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CRG International Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Programme

Final Report Summary - INTERPOD (CRG International Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Programme)

INTERPOD is an International Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, co-funded by the European Commission under the COFUND scheme. The goal of this incoming mobility Programme created in 2010 was to provide highly talented postdocs the opportunity to increase their trans-national mobility and advance their career development.
Given the extensive experience of the CRG in managing the International PhD Fellowship Programme “La Caixa” and management expertise of the personnel involved in the programme, the calls were prepared and implemented very smoothly, and with only very minor deviations as described in detail in the corresponding periodic reports.
In the proposal we carried out an evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in the programme. As far as weaknesses is concerned, we identified as the major weakness that the INTERPOD was a new programme, but, on the other side, relied on many strengths (excellent and dynamic scientific environment at CRG/PRBB, extensive experience in managing,excellent employment conditions and added value‐interdisciplinary nature of the programme and INTERVALS programme offering a wide range of courses on career development). The interdisciplinary nature on the INTERPOD programme was both an added value and a threat, because candidates had to work on an interdisciplinary project bridging at least two different labs (i.e. combining experimental and bioinformatics labs), which reduced the number of candidates applying for the programme and the pre‐selected candidates given the size of the institute and the number of experimental and bioinformatics labs.
The major threats of the programme have been the low number of quality applications reaching the last stage of the selection given interdisciplinarity nature of the programme that limited the numbers of the applications. Also another threat that have occurred is that of 2 fellows dropping out the programme for professional/personal reasons and how to replace them given the limitation of the programme to 4 years. The number of applications received in the 3 calls was smaller than expected. Therefore, all positions available for each call were not covered. Initially, the Programme offered 10 positions but finally, and in order to keep the quality of the Programme, only 9 fellowships were awarded.
During the first 2 years of the programme, 2 calls were launched to cover 10 positions. The first call in 2010 received 21 applications for 5 positions, 4 positions were awarded following the recommendation by the external evaluation panel. The second INTERPOD call in 2011 attracted 30 applications for 6 positions, 4 postdoctoral contracts were awarded after the selection process. A third call was launched in 2012 to cover the remaining positions, 1 postdoctoral contract was awarded.