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The CASCADE International Fellowship Program

Final Report Summary - CASCADE-FELLOWS (The CASCADE International Fellowship Program)

CASCADE-FELLOWS was a five-year programme for international fellowships in Life Sciences. It aims was to stimulate and promote the career development of young experienced researchers who show great promise to become future leaders in their field. Fellowships could be of 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 were paid at a set rate, adjusted using the country coefficient for their host organisation. The programme paid a living and mobility allowance plus a contribution to research expenses, using a similar model to that used for Marie Curie individual fellowships. 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 were in post within six months of being made an offer.

By the close of the final call the target number of 25 fellows had been appointed, all to carry out 24-month research projects, of which only one fellow did not take up their fellowship within the allocated time. 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.

All fellows submitted comprehensive reports on completion as well as a detailed career development plan. These summarised the substantial benefits all fellows had gained during their placements together with a substantial number of conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.