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FLARE is the first European programme on ageing research funded by the Member States themselves. It is a pilot project which shows the ERA-AGE (European Research Area in Ageing) consortium’s readiness and ability for collaboration. Launched in February 2007 the joint programme aimed to provide up to sixteen 3 year post-doctoral fellowships for recently qualified scientists. FLARE has two innovative features: part of the fellowship must be spent in another country and involve a cross-disciplinary collaboration. These novel features reflect the strong scientific consensus in ERA-AGE meetings on the need to develop a multi-disciplinary approach to ageing research and also a European networking in this area. Another key priority for both scientists and end users is the support of the next generation of researchers on ageing, hence the title, ‘Future Leaders of Ageing Research in Europe’ (FLARE). SUBMISSIONS The ERA-AGE consortium received a total of 49 European applications from 9 European countries. EVALUATION PROCESS FLARE applications were evaluated online by three reviewers which were subsequently classified into four rating subgroups to pre-structure review panel discussion which took place on 10th – 11th September 2007 in Berlin. A total of 45 expert European scientists were involved in the FLARE evaluation process. The European Commissioning Panel comprised 13 FLARE peer reviewers who each evaluated four or more FLARE applications, 10 FLARE funding organisation representatives and one end-user representative. See the ERA-AGE website for more details: OUTCOME OF THE FLARE COMMISSIONING PANEL The Commissioning Panel agreed that quality of the submitted proposals was very high and within the scope of the call resulting in 18 FLARE post doctoral grants being awarded to successful applicants – that is, two more than originally anticipated! Successful applications reflect the whole range of ageing research from the biological to social sciences. The Commissioning Panel paid tribute to ERA-AGE for its innovative contribution to ageing research in Europe and praised in particular the emphases on research training, multi-disciplinarity and the involvement of end-users. See the ERA-AGE website for details of the successful FLARE applicants and their projects: FLARE SUMMER SCHOOL The first FLARE Summer School for the FLARE fellows will be hosted by a partner organisation, the Swedish Council for Working Life (FAS) and the Vardal Foundation for Health Care Sciences and Allergy Research in Sweden. The one-week Summer School is scheduled for the 22nd to 27th June 2008 which will include lectures and presentations given by multidisciplinary experts in the field and sessions on strategic career themes for post doctoral scholars such as the development of leadership skills, developing research teams and funding strategies.


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