Updated daily at www.ResearchResearch.

4 December 2014

Europe must do more to be
main player in Science 2.0 – p7
France PhD education needs reform – p6

Horizon 2020 First year blighted by money
worries and oversubscription – p4, 5

Citizens’ initiatives
spark evidence debate
Science groups split on proposal to vet initiatives
Some scientific leaders have proposed that European
Citizens’ Initiatives be vetted to ensure that they are
consistent with the available scientific evidence before
they are presented to the public—but others have said
that this would defeat their democratic purpose.
The European Commission is required to consider
addressing any ECI that attracts 1 million signatures,
including several thousand names from each of seven
EU member states. It is carrying out a review of the ECI
process that is due to be completed in 2015.
Some science groups are alarmed that several successful ECIs—including one that opposes EU funding
for embryonic stem cell research and another that
would ban animal experimentation where an alternative is possible—are implicitly hostile to science. An
early review of each ECI proposal ensures that it is consistent with the “values of the EU”, and some lobbyists
want the review to ensure that the proposal is consistent with the available scientific evidence as well.
The latest ECI to be registered, Stop Vivisection, has
drawn criticism from scientists for what they regard as
its one-sided viewpoint. According to Emma Sanchez,
a press officer for the European Animal Research
Association, the wording of the ECI ignores the proven
role of animal testing in medical research.
Kurt Deketelaere, the secretary-general of Leru, the
League of European Research Universities, claims that
groups are “abusing” the ECI system by putting forward “misleading and demagogic proposals” because
there is no requirement for them to look at their ECIs
from a scientific viewpoint.
Leru is pushing for more scientific evidence to be
included in ECI proposals. Deketelaere, who is already
in talks with the European Parliament about ECI
reform, has called for proposals to be vetted for scientific accuracy before they are published for members
of the public to sign. “Although we are in favour of the
ECIs as a policy tool, we are seeing a number of propo­
sals popping up with very worrying content,” he says.
But other science groups have questioned whether such vetting is consistent with the idea of giving
citizens a voice through ECIs. Peter Tindemans, the

by Cristina Gallardo


secretary-general of Euroscience, a grass-roots scientists’ group, says it would be wrong to make ECI
success contingent on scientific merit.
“Science is full of uncertainties,” he says. “There
should not be a gate at the beginning of the process
whereby science says what is fine or not. It is the right
of citizens to come up with their opinions.”
Tindemans is backed by Carsten Berg, the coordinator of the ECI Campaign, which aims to make the
process easier. “The ECI is not an element of direct
democracy, but participatory democracy,” Berg says.
“It is about having a debate, and it is legitimate to have
a discussion on stem cell research or animal testing.”
ECIs were introduced in 2012 as part of the Lisbon
Treaty, to give European citizens more of a say in what
the EU should do and which problems it should address.
More than 20 initiatives have been registered, covering
issues such as media freedom and quality of education.
So far, none of the ECIs intended to change scientific practice has led to policy change. Stop Vivisection,
the Right2Water campaign for cheap drinking water
and the One of Us movement against stem cell research
are the first three ECIs to have been registered and to
have collected enough signatures. Once ECIs have
completed these steps, the Commission holds hearings at the Parliament to see whether it can develop
policy proposals for them. One of Us was rejected after
its hearing, as stem cell regulation in the EU had only
just been revised.
If the Commission does decide to overhaul the
process, it could opt for less restrictive options such
as offering more advice to citizens
about what makes an initiative senEvery new opportunity
sible and practical, says Luis Bouza,
for research funding
a constitution scholar at the College
from every sponsor in
of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
the EU, US & beyond
Restricting ECIs by favouring science
Independent news
would be difficult to accept, Bouza
says. “Citizens are not scientists, and
Direct from Brussels
can have different opinions.”
Issue No. 399

2  editorial

Research Europe, 4 December 2014
Edited by Colin Macilwain
Tel: +44 20 7216 6500
Fax: +44 20 7216 6501
Unit 111, 134-146 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR

Taking the initiative
Don’t dismiss the voice of European citizens
Stop Vivisection, the latest European Citizens’ Initiative to arrive in
Brussels, has caused trepidation and considerable debate among scientists.
The ECI, which calls for a ban on all biomedical and toxicological
research on animals in Europe, received its required 1 million signatures
within a year of its launch. The proposal will now be considered by the
Commission, which is obliged to explore the feasibility of a policy proposal that would address the concerns of the petitioners.
One of Us, an initiative to ban embryonic stem cell research, did not
draw a firm policy proposal from the Commission, and Stop Vivisection
may not either. But the arrival of two successive petitions that threaten
aspects of scientific research has driven some research groups to wonder
whether some adjustment is required to inject scientific arguments into
the system, which is up for review in the spring (see Cover).
The most forceful critique, from the League of European Research
Universities, suggests that proposed ECIs are vetted in advance for their
scientific feasibility. A requirement for scientific evidence in ECIs would
weed out proposals that abuse the system, the group suggests.
The idea of ECIs is to give European citizens a way to directly influence policy-making, to put forward proposals and to have their wishes
acknowledged—if not acted upon. In short, the system sets out to move
a little bit of decision-making away from the elite and back to the people.
The system already requires ECI petitions to be vetted to ensure that
they align with EU values: a mechanism intended to exclude, for example,
racial discrimination or capital punishment, from consideration. Leru is
effectively calling for an extension to preclude ‘anti-scientific’ petitions.
Great care would have to be taken to ensure that any such vetting did
not undermine the entire exercise. The public forms its opinions based
on many factors, not just science. Personal preferences, religion, social
values and historical factors all play a part. And ethical decisions on, for
example, animal experimentation or stem cell research need to be made by
society as a whole—not just by the scientists who want to do the research.
Taking a look at the dozen or so ECIs that have been registered in the
past 2 years, it is clear that all manner of people and problems are represented. Some, such as End Ecocide in Europe, smack of Utopianism.
Others, such as Right2Water, which opposes water privatisation, and the
European Initiative for Media Pluralism, address important civic concerns.
The fact that many people are engaging with the ECI system is a good
sign in itself. The young initiative has already enjoyed a modicum of success in public engagement. The system will continue to evolve over time,
and it is important that scientific organisations make their voices heard
during this process. The most valuable contribution that they can make is
to try to ensure that signatories are not given blatantly false information,
and that citizens are as well informed as possible.
That is not the same thing as giving scientific leaders a veto on the
discussion of contentious topics such as animal experiments, on which
many scientists—as well as members of the public—would like a fuller and
more nuanced debate.

“The landing is one experiment out of the
whole suite on Rosetta and was always
meant to be a bonus.”
Colin Snodgrass, coordinator of the Rosetta
mission’s ground-based observations, says
the early loss of the Philae lander is just
a small setback in a much bigger project.
Horizon Magazine, 17/11/14.
“I know some of you are worried about the
impact on the research and infrastructure
allocations…but this is not the case.”
European Commission president Jean-Claude
Juncker tries to appease researchers after designating €2.7bn in Horizon 2020 funding to
his European Fund for Strategic Investments.
Horizon 2020 Projects, 26/11/14.
“We must simply be more innovative than
our competitors.”
Ulrich Grillo, the president of the Federation
of German Industries, is straightforward
when explaining a government strategy to
support trade unions and manufacturing.
EurActiv, 26/11/14.
“Each migration is also about where people are well and where they are better off.”
Social scientist Caroline Hornstein-Tomic
from the Ivo Pilar Institute in Zagreb says
that brain drain can be tackled by the introduction of wide-ranging improvements in
wellbeing. Euroscientist, 26/11/14.
“The government should act as a customer.”
David Connell, a fellow at the University of
Cambridge’s Judge business school, says the
UK government needs to demand innovation
and R&D from public spending. Financial
Times, 24/11/14.
“A mono-education is no longer sufficient
for success in professional life.”
The president of the Technical University
of Berlin, Christian Thomsen, says students
need interdisciplinary science training that
offers exposure to other topics. Science
Business, 26/11/14.
“We need global management of Iter.”
The Iter fusion project’s incoming directorgeneral Bernard Bigot says the organisation
needs a centralised responsibility system to
rein in cost overruns. Nature, 21/11/14.

“We’re talking about a
Plan Z here.”
Antonia Mochan, spokeswoman for
research commissioner Janez Potocˇnik,
says that talk about the EU going it alone
on the Iter fusion reactor is nonsense.
Research Europe, 2 December 2004

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

news  3

what’s going on
Investment trust for competitiveness planned
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have agreed
on a plan for an investment trust to raise money from pension funds and other private investors.
The fund, subject to the approval of member states, would be used to pay for projects to boost
competitiveness in education, research and industry.
BRICs missing out on Horizon 2020
The participation of countries from outside the EU has fallen at the start of Horizon 2020,
compared with the end of Framework 7, because of the exclusion of the BRIC states from
automatic funding, an EU official has confirmed. Speaking at the European Innovation Summit
on 18 November, the official said that researchers in Brazil, Russia, India and China had
struggled to find funds to cover the costs of their participation.
Group proposes ‘open’ advisory system
A pro-transparency lobby group has called on the European Commission to more clearly define
the responsibilities of its scientific advisers. On 18 November, in the wake of Anne Glover’s
departure as the chief scientific adviser to the Commission’s president, the Corporate Europe
Observatory published a set of principles on how to organise scientific advice. It said that
scientific advice should be drawn from a diverse range of sources, especially on controversial or
uncertain subjects.
Pledge for more openness on EU-US trade deal
The European Commission has said it will publish more documents than previously planned
about the negotiations for the agreement of free trade between the EU and the United States. In
a statement released on 25 November, the Commission said that this decision had been taken to
increase citizens’ trust in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is aimed at
creating the biggest free-trade area in the world.
Call for dietary studies
A better scientific framework is needed to improve targets for healthy eating, according to a
report by the European Commission. On 27 November, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre
published a foresight report called Tomorrow’s Healthy Society—Research priorities for foods and
diets. This calls for more scientific evidence to be used to create EU-wide dietary targets.
UK fourth in ‘entrepreneurship’ ranking
The UK has climbed to fourth position in the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Index, making it the
top-performing EU member state. The fifth edition of the index, which measures entrepreneurial
systems in 130 countries, was published on 20 November. In the latest figures, the UK has
climbed five places to rank behind only the United States, Canada and Australia. Sweden and
Denmark are the next-highest EU member states, at fifth and sixth respectively.
French nuclear chief to run Iter
Bernard Bigot, the administrator of the CEA, France’s atomic energy commission, has been
named as the next director of the Iter international fusion project. Bigot, who has been
appointed to run the €13-billion project for the next 5 years, will replace Japan’s Osamu
Motojima, who was criticised in an external management review earlier this year.

4  news

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


Moedas protects Horizon 2020 budget
The European Commission’s president is to reallocate
€2.7 billion from the Horizon 2020 budget to an EU-wide
investment fund, after the newly appointed research
commissioner managed to deflect a proposal to redirect
the larger sum of €4bn.
On 26 November, Jean-Claude Juncker outlined the
plan to use the Horizon 2020 money alongside €3.3bn
from the Connecting Europe Facility and €5bn from the
European Investment Bank to stimulate industry investment in infrastructure, transport and energy.
The Commission has not confirmed which strand of
Horizon 2020 the money will come from, but Research
Europe understands it is likely to be the €2.7bn allocated
to the Access to Risk Finance programme—which was to
be used to guarantee investments through the EIB.
According to science lobbyists close to the process,
Juncker had suggested that €4bn in research money
could be redirected to the investment fund, but Carlos
Moedas and his team successfully argued against this
at Commission-wide meetings on 22 and 23 November.
Assuming the relabelling is not allowed to interfere
with the allocation of competitive research grants, the
move may be seen as Moedas’s first success since taking
office—and evidence of his determination to implement
Horizon 2020 successfully.
The European University Association said in a statement
that it would keep close tabs on Juncker’s investment
fund, in case it provides opportunities for universities to

by Laura Greenhalgh


get support for infrastructure and education projects.
But Juncker’s plans have been criticised by other universities and MEPs, who are already frustrated by the
erosion of Horizon 2020 funding in the annual budget allocation process. In a statement, the League of
European Research Universities called the move a “new
subversion” of funds. “This continued plundering of the
Horizon 2020 budget is absolutely not a good thing,”
says Kurt Deketelaere, Leru’s secretary-general.
Others called the state of the research budget “really
dire” after policymakers failed to reach an agreement on
Framework 7 bills totalling €8.6bn and the 2015 budget
during talks last month. At the European Innovation
Summit on 18 November—before Juncker’s plan was
proposed—German MEP Christian Ehler said the Horizon
2020 budget was already €10bn lower than intended,
because of the outstanding bills and a proposed €1.1bn
in reductions for 2015. “That is not living up to the ambitions that we had,” he said.
If MEPs and the Council of Ministers can’t reach a
compromise by the end of 2014, the EU budget will
move to provisional twelfths, where money is allocated
monthly—preventing any forward planning or large commitments. The Commission has already had to reduce
pre-financing for Horizon 2020 projects and delay calls
because of the cash-flow problem.

Agriculture partners need clear objectives
Farmers and researchers must be clearer about their joint
objectives to make collaboration in agricultural innovation projects a success, according to project participants.
Collaborative agricultural research projects are being
supported by Horizon 2020, but Matt Reed, a researcher
at the UK-based Countryside and Community Research
Institute, says that there can be a clash of values and
goals when researchers and farmers work together. This
must be addressed for projects to work, he says.
Christian Huyghe, the deputy scientific director of
agriculture at Inra, a French public research institute,
says that the problem has come about as priorities for
EU-funded agricultural research have changed. Fifty
years ago the objective was just to produce more food,
but now you need “to create a compromise between various performance and productivity measures, as well as
the environment and social aspects”, he says.
In Horizon 2020’s 2014-15 work programme,
€148  million will be spent on innovation projects involving farmers and others outside academia. The European
Commission’s hope is that this will lead to more information exchange and faster take-up of innovation.

by Safya Khan-Ruf


Bringing researchers and farmers together means they
can work on developing similar objectives and understanding each other’s goals and practicalities, says Liz
Bowles, head of farming at the Soil Association, which
runs several collaborative projects in the UK. “A lot of
research has been done at academic level but at farm
level that hasn’t spread through to practice,” she says.
Last month Phil Hogan, the agriculture commissioner,
told the European Parliament at its annual innovation
summit that farmers should be “centrally involved” in
research in order to develop practical solutions to their
problems—such as soil fertility, biodiversity protection
and animal health. Hogan’s comments followed disappointing results in Framework 7, where farmers’ take-up
of innovation from agricultural research was slow.
And researchers can benefit from the different views
and insights that farmers bring to scientific work, says
Bowles. Farmers may be able to offer different solutions
to problems, she says, because “researchers don’t have
to make a living out of farming”.

  news  5

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

EIT frontrunners prepare for
big decision on KICs
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology
is to choose the locations of its branches for health and
raw materials next week, after receiving applications
from seven groups.
The competition to host the EIT’s planned Knowledge
and Innovation Community on raw materials is a
two-horse race between the Remate consortium, coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark, and
the RawMatters group, which involves the VTT Technical
Research Centre of Finland and Germany’s Fraunhofer
Society. RawMatters is seen as the leading contender.
The EIT received five bids for the KIC on healthy living
and active ageing. Leading the charge are the LifeKIC
bid led by the University of Edinburgh, the Kenup bid
put together by Leuphana University in Lüneburg,
Germany, and the InnoLife bid involving partners in
Germany, Spain and Sweden.
The successful bids will receive a share of €3 billion
allocated to the EIT from Horizon 2020 and what is
expected to be an even higher amount of private investment. The two projects will join the EIT’s three existing
KICs on climate, energy and ICT. The winners will be
picked during hearings scheduled for 9 December, with
the EIT expected to announce its decision shortly after.

by Laura Greenhalgh


Applicants say they expect widening participation to
eastern Europe to be an important factor in determining
their success, after the EIT came under fire from MEPs
and member states for failing to fund less developed
regions. “We have paid a lot of attention to involving
partners from areas that are lower down on the innovation scoreboard,” says Timo Haapalehto, a senior adviser
at the VTT involved in RawMatters.
RawMatters is targeting countries including Slovenia
and Romania, the Kenup proposal has picked partners
in Bulgaria and Malta and LifeKIC involves scientists in
Poland and the Czech Republic. Mark Parsons, associate
dean of e-research at the University of Edinburgh and
chief executive of the LifeKIC bid, says getting the balance right between scientific excellence and widening
participation was “the really difficult area of the process”.
The winning teams will spend about 6 months developing their plans and establishing a KIC legal entity,
ready for activities to kick off in 2016. And for the failed
bidders, one option would be to apply for other Horizon
2020 funding, says Haapalehto, or establish an alternative formal structure under which to carry on activities.

Horizon 2020 ‘drowning’ in proposals
Applicants to Horizon 2020 are growing concerned about
the time and money they spend on proposals that never
see the light of day because the programme is heavily
Last month, Robert-Jan Smits, the European
Commission’s director-general for research and innovation, revealed to Itre, the European Parliament’s
industry, research and energy committee, that more
than 35,000 proposals had been submitted to the first
call of the programme. As a result, the success rate of
Horizon 2020 is about 10 per cent, not counting the
European Research Council, and is as low as 3 per cent
in some parts of the health programme. Framework 7’s
average success rate in the first year was about 22 per
cent, excluding the ERC, according to the Commission.
“We are drowning in proposals. We just do not have
enough funds to pay for even the good ones,” said Smits.
Thomas Estermann, the director of governance, funding and policy at the European University Association,
says that member states are partly to blame because they
constantly encourage researchers to apply for EU funds
as national budgets have been reduced. Many scientists

by Cristina Gallardo


are therefore under the illusion that it is easier to win
funding from Horizon 2020. “All the countries, even
those that have not cut their national research budgets,
need to understand that this is an inefficient use of our
resources,” he says.
The oversubscription problem has also hit industry, which is struggling to stick with the process as
large volumes of applications have slowed down grant
decision-making. Jan van den Biesen, the head of
R&D public programmes at the Dutch electronics company Philips, says that the application process for the
Industrial Leadership part of Horizon 2020 should
consist of just one single stage, because speed and efficiency are crucial for industry participation.
One idea under discussion in Brussels is to channel
excellent but rejected Horizon 2020 proposals from
individual applicants to structural funds. But van den
Biesen says this is not a short-term solution, as it would
require a change in regulation to allow the publication
of rejected proposals.

6  news

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


Désolé, docteur
PhD students are sought after in most European countries, but in France they play
second fiddle to their peers from the grandes écoles, as Safya Khan-Ruf reports.
Professors in France are often unsure whether to congratulate or console their freshly graduated doctoral
students. French PhD holders are three times more likely
to be unemployed than those in other OECD countries,
and the government and industry consistently fail to
understand what PhD holders have to offer. Graduation
day can mark the start of a life of uncertainty.
There are two systems of higher education in France.
Most students go to universities, which accept all who
pass their baccalaureate. But the brightest students
spend 2 years preparing for highly competitive exams to
enter the grandes écoles, or elite schools. Dating back
to the French Revolution and designed to enrol the best
students into specific professions, the grandes écoles are
where employers hand-pick top graduates and pay them
higher salaries than PhD graduates in similar positions.
“Grandes écoles have a very good reputation,” says
Ramesh Caussy, head of Partnering 3.0, a French innovation start-up. They have the support of large companies,
“allowing them to understand industrial realities”.
The schools have powerful industry networks that fasttrack their graduates into the best jobs, and the boards
of French companies are filled with grandes écoles graduates. As a result, PhD holders struggle to get hired by
industry as there are few of their peers there.
Philippe Gambette, a lecturer at Université Paris-Est
Marne-la-Vallée, describes industry’s attitude towards
grandes écoles graduates as “homophily”: the tendency
to prefer people similar to oneself. “These people don’t
have a PhD themselves and don’t know what a PhD will
bring them or why it’s competitive,” he says.
But there are also problems with French PhD education and its reputation for disconnecting students
from reality and the practical applications of research.
Catherine Gayda, a spokesperson for the
Association Bernard-Gregory, which
helps PhD holders find employment in
industry, says: “They are bathed in an
academic universe and the classic career
for them is teaching and research.”
Unfortunately, the 12,000 PhD
graduates every year are competing for
only about 2,000 free roles in academia
that allow them to focus on their area
of expertise at research organisations
such as the CNRS. Alison Wolf, a lecturer
at King’s College London and a former

écoles have
the support of
companies and

adviser to the French education ministry, says: “The reality is that most employers want clever, well-educated
people and not incredibly specific skills.”
Universities have responded by increasing the use of
workshops to prepare doctoral students for life outside
academia and international careers beyond France. But
even international firms that seek PhD graduates in different countries are often reluctant to hire them from
France if they can get grandes écoles graduates instead.
“They see universities as accepting people who didn’t
make it into grandes écoles,” says Caussy. “University
professors do not spend time in industry, so employers
wonder who is going to train these students for it.”
France’s government is aware that the country’s PhD
students are struggling, but has so far done little about
it. There are no national laws on how PhDs should be
recognised, and each government department makes its
own rules on how to promote PhD employment.
This year, the government rejected a proposal to allow
PhD holders to apply directly to the École Nationale
d’Administration, which holds a near monopoly over
the most prestigious positions in the civil service. This
demonstrates the government’s lack of understanding
of what a PhD is, argues Ludovic Garattini, the president
of Eurodoc, a lobbying group for doctoral researchers.
“There is strong lobbying in favour of the grandes écoles,”
he adds.
PhD holders are as underrepresented in government as
they are in industry. A report published this year showed
that only 1.8 per cent of people in France’s civil service
outside research and higher education held a PhD, compared with at least 20 per cent in other OECD countries.
Patrick Lemaire, who led a researcher protest against
budget cuts in October, says: “A lot of the issues come
from the fact that there is very poor scientific training
among elected representatives.”
One measure introduced by the government to increase
the number of PhD holders in industry is a tax incentive to
hire them. Despite this, the percentage of researchers with
a PhD when hired by industry has declined.
The number of people in France graduating with PhDs
is increasing year on year, mainly because of a rise in
international PhD candidates, who made up 40 per cent
of PhD students in 2014. But unless the government
does more to boost their recognition, their employment
and identity crisis will only get worse.
More to say? Email comment@ResearchResearch.com

  comment  7

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

m i k e g a l s w o r t h y    v i e w f r o m t h e t o p

Europe can lead the way on
Science 2.0—if it hurries up
In 17th-century Europe, scholars took some bizarre
steps to claim priority while protecting content, such as
circulating their discoveries encoded in anagrams. Such
practices led to calls for a more open sharing of knowledge and a better system for apportioning credit.
Thus, in 1665, England’s newly formed Royal Society
took a bold step towards scientific transparency. The
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was the
world’s first purely scientific journal. Its model of scientific exchange has stayed in place until now.
As 2015 approaches, however, today’s practices are
no longer fit for purpose. Revolution is in the air, with
people demanding more transparent and accessible
research. The emerging era has been labelled Science
2.0—with the hat-tip to Web 2.0 an acknowledgement of
the digital flavour of this new world.
This year, the European Commission ran a consultation, Science 2.0: Science in transition. It covered the
topics of open access, open data, peer review, research
assessment and alternative metrics to journal impact
factors and citations. Where, if at all, the Commission
asked, is there “a need for policy intervention”?
Some respondents said Science 2.0 was a grass-roots
movement that should develop organically. However,
the popularity of this view is generally on the wane.
The agitations of visionary academics for open access
to journal articles would have gone nowhere without
funders getting on board and demanding open access to
the results of the research they pay for. Similarly, despite
being given resources and encouragement for years,
only some patches of open data have grown organically.
Everyone agrees that open data are the future, but
scientists contemplating casting their precious results
into the shifting sands of open-data technology have
their concerns about credit, the risk of exploitation and
possible exposure to confusing legalities.
As was the case when they were encoding their results
in anagrams, scientists are reluctant to open up until
everyone has to and the terms are clear. We need a topdown framework that responds to bottom-up pressure
from the more visionary scientists.
When open data are demanded, aided and credited as
an industry standard, scientists can participate with clear
guidelines. Horizon 2020 is ideally placed to deliver such
a framework and become the global hub for Science 2.0.
Mike Galsworthy is a science policy analyst and
consultant, and a visiting researcher at the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

A healthy Science 2.0 would look something like this:
when a science project that involves data collection is
completed, the data are delivered to the funder for independent checking. After a negotiable grace period, this
database is placed, with clear metadata, in a repository.
The database has a unique, citable ID and is easily found
through a global search interface for databases of all
disciplines. The database ID is linked to the IDs of the
contributing scientists, the project, open-access papers
and, where appropriate, software. Peer reviews of papers
may also be published with citable IDs.
The whole network of scientific activity, then, would be
linked. Scientists’ CVs would comprise publications, databases, other outputs and reviews. Altmetrics would come
not only from social media but also from policy impact,
with government papers citing their evidence base.
An increasing number of projects would focus on secondary science that reuses data, alongside research that
collects new data. Data cartographers would map the
rich and ever-changing data landscape. Parts of academic papers would be designed to optimise text mining,
meta-analysis and literature-based discovery.
This vision requires infrastructure. The €70-billion
Horizon 2020 programme has the disciplinary and geographic scope to enshrine a global shift.
The Commission is already putting the pieces in place.
All papers from Horizon 2020 projects must be open
access within 6 months of publication. These papers
are being mapped by the EU’s OpenAIRE project, which
is linked to the particle physics laboratory Cern’s data
repository, Zenodo. There is a pilot of open research data
under way, a €2.5bn public-private partnership on big
data and an EU portal for open government data.
However, the assembly of this jigsaw is happening far
too slowly. The results of the data pilot will only emerge
this time next year, whereas other funders are already
demanding databases from projects as
standard. The government data portal
could also be used for science, with the
Commission buying up databases from
Framework 7 and funding scientists to
map and reuse their content.
Horizon 2020 and Science 2.0 are
a natural match, but the Commission
must be bolder about driving infrastructure, data deposition and data reuse if
Europe is to set the global standard.
Something to add? Email comment@

2020 has the
and geographic
scope to
enshrine a
global shift.’

8  comment

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

v i e w f r o m t h e t o p    m a n f r e d h o r v a t

Horizon 2020 needs a plan for
international cooperation
There are several differences between how cooperation with non-EU regions is handled in Horizon 2020
and how it was in previous Framework programmes.
Cooperation has been ‘mainstreamed’ in all aspects of
the programme, rather than being a separate strand, and
emerging economies must provide national co-funding
to receive European Commission funds.
This strategy, along with multilateral initiatives by
member states, is a response to the opportunities and
competition presented by a growing number of global
research powers. But the decline in international participation during Horizon 2020’s first year shows that
we cannot simply devolve international initiatives to the
programme’s various strands and expect them to take
care of themselves.
That is why the Commission’s Horizon 2020 Advisory
Group on International Cooperation, comprising
14 members from 11 countries, has called for a master
plan to make international cooperation a cross-cutting
dimension of Horizon 2020’s 2016-17 work programme,
which is in development.
Within the master plan, each of the programme’s
funding streams must have its own individual plan for
cooperation. The master plan must also include mandates
to facilitate and monitor the strategy’s implementation,
and provide strategic intelligence and foresight.
This does not mean starting from scratch. Some instruments from Framework 7, such as collaborative projects
and targeted calls, should be continued. Coordinated
and joint calls, as well as programme-level coordination,
will be important in implementing flagship initiatives.
Coordination with other initiatives could also
improve. Actions funded by Cost, the European intergovernmental framework for cooperation on science
and technology, could be gateways for international
researchers and launching platforms for consortia. The
advisory group recommended that Cost
consider aligning its participation rules
with those of Horizon 2020.
Europe needs people with experience and understanding of emerging
economies. The best way to build strong
personal and institutional relationships
with these nations is through immersion
in their research and innovation systems. The staff exchanges funded by the
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions can give
early-career researchers such experience.
Europe also needs to attract excellent

‘We cannot
expect the
initiatives to
take care of

researchers from around the world, in the face of growing
competition for talent. The European Research Council
has an important part to play in this: the advisory group
recommends that the ERC should encourage Marie
Skłodowska-Curie fellows coming to the EU to apply for
its Starting Grants to prolong their stay.
Innovation-oriented research needs specific provisions separate from basic research. There should be
strategies for the internationalisation of public-public
and public-private partnerships for 2016-17 and beyond.
Joint Technology Initiatives have proved to be powerful
instruments for research and innovation in Europe.
Similarly, the Knowledge and Innovation Comm­
unities run by the European Institute of Innovation and
Technology should strengthen their outreach and links,
include international experience in their entrepreneurship initiatives and help start-ups to access markets in
non-EU countries.
Horizon 2020 could also develop a joint scheme with
the Eureka intergovernmental network for industrial
R&D, which has the potential to get small and mediumsized businesses more involved in international cooperation. A joint scheme could build on the successful
Eurostars programme.
Europe’s strategy for international cooperation will
not be devised or implemented unilaterally, of course:
roadmaps and flagship initiatives will be prepared and
funded jointly with non-EU countries. Topics related
to flagship initiatives should be highlighted in calls, as
should information about funding sources.
The new funding rules also make it important to
convince authorities in partner countries to co-fund collaborations. Mexico is a positive example: in October its
national funding council, Conacyt, earmarked a budget
for participation in Horizon 2020.
Ultimately, people will only make good use of these
structures and schemes if they know how to engage
with them. That is why the advisory group’s final recommendation is to reinstate the national contact points for
international cooperation that were lost when international cooperation ceased to be a separate strand. These
provide a vital first source of information and help for
researchers aiming to forge international links.
More to say? Email comment@ResearchResearch.com
Manfred Horvat is an honorary professor of European and
international research and technology cooperation at the
Vienna University of Technology, and chairman of Horizon
2020’s Advisory Group on International Cooperation.

funding opportunities

Research Europe
4 December 2014

every new opportunity  every discipline

Trade evaluation services
The Directorate-General
for Trade invites tenders for
evaluation services. The
contract has an estimated
value of €4 million [8].
Radicalisation prevention
The Directorate-General
for Home Affairs invites
proposals for preventing
radicalisation to terrorism
and violent extremism. The
budget is €3 million [12].
Crime prevention
The Directorate-General
for Home affairs invites
proposals for projects on
economic and financial
crime, corruption and
environmental crime. The
budget is €6.2 million [13].
Environmental policy
The European Environment
Agency invites tenders
for expert assistance
with indicators, analysis,
assessments and policy
evaluation in support of
the 7th environmental
action programme. The
contract is worth an
estimated €1 million [18].
Animal health
Animal Health and Welfare
ERA-Net invites applications for its transnational call. This supports
research into animal
health and welfare in the
areas of disease control
and surveillance, and
production diseases. The
budget is approximately
€10 million [25].
not to be
For subscriptions call +44 20 7216 6500

Opportunities from previous issues
of Research Europe, listed by closing
date. European Commission and
associated funders marked EU.
Each entry is followed by a Web id



MX World Cultural Council Albert
Einstein world award of science
EU Directorate-General for the
Environment framework contract on
economic analysis of environmental
and resource efficiency policies
BE European Society on Clinical and
Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis
and Osteoarthritis Pierre Delmas
prize 255555
IL Jewish Philosophical Theology
Project postdoctoral fellowships
DK Lundbeck Foundation fellowships 1170144
EU European Defence Agency raw
materials for defence technologies
EU Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership SME instrument phase one
– BIOTEC-5a-2014-1 SME-boosting
biotechnology-based industrial
processes driving competitiveness
and sustainability 1176611
EU Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership SME instrument phase one –
DRS-17-2014-1 critical infrastructure protection topic 7: protection
of urban soft targets and urban
critical infrastructures 1176926
EU Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership SME instrument phase one
– ICT-37-2014-1 open disruptive
innovation scheme 1176597
EU Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership SME instrument phase one – IT1-2014-1 small business innovation
research for transport 1176922
EU Horizon 2020: Industrial
Leadership SME instrument phase
one – NMP-25-2014 accelerating
the uptake of nanotechnologies of
advanced materials 1176605
PT ERA-Net OCEANERA-NET joint call
FR European Science Foundation
Gaia research for European training
in astronomy - exchange grants
FR The Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development



Thomas J Alexander fellowship
EU Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry study on the
suitability of the current scope and
limit values of directive 2000/14/EC
ES Institute of Photonic Sciences
international postdoctoral programme 1162929
ES Autonomous Government of
Catalonia international prize
DE BioStruct-X call for access
PT Champalimaud Foundation vision
award 206992
CH European Academy of Allergy
and Clinical Immunology Organisation research fellowships 1157993
IT European Association of Plastic
Surgeons Hans Anderl award
EU European Federation of International Association for the Study
of Pain Chapters Grünenthal grants
CH European League Against
Rheumatism knowledge transfer
programme 187035
UK European Orthodontic Society
research grants 1169459
UK European Orthodontic Society
WJB Houston memorial research
scholarship 1172184
FR European Society of Cardiology
European Hearth Rhythm Association clinical electrophysiology
training fellowship 1175648
FR European Society of Cardiology
European Hearth Rhythm Association academic research fellowship
in clinical electrophysiology
EU European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health
grants for courses 1170016
EU European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health
project grants 1170015
UK European Society of Paediatric
Gastroenterology, Hepatology
and Nutrition paediatric nutrition
research award for young investigators 1169280
CH European Society of Regional
Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy
educational support grant and
ambassador programme 1170467
CH European Society of Regional
Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy
research grant 1170462
AT Institute for Advanced Studies
on Science, Technology and Society
fellowships 205208



Online Funding Search
For full details of every funding opportunity, visit
Online subscribers can view full details of any funding opportunity by
simply searching for the Web id number as free text in a funding search.

Funding search
Free text: 1234567 x


Industrial ecology master's
The University of Graz invites applications
for the MIND industrial ecology master's
scholarships. These offer an international
and interdisciplinary master's programme
which allows participants to make a contribution to understanding and proposing
solutions to problems to support the transition towards a sustainable society. The
scholarships cover all participation costs,
€7,000 for travel and installation costs
and up to €1,000 as a monthly allowance.
Web id: 1170663
Email: emmind@uni-graz.at
Deadline: 15 January 2015 [1]

Applied systems research
The International Institute for Applied
Systems Analysis invites applications for
its postdoctoral programme. This enables
scholars to conduct their own research in
collaboration with one or more of IIASAs
research programmes or special projects.
The typical period is one to two years.
Web id: 174769
Email: huber@iiasa.ac.at
Deadline: 1 April 2015 [2]

Anaesthesiology grants
The European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiologists invites applications for the following opportunities:
•clinical fellowships, worth €10,000,
to be matched by the host department.
Web id: 1161568
•research grants, worth up to €30,000
per year in total. Web id: 202178
Email: eacta@vereint.com
Deadline: 31 October 2015 [4]

EU finances research
The Directorate-General for Budget
invites tenders for a study on the potential
and limitations of reforming the financing of the EU budget. The study should
examine legal, economic, institutional
and political aspects of the EU budget's
revenue system.
Web id: 1182754
Email: budg-task-force@ec.europa.eu
Deadline: 23 December 2014 [5]

EU evaluation of road safety
The Directorate-General for Mobility and
Transport invites tenders for evaluation
services. The tenderer will carry out a
study on the application of Directive
2011/82/EU facilitating the cross-border
exchange of information on road safetyrelated traffic offences. The contract has
an estimated value of €200,000.
Web id: 1182935
Email: move-c4-secretariat@ec.europa.
Deadline: 12 January 2015 [7]

EU trade evaluation services
The Directorate-General for Trade invites
tenders for evaluation services. The tenderer will carry out background studies
which can feed into an impact assessment
of a possible trade or investment negotiation, sustainability impact assessments
of trade negotiations and ex-post evaluations of trade and investment agree-

10  funding opportunities
ments. The contract has an estimated
value of €4 million over four years.
Web id: 1182817
Email: trade-contracts@ec.europa.eu
Deadline: 16 January 2015 [8]

EU language testing
The Directorate-General for Education
and Culture invites tenders for a study
on comparability of language testing in
Europe. The contract has an estimated
value of €250,000 over five months.
Web id: 1182891
Email: eac-language-testing-call-2014@
Deadline: 21 January 2015 [9]

EU enterprise and industry
The Directorate-General for Enterprise
and Industry invites tenders for the following studies:
•for the fitness check on the construction sector. The contract has an estimated
value of €425,000 over 14 months.
Web id: 1182904
•on hazardous detergent mixtures
contained in soluble packaging for single
use. The contract has an estimated value
of €350,000 over 18 months.
Web id: 1182860
Deadline: 23 January 2015 [11]

EU radicalisation prevention
The Directorate-General for Home Affairs
invites proposals for preventing radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism.
Funding supports actions to prevent
recruitment of radicalised individuals
and to develop exit programmes enabling
them to disengage, reject violence and
rehabilitate. The budget is €3 million.
Web id: 1182825
Email: home-isf@ec.europa.eu
Deadline: 29 January 2015 [12]

EU crime prevention
The Directorate-General for Home affairs
invites proposals for projects on economic and financial crime, corruption
and environmental crime. Funding supports actions addressing internal security challenges such as crime prevention,
terrorism and enhancement of member
state and Union capacity for managing
security related risks. The total budget
is €6.2 million.
Web id: 1182831
Email: home-ifs@ec.europa.eu
Deadline: 30 January 2015 [13]

Chemical research
The European Chemical Industry Council invites proposals for the following
•aquatic community level assessment
of chemical toxicity using ecological
scenarios, with overall funding worth up
to €300,000. Web id: 1182969
•biokinetics and long-term effects of
inhaled nanoparticles, with overal funding worth up to €280,000.
Web id: 1182967
•external validation of tier-1 workers
dermal exposure estimates, with funding
worth up to €100,000. Web id: 1182966
Email: lri@cefic.be
Deadline: 31 January 2015 [16]

Anaesthesiology exchange
The European Society of Anaesthesiology invites applications for its trainee
exchange programme. This enables Euro-

Research Europe, 4 December 2014
pean trainees to visit training centres
for periods of three months. Awards are
worth up to €10,000.
Web id: 190242
Email: info@esahq.org
Deadline: 15 September 2015 [17]

EU environmental policy
The European Environment Agency invites
tenders for expert assistance with indicators, analysis, assessments and policy
evaluation in support of the 7th environmental action programme. The aim
is to establish a framework service contract with one provider or a consortium.
The estimated value of the contract is
€1 million.
Web id: 1182853
Email: procurement@eea.europa.eu
Deadline: 5 January 2015 [18]

EU ESF science awards
The European Science Foundation invites
applications for short visit and exchange
grants under the following programmes:
•applied and computational algebraic
topology programme. Grants are worth
up to €9,600 plus €500 for travel costs.
Web id: 1164383
•evaluating information access systems programme. Grants are worth up to
€9,600 plus travel costs.
Web id: 1163599
•new frontiers in millimetre and submillimetre waves integrated dielectric
focusing systems programme. Grants
are worth up to €9,600 plus travel costs.
Web id: 1161084
•network for digital methods in the
arts and humanities programme. Grants
are worth up to €9,600 plus travel costs.
Web id: 1182956
No deadline [22]

EU ESF thuderstorm research
The European Science Foundation invites
applications for its science meeting
grants, under its thunderstorm effects
on the atmosphere-ionosphere system
programme. Meetings may take the form
of workshops, conferences or schools
focusing on topics relevant to the programme. Funding is available to cover
travel and accommodation costs for the
Web id: 1167591
Email: tea-is@esf.org
No deadline [23]

EU telecommunications
EUREKA invites proposals for its CelticPlus call. This supports projects on the
following themes: get connected; while
connected; future internet relations;
green-internet relations. The average
budget available for a consortium ranges
from €1 million to €70m.
Web id: 1158474
Email: office@celticplus.eu
Deadline: 10 February 2015 [24]

EU animal health
Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net
invites applications for its transnational
call for research proposals. This supports
research into animal health and welfare in
the following areas: disease control and
surveillance; production diseases. The
total budget is approximately €10 million.
Web id: 1169779
Email: ptj-anihwa@fz-juelich.de
Deadline: 12 February 2015 [25]

Diabetes mellitus prize
The European Association for the Study
of Diabetes invites nominations for the
Minkowski prize. This recognises the best
research publication that has contributed to the advancement of knowledge
of diabetes mellitus. The prize is worth
€20,000, plus travel expenses.
Web id: 209555
Email: secretariat@easd.org
Deadline: 15 February 2015 [26]

to generate insights and a better understanding of processes that determine and
strengthen the sexual and reproductive
health of people, as well as their ability to claim their sexual and reproductive rights. The maximum budget for a
research project is €510,000. The total
budget is €4.1 million.
Web id: 1182771
Email: srhr@nwo.nl
Deadline: 5 January 2015 [32]

Erasmus scholarships

EU integrated bioenergy

The Institute of Development Research
and Development Policy invites applications for its Erasmus Mundus scholarships
under the EUSA-ID programme. These
offer study, training and research periods
in Europe for South African master's and
PhD candidates and staff, and provides
European PhD candidates the opportunity
to spend a period in South Africa.
Web id: 1182899
Email: britta.niklas@rub.de
Deadline: 28 February 2015 [27]


Humanities innovation
The VolkswagenStiftung invites applications for its Original - Isn't it? funding
opportunity. This encourages scholars
in the humanities and cultural studies
to embark on projects of groundbreaking originality. Funding is worth up to
€150,000 over one year to 18 months.
Web id: 1182471
Email: szoelloesi@volkswagenstiftung.
Deadline: 12 May 2015 [28]

German professorships
The VolkswagenStiftung invites applications for its Lichtenberg professorships.
These offers young researchers a tenure
track option at a German university of
their choice and an opportunity to implement new teaching concepts and carry out
independent research in highly innovative areas at the interface of disciplines.
Funding is worth between €800,000 and
€1.5 million per professorship for a period
of five years.
Web id: 174577
Email: fliess@volkswagenstiftung.de
Deadline: 2 June 2015 [29]

Research in Germany
The Volkswagen Stiftung invites applications for the Freigeist fellowships. These
support young researchers wishing to
develop an individual research profile
early in their career. Fellowships are
worth up to €1 million.
Web id: 1180470
Deadline: 15 October 2015 [30]

ERA-Net Bioenergy invites proposals for
its joint call on integrated bioenergy concepts. This suports innovative, collaborative pan-European, R&D and industrial
projects on novel bioenergy concepts.
The total budget is approximately €4.05
Web id: 1182846
Email: matte.brijder@rvo.nl
Deadline: 12 January 2015 [33]

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology invites nominations for its
neuropsychopharmacology award. This
recognises research achievements in
neuropsychopharmacology and closely
related disciplines. This year's call is for
individual achievements in basic science.
The winner receives €20,000.
Web id: 257389
Email: secretariat@ecnp.eu
Deadline: 15 January 2015 [34]

Chiropractic awards
The European Chiropractors' Union invites
applications for its postgraduate education programmes. These enable graduates
to pursue research in an academic setting
within the field of chiropractic. Bursaries
are worth up to €5,000 each.
Web id: 208412
Email: s.m.rubinstein@vu.nl
Deadline: 1 February 2015 [35]

Health and welfare research
Nordforsk invites applications for its Nordic health and welfare research project
grants. These aim to improve health in the
Nordic countries by finding solutions to
societal and public health challenges. The
budget is NOK11 million (€1.3m) for two
to four projects. Each project may apply
for up to NOK6m.
Web id: 1179654
Email: lise-lotte.wallenius@nordforsk.
Deadline: 4 February 2015 [36]

Slovak mobility grants

The Gino Galletti Foundation invites applications for its neuroscience prize. This
recognises contributions to research in
neurodegenerative pathologies leading
to dementia. The prize is worth €10,000.
Web id: 250978
Email: fiorenzo.albani@fonsazioneginogalletti.it
Deadline: 30 June 2015 [31]

The Slovak Academy for Sciences, with
support from the scheme Co-funding of
regional, national, and international
programmes, invites applications for
their mobility programme. This provides
incoming scientists with adequate and
motivating conditions enabling them to
develop their career, gain new experience
and establish international cooperation.
Web id: 1182965
Email: saspro@savba.sk
Deadline: 28 January 2015 [37]

Sexual health and rights

Japanese culture exchange

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research's Division of Science
for Global Development invites proposals under its sexual and reproductive
health and rights programme. This aims

The Embassy of Japan in Sweden, under
the Japan Foundation, invites applications for its exchange programme.
This supports exchanges between
Japan and other countries within the

Neuroscience prize

funding opportunities  11

Research Europe, 4 December 2014
arts and humanities, and carry out programmes and activities in art and cultural
exchange, Japanese-language education
overseas, Japanese studies overseas and
intellectual exchange, and strengthening
the cultural exchange in Asia.
Web id: 1182962
No deadline [38]

knowledge and best practice to children
and their carers, and to related professionals. Grants are typically worth up to
£10,000 (€12,600), but occasionally up
to £20,000 may be granted.
Web id: 1160753
Email: info@waterloofoundation.org.uk
No deadline [44]

Arctic exploration

Gynaecologic oncology

The Swedish Fulbright Commission,
through the Council for International
Exchange of Scholars, invites applications
for the Fulbright Arctic initiative. This
brings together a network of scholars,
professional and applied researchers,
for a series of seminar meetings and an
exchange experience to stimulate international collaboration on Arctic issues.
Funding is worth US$40,000 (€32,000)
per scholar.
Web id: 1182820
Email: fulbright@fulbright.se
Deadline: 2 February 2015 [39]

The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the
Chien-Tien Hsu Research Foundation
invite applications for the Chien-Tien
Hsu fellowship on gynaecologic oncology. This enables young obstetricians
and gynaecologists beginning a career
in gynaecologic oncology to attend the
federation's world congress, and to visit
a gynaecologic oncology centre in the
country where a FIGO congress is being
held. Grants are worth US$5,000 (€4,000)
and cover attendance costs.
Web id: 1182767
Email: figo@figo.org
Deadline: 31 December 2014 [45]

Disability aids
The Promobilia Foundation invites applications for its research and development grants. These support research and
development of technical aids and ensure
they get into production so that disabled
people can benefit from a more active
life. Grants are worth up to SEK500,000
Web id: 259398
Email: info@promobilia.se
Deadline: 27 March 2015 [40]

Respiratory awards
The European Respiratory Society and
InterMune invite applications for their
research award in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This recognises a young
investigator for advances and successful
research in the area of respiratory medicine with focus on idiopathic pulmonary
fibrosis. The award is worth €10,000.
Web id: 1165878
Email: scientific@ersnet.org
Deadline: 28 February 2015 [41]

Doctoral programme
The European Organization for Nuclear
Research invites applications for its doctoral student programme. This enables
postgraduate students to get practical
training and to prepare a doctoral thesis in applied physics, engineering or
computing. The programme provides a
monthly living allowance, insurance and
a lump sum for travel.
Web id: 259952
Deadline: 28 April 2015 [42]

Pathology fellowships
The World Association of Societies of
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
invites applications for the Gordon Signy
fellowships. These enable young pathologists, particularly from developing countries, to travel to another country to
learn laboratory techniques which will
be of advantage when they return home.
Fellowships are worth CA$5,000 (€3,600).
Web id: 1180063
Email: madeleine.luetzelschwab@usb.ch
Deadline: 30 June 2015 [43]

Child development awards
The Waterloo Foundation invites applications for its child development grants.
These support the dissemination of

Bibliography awards

MOD blast innovation
The Ministry of Defence, under the Centre
for Defence Enterprise and the Defence
Science and Technology Laboratory,
invites proposals for its highly robust
ground platform competition. This seeks
novel technologies and innovations that
develop mechanisms for ground vehicles,
with enhanced robustness against impact
and blast. Proposals are expected to
range in size between £20,000 (€25,200)
and £80,000 and last from three to nine
months. The total budget is £500,000.
Web id: 1181496
Email: cde@dstl.gov.uk
Deadline: 19 February 2015 [51]

Natural sciences
The Gen Foundation invites applications
for its grants. These support students or
researchers undertaking research in natural sciences, particularly food sciences
and technology. Previous grants have
ranged between £500 (€600) and £5,000.
Web id: 208697
Email: info@genfoundation.org.uk
Deadline: 27 February 2015 [52]

The Bibliographical Society invites
applications for the Katharine F Pantzer
Jr research fellowship. This supports
research within the field of bibliographical or book-historical study of the printed
book in the hand-press period up to
around 1830. The fellowship is worth up
to £4,000 (€5,000).
Web id: 202850
Email: matthew.payne@westminsterabbey.org
Deadline: 9 January 2015 [47]

Psychology prize

Scholar programme

The Society for Applied Microbiology
invites applications for its hardship grant.
This is available to members of the society
studying towards a doctoral degree in
applied microbiology. The funds may be
used to contribute towards university fees
and are worth up to £3,000 (€3,800) per
year for up to three years.
Web id: 1165464
Deadline: 30 June 2015 [54]

The Endocrine Society and the European
Society of Endocrinology invite applications for their international endocrine
scholars programme. This promotes the
career development of young endocrinologists. The bursary is worth €3,000.
Web id: 1165727
Email: info@euro-endo.org
Deadline: 15 January 2015 [48]

ESRC/DFID poverty
The Economic and Social Research Council
and the Department for International
Development invite proposals for their
joint fund for poverty alleviation research
– outline call. This aims to provide a
more robust conceptual and empirical
basis for development and to enhance
the quality and impact of social science
research on poverty reduction. Proposals range between £100,000 (€126,100)
and £500,000.
Web id: 1176565
Email: dfid@esrc.ac.uk
Deadline: 22 January 2015 [49]

Comparative social science
The European Consortium for Political
Research, in collaboration with the International Social Science Council and the
University of Bergen, invites submissions
for the Stein Rokkan prize in comparative
social science research. This recognises
the best work deemed to be an original contribution to comparative social
science research. The award is worth
US$5,000 (€4,000).
Web id: 1161072
Email: mtaylor@ecpr.eu
Deadline: 15 February 2015 [50]

The International Union of Psychological
Science invites nominations for its major
advancement in psychological science
prize. This recognises a contribution by
a scholar or team of scholars. The prize
is worth US$40,000 (€32,000).
Web id: 1173023
Email: info@iupsys.org
Deadline: 31 March 2015 [53]

Applied microbiology 1

Applied microbiology 2
The Society for Applied Microbiology
invites applications for its new lecturer research grant. This enables newly
appointed lecturers to conduct microbiological research. The grant is worth up to
£10,000 (€12,600).
Web id: 1160310
Deadline: 30 September 2015 [55]

Motor neurone disease
The Motor Neurone Disease Association
invites outline applications for its biomedical research project grants. These
support research aimed at understanding
the causes of motor neurone disease,
elucidating disease mechanisms and
facilitating the translation of therapeutic
strategies from the laboratory to the clinic. Proposals should not exceed £255,000
(€321,600) in total over three years.
Web id: 253402
Email: research.grants@mndassociation.org
Deadline: 30 October 2015 [56]

Diabetes fellowship
Diabetes UK invites applications for the
Sir George Alberti research training fellowship. This enables graduate healthcare
professionals to work towards a PhD or MD

in diabetes research and develop a career
in research. Fees for PhD support may be
requested for up to three years.
Web id: 1168784
Email: info@diabetes.org.uk
Deadline: 31 October 2015 [57]

Contact lens research
The British Contact Lens Association
invites applications for the Dallos award.
This supports a research project that is
likely to further the understanding of
a topic related to contact lenses or the
anterior eye. The award is worth £8,000
(€10,000) over one year.
Web id: 256415
Email: adminbcla@bcla.org.uk
Deadline: 1 November 2015 [58]

rest of world
Law school visiting scholars
The York University, under the Osgoode
Hall Law School, invites applications
for its visiting scholars programme. This
enables professors of law or practitioners to visit the Osgoode Hall Law School
in Canada and work on their research,
teach a course, collaborate with faculty
members or contribute to the research
and academic life at the school. A salary
or other financial payments are only available to visitors teaching a course.
Web id: 1181929
Deadline: 28 February 2015 [60]

TWAS science fellowships
The World Academy of Sciences and the
Chinese Academy of Sciences invite applications for the TWAS-CAS president's
PhD fellowship programme. This enables
students from all over the world to travel
to China for PhD study for up to four years.
Fellowships cover the costs of travel and
visa-related expenses. CAS is responsible
for a monthly stipend of CNY7,000 (€800)
to CNY8,000 to cover accommodation and
living expenses. Awardees are also provided tuition and admission fee waivers.
Web id: 208020
Email: president-fellowship@ucas.ac.cn
Deadline: 31 March 2015 [61]

Chinese art fellowships
The Freer and Sackler Galleries, under the
Smithsonian Institution, invites applications for the JS Lee memorial fellowship programme. This enables curatorial
researchers in the field of Chinese art
to undertake international exchanges,
participate in curatorial work and conduct
research in a museum outside their normal country of residence. The fellowships
cover travel, accommodation and living
expenses for four to 12 months.
Web id: 1182805
Deadline: 23 January 2015 [62]

Desert research fellowships
The Ben Gurion University of the Negev's
Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert
Research invites applications for the
Blaustein postdoctoral fellowship. This
supports research on topics related to
the sustainable development of drylands.
The fellowship is worth approximately
US$52,000 (€41,700) plus travel expenses and accommodation.
Web id: 259323
Email: inter@bgu.ac.il
Deadline: 8 March 2015 [63]

12  funding opportunities
Physics research *ESA
The European Space Agency invites tenders for model and experimental validation of spacecraft-thruster interactions
for electric propulsion thruster plumes.
The tenderer will identify and master
the key physical processes governing
electron cooling and electric field buildup downstream the thruster in the far
field and around the satellite surfaces
with their own potentials. The contract
is worth up to €500,000. Ref: 14.123.07.
Deadline: 22 December 2014

Electronic engineering *ESA
The European Space Agency invites
tenders for dynamic latching of current
application-specific integrated circuit
protection. The tenderer will design a
highly reliable analogue or mixed signal protection chip which provides the
following functions: protection of the
commercial off-the-shelf target chip
from damaging effects of a latchup;
and the possibility for programming
maximum currents in a wide range
daisy chaining. The contract is worth
at least €500,000. Ref: 12.1ED.04.
Deadline: 5 January 2015

Atmospheric modelling *ESA
The European Space Agency invites tenders for improved modelling of short and
long term characteristics of ionosperic
disturbances during active years of the
solar cycle. The tenderer will develop
ionospheric models and adapt existing ones based on experimental data
measured in activities during active periods of the solar cycle. The contract is
worth up to €200,000. Ref: 13.1EE.10.
Deadline: 8 January 2015

Microwave radiometers *ESA
The European Space Agency invites tenders for a study on future microwave
radiometers for atmospheric correction of
radar altimeters on coastal regions. The
tenderer will investigate novel microwave
radiometer concepts for improving the
atmospheric correction in coastal regions
of future radar altimeters. The contract
is worth up to €200,000. Ref: 14.1ET.01.
Deadline: 8 January 2015

Asteroid impact mission *ESA
The European Space Agency invites tenders for an asteroid impact mission. The
tenderer will conduct a study focusing
on the detailed technical and programmatic definition of the space system
and requirements. The contract is worth
at least €500,000. Ref: 14.197.32.
Deadline: 22 January 2015

Silicon pore optics *ESA
The European Space Agency invites tenders for silicon pore optics modelling
and stimulations. The tenderer will carry
out detailed modelling and simulations
of silicon pore optics. The simulations
will range from individual elements over
modules to the complete telescope, and
address the imaging performance including but not limited to diffraction effects,
straylight and deformations. The contract
is worth up to €500,000. Ref: 14.164.22.
Deadline: 26 January 2015

*ESA is at: http://emits.esa.intw

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


policy diary

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association phase II clinical development of
novel, high potential treatment for people with ALS
Web id: 1182700
Deadline: 9 January 2015 [74]

  8 JRC Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and
Enterprise Dynamics,
Paris, France. To 9.
  9 Brokerage day for Horizon 2020
ICT Call on Robotics,
Brussels, Belgium.
10 SET Plan Conference 2014,
Rome, Italy. To 11.
12 Horizon 2020 Infoday: Energy
Efficiency, Brussels, Belgium.
17 Horizon 2020 Infoday: ICT Calls,
Brussels, Belgium.

Children's Literature Association Beiter
graduate student research grants
Web id: 1170193
Deadline: 1 February 2015 [75]
Society of Economic Geologists Foundation graduate student fellowship programme
Web id: 209244
Deadline: 1 February 2015 [76]
University of Michigan Taubman prize
Web id: 1171868
Deadline: 1 February 2015 [77]
Welch Foundation Welch award in chemistry
Web id: 196728
Deadline: 1 February 2015 [78]
Harvard University fellowships in sustainability science
Web id: 260286
Deadline: 2 February 2015 [79]
Open Society Foundations fellowship
Web id: 261030
Deadline: 2 February 2015 [80]
Food and Drug Administration clinical
studies of safety and effectiveness of
orphan products research project grant
Web id: 1169042
Deadline: 4 February 2015 [81]
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
research grants
Web id: 253158
Deadline: 4 February 2015 [82]
Agency for International Development
(USAID) powering agriculture: an energy grand challenge for development
Web id: 1182776
Deadline: 12 February 2015 [83]
Department of State global biosecurity
engagement activities
Web id: 1182861
Deadline: 13 February 2015 [84]
Department of State global chemical
security engagement activities
Web id: 1182868
Deadline: 13 February 2015 [85]
Department of State global nuclear
security engagement activities
Web id: 1182875
Deadline: 13 February 2015 [86]
Smithsonian Marine Station/Link Foundation graduate fellowships
Web id: 193623
Deadline: 15 February 2015 [87]
University of Notre Dame Center for
Philosophy of Religion Alvin Plantinga
Web id: 1169794
Deadline: 15 February 2015 [88]
University of Notre Dame Center for Philosophy of Religion visiting graduate
Web id: 1182267
Deadline: 15 February 2015 [89]
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute
of Religion fellowship programme
Web id: 194653
Deadline: 23 February 2015 [90]
Smithsonian Institution Lemelson Center archival internships
Web id: 1182785
Deadline: 23 February 2015 [91]

  9 Horizon 2020 Infoday: Fast
Track to Innovation Pilot,
Brussels, Belgium.
27 High-level Conference on European Space Policy,
Brussels, Belgium. To 28.
  2 Horizon 2020 Infoday: Societal
Challenge 4, Transport.
Brussels, Belgium.
26 JRC Workshop on New Narratives for Innovation,
Brussels, Belgium. To 27.
  2 EU Science: Global Challenges,
Global Collaboration,
Brussels, Belgium. To 6.
10 2015 ITEA-ARTEMIS Co-summit,
Berlin, Germany. To 11.
25 Net Futures 2015,
Brussels, Belgium. To 26.
16 European University Association Annual Conference 2015,
Antwerp, Belgium. To 17.
28 Earto and Eirma Annual Conference 2015, Luxembourg. To 29.
24 Association of European
Research Libraries Annual
Conference, London, UK. To 26.
  7 Academia Europaea 27th Annual Conference 2015,
Darmstadt, Germany. To 10.

ISSN 1366-9885
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Research Europe, 4 December 2014

analysis 13


One bucket, two wells
The EU wants research institutions to make the most of Horizon 2020 and
structural funds, its two main funding pots for research and innovation. But, as
Cristina Gallardo reports, there are obstacles to mixing the two.
Under the financial framework agreed last year, at least
€65 billion in structural funds will go to research and
innovation between 2014 and 2020, alongside the €70bn
allocated directly through Horizon 2020. The European
Commission wants to encourage researchers to draw
money from both sources—as long as the separate pots
are used to pay for separate items.
But combining the two is easier said than done, as
they are run on entirely different principles and to different timescales. According to one UK policy analyst
who follows the issue closely, the result is a “mess” that
leaves most research institutions bewildered. “In theory,
it makes a lot of sense, but combining the sources is very
complex,” he says. “It is still too early to say whether it
is going to work.”
Alarmed by the confusion, the European Parliament
has helped to instigate a pilot scheme: S2E, the Stairways
to Excellence project. The aim of this is to educate institutions and policymakers in eastern Europe, where most
of the structural funds are due to be spent. With only
10 staff and financial support of just €1.2 million over
15 months, S2E is embarking on the mammoth task of
educating half of Europe on how structural funds and
Horizon 2020 might be melded together.
S2E is being implemented by the Commission’s Joint
Research Centre, and its leader, Andrea Conte, is based
at the JRC’s offices in Seville, southern Spain. Most of the
project’s events, however, will be held in eastern Europe.
Some of these events will be targeted at regional and
national government officials, who are responsible for
preparing proposals for how structural funds will be
spent. Others, Conte says, will be open to researchers,
university managers and entrepreneurs.
S2E will promote two main models for combining the
two funding sources. The first involves regions spending structural funds on building up their research and
innovation capacity, in order to enhance their ability to
compete for Horizon 2020 funding later on. Structural
funds would therefore go mainly on research equipment
and buildings. Under the second model, Horizon 2020
funds would be obtained first, and structural funds then
used to train researchers in business skills and help them
commercialise their ideas.
There will also be two types of event: one to school
officials on how to frame proposals for structural funds,
and another to address a specific sphere of innovation

that a regional or national government wants to address.
In the latter case, S2E will bring in experts from other
parts of Europe to talk with people in the region about
how to pursue the topic of interest. “We act as facilitators,” Conte says, “trying to encourage people to speak
to each other, and as information providers, giving out
information, reports and strategic tools.”
The project will also try to monitor the policy changes implemented by each of the regions involved, to see
whether their governments adopt any of the practices
and actions discussed during the events. Some policy
changes could yield results that show up in a region’s
statistics within 2 or 3 years, Conte says, so quantitative
indicators will also be taken into account.
He acknowledges, however, that results will take time.
“Nobody expects a dramatic change in these countries’
capacity to absorb Horizon 2020 funds by 2016, because
this is a complex and long-term challenge.”
And there may rest the nub of the problem: Horizon
2020 funds are available right now, but structural funds
will take years to have any impact on the ability of recipients to compete.
Horizon 2020 funds are dispensed directly by the
Commission, but structural funds are intended to help
the least-developed regions and are co-managed by
national and regional governments. This difference,
as well as the uneven availability of structural funds
across Europe, creates barriers for institutions that
want to combine the two funding sources, says Jan
van den Biesen, the head of public R&D programmes at
the Dutch electronics company Philips. As a result, he
says, “we risk losing all the progress
achieved through the simplification
of Horizon 2020”.
But Lambert van Nistelrooij, a
Dutch MEP for the Group of the
European People’s Party, takes a
slightly more optimistic view. The
Commission has published a clear
guide on how the two funding
streams can be combined, he says.
“There is much more assistance now,
and very concrete explanations are
being provided.”
Something to add? Email comment@

‘Horizon 2020
funds are
available now,
but structural
funds will take
years to make
recipients better
able to compete.’

14  news

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

uk & ireland

Remote access to 100,000 genomes planned
Researchers will be able to access data from the UK
government’s 100,000 Genomes project remotely, the
publicly owned company behind the project has said.
According to Genomics England’s chief scientist
Mark Caulfield, researchers will be able to access the
100,000 Genomes data centre if they apply for, and gain,
security clearance and have access to the UK higher education network Janet.
The company plans to collect a set of connected genotypic and phenotypic data based on the genomes of some
40,000 patients with rare diseases, infectious diseases or
cancer, and their family members.
First to gain access via the secure software link will be
members of a Clinical Interpretation Partnership being
set up by Genomics England. The GeCIP will be divided
into disease and function-specific domain teams, and
these teams will have access to the data 6 months before
anyone else and without having to pay.
Caulfield says that Genomics England is looking for
one large multidisciplinary team per domain, and that
it doesn’t yet know how many domain teams there will
be. It is allowing the scientists and clinicians to propose
domains, and will then decide which to take forward.
“Until we see what the structure of your domain is and
you say what you’re going to do in it, it’ll be very difficult

in brief

ERC head urges Ireland to
back basic research
Sustained underinvestment in
basic research could encourage young scientists to leave Ireland and diminish its
capacity to conduct world-class research, the president
of the European Research Council has said. Jean-Pierre
Bourguignon said that Ireland’s investment had dropped
from €938 million in 2008 back to its 2006 level of €714m.
Worries grow over English Heritage split
Researchers have raised concerns that English Heritage’s
grants for external research could be threatened by plans
to split it in two. In April 2015, English Heritage will
become a property management charity, aiming to be
self-sufficient by 2022. A new agency, Historic England,
will take on its policy, advisory and research work. An
exact breakdown of funding is yet to be published.
Walport calls on RCUK to expand risk research
The UK lacks capacity to carry out multidisciplinary
research into risk and risk communication, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Mark Walport has said.
Walport called on the UK research councils to fund more
work in this area, ranging from undergraduate and postgraduate courses to doctoral training and support for the
next generation of leaders.

by Craig Nicholson


for us to comment on whether we would accept or not,
because we have to make a judgement in the context of
all the others,” says Caulfield.
The domain teams will have access to all of the project data. Other researchers will be able to access the
full data 6 months after the GeCIP teams, if Genomics
England and an independent Access Review Committee
deem them worthy, but will have to pay for the privilege.
GeCIP expressions of interest will have to include a
plan for accessing funding, but no money needs to
have been secured at the time of application. That is
because the GeCIP funders—the National Institute for
Health Research, the Medical Research Council and
the Wellcome Trust—will all have representation on the
GeCIP Board and will help to shape the direction of the
“We’re inviting the funders in to oversee what’s being
proposed,” says Caulfield, “and they can have a strategic
discussion among themselves about which things they’d
like to help support.”
Genomics England is holding an open meeting about
the GeCIP domains on 5 December. The deadline for
lodging an expression of interest is 26 January 2015.
Longitude antibiotics challenge opens
The £10-million (€12.6m) Longitude prize competition
to find a test to ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics to help prevent antibiotic resistance has opened.
Competitors have 5 years to find a solution, although
smaller awards will be granted along the way to help
them develop their ideas. The priorities are that any test
should be affordable and quick to use.
Open-access admin costs calculated
Universities and public research institutes spent at least
£9.2 million (€11.6m) on administration to comply with
Research Councils UK’s open-access publishing policies
in 2012-13, the firm Research Consultancy has said. Once
policies and processes were in place, the costs of actually
making individual articles available were £0.8m for the
gold route and £0.1m for green, the firm’s report says.
Scottish devolution outline welcomed
Academics have expressed relief that a government commission has not recommended a revision of
Scotland’s relationship with Research Councils UK, and
have welcomed the idea of a post-study work route for
international students. The commission, set up by the
UK government to examine further devolution, recommends that £3 billion in welfare powers and power to set
income tax rates should be assigned to Scotland.

  news  15

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


Researchers in France hit by last-minute cuts
University and student unions have condemned lastminute changes to France’s higher education and
research allocations for 2015.
On 18 November, France’s National Assembly, the
lower house of parliament, adopted the 2015 budgets
on first reading with final amendments that reduced
funding for higher education and university research
by €70 million and for research organisations by €35m.
Before the amendments, the planned spending for
higher education and university research was €12.8 billion and the pot for research organisations was €7.77bn.
These figures had already been criticised by research
groups, with more than 8,000 people taking part in the
Sciences en Marche protest in October to raise awareness
of the impact of austerity on research.
Universities have also been hit with an extra €90m
expense caused by an increase in mandatory spending
on salaries that is not covered by the government.
On 20 November, the CPU, France’s association of university presidents, said: “The gap between the rhetoric
and the reality for students is dangerous. Our collective
duty is to offer students a future and we are working to
advance the fields of knowledge, innovation and com-

in brief

by Safya Khan-Ruf


petitiveness.” On the same day, the CPU met members
of Cdefi, which represents France’s engineering schools,
in Paris, to discuss possible alternatives to government
financing for universities.
On 24 November, the CNESER, France’s national
council for higher education and research, published
a motion calling for immediate action against constant
cuts in education and research, which, it said, prevent
institutions from achieving their mission statements.
The Senate, France’s upper house of parliament, will
now review the budgets until 9 December, before final
confirmation is given on 18 December. But no more significant changes are expected, and Patrick Monfort, the
secretary-general of the SNCS researchers’ union, says
he is under no illusions about the situation: “It is finished. We cannot hope to augment this budget now.”
Monfort adds that the situation could worsen in
2015 if an amending budget is implemented, as the
state would be able to introduce more cuts. In 2014,
budget readjustments have resulted in cuts of €602m to
research and higher education.

Funding boost for DAAD
Germany’s parliamentary budgets committee has agreed to
increase funding for the German
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) by €7 million in
2015. The extra funding amounts to about 1.6 per cent
of the DAAD’s 2013 budget, which was €430m. The DAAD
is jointly funded by the foreign ministry, the ministry of
education and research, the ministry of cooperation and
development, and the EU.

Fraunhofer steps up cooperation with Israel
Germany’s Fraunhofer Society of independent research
centres has agreed a deal to build a joint communications platform with an Israeli technology park. The
deal with businessman Stef Wertheimer will involve
Fraunhofer working with the technology park Zur Lavon,
an industrial area owned by Wertheimer and located
north of Haifa. This will help Fraunhofer scientists to
forge links with Israeli companies, universities and
research organisations, the society said.

Director of elite school quits
Christian Duval, the director of the Institut d’Etudes
Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence, has resigned following criticism of the institute’s outsourcing of masters
programmes. The institute subcontracted programmes
to institutions abroad, which charged high fees for
courses of questionable quality. Other institutes of political studies said that the value of a diploma was being
diluted by the outsourcing.

Incubator regions chosen
Axelle Lemaire, France’s secretary of state for digital
affairs, has chosen nine regions to become tech ecosystems, where extra support will be provided to start-up
companies. The regions will be given €15 million from
the PIA programme for future investments, with a further €200m to be provided by the government from 2015.
The regions are Aix-Marseille, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille,
Lyon, Nantes, Montpellier, Rennes and Toulouse.

Germany launches strategy for green economy
The German government is to spend €380 million on its
Green Economy strategy, launched at the international
Green Economy conference in Berlin on 18 November.
The strategy focuses funding on research that the government hopes will result in a less wasteful economy,
covering sustainable consumption, energy technology,
sustainable finances and workers’ qualifications.

Work begins on €54m digital innovation hub
France’s government has begun construction of several buildings for digital innovation at the Université
Grenoble Alpes, to help the region develop its research
on intelligent systems. The €54-million investment is
part of the Operation Campus renovation programme
announced in 2008, which aims to create 12 academic
centres of excellence at universities across France.

16  news

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


Norway ties basic research to societal issues
Forskningsrådet, Norway’s research council, has presented a policy document that aims to connect blue-sky
research to thematic programmes.
The document, published on 21 November, says that
basic research will be a “mainstay” of programmes that
tackle societal challenges such as climate change, energy and health. The advantages of basic research need
to be exploited more fully when addressing these challenges, Forskningsrådet said, promising to establish
“adequate financial frameworks” to promote this.
“In Norwegian debate, our instruments supporting
basic research and our programmes addressing societal challenges are polarised. In this document we try
to connect the two objectives,” says Arvid Hallén, the
director-general of Forskningsrådet. “For many years
we haven’t had a proper document on how we want to
support long-term basic research, and that’s what this
document gives us.”
Petter Aaslestad, the chairman of Forskerforbundet,
a national association of researchers, says he is happy
with the document. “It says that we have to put basic
research into the great challenges and not make the
themes too narrow, which is a positive thing,” he says.
The document does not specify how much funding each of the thematic programmes will receive, but

by Jenny Maukola


Hallén says that “we can definitely say there will be more
money”. The document on basic research forms part of
Forskningsrådet’s updated general strategy, which will
be published in early 2015.
The document on basic research comes 1 month after
the Norwegian government presented its 10-year plan
for research along with its 2015 budget proposal. The
long-term plan outlines several research fields to focus
on, including oceans, innovative technologies, climate,
effective public service, adaptable industries and better
academic environments.
However, although the budget proposal increases
spending on research by 1.4 billion Norwegian kroner
(€160 million) in 2015, many academics are concerned
that the money will be concentrated in too few areas:
most notably on buying scientific equipment and
increasing Norway’s participation in Horizon 2020.
According to Forskningsrådet, the government
spends kr2.5bn on basic research each year, excluding
block grants for universities. Funding for Fripro, the
largest programme for blue-sky research in Norway, has
almost doubled in the past 5 years, from kr440m in 2009
to kr800m in 2015.

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  analysis  17

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

Caught between fees and fairness
The welfare state is a Nordic
gem that politicians are
careful to keep polished.
This is part of the reason
why Finland guarantees free
university education, which is a great selling point to
entice international students to the country. But the
financial crisis and government spending cuts have
increased the pressure on politicians to introduce fees
for non-European students, to appease taxpayers concerned about spending money on students from abroad.
Finland looks likely to become the third Nordic
country, after Denmark and Sweden, to charge tuition fees for students from outside the EU and the
European Economic Area. The Finnish government
published a draft plan on 30 October, proposing that
these fees should be at least €4,000 a year. If the plan
is approved by parliament, universities will begin to
charge fees in 2016.
Researchers and students have protested against
the proposal. “Free education is what brings international students to Finland, and many of them are
staying to work and pay taxes after graduating,” the
SYL, a student union, said. The Finnish Union of
University Researchers and Teachers warned that,
contrary to the government’s aim of generating more
income for universities, the fees would increase
administration at universities and drive students
away. Academics are also concerned about Finland’s


in brief

Research themes proposed
Finland’s Strategic Research
Council has suggested that more
money should be spent on innovative technologies, climate change research and gender
studies. Its recommended themes are: breakthrough
technologies and changing institutions; sustainable and
climate-neutral society; and the promotion of equality.
Copenhagen universities aim for sustainability
Three universities in Denmark’s capital city have teamed
up to promote more environmentally friendly behaviour
in academia. Researchers from the Copenhagen Business
School, the University of Copenhagen and the Technical
University of Denmark launched the Copenhagen
Sustainability Initiative on 28 November. The aim is to
promote social, environmental and economic sustainability across universities and research disciplines.
Government publishes plan for open science
Finland’s government has issued a roadmap aimed at
promoting open access to all results from publicly fund-

by Jenny Maukola


reputation as a country that cherishes equality.
Looking towards Sweden, which introduced fees
in 2011, it is easy to predict the immediate impact: a
drastic fall in the number of non-EU students and an
increase in red tape for universities, which will have
to build systems from scratch to manage the changes.
In Sweden, the number of non-EU enrolments
decreased from 7,500 in 2010 to 1,500 in 2011,
according to the Swedish Higher Education Authority.
Although it then increased by 300 between 2011 and
2013, it is hard to predict whether international student numbers will ever reach pre-fee levels.
Per Nilsson, an adviser on international relations
at Umeå University in Sweden, says that Sweden has
traditionally recruited students from many developing
countries, whereas the focus has now shifted towards
recruiting from places such as California, where local
fees are high. “The number [of students from outside Europe] will eventually become as high as it was
before, but students will be recruited from different
markets,” he says.
If the proposal goes through, Finland’s universities
will need to prepare themselves for a more competitive, market-oriented approach to recruitment, which
will be a very different way of doing things for most
of them. The impact on equality, valued so highly by
Finns, is likely to be a negative one.
ed research, methods and data. The ministry of culture
and education said that open access should be promoted
whenever the law allows it, and that information should
flow more freely between researchers and society.
Lund rector chosen
The Swedish government has appointed Thorbjörn von
Schantz as the rector of Lund University. Von Schantz,
an animal ecologist, is the vice-rector of the Swedish
University of Agricultural Sciences. He will take up his
position at Lund on 1 January 2015, replacing the outgoing rector Per Eriksson.
First Mooc for Stockholm
Stockholm University has launched its first massive
open online course, covering the topic of global environmental changes and sustainable development. The
course—called The Planetary Boundaries and Human
Opportunities: The quest for safe and just development on a resilient planet—began on 17 November.
It is taught by Johan Rockström, the director of the
Stockholm Resilience Centre.

18  news

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


China ‘to surpass US’ in R&D spending by 2020
A report from the OECD has predicted that China will
overtake the United States as the world’s leading R&D
spender before 2020.
The organisation’s biennial Science, Technology
and Industry Outlook, published on 12 November, also
reveals the declining share of global R&D spending by
traditional leaders such as the US, the EU and Japan.
But the report’s authors and others say that spending is not necessarily a measure of clout in innovation.
“The quality of Chinese science is still behind the world
average, which is reflected by citation indicators and
the share of PhDs among researchers,” said Dominique
Guellec, an economist who helped to write the report.
In 2013, America’s GERD, or gross domestic spending
on R&D, which includes spending by the government,
corporations, universities and not-for-profit organisations, was $397 billion (€318bn). China spent $257bn,
the EU $282bn and Japan $134bn.
China overtook Japan in 2008, and its R&D spending doubled between 2008 and 2012. Many nations’
spending fell in 2009 as a result of the global economic
recession, but most did increase their spending over the
4-year period. US spending rose by less than 10 per cent.
China is just one of the emerging forces in science spending. While the share of global GERD spent
by the US, the EU and Japan has been falling since
2002, China’s share and that of the BRICS—the emerg-

ing nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa—has been growing. The US share of global R&D
spending fell from more than 37 per cent to 30 per cent,
while China’s share rose from 6 per cent to nearly 20 per
cent and the overall BRICS share grew from 12 per cent
to 21 per cent.
The US is also behind in the size of its R&D workforce.
There was no growth in total workforce between 1997
and 2007, and only a 2 per cent increase in researchers.
China added 10 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.
Still, commentators are cautious about the ascendancy of China and other developing economies. Guellec
was quick to acknowledge that predictions of growth are
difficult: “We believe China will surpass the US in 2020,
with the caveat that such predictions are of course not
an exact science,” he said. Other predictions, such as
one this year from R&D Magazine, have said that China
may not overtake the US until after 2020.
More important may be how significant an indicator
R&D spending really is. “While [China’s] spending has
clearly paid off in some ways, in other ways—efficiency
in producing outcomes, quality of outcomes—it hasn’t,”
said Richard Suttmeier, an emeritus professor of political
science at the University of Oregon who studies Chinese
science policy.

in brief

will build a module that gives the crew compartment propulsion, power and life support. The module is scheduled
to fly on the first Orion mission at the end of 2017.

Congressman to run AAAS
Rush Holt, a Democrat congressman from New Jersey, is to take
over as the American Association
for the Advancement of Science’s chief executive when
he retires from office this month. Holt, a physicist, will
succeed Alan Leshner, who has been the head of the
AAAS since 2001.
Universities slam House review
Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House of Repre­
sentatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology,
has clashed with universities over his investigation of
the National Science Foundation. Smith, a Republican
from Texas, has undertaken an extensive review of
NSF grant documents. Last week, the Association of
American Universities condemned his inquiry, saying it
was “having a destructive effect on the NSF and on the
merit review process”.
NASA module to be built by Airbus
Airbus is to become the first European corporation to
build a mission-critical component for NASA after signing a $488-million (€391.4m) contract to build service
modules for the Orion crew capsule. The aerospace group

by Sam Lemonick


Federal R&D spending rises
Total federal R&D spending in the United States in 2014
increased by $3.2 billion (€2.6bn), or 2.4 per cent, from
2013, to reach an estimated $135.7bn. This is still about
$13bn less than the 2010 high, according to estimates
released by the National Science Foundation. A report
from the agency said that federal R&D budget authority from Congress grew this year in every area except
defence. Some of the largest gains were in aerospace,
where spending increased by about $500 million, and
health, where it increased by about $1bn.
Microsoft man funds Harvard posts
Steve Ballmer, a former chief executive of Microsoft, has
made a donation to Harvard University that will enable
it to increase the number of staff in its computer department. Ballmer’s donation will fund 12 faculty positions
at Harvard, his alma mater. The exact amount of his
donation has not been revealed, but Ballmer told the
university’s daily newspaper The Harvard Crimson that
$60 million (€48m) was a “pretty good” estimate.

news  19

Research Europe, 4 December 2014


Qatari students complain of boredom
Qatar’s students are bored in class and not attracted to
higher education, according to a survey conducted by
Qatar University.
Some 60 per cent of students surveyed said they were
regularly bored by classes. Many said they did not see
university attendance as attractive or necessary, and
80 per cent said they did not think they would work in
the knowledge economy.
The survey’s findings were reported on the opening
day of the Qatar Foundation’s annual research conference in Doha on 18 November.
Darwish Al-Emadi, a sociologist at Qatar University’s
Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, said
that these findings were worrying, especially as Qatar
has been trying to address its lack of locally born scientists. During a debate on issues facing young Qataris,
Al-Emadi said that Qatar’s development plans to 2030,
which rely on the growth of local science, were in danger
if students did not care about higher education.
“Qatar’s students are not motivated—in fact, Qatari
male students are the least motivated people in the
country,” Al-Emadi told the audience. “If this is the
case, our vision will never be realised.”
The survey found that fewer than 10 per cent of
respondents wanted to be engineers, but that more than
half wanted to work in the military—a career path conScience minister gets green
light from Iran’s parliament
Iran’s parliament has approved
Mohammad Farhadi as the country’s science minister, ending a long-running standoff
with president Hassan Rouhani. The reformist president
proposed Farhadi after the conservative-dominated
parliament had rejected his four previous candidates.
Farhadi is a doctor who specialises in ear, nose and
throat conditions.

in brief

Scientists in short supply for African climate project
The African Centre of Meteorological Application for
Development is struggling to recruit scientists and engineers for a €19.2-million project to build an Africa-wide
weather monitoring network. The salaries on offer are
about €1,150 a month—equal to government pay but
about 10 times lower than salaries in industry.
Brazil boosts space research
The Brazilian Space Agency and Abdi, the Brazilian government’s innovation agency, have agreed to coordinate
their planning for 3 years to improve the country’s space
R&D. Initial collaborative projects are likely to include a
study of the commercial viability of a suborbital rocket
for the Brazilian space industry.

by Inga Vesper


sidered to be better paid and carrying more generous
benefits than most other employment.
The government of Qatar should do more to help
parents and teachers awaken curiosity and a thirst for
knowledge in children, the session heard. Mamoun
Mobayed, a psychiatrist at the newly established
Behavioural Healthcare Centre in Doha, said the country
must combat the sense of entitlement that leads many
young Qataris to believe that connections, rather than a
good education, will get them the jobs they want.
Mobayed is part of a group tasked by Qatar’s government with developing a set of programmes on motivation
that will start with school-aged children and involve
their parents and teachers.
However, students attending the panel discussion
had a different view about why their peers had reported
such low levels of motivation. One student said that the
quality of education in Qatar was not yet high enough to
compete with international standards, thus negating the
advantage of a university degree.
“You say we need more engineers, but what’s the
point of studying engineering here when engineers from
Europe and America get the best jobs?” he asked, to the
applause of his fellow students.
Transitional age limit rules confirmed by Duma
Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament,
has adopted the second version of a bill to limit the age
of the country’s scientific leaders. The approved version introduces an upper age limit of 65 for directors of
national research organisations, but says that directors
who are already in place can see out their contracts for
up to 3 years or stay in place until they are 70 years old.
NZ and Australia increase Chinese collaboration
China has signed separate agreements to link its education system more closely to those in Australia and New
Zealand. The New Zealand government committed to
increasing student exchange between the two countries
and to promoting the mutual recognition of qualifications. Similar terms were agreed between China and
Australia as part of a wider free-trade agreement.
GSK and Fapesp plan drug discovery centre
The São Paulo research foundation Fapesp and Glaxo­
SmithKline Brasil are to fund a centre for the study of
molecular pathways for treating disease. The institute
will focus on basic research into respiratory and metabolic diseases, as well as immunology, inflammation and
antibacterial treatments. GSK and Fapesp have each allocated €600,000 a year to the project.

20  inside out

Research Europe, 4 December 2014

One-size-fits-no-one Qatar, with its generous oil wealth
remittances, is struggling to encourage its youngsters to
take up science careers—or any career at all. One solution
presented at the Qatar Foundation’s annual conference
last month was “more maths”. A British speaker said that
maths was so exciting, applicable and versatile, students
would not be able to get enough of science, once their
maths teaching was improved. The Qatari participants
were understandably wary. “Has this worked in your
country?” asked one, perhaps referring to the UK’s average maths performance, which sits just behind that of
Macao, Slovenia and Vietnam in OECD rankings.
The way to a man’s heart Anti-lobbying watchdog groups
in Brussels have repeatedly asked for information on dinner dates, where politicians are wooed by interest groups
over an expensive meal. But does it count if the politicos have to cook the meal themselves? Friends of the
Earth will this week run the last of its LiveWell cooking
shows, in which MEPs cook with famous chefs to learn
about food sustainability. The result of 2 hours’ toil in
the Parliament’s canteen? Tuna pot. Probably not worth
calling in lobby watchdog AlterEU just yet, then.
A rover begins to forget The NASA rover Opportunity,
which has been roaming around Mars for more than 10
years, has started to develop memory problems. According

to the space agency, the cells inside its flash memory may
have worn out with age, and are causing Opportunity to
reboot all the time, interfering with its experiments. NASA
has decided to reformat its systems next month, so that it
won’t rely on fading flash memory ever again.
Immobility A remarkable 75 per cent of university professors in Spain obtained their positions at the very same
institution where they studied, according to a report
written by the Spanish government and leaked to the
daily newspaper El País. The report provides data to back
up a long-discussed problem in the country: the lack of
open competition in recruitment processes. Many academics also told the newspaper that they feared that
spending time abroad would hurt, rather than help, their
prospects of ever finding a permanent position at home.
Cheap and cheerful PhD student Adam Lynch of Brunel
University in London came to prominence last month after
managing to build the equivalent of a £100,000 microscope for less than £200. He discovered he could make an
inverted microscope to study cells using a USB-powered
digital microscope, a new lamp and a little bespoke software. As a proper next-generation scientist he didn’t even
patent the idea, on the basis that science should be open
source. Biology labs across Europe will surely be delighted. Technology transfer offices, rather less so.

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