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High-level Scientific Conferences - FAQs

High-level Scientific Conferences

Frequently Asked Questions

Help I'm stranded! Where can I find an overview of all the activities of the Fifth Framework Programmes to orientate myself?

  1. What are the differences between the different types of Conferences? Are there specific guidelines concerning format and size of events ?
  2. What research fields are eligible ?
  3. Is it possible to submit proposals for the support of several events ?
  4. How much detail about the Conference programme is required at the moment of submitting a proposal ?
  5. What kind of expenses would be covered by the Conferences' activity of the Human Potential Programme ?
  6. Is it possible to ask for 100% Community funding to cover the entire event ?
  7. How long in advance should one submit a proposal ?
  8. What is the correct procedure to apply for support of a Conference ?
  9. Where should events be organised ?
  10. Can proposers have their proposal pre-checked by Commission staff before officially submitting it ?
  11. Who evaluates the proposals ?
  12. What is the predicted success rate of proposals ?
  13. How much money can successful proposers expect to receive ?
  14. If a proposal is rejected can it be resubmitted ?
  15. What forthcoming events are supported? How can an individual participant obtain Community support ?
  16. I have a problem with the electronic submission of my proposal. Where can I find up-to-date information ?
  17. Does the co-ordinator have to be in the organisation that acts as the legal entity?

H elp I'm stranded ! Where can I find an overview of all the activities of the Fifth Framework Programmes to orientate myself?

Please consult the Internet site at: /fp5/

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1. What are the differences between the different types of Conferences? Are there specific guidelines concerning format and size of events ?-

There are 7 types of High-Level Scientific Conferences:

1- EuroConferences are high-level scientific meetings with a focused theme at the cutting-edge of research bringing together young researchers and established scientists. In a EuroConference project each event may last up to 7 days. The number of participants in each event is up to 150.

2- Euro Summer Schools provide advanced training for young researchers. Internationally recognised scientists should provide the training. The schools are to be organised around specific scientific themes and must have a define- syllabus; multidisciplinary schools are encouraged. A Euro Summer School normally lasts up to 30 days, with up to 150 participants, preferably to be organised in a closed environment. The venue should provide the necessary infrastructure and an appropriate setting to facilitate contacts and scientific discussions between all participants, in particular among young researchers and between young researchers and lecturers. Euro Summer Schools may take place at any time of the year.

3- EuroLabCourses are advanced training courses organised in universities, research institutes, scientific centres or industrial laboratories with an emphasis on practical techniques and substantial hands-on laboratory or field experience for the participants. Participants (trainees) should be researchers who would benefit from training in the scientific techniques or special research methods offered. Lecturers may be from the centre offering the course but could also include researchers and experts from outside the centre; e.g. from industry. A EuroLabCourse lasts up to 30 days, with up to 50 participants, including lecturers. Participation of industry is particularly encouraged.

4- EuroWorkshops are small meetings lasting up to 30 days, with up to 50 participants active in scientific fields of extreme dynamism, for the purpose of analysing the most recent research results as well as discussing and planning future developments. The majority of participating researchers must be among those researchers who publish the most recent leading articles on the topic concerned.

The dissemination of results is essential to this conference type, in order to let the whole scientific community benefit from the advanced thinking and views developed during the meeting.

Multidisciplinary topics are particularly encouraged.

5- Large Conferences: support may be requested by its organisers uniquely for financing the participation of young researchers in events, which fall outside the definition of EuroConferences, i.e. with more than 150 participants. In order to enforce the training aspect, these young researchers must play an active role in the event, by at least presenting their scientific results, preferably in an oral presentation.

6- PhD EuroConferences contain all the standard objectives of standard EuroConferences, except that they are organised by, and open exclusively to young researchers, i.e. coordinator, local organisers, scientific committee, and all other attending scientists, with the possible exception of a few invited keynote speakers, must be young researchers.

The additional objectives of PhD EuroConferences are to give young researchers the opportunity to gain experience in setting-up and running scientific conferences as well as to discuss and develop radically new ideas without any scientific bias in an international environment.

All scientific as well as legal and contractual requirements of standard EuroConferences, such as providing a cutting-edge scientific topic or nominating a responsible legal entity, apply also to PhD EuroConferences. In the case of very inexperienced organisers series of conferences, though eligible in principle, should be avoided.

7- Eurotron Conferences (virtual conferences, virtual schools, virtual courses or virtual workshops) contain all the standard objectives of a corresponding conference type, except that the meeting takes place in cyber space, where the participants remain at their home locations and meet in a virtual environment via interconnected computers. The use of broadband electronic networks is particularly encouraged to allow real-time interaction.

Extended series of Eurotron Conferences are encouraged in order to promote the implementation of new information technologies and the routine use of already installed systems. Also encouraged are combinations of traditional (physical) and virtual events.

Type of Conference Maximum Duration
per Event
(days)
Number of Participants
per Event 7
Cost Categories 2 Maximum Community Contribution 3
(in euro) per
  A B C D Event Contract
EuroConference 7 =<150 X X X X 50,000 280,000
Euro Summer School 30 =<150 X X X X 50,000 280,000
EuroLabCourse 30 =<50 X X X X 50,000 280,000
EuroWorkshop 30 =<50 X X X X 50,000 280,000
Large Conference n.a. 6 >150 X       50,000 280,000
PhD EuroConference 7 =<150 X X X X 50,000 280,000
Eurotron Conference 4 n.a. 6 n.a. 6       X 50,000 280,000

Notes:

  1. Events must be thematically related. Series of more than 3 events must be particularly well justified.
  2. X = Cost Category eligible for EC contribution.
  3. Higher levels of funding will only be supported in the most exceptional cases.
  4. Electronic EuroConferences.
  5. "=<" indicates "less or equal to", and ">" indicates "more than".
  6. No guideline given.
  7. Total number of participants, including those not funded by the EC.

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2. What research fields are eligible?

High-Level Scientific Conferences may be supported in all fields of scientific research that contribute to the Community's objectives in research, technological development and demonstration, for Conference projects chosen freely by the participants themselves. In the selection of projects, there will be no pre-established target in terms of scientific discipline or topic. This applies to all types of Conferences.

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3. Is it possible to submit proposals concerning the support of several events?

A Conference project may consist of a single event or a series of related events of any eligible type. Series of events, which should normally be scheduled within a period of up to 36 months, are encouraged. Also encouraged are projects involving traditional (physical) and virtual events, possibly running in parallel. For instance, a proposal may include a Euro Summer School immediately followed by a Euro Conference; or a physical EuroLabCourse combined with a virtual course running in parallel.

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4. How much detail about the Conference programme is required at the moment of submitting a proposal?

The Proposal Forms for all seven types of High-Level Scientific Conferences are identical and include the following parts:

Cover Page: Proposal Identifier

A1. General Proposal Information

A2. Operational Summary of Events

A3. Proposal Summary

A4. Previous Proposals and Contracts

A5. Responsible Organisation Information

B. Individual Event Profile/Information (one per event)

C. Proposal Description

D. Acknowledgement of Receipt Form

Please read and follow carefully the Notes for Completing the Forms and the Guidelines on Proposal Description (see Annex 1 of Conferences' Guide for Proposers).

It is intended to enter all the data of forms A and B into the database of the Human Potential Programme in order to enable computer assisted evaluation, an important measure to keep a precise overview of the process at all times. So please enter information with care.

For a description of each proposal part please refer to Chapter 5 of the Conferences' Guide for Proposers.

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5. What kind of expenses would be covered by the Conferences' activity of the Human Potential Programme?

High-Level Scientific Conferences will be implemented as accompanying measures. Community financing is intended to contribute to the following cost categories:

  1. Up to 100% of expenses related to the participation of young researchers, who are nationals of a Member State or an Associated State, and active inside a Member State or an Associated State at the time of the event (travel, subsistence and participation fees);

  2. Up to 100% of expenses related to the participation of researchers, who are nationals of a Member State or an Associated State, and active outside Member States and Associated States at the time of the event (travel, subsistence and participation fees);

  3. Up to 50 % of expenses related to the participation of invited keynote speakers and scientific organisers of any nationality (travel and subsistence);

  4. Expenses related to organisation (renting of venues and equipment, publications incl. publicity, provision of materials essential for the training purposes of the event, and event secretariat).

For the different types of eligible Conferences, Community financing is foreseen as follows:

  • EuroConferences, -Courses, -Workshops and -Summer Schools: cost categories (A), (B), (C) and D);

  • Large Conferences: category (A);

  • Non-traditional conferences: Eurotron Conferences (category D), PhD EuroConferences (categories A, B, C and D).

See also overview table included in answer to Question No1 .

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6. Is it possible to ask for 100% Community funding to cover the entire event?

Proposers are advised to have at least one other source of funding to cover those expenses which cannot be claimed against the Human Potential contract (for example the other 50% of costs related to invited speakers).

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7. How long in advance should one submit a proposal?

The first event in a conference project must start no earlier than six months after the relevant deadline for receipt of proposals.

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8. What is the correct procedure to apply for support of a Conference?

Proposals can only be submitted in response to the open Call for Proposals for High-Level Scientific Conferences which the European Commission published in 16.03.1999 on the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJ C72).

Proposals must be submitted using the appropriate application form which is part of the Conferences' Guide for Proposers, preferably in English.

Publication of Call

Deadline for Reception of Proposals Earliest Possible Starting Date Research Fields Covered Type of Conference Projects Covered Indicative Budget
(million euro)
16/03/99 02/06/1999   All All 10
01/02/2000   All All 10
01/02/2001 1/08/2001 All All 10
01/02/2002 1/08/2002 All All 5.5

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9. Where should events be organised?

Proposed events will only be eligible for support if they are organised in Member States or Associated States. The same restriction applies to the location of the legal entity responsible for the proposal.

Participation of Non-EU Legal Entities to the High-Level Scientific Conference Activity
ASSOCIATED
STATES

may participate
WITH
COMMUNITY
FUNDING
once the Association Agreement is in force*
CANDIDATES

FOR EU-

MEMBERSHIP
BULGARIA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, HUNGARY, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, ROMANIA, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA: In force.
EFTA - EEA ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, NORWAY:   In force.
OTHERS ISRAEL In force.
SWITZERLAND : Click here for updated information.
*Proposals for projects comprising partners from these states will be treated, in the evaluation process, as if these states were already associated (eligibility, evaluation of management and resources aspects, contribution to Community policy, ...). However, when taking its selection decision on any such project, the Commission shall only take into account those association agreements that will be in force at that time.
For latest information on entry into force of these agreements, please click here .

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10. Can proposers have their proposal pre-checked by Commission staff before officially submitting it?

No, pre-proposal checks are not foreseen for the Conferences activity. Please use the Checklist for Proposals given in Annex 2 of the Conferences' Guide for Proposers .

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11. Who evaluates the proposals?

All proposals that have fulfilled the minimum eligibility criteria are then evaluated by a single Multidisciplinary Panel of independent experts coping with a very wide range of research topics and a large number of proposals covering all seven types of High-Level Scientific Conferences.

During the meeting of the Panel, the proposals will be evaluated in two phases:

(1) In the primary review phase, each proposal is assessed against the evaluation criteria by at least two experts; (2) At the subsequent plenary sessions of the Panel, the proposals are analyse and ranked on the basis of the primary reviews.

For full details on the proposal evaluation, please refer to the Conferences' Guide for Evaluators . An overview is also presented in Chapter 7 of the Conferences' Guide for Proposers .

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12. What is the predicted success rate of proposals?

Careful estimates predict an average selection rate of around 25% for Conferences' proposals.

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13. How much money can successful proposers expect to receive?

Contracts to be signed with conference organisers would normally not exceed 280,000 euro per contract, with up to 50,000 euro for each event covered by the contract. Higher levels of funding will be awarded only in the most exceptional cases.

Justification of Financial Request: as a general rule, where proposals that are selected for funding have both conformed with these guidelines and adequately justified the level of financing requested, they will be granted the level of financial support requested in the proposal. Proposals that do not contain an adequate justification for the level of financing requested risk being rejected for that reason alone.

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14. If a proposal is rejected - can it be resubmitted?

Yes, but preferably in a modified form. The modified proposal should include new dates and venues of events where appropriate and take into account the Commission's summary report containing the Evaluation Panel's comments.

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15. What forthcoming events are supported? How can an individual participant obtain Community support?

Please search our database from the Conferences' homepage to find summaries on each event receiving Community support by both the Human Potential Programme as well as its predecessor the Training & Mobility of Researchers Programme (TMR). Individual participants do not apply to the Commission for support: they should instead apply to the organisers of supported events.

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16. I have a problem with the electronic submission of my proposal? Where can I find up-to-date information?

To assist submission, the Commission has prepared the software package ProTool (Proposal Preparation Tool) which was available during the Fifth Framework Programme [ProTool helps applicants to prepare the administrative and technical information of a proposal in conformity with the appropriate Proposal Submission Form. ProTool includes help-texts and references, as well as assistance in making the forms complete and consistent. Its use supports applicants as well as the Commission services with high quality and efficient entry of administrative data. Once the proposal has been prepared with ProTool, it may be sent either electronically or on paper, as preferred by the applicants].

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17. Does the co-ordinator have to be in the organisation that acts as the legal entity?

Although the co-ordinator will typically be employed by the contractor, this is not strictly necessary.

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