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COFUND BIST POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PROBIST (COFUND BIST POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-11-30

PROBIST is an ambitious programme offering 61 three-year fellowships to foster excellence in multidisciplinary postdoctoral research at BIST´s constituent research centres and associated partner institutions (hospitals, privatecompanies, technology centres, and other academic institutions), which will provide opportunities for collaborations
and secondments, training, networking activities and other actions to complement the research activities and professional development of the fellows. The PROBIST proposal is presented by the Barcelona Institute of Science
and Technology (BIST) as beneficiary. BIST, a private non-profit foundation, was created in 2015 as an initiative of the Catalan government to bring together seven Excellent Flagship Catalan research centres that already had a track record of working together: the Centre
for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Institute for High EnergyPhysics (IFAE) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Institute of Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).

The COFUND Postdoctoral Programme goals are:
1. To contribute towards improving conditions for carrying out high-quality research at the research centers and to increase its international visibility.
2. To offer coordinated postgraduate programs of excellence with international impact.
3. To build a critical mass to multiply the capacity of the research centers in different fields, such as knowledge
transfer, scientific and technological platforms and talent attraction.
4. To cooperate with scientific institutions, companies, individuals and public or private entities to fulfill these aims.
The work carried out during the first 24 months have been mainly focused on setting up the team organization to develop the program, the dissemination and selection process to accomplish successfully the recruitment of 64 fellows, and to stablish the basis for supporting the professional development of fellows during their stays in the program, in terms of dissemination, ethical issues, and career development and guidance.

1) Management:
a) We have set up the team structure deployed by BIST and the 5 research centers involved in the COFUND PROBIST project, including the BIST COFUND technical committee, BIST Educational Committee, Working groups for communication, supporting recruitment and financial issues.
b) We have stablished a communication and working plan to implement successfully the PROBIST programme until the closing.

2) Dissemination:
a) The dissemination efforts realized to launch the 4 calls have been accomplished successfully by attracting more than 1500 applicants from more than 70 different nationalities.
b) Dissemination efforts have been shifted to spread the scientific outputs from fellows. A dissemination plan has been designed with working group of communication.

3) Evaluation and Selection:
a) The work package of Evaluation and Selection have been successfully completed in this period. We have recruited 64 high skilled postdoctoral researchers to carry out their research projects in one of the hosting BIST Centers.
b) Standarized processes of evaluation and selection have been transferred to hosting BIST centers for further implementation in each centers as convenience.

4) Ethics:
a) Ethical committees in every hosting BIST center have been created to support tasks related to ethical issues from the selection process to the development of research and dissemination of results. All research activities carried out at BIST research centers adhere to the fundamentals ethical principles.
b) During this period, the selection process have been managed under strict control of privacy rules. And all candidate were requested to mention in their research were affected by ethical issues.
c) Ethical committees are monitoring specially those fellows that develop research explicated affected by ethical issues and being available to support upcoming ethical issues from PROBIST fellows.

5) Fellows and Career Development:
a) During this period, a group of 68 highly skilled postdoctoral researchers have been recruit to develop cutting edge research in the 5 hosting BIST centers
a. The group have been meet to discuss their research expertise and current projects to promote collaboration and expand their network in different forums as visiting BIST, BIST Postdoc Day, To the mothers of Science.
b. Training courses have been offered to all fellows to acquire leadership skills and a variety of courses have been opened to fellows.
c. A BIST career service have set up to offer guidance to fellows.
d. A feedback regarding career development expectations have been requested to adjust the training programme to the need of the current postdoc community
The PROBIST COFUND programme by the end of the project will contribute to the improvement of career prospects for researchers in Europe, improve the attractiveness of Catalonia, Spain and Europe as a leading destination for R&I, boost the capacity and visibility of BIST and its centres and further increase the quality of research and innovation developed in Europe.
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