Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - CASCADE-FELLOWS (The CASCADE International Fellowship Program)

CASCADE-FELLOWS is a five-year programme for international fellowships in Life Sciences. It aims to stimulate and promote the career development of young experienced researchers who show great promise to become future leaders in their field. The programme was originally built on the highly successful trans-national fellowship and training programme organised by the CASCADE Network of Excellence funded under FP6. CASCADE-FELLOWS supports both incoming and outgoing mobility with hosts across the world, based on standard Marie Curie eligibility criteria. Fellowships can be any length between 12-24 months and in any area of Life Sciences.

Applications to the programme were invited during four open public calls. The programme application process for each call was online only via the website, which houses a secure Application Portal area. Fellows were able to choose their own research topic, location and Host Organisation, and are paid at a set rate, adjusted using the country coefficient for their host organisation. The programme pays a living and mobility allowance plus a contribution to research expenses, using a similar model to that used for Marie Curie individual fellowships. Three Calls were planned originally: two were completed during period 1 and a third was originally planned for period 2. As not all funding had been allocated by the end of the third call, the REA granted permission for a fourth call during period 2, at the end of which the application portal was closed and announcements made that no further applications could be considered.

Each call was originally planned to be open for three months, to be followed by a three month evaluation period. As a result of our experience during the first call, the evaluation period for all subsequent calls was extended to four months. Successful applicants were granted funding with the condition that they be in post within six months of being made an offer.
The third call was opened on 30 January 2015 and closed on 30 April 2015. Twenty-six applications were received, twenty-three of which were eligible for consideration. Twelve researchers were appointed following the evaluation and selection process. With the approval of the Project Officer, a fourth and final call opened on 18 May 2015 and closed on 14 August 2015. Fifteen applications were received, fourteen of which were eligible. Five offers of funding were made.

By the close of the final call the target number of 25 fellows had been appointed, all to carry out 24-month research projects. However one call 3 fellow did not take up his post within the mandatory six-month period (despite being granted an extension, and the host organisation offering considerable support and sponsoring two consecutive visa applications) so the offer was therefore withdrawn, leaving 24 active fellows during the period (22 Experienced Researchers and two More Experienced Researchers). The majority of fellows are hosted at the University of Nottingham in the UK; however other host organisations in the UK are WHRI in London, Roehampton University, Plymouth Peninsula University, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the Roslin Institute. The non-UK based fellows are hosted by Emory Vaccine Centre and the University of Connecticut in the USA, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, the University of Helsinki in Finland, and IGBMC in France.

At the end of the reporting period, both Call 1 fellows had completed their fellowships, as had four of the fellows funded under Call 2. A further Call 2 fellowship in the USA terminated at the end of the first year because the fellow had accepted a prestigious new senior position in industry in the UK, and one Call 3 fellowship in France terminated after a year because the fellow returned to India for family reasons. This means that there is now a total of 16 active fellows.

One of the Call 4 fellows at the University of Helsinki has been granted a period of maternity leave, as a result of which the programme has now been extended for a further year to allow her to complete the full period of her fellowship on her return to work.

Reported by

THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
United Kingdom

Subjects

Life Sciences
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