Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme

FP4

Previous programme

FP3-HCM

Successor programme

FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL

Programme funding

EUR 792 million

Official Journal Reference

L 361 of 1994-12-31

Legislative Reference

94/916/EC of 1994-12-15
To promote, through the stimulation of training and mobility of researchers, a quantitative and qualitative increase of human resources within the Community and within those associated states participating financially in the programme, notably those countries who have ratified the EEA agreement.

Abstract

This specific programme constitutes the Fourth Activity of the Fourth Framework Programme, "Stimulation of the training and mobility of researchers". It builds on and continues the activities carried out under other related Community programmes, in particular the "Human Capital and Mobility" programme (1992-94) and the earlier "Stimulation" (1983-88), "Science" (1988-92), "Access to Large Installations" (1989-92) and "SPES" (1989-92) programmes.

The programme's activities cover the exact, natural, economic and management sciences that contribute to the Community's objectives in research, technological development and demonstration under the Fourth Framework programme. It will complement, and be closely coordinated with, the training activities of the targeted specific programmes under the First Activity and of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Community measures are aimed at promoting the development of human capital in the field of research and at removing the obstacles which are preventing it from realizing its full potential, such as differences between the Member States and between the different disciplines. This will be achieved by means of facilitating training through research and the better utilization of human resources through transitional mobility and cooperation.

The programme is divided into three interdependent areas: research networks, access to large-scale facilities, training through research, to which is attached an activity consisting of accompanying measures which may include the following:

- The development of a system of Euroconferences to enable young researchers to make contacts with leading scientists in their respective disciplines;
- The organization of practical courses in laboratories or industry to acquaint researchers with methods and techniques that are novel or little used;
- The award of prizes to undergraduates and young scientists competitions for secondary schools;
- Information seminars to encourage the participation of the less-favoured regions in the programme;
- Publication and dissemination of the objectives, details of participation, implementation and results of the programme;
- Monitoring of the progress of the programme through consultation with distinguished European scientists and representatives of industry;
- Evaluation of the economic and social impact and of possible technological risks;
- Regular evaluation of progress made under the programme with regard to cohesion;
- Study of the possibility of organizing training through distance-learning for the less-favoured regions of the Community.
While respecting the fundamental principle of scientific excellence that governs Community RTD programmes, the programme will make an important contribution to Community cohesion by reducing the isolation of researchers, by improving communication and by establishing a climate of collaboration in the world of European research.

In order to fully stimulate the mobility of researchers, a major effort will be made to adapt the conditions and implementation procedures of Community training grants to national systems, and in the longer term, to coordinate the social, tax and salary conditions of these grants in all Member States.

Subdivision

Three areas and accompanying measures:

- Research networks:
To enable researchers from as many countries as possible to join their efforts in "European Laboratories Without Walls" and to constitute, in this manner, groups capable of performing research of higher quality;

- Access to large-scale facilities:
To provide advanced training opportunities for European researchers by enabling them to learn how to use large-scale installations and to exploit their own research. Community actions, which complement national and international efforts, include:
. Support for researchers in order to facilitate their access to large installations and large instruments that are necessary for research, but which are rare in the Community;
. Support for improvement, where necessary, to large-scale facilities in order to provide wider access to Community researchers, thus encouraging more efficient use of these facilities;

- Training through research:
To support the training and mobility of researchers (at doctoral and post-doctoral level) in order to give them the opportunity to acquire, in a laboratory of their choice, greater knowledge and competence in their scientific area. Community measures include:
. Implementation of an activity of training through research and stimulation of researcher mobility in all the fields covered by the programme;
. Coordination of the training activities defined in the specific programmes of the first, second and third activities of the Fourth Framework Programme;
. Study of the host conditions of Community research fellows;

- Accompanying measures:
To contribute to the effectiveness of the various training and mobility activities and to the proper dissemination and utilization of the results of the programme and of scientific research in the Community.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee consisting of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Commission has draw up an initial work programme, detailing the scientific and technological objectives of the action, the stages in the programme's implementation and the corresponding financial arrangements. This work programme may provide for participation in certain activities originating from the EUREKA framework.

Calls for proposals for RTD projects are issued by the Commission on the basis of the work programme. Participation in the programme is open to all legal entities regularly carrying out RTD activities in the Community and in countries with whom the Community has concluded an agreement. To this end, the Commission is authorized to negotiate bilateral agreements with European third countries not covered by the EEA, with a view to involving them in all or part of the programme. Provisions are also made to facilitate cooperation with international organizations.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate in the indirect activities covered by the programme.

The programme is mainly implemented through shared-cost activities, concerted actions and accompanying measures.

Community support for shared-cost RTD projects qualify for Community support of up to 50% of the total costs. Other shared-cost activities, (e.g. networks, training, feasibility awards or accompanying measures) may receive financial support of up to 100% of either the additional costs or the total costs of the action.

Concerted actions, which consist of the coordination, notably through "concertation networks", of RTD projects already financed by public or private bodies, may qualify for a contribution of up to 100% of the concertation costs. Support for selected accompanying measures may cover up to 100% of the approved costs of the action (in the case of the Euroconferences, 75% of the Community's financial contribution is allocated to financing the participation of young researchers).

The programme budget is divided between the four areas as follows: Research networks ECU 335 million (of which about 50% is to be used to support training within the research teams of the network); Access to large-scale facilities ECU 112 million; Training ECU 260 million; Accompanying measures ECU 37 million. The breakdown between the different areas does not exclude the possibility that a project may be financed from more than one area.

These figures include an allocation of 2.7% for staff expenditure and 2.9% for administrative expenditure. The budget allocated to the programme may increase before the end of June 1996, in accordance with the Decision establishing the Fourth Framework Programme.

The Commission will continuously review the implementation of the programme to ensure that its objectives, priorities and financial resources remain appropriate. On the basis of this review process it shall, where appropriate, submit proposals to adapt or supplement the programme.

In addition, regular assessments of the activities covered by the specific programme will be conducted by independent experts who, upon completion of the programme, will carry out a final evaluation of the results achieved compared to initial objectives. A report of this final evaluation will be communicated to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Remarks

The budget allocated to this specific programme was increased from ECU 744 to ECU 792 million by Council Decision 616/96/EC to take account of the accession of the three new Member States (Austria, Sweden and Finland) on 1 January 1995.
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