Virtual Mobility Grants

Dear CERCIRAS action members, we are happy to announce 1st call for Virtual Mobility Grants (VMG) provided by COST action to enable scientists to foster collaboration in a virtual setting. VMG is now running as a pilot for the current grant period until 31 October 2021 (https://www.cost.eu/cost-actions/cost-actions-networking-tools/).

About VMG

These grants aim at strengthening the existing networks by allowing scientists to foster collaboration in a virtual setting, exchange knowledge, learn new techniques, disseminate the Action results, etc. These activities may include surveys, questionnaires or preparation of protocols, virtual mentoring of activities that can generate capacity, build new skills, etc.

Who can apply? The following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Applicant(s) should be Action participants with a primary affiliation to an institution located in a COST Full or Cooperating Member country or MC Observers from a COST Near Neighbour Country.
  • The applicant(s) shall inform the MC about the aim of the VM Grant and how its outcomes will generate benefits to the Action, actively contribute to the activities and overall objectives of the Action and submit a report at the end, to be approved by the Virtual Networking Support (VNS) manager on behalf of the MC.

IMPORTANT DATES

The first deadline is 20th September 2021 (earlier applications are more than welcome). Application templates and guidelines are available below. Keep in mind that due to the time-limited period for realization, the assessment will be made ASAP.

VMG must be realized by October 20th, 2021 with the report submitted no later than October 25th, 2021. Keep in mind we have short deadlines and we need to follow them.

VM committee panel: VNS manager: TBC; Action Core Group

Funding options

The maximum amount per VM Grant is EUR 1,500, with a maximum of 6 VM Grants per Action per Grant Period (in total max 9,000 EUR per action). This amount can be reduced depending on the activities included in the grant application (as is standing practice with STSM Grants and ITC Conference Grants). VMs need to be carried out in their entirety within a single grant period and within the Action’s lifetime (before the end of October 2021). For more details regarding e.g. the regulations related to VMG, please refer to the COST Vademecum, section 10.2. In particular, Section 10.2.3 (examples of VM activities).

Application procedure

1. Fill-in the online application form. You can download the application template on the submission system (at the second step or using this link). The Application should contain (hint: state how your application fulfils COST Vademecum 10.2.2. – evaluation criteria):

Main objective of the Virtual Mobility Grant.

Working Plan: Description of the collaborative initiative to be implemented.

Plan for Participation: List of participants in the collaborative initiative (short description of their expertise and contribution).

Main expected outputs: results and contribution to the progress towards the MoU objectives (either research coordination and/or capacity building objectives can be tackled) and delivery of the MoU objectives.

Contribution to the COST Action Strategy: How will Virtual Mobility contribute to the COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy and plans for stakeholder engagement and promoting the participation of researchers from NNC and IPC (COST Global Networking) and to the approved virtual networking strategy, if available.

The application process is permanently open, but evaluated at given point in time. That is to say, the first round of evaluation will take place with the proposal submitted before or on 20th September. Remember that a VM has to be completed within a single grant period, precisely October 31st, 2021 along with reporting.

After the application is submitted to the procedure is as follows:

  1. The VNS manager organizes the assessment of the VM proposal: the VM panel assesses the proposal (see “VM Grant Evaluation Criteria”).
  2. If approved, the VM sends the application and approval to the Grant Holder & Action Chair for the final check.
  3. The Grant Holder activates the application and sends a Grant letter to the applicant. The VM should not be started until this letter has been sent. No further action is required from the applicant until the end of the VM.

VM grants evaluation criteria (in line with COST Vademecum 10.2.2.)

The evaluation of each received VM grant application will be performed by the Action’s MC committee. The selection of successful grantees shall be based on contributions to the overall objectives of the Action, the approved strategy on the virtual networking for the Action, and the implementation of the COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy.

The application shall be submitted in e-COST and include the following information defined in COST Vademecum (10.2.2.).

Each of the five criterion will be graded on a 10-point scale by each panel member, and the average grade will be calculated. Hence, the total maximum grade for application is 50. Scoring will be finalized within seven working days. The final application score will be the average of the scores of the VM panel members.

The score levels per application are defined as follows: Not-competitive (up to 10 points); Can be improved (up to 20 points); Good (up to 30 points); Excellent (up to 40 points); and Outstanding (up to 50 points) 

Applications will be ranked according to the score and the 1st six or up to 9000EUR budget limit will be funded. Ranking list will be sent to all applicants.

Reporting rules and reimbursement

The grantee has 30 calendar days from the completion of the Virtual Mobility Grant to submit a report to the Action Chair/ the VNS Manager and to the Science Officer of the Action. The report template from the report can be downloaded using this link: https://www.cost.eu/virtual_mobility_grant_report  

1.          Description of the outcomes and achieved outputs (including any specific MoU deliverables, and scientific/technical publications resulting from the Virtual Mobility).

2.          Description of the benefits to the COST Action Strategy (what and how).

3.          Description of the virtual collaboration (including constructive reflection on activities undertaken, identified successful practices, and lessons learned).

4.          The report shall consider only virtual activities carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period.

The MC must be informed at the end of the respective activity of the main results of each Virtual Mobility Grant. Also, the grantee will have the obligation to actively contribute to the activities of the Action WG relevant to those findings.

1.          The VNS manager approves the final report and sends approval to the Grant Holder

2.          The Grant Holder executes the payment to the Applicant

For any Q&A please reach:

Gordana Rakić goca@dmi.uns.ac.rs

Ivana Bilić ibilic@efst.hr (+38598428425 Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage)