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Radiation protection research


The pertinence and quality of the gap analysis will be considered during evaluation. The research to be undertaken will have to improve knowledge in the fields of radiation biology epidemiology, dosimetry, emergency preparedness, radioecology, and public engagement. Research on the human health effects of ionising radiation will have to include one or several of the exposure situations occurring in the nuclear industry, the medical sector, from past nuclear accidents, naturally occurring radioactive material whether or not technologically enhanced, and cosmic radiation. The research proposal will also have to clearly demonstrate its complementarity with ongoing research in this field and the quality of the competitive process envisaged for the allocation of tasks between its partners. It is recommended that this work should be undertaken using the working procedures established by the above-mentioned platforms. In compliance with this practice of openness, a peer review of research results to indicate results which would require further research, new research orientation or inclusion in policy recommendation has to be organised.

At least 5% of the total action budget must be dedicated to Education and Training activities for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and trainees supported through the action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme of between EUR 5 and up to a maximum of EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This action should seek close cooperation with and complement actions of CONCERT[[]] and MEDIRAD[[]] projects, which are already funded under the Euratom Programme strictly avoiding duplication (including projects selected through the CONCERT calls). It aims at pursuing the integrative approach of radiation protection research (of radiation biology, radiation epidemiology, radioecology, medical applications, dosimetry, low-dose risk, emergency preparedness and response, etc.) involving Member States' organisations having a regulatory mandate for research in radiation protection and the wider research community such as universities and small and medium enterprises. It should complement the actions undertaken in response to the two above mentioned projects by providing incremental knowledge on the effects of ionising radiation on living beings, dosimetry and management of radiological and nuclear emergency from the publicly available knowledge these two projects are building on. The main challenge of radiation protection of the public, patients, workers and the environment remains the prediction of risks likely to arise from low dose of radiation. Significant progress has been achieved through previous programmes in refining knowledge on these effects but results indicate the need to confirm some of the observations and delineate mechanisms to be further elucidated for the further understanding of effects on living organisms of radiation beyond the knowledge already established of gene mutation. The many peripheral effects to gene functioning need to be clarified. This action must take into account prioritisation of research in this field reflected in the strategic research agendas of the Radiation Protection Research Platforms (Multidisciplinary European Low-Dose Initiative - MELODI, European Radiation Dosimetry Group - EURADOS, European Platform on Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery - NERIS, European Radioecology Alliance - ALLIANCE, and European Alliance for Medical Radiation Protection Research - EURAMED).

This action will help consolidate progress achieved in the integration of radiation protection research. It will reinforce the responsibility of the research community in ensuring that scientific evidence is comprehensively translated into policy recommendations, beyond the classical exploitation of scientific publications. In 10 years it is expected that this action will strengthen the EU capability to clarify debates on the radiation risk independently from the origin of radiation, be it cosmic, telluric, natural, artificial and related to electricity generation or medical applications. The better understanding of radiation effects on humans and the environment will ensure a better application of protection principles whilst avoiding to unduly restrict benefits for citizens of the numerous applications of ionising radiation.