu 15th October
An on-line webinar was arranged on 15th September at 10-11 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. Watch the recording of the webinar here and take a look at the materials webinar slides (pdf).
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 and safety regulations so require.
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 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, and Information for Applicants how to prepare the application.
5) For more information about the INTERACT Trans-national Access and the ongoing TA/RA call, familiarize yourself with the overarching goal of INTERACT activities, including Trans-National Access. For detailed information about the research facilities, please consult the Field Sites descriptions or relevant station managers. 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 Project Planner heli.niittynen(at)oulu.fi. In case of technical problems with the INTERACCESS on-line application system, please contact the HELPDESK (press button on the INTERACCESS frontpage)
7) TA/RA decisions will be announced by 19th February 2021, via the INTERACCESS system (an e-mail notification will be sent to the applicants when the decisions are available).
Stations included in the call. The call covers access conducted between April 2021 and March 2022* to 52 stations offering Trans-National Access and 33 stations offering Remote Access. You can find information about the station location, environment, facilities and annual operating time from the Field Sites descriptions. *As an exception, the access to Station Samoylov in the Russian Federation is available only in s/s 2022 and a/w 2022-2023.
Eligibility. 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 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 (2016-2020) is 3 months, including both Trans-national 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 trans-national 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 Trans-national 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.
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 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.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 page.