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MOBILEX - Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers

Final Report Summary - MOBILEX (MOBILEX - Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers)

Since the launch of the programme in 2013, MOBILEX mobility grants have contributed to an increased focus on internationalisation of researchers at postdoctoral level. This have included both incoming and outgoing applications as the objective of the mobility grants was to support international research projects and environments of the highest quality. In turn, this has enhanced research mobility and research collaborations as well as career paths of young researchers, both in Danish and in international contexts.

The aim of MOBILEX - Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers has been to enhance experienced researcher mobility by establishing a new instrument for research mobility in the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF). The MOBILEX programme has constituted a way to access international research mobility within the ERA and beyond, without competing for resources with other instruments of the Danish Council for Independent Research. The motivation for creating the MOBILEX programme came as a result of growth in applications for international research projects.

Under the programme, a total of 81 (10 discontinued and 71 continued) mobility grants have been awarded to experienced researchers who are in the beginning of their research careers. Grants have been awarded in open, international competition on the basis of free, interest-driven, and bottom-up project proposals from all scientific fields covered by the Danish Council for Independent Research.

The selections of successful proposals were carried out in a process involving the following three steps: 1) international peer review, 2) rebuttal to peer review, and 3) final decision on the award of grants. In detail, the selection procedure began by carrying out an initial eligibility check of the project proposals. The next step was to constitute the evaluation procedure by the Danish Council for Independent Research, which involves evaluation of scientific quality, the applicant’s qualifications, project feasibility, and issues of mobility and ethics. This procedure was carried out with the assistance of independent, international experts who have been suggested by members of the five scientific councils of the Danish Council for Independent Research and who have been identified on the basis of their merits and position in the relevant scientific field.

Prior to the final selection of successful proposals, the applicants were informed about their result of the evaluation and given the opportunity to file a rebuttal. They were also informed about the identity of the peer reviewers in order to secure maximum transparency of the evaluation process. After the filing of rebuttals, the evaluations and the rebuttal for each project proposal were considered by the Danish Council for Independent Research as an integral part of the final selection process.

Unrestricted mobility of grant holders have been a key ambition of the programme. Both outgoing and incoming grant holders were issued employment contracts at Danish universities in order to ensure that all grant holders were working under equal conditions according to Danish labour market and social security regulations.

Description of work performed since the beginning of the project period:
The Danish Council for Independent Research and members of staff specifically allocated to the daily operations of the MOBILEX programme have placed priority on adhering to the terms of the Grant Agreement and to successful implementation of the project.

This involves the following tasks:
• Ongoing evaluation of administrative questions that arise as the project evolves, and a close contact with the EU Project Officer in order to keep him/her informed as well as communicating information to the secretariat of the Council
• Updating and revising Researcher Registration Reports (RRR) in the Participant Portal
• Ongoing reporting on ethical issues
• Ongoing aligning of grants and payments
• Assessing final reports of the programme and approving such reports providing expected results and expectations are satisfactory met.
• Responding to queries from researchers and research support staff at universities.
• Planning and execution of the steps involved in the international peer reviews of applications, rebuttals, and the final decision by the Council.
• Adhering to the guidelines with regards to the potential ethical concerns of applications as well as the guidelines with regards to fixed-amount allowances on the budgets of the grant recipients.
• Production of relevant statistical material to evaluate the grant.


A complete list of MOBILEX beneficiaries can be found here:
https://dff.dk/en/grants/database?instrument:list=5q2uamqlq3&filed_method:list=all&b_size:int=0&set_language=en&period:list=all&SearchableText=

DFF-MOBILEX announcement of mobility grants awarded under the FP7 Marie Curie Programme during ‘Call for proposals A2014 & S2015’:
http://ufm.dk/en/research-and-innovation/councils-and-commissions/the-danish-council-for-independent-research/grants/grants-from-the-danish-council-for-independent-research/dff-mobilex-mobility-grants-from-the-danish-council-for-independent-research-september-2015ee55d6862fc44dad864a05868073d2ca

The 2015 call for MOBILEX can be found here:
page 14

Announcement of the finalisation of the MOBILEX programme were found here (Now defunct due to the making of an autonomous website for DFF as a result of decentralisation of the Ministry’s agencies):
http://ufm.dk/en/research-and-innovation/councils-and-commissions/the-danish-council-for-independent-research/for-applicants/what-can-you-apply-for/overview-of-instruments/dff-mobilex-mobility-grants?set_language=en&cl=en

The MOBILEX calls have been presented alongside the additional calls of DFF. The current calls of DFF can be seen at:
https://dff.dk/en

Description of the main results for the MOBILEX programme
Ever since the initiation of the project, we have communicated widely about the project both by hosting information meetings at five universities in Denmark and by disseminating information to the Agency’s research attachés in USA, China, Brazil, India, and Germany. Furthermore, the calls were posted on EURAXESS and Times Higher Education websites. These initiatives indicate our ambition and focus towards openness of the programme to transnational mobility. For further information on this international evaluation please find the full report here:
http://ufm.dk/en/publications/2014/files-2014-1/evaluation-of-the-danish-council-for-independent-research.pdf
The Mobilex project, have unlike a project on a university, been administrated by the Danish Independent Research Fund Denmark. This means that we have not been in direct contact with the researchers, but made a unique opportunity available to researchers both inside and outside Denmark to become familiar with new international research environments.
In this sense Mobilex has been an initiative to provide more opportunities from the Danish state for researchers to apply for money through a strong and transparent organisation. As such, The Danish Independent Research Fund have taken the responsibility to ensure internationalisation as well as secure research progress for young researchers who need to get a foot hold in research environments around the world.
In general, the overall results achieved so far in the MOBILEX programme indicate a positive synergy between the Grant Agreement and the current grant programme, and we continuously work on improving processes, administrative tasks, and communication between secretariat and potential applicants, applicants, grant recipients, and host institutions.

During the period of the MOBILEX-programme, DFF has received 600 applications across the five scientific councils of which 81 were granted. Out of the 81 grants, 64 were incoming researchers and 17 outgoing researchers. Due to 10 researchers declining their grants, the number of researcher receiving funding was 71. The remaining 71 researchers were granted a sum of € 17,960,448.

Distribution between incoming and outgoing (including the discontinued projects):
Incoming and outgoing: 81 100%
Incoming 64 79%
Outgoing 17 21%

Incoming 64 100%
Male 39 61%
Female 25 39%

Outgoing 17 100%
Male 15 88%
Female 2 12%

Incoming and Outgoing 81 100%
Male 54 67%
Female 27 33%

Total granted € 17,960,448 100%
EU contributed (from PR) € 6,758,218.07 38%

DFF has delivered on all parameters set out, i.e. achieving high levels of mobilisation among excellent researchers to and from Denmark. Together with the visions of Marie Curie, the MOBILEX programme has paved the way and established the frameworks of which such researchers engage in research training while facilitating new career networks.

The Socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the Mobilex programme

The MOBILEX-program has given young experienced researchers a unique opportunity for them to engage in the internationalisation of Danish research and engage in international research networks. This would not have been a possibility without the Marie Sklodowska Curie COFUND-programme.

List of host organisations
• Boston University
• Children's Medical Research Institute
• Columbia University - New York State Psychiatric Institute
• Copenhagen Business School – Economics
• GEOMAR
• Harvard University
• London School of Economics and Political Science
• Monash University
• National Museum of Natural Sciences
• Paris Institute of Astrophysics
• Rigshospitalet
• Stanford University - PULSE Institute
• Technical University of Denmark
• University of Bremen - Department of Mathematics
• University of California, San Diego
• University of Copenhagen
• University of Edinburgh
• University of Southern California
• University of Southern Denmark
• University of the Witwatersrand
• Zurich University of the Arts
• Aalborg University
• Aarhus University

Contact details
Independent Research Fund Denmark
Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education
Asylgade 7
5000 Odense C

Reception number: +45 35 44 62 00
Monday-Thursday: 9.00 a.m. -16.00 p.m.
Friday: 9.00 a.m. -15.00 p.m.

The secretariat of Independent Research Fund Denmark can be contacted with inquiries about calls and application procedures at:
DFF-opslag@ufm.dk and +45 7231 8200 on weekdays between 10 a.m. - 14 p.m.