ENERGY21 Programme
Marie Sk?odowska-Curie COFUND Action

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Application Process

ENERGY21 Programme: Outline of the selection process

Step 1: Publication of the Fellowship Call

The application process starts with the publication of the Fellowship Call, which is marked by a launch event. Once the call is published information about the Call will be disseminated to reach potential applicants for a period of eight weeks. At the end of eight weeks online application system will be open to enable applicants to prepare and submit their applications. The system will remain open for eight weeks and will close on the date of deadline for application submission. 

Step 2: Preparation of the application

Applicants are encouraged to start the process of the application preparation as early as possible. All relevant documentation, including A Guide for Applicants, Application Form, Assessment Procedures document and Terms and Conditions document, is published on the Programme website in the Application Documents section.

During this phase of the application process, the ENERGY21 Programme Manager will provide support to applicants on all technical and eligibility issues via email, phone and skype.

At the outset of the application preparation, applicants are required to contact a potential UCD Energy Institute PI(s) with whom they would like to work on their research project to ensure that their chosen PI will agree to work with them if the application is successful. Applicants will be asked to nominate an UCD Energy Institute PI on their Application Form and submit a letter of support written by the PI as part of their application. Applications without a PI support letter will not be eligible.

Step 3: Submission of the applications

The applications must be submitted via the online application system on the Programme website. In order to submit an application, all applicants need to register in the system. Each applicant will receive individual login details. Once registered, applicants can submit relevant information to the system, which will be stored there until they submit the application or decide to make changes to information recorded earlier.

The online application system will automatically close on the submission date specified in the Call documents. For Fellowship Call 1 the system will close on Tuesday, 30th September. After the closure of the online application system, applicants will be able to monitor the status of their application throughout the peer-review process.

Applicants experiencing any technical difficulties with the online application system are asked to contact the Programme Manager for assistance. 

Step 4: UCD eligibility checking of applications

Once the applications have been submitted and the online applications system is closed, all applications will be checked for eligibility. The check will also include ethics. All applicants will be informed about the results of eligibility checking via email and through their profile within the online application system. If an application is found ineligible, applicants will be provided with explanation of the grounds for ineligibility.

Step 5: International Peer-Review of eligible applications

All eligible applications will be sent out for external international peer-review. Each application will be evaluated by three independent assessors.

Applications will be scored according to Evaluation criteria presented in detail in Assessment Criteria section, including:

  • Track record/research potential of the applicant (30 marks)
  • Training and career development aspects and impact of the Fellowship (25 marks and priority in case of ex aequo)
  • Quality of the research project (25 marks)
  • Appropriateness of  the proposed PI and outgoing host organisation (20 marks)

Each application will be first scored independently by each assessor. Then the final score for each application will be agreed by the Peer Review Panel.

All applicants will be informed about the final score they achieved and the broad place in the order of merit. All applicants will also receive qualitative feedback from the assessors.  

Step 6: Ranking of applications

Based on the scores assigned to each application through the peer-review assessment a final ranking of the applications will be produced. All applicants will be informed about the outcome of the peer-review assessment and their place in the final ranking as soon as the Peer-review Panel makes its recommendations. 

Step 7: Interviews of top scoring applicants

A number of top scoring applicants from each category will be invited to the next phase – a competency interview. The interview will be carried out in person or via teleconferencing facility.

The interview stage provides an opportunity to meet the candidates and ensure that they have all the competencies required to implement the proposed project. It will also give the candidates an opportunity to address any potential inconsistencies in the proposal and to learn more about UCD, Energy Institute and the wider environment.

The final mark for each application will be comprised of the score for the written proposal and the interview with 70% weighting for written proposal and 30% weighting for the interview. 

Step 8: Fellowship offers for successful applicants

UCD Human Resources will issue letters of offer to the successful candidates based on recommendations from the Interview Selection Board. 

It is expected that successful Fellows will start the Fellowship at the earliest convenience within four months of acceptance. Given that transnational mobility is a key feature of the programme, UCD recognises that additional time may be required to allow a Fellow to complete their previous activities before the move to UCD. Consequently, the starting date for each Fellow will be negotiated on individual basis by the Fellow in question and the UCD Energy Institute. 

Redress procedure

All candidates have a right to a redress procedure if they feel that there has been a shortcoming in the way their proposal was evaluated and that this shortcoming may affect the final decision on whether to fund it or not, or if they believe that the results of eligibility checks are incorrect.

To avail of that procedure a candidate needs to submit a request for redress. The requests for redress will be examined by a specially formed internal UCD Committee.

Redress requests must be:

  • Related to the evaluation process or eligibility checks, as described in the Guide for Applicants for the call.
  • Completed by using the form available from the UCD ENERGY21 , including a clear description of the grounds for complaint.
  • Received within the time limit specified on the notification which has been received by the applicant.
  • Submitted personally by the interested applicant.

Once the request is submitted by an applicant, the review Committee will review the case. If there is clear evidence that a shortcoming has occurred that could affect the eventual funding decision, the proposal will be re-evaluated.

This procedure is solely concerned with the evaluation and/or eligibility checking process. The committee will not call into question the scientific or technical judgement of appropriately qualified experts.

Only one request for redress per proposal will be considered by the Committee. All requests for redress will be treated confidentially. 

Co-funded by Marie Sk?odowska Curie COFUND Action of the European Union. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no “609401”.