Dear CERCIRAS action members, we are happy to announce an open call for Virtual Mobility Grants (VMG) provided by COST action to enable scientists to foster collaboration in a virtual setting. VMG is now running with an extension till October 31st, 2022 (https://www.cost.eu/cost-actions-event/action-networking-tools/).
What is Virtual Mobility?
Virtual Mobility (VM) Grants to strengthen the existing networks by allowing individual participants to foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, learn new techniques, etc. The VM Grant Committee will select the successful applicants to perform activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence. These activities may include surveys, questionnaires or preparation of protocols, virtual mentoring activities that can generate capacity, build new skills, etc.
Virtual Mobility (VM) collaborates in a virtual setting among researchers and innovators within the COST action to exchange knowledge, learn new techniques, etc.
Benefits from VM (defined by COST):
- COST Action uses a flexible tool to implement virtual activities inside the network, achieve the MoU objectives and significantly increase their impact and reach. Contributes to European leadership in knowledge creation and increasing the innovation potential.
- VM grantee: develop(s) virtual collaboration and networking capacity in a pan-European framework.
Examples of activities that can be performed as VM (suggested by COST):
- Virtual mentoring scheme, with particular focus on activities and exchanges that can generate capacity building and new skills, particularly for Young Researchers and Innovators (e.g., managerial skills, methodological skills, communication skills, etc.)
- To support standardization and harmonization of methods and procedures within the Action networking activities, e.g., a) Setting up a survey amongst all Action members to collect different results and outcomes from experiments done in their respective labs and research groups. b) Coordinating the discussion to create standard protocols to be used by the network afterward. c) Preparing questionnaires and response scales to be used by the Action members as part of virtual networking activities.
- To support the implementation of research coordination-related activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence, e.g., a) Computational or modeling activities. b) Data analysis of the Action for a specific report or activity.
VM and STSM goals (by COST):
- Support capacity building and transfer of knowledge through bilateral/multilateral collaborations;
- Support specific/general topics that can help achieve the Action MoU objectives and deliverables (research coordination);
- Are very flexible and inclusive networking activities crucial to establish new collaborations or reinforce existing collaborations across disciplines and different sectors (e.g., academia and industry / SMEs) with possible impact on career development;
- Typical outcomes are spin-off publications and (funded) projects that contribute to the visibility and impact of the COST Actions, encouraging other researchers to join.
The first deadline – is February 20th, 2022 (earlier applications are more than welcome).
Following deadlines – 20th of the current months (March, April, May, June, July, August)
Evaluation decision – 1st – March 15th, 2022 and for upcoming applications – 15th of the following month
Grants can be realized anytime during the proposed grant plan. All VMG must be realized by October 15th, 2022, with the report submitted no later than October 25th, 2022. Keep in mind that we have short deadlines at the end of the Grand period, and we need to follow them.
VM committee panel: Action Chair, Grant Awarding Coordinator, VM grant Coordinator, WGLs (or a nominated substitute, e.g., WG deputy leader).
Voting – will be performed via grading sheet and Doodle poll, with three options: accept, reject, accept with modification (modification suggestion should be provided as a comment on Doodle link). Voting will last seven days maximum, or until we reach 50% + 1 vote for accept or reject. VM committee panel is obligated to express attitudes. Otherwise, voting will be concluded after seven days, and the proposal will be accepted or rejected, analyzing the votes of those who participated before the expiration date. Example: If only seven members of the VM committee panel voted (5 accept, two reject) out of 15. If we don’t have a response from all VM grant committee members, the VM coordinator will interpret results based on 7 (those who participated) and accept the proposal!
The maximum amount per VM Grant is EUR 1,500, with a maximum budget of 4,000 EUR per action per Grant Period (till October 31st, 2022).
Who can apply?
The following eligibility criteria apply 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 (in line with ANNOTATED RULES FOR COST ACTIONS).
- Is explained on the link: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/12/Grant-Awarding-userguide.pdf
- Fill in the online application form (https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants)
- You can download the application template on the submission system (at the second step or using this link: https://www.cost.eu/virtual_mobility_grant_application).
- Upload additional document Communication and dissemination activities for VMG prepared in coordination with SCC and VM coordinator.
The Application should contain (evaluation criteria):
- The main objective of the Virtual Mobility Grant.
- Working Plan – description of the work to be carried out by the Applicant
- Plan for Participation: List of participants in the collaborative initiative (short description of their expertise and contribution). Involving more Action members and countries is welcome!
- Main expected outcomes and description: 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.
- Communication and dissemination activities – Plan of the communication and dissemination activities performed under VMG for promotion of CERCISAS Action
After the application is submitted the procedure is as follows:
- The VG coordinator organizes the assessment of the VM proposal: the VM panel assesses the proposal (see “VM Grant Evaluation Criteria”).
- If approved, the VM coordinator sends the Application and approval to the Grant Holder & Action Chair for the final check.
- 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 – guidelines for evaluators (in line with COST rules)
The evaluation of each received VM grant application shall be based on the beforementioned criteria; decisions and suggestions for improvement should be based on the criteria.
Reporting rules and reimbursement:
The grantee has 30 calendar days from completing the Virtual Mobility Grant to submit a report to the Action Chair/ the VG coordinator and to the Science Officer of the Action. The report template should be followed. The report template is available from: https://www.cost.eu/virtual_mobility_grant_report
As a particular requirement of this action VM grantee needs to fulfill the aim of communication and dissemination purposes of the Action. Prepared posts for Actions social media (photos and videos are more than welcome + text for the posts). VM coordinator is at disposal for help and should be involved in the planning phase of the VM application.
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 an obligation to actively contribute to the activities of the Action WG relevant to those findings.
- The VNS manager approves the final report and sends approval to the Grant Holder
- The Grant Holder executes the payment to the Applicant