Virtual Mobility Grants
Virtual Mobility (VM) Grants are intended to strengthen the SPRINT network by allowing individual participants to foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, learn new techniques, etc. The successful applicants will be selected to perform activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence. These activities may include surveys, questionnaires or preparation of protocols, virtual mentoring of activities that can generate capacity, build new skills, etc.
Applicant(s) are SPRINT Action participants that have a primary affiliation with an institution located in a COST Full or Cooperating Member country or MC Observers from a COST Near Neighbour Country.
VM grants are available to researchers of all levels, however SPRINT encourages the applications from Early Career Investigators (ECI).
The activities expected to be performed by the successful applicant include, but are not limited to:
• harmonisation and standardisation of methods and procedures within the Action networking activities, e.g. setup of surveys for Action members to collect results and outcomes from experiments performed in their respective labs and research groups; coordination of discussions to create common protocols to be used by the network afterwards; preparation of questionnaires and response scales to be used by the Action members as part of virtual networking activities.
• implementation of research-related activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence, e.g. computational or modelling activities, or data analysis of the Action for a specific report or activity.
• Virtual mentoring scheme, with special focus on activities and exchanges that can generate capacity building and new skills, particularly for ECIs researchers (e.g. managerial skills, methodological skills, communication skills, etc).
• Content preparation and coordination of science communication activities, e.g. o Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC). Online workshops with 'webinar series' or 'tv series'-like formats. Online COST Action workshops in external international conferences or events, when the applicant can demonstrate a role in the organising committee, that could help in the promotion of the Action activities.
Applications must be completed using the e-COST applicant’s profile.
Download the Application template here.
The grantee must also ensure that they have the required technical material/equipment and infrastructure to carry out the activities proposed in their application.
The evaluation of each VM grant application is performed by the Action’s Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Manager, who decides the VM winners and the amount of the VM grant based on the following criteria set by the MC.
EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR SPRINT ACTION VM GRANTS
The selection of successful grantees will be based on contributions to the overall objectives of the Action, the approved strategy on the virtual networking for the Action, and the implementation of the COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy.
• Contribution to the overall objectives of the Action;
• Translation of networking activities usually performed in presence into a virtual environment;
• Benefit for ECI, either as applicant or as target of the VM activities;
• Promotion of the inclusion of ITC;
• Promotion of gender equality.
REWARD CRITERIA FOR SPRINT ACTION VM GRANTS
The exact amount of each grant is set reflecting the scope and complexity of the task and activities. The grant does not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking the virtual mobility activity.
The maximum amount for each VM grant is 1.500 euros, however, refer to “Special clauses for payment” below for the administrative rules for VM grants payment.
1/3 of the maximum allowed VM grant for activities that the applicant will perform individually;
2/3 of the maximum allowed VM grant for activities that the applicant will perform in collaboration with less than 3 researchers affiliated to different institutions located at least in one Full or Cooperating Member countries, NNC or IPC, different than the applicant's Country;
3/3 of the maximum allowed VM grant for activities that the applicant will perform in collaboration with 3 or more researchers affiliated to different institutions located in at least 3 different Full or Cooperating Member countries, NNC or IPC, different than the applicant's Country.
As soon as the applicant receives notice of approval, he/she should provide the Grant Holder with the documents described below in “Special clauses for payment”.
VM GRANT REPORT
The grantee has 30 calendar days from the completion of the Virtual Mobility Grant to submit a report to the VNS Manager and to the Science Officer of the Action.
The report must be submitted from the e-COST grantee’s profile.
Download the Report template here.
The Grant Holder shall pay the approved grant to the grantee after the MC has approved the grantee’s report and no later than 15 days from the end of the Grant Period.
The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot be considered as being the grantee’s employer. The Grantee must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security, and pension matters.
SPECIAL CLAUSES FOR PAYMENT
All candidates must be registered into the Grant Holder’s (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) staff database as contractors. UCSC will provide Grantees with a tax registration form and a collaboration contract that the Grantee must sign and send via e-mail to the Grant Holder.
Non-Italian grantees need to provide a "Letter of confirmation of residence" issued by the Revenue Agency (or similar institutions such as the Belgian "Service Public Fédéral FINANCES" or the Spanish "Agencia Tributaria") of his/her Country of residence.
Italian grantees without a VAT number will receive an occasional service contract from the Grant Holder with the application of tax charges (e.g. a gross grant of 1,500 euro correspond to a net grant of 1,200 euro.
Virtual Networking Support Manager:
and the SPRINT VN strategy.