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Periodic Report Summary 2 - I-MOVE (Initiative for the MObility and deVElopment of researchers’careers)

I-MOVE, the Initiative for the MObility and deVElopment of researchers' careers, sponsors a fellowship scheme for experienced researchers with the objective to promote incoming and outgoing mobility between European (and Associated Countries) on one side and Italian research laboratories (including those with links to the region of Umbria) on the other side in the fields of genomics, genetics, informatics and nanotechnologies applied to all aspects of life sciences. The initiative, promoting both long and short-term fellowships, is open to all researchers holding either a Ph.D. degree, or having at least four years of full-time research experience. I-MOVE published four Calls for Applicants (2 in 2012, 1 in 2013 and 1 in 2014) addressed to the national and international scientific community, in line with the eligibility criteria set out by the European Commission, co-financer of the initiative under the FP7 MSCA-COFUND programme.
I-MOVE promotes the development of international mobility in order to accelerate interaction between industry and academia in favour of competitiveness and innovation in a number of fields that are expected to have a significant social and economic impact, both regionally and internationally. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the I-MOVE initiative, incoming and outgoing fellows work necessarily together with colleagues with diverse skills and knowledge, thus contributing to build a community bursting with experience and expertise. This overlaps nicely with the strategic vision of the co-financer Regione Umbria to stimulate the acquisition of knowledge and technology in competitive and innovative fields, such as the 'omics' disciplines, identified as the main driver for research and product innovation for future years, and subsequently reintegrate this knowledge into the regional scientific and industrial community.
Rationale and expected impact: I-MOVE builds upon the regional, national and international initiatives with training and career development objectives already implemented by the Coordinator, Regione Umbria, and offers an additional mobility opportunity to researchers, in the specific funded fields and geographical area. I-MOVE also represents an instrument to attract foreign scientists to newly built Italian biomedical centres and create tangible opportunities for international collaboration in the field of life sciences. Overall, I-MOVE's main objectives focus not only on the short and medium-term impacts strictly linked to boosting researchers’ careers and employment opportunities, but also on the long-term effect that exchange of skills, knowledge and technologies in highly innovative fields, matched with a growing community of talented young scientists will have on the overall regional and national research capability.
I-MOVE: approaching the finish line (24-48 months): The programme awarded 32 fellowships from and to Italy over a period of 4 years for a total of 618.56 fellow/months. 22 long-term (24 months) and 10 short-term (6 to 12 months) fellowships have been published over four consecutive calls (two in 2012, one in 2013 and one in 2014) collecting a total of 57 applications from European and non-European researchers seeking to work at internationally renowned institutions. Two thirds of the proposals submitted (42 out of 57) came from Italian researchers applying for outgoing fellowships of different durations. The foreign proposals came from European countries, but also from Mexico, Russia and India.
The majority of the applications (31) came from female scientists with different levels of research experience. These resulted in 21 awards: 4 in the first call, 10 in the second call, 6 in the third call and one in the fourth call. 20 outgoing fellowships (out of 37 applications) and 12 incoming fellowships (out of 20 applications) have been awarded to researchers working in different fields ranging from vaccine development to molecular and cell biology and from genomics to bioinformatics. The most requested foreign host institutions are research centres and universities in the UK and in the US, others were located in France, Spain and Australia. Most incoming fellows requested a host institution in the territory of Umbria and only one was awarded for a position outside the regional geographical borders. The majority of the fellowships were completed during the second period of the project and only a few are expected to end after month 48. In line with the Commission Recommendation stated in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, the programme promoted gender balance, research results and knowledge potentials, and contributed to strengthening the links between scientific laboratories and the industrial sectors of both foreign countries and the region of Umbria, exploiting research projects that, in most cases, are likely to progress well beyond the timeframe and expectations of the initial fellowships projects.
The project website was created during the first months of the project and is http://imove.pologgb.com/

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