Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RESPIRE 3 (REspiratory Science Promoted by International Research Exchanges 3)
Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31
The ERS/EU RESPIRE3 (MSCA COFUND) Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme is an international, intersectoral and inter-disciplinary programme that selects, trains and supports the leaders of tomorrow in the respiratory field. This will help address the current level of investment in respiratory research, which is largely insufficient to face the unprecedented healthcare challenges of tomorrow, linked with a fast-rising ageing population and rapid technological advances.
More in particular, in line with the Grant Agreement, the RESPIRE3 programme provides Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowships to early stage scientists. It aims to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) as well as the respiratory specialty by:
• Promoting excellent science in respiratory research in Europe and worldwide through transnational mobility and transfer of knowledge;
• Enabling Europe to become a hub for the exchange of scientists, actively involved in respiratory medicine in both academia and the non-academic sector;
• Fostering the implementation of novel and innovative techniques and therapies as well as the development of new international collaborations; and
• Gathering expertise from various fields, even those not traditionally associated with respiratory research, as well as fostering career development.
Compared to previous programmes, RESPIRE3 has introduced innovatory elements such as 3-year Global Fellowships, which has allowed to expand the international dimension to Third Countries and provided candidates with more flexibility within an individually-driven, bottom up approach towards research development. In parallel, the opportunity to carry out a secondment is also a novel feature of RESPIRE3, in order to promote an intersectoral approach. More in particular, the programme aims to strengthen links with the non-academic sector by offering European Fellowships recipients with a 1-year extension should they secure a period in the non-academic sector during this additional third year.
Another major achievement of the RESPIRE3 programme during this first Reporting Period has been the establishment of a new, user-friendly Web Host Registry (https://erscongress.org/respire) dedicated to RESPIRE3 as well as of an updated process for host centres to apply, in line with Horizon2020 principles and the European Charter and Code for Researchers. More than 110 host centres in 24 countries are currently pre-registered and have committed to potentially host a RESPIRE3 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow.
In terms of the application and evaluation phases, RESPIRE3 introduced a new, dedicated, user-friendly fellowship application and reviewing platform as well as carried out a pilot to involve patient representatives in the interview phase. The support to selected fellows has also been strengthened through the introduction of a family allowance to ensure competitive working conditions and attract the best talents. The training and networking support (e.g. mentoring scheme, etc) offered by fellows has also been enhanced and complements what offered by host centres.