1. Programme objective
The Marie S. Curie FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP) contributes to the overarching aims of supporting researchers at crucial points in their careers and making research careers more attractive. Doing so, the objectives of the Marie S. Curie FCFP are in line with the objectives of the European Research Area (ERA) and the EU’s People Programme.
Offering fellowships with the focus on the needs of individual researchers, their individual mobility strategies and their personal research projects is an important addition to scientific networking. Fellowship stays of up to a year are the ideal instrument for building relationships of trust between like-minded researchers. Relationships of trust can form the basis for future collaborations and thus help to form ever more and closer links for cooperation and exchange. In this context, the Marie S. Curie FCFP especially benefits from the close proximity of Freiburg to France and Switzerland. FRIAS is an important cornerstone in strengthening both regional and international collaboration within the EUCOR network of universities in the Upper Rhine area. This is particularly true with respect to the universities of Basel and Strasbourg. FRIAS fellows enjoy every opportunity to engage with colleagues at these universities and have the possibility to participate in established research networks in many fields with colleagues from these institutions.
2. Programme details
The Marie S. Curie FCFP addresses excellent researchers from all disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medicine and engineering. Under the Marie S. Curie FCFP, incoming fellows are placed within the strongest and most competitive research areas of the University of Freiburg. They are free to pursue their own research projects and are given the means to really push forward with their ideas.
The programme comprises one scheme directed at junior researchers (completed PhD plus one to six years post-doctoral experience) and one scheme directed at senior researchers (completed PhD plus a minimum of six years post-doctoral experience or a tenured professorship or equivalent permanent position). FRIAS is committed to supporting junior researchers at a critical step in their career through a fellowship. A precondition for the success in this respect is a diverse community of excellent fellows, including established and internationally renowned senior researchers from all over the world. This mix of different career levels and backgrounds proves very attractive for excellent, open-minded researchers.
In general, the senior scheme supports fellowships of three to ten months duration. Special reasons should be given for fellowships exceeding six months duration. In the junior scheme, researchers may apply for fellowships of twelve months.
The determining selection criteria in the merit-based, internationally oriented, peer-review selection procedure are the academic excellence of both the applicant and the project proposal. A personal qualification with regard to international expertise, leadership skills and interdisciplinary interest is also taken into account during the evaluation of the applications. A thematic proximity between the project and the research profile of the University of Freiburg is expected to guarantee an added value for conducting research within the Marie S. Curie FCFP.
Selected applicants are offered an External Senior or a Junior Fellowship at FRIAS with all the corresponding rights and obligations for the duration of the fellowship. During the time of the FRIAS fellowship they also hold the status of a Marie S. Curie fellow of the European Union. Fellowships will be awarded for the period between September 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.
Fellows receive a living allowance, mobility allowance and a research cost contribution.
The Institute provides its fellows with modern office space and an up-to-date infrastructure. Accommodation is available through the university guest house and additional centrally located apartments. Fellows have full access to all library services from one of the leading German university libraries. Special attention is drawn to supporting fellows who plan to come to Freiburg together with their families. More information on the FRIAS family support can be found here.
Fellows enjoy the opportunity of being connected with larger research projects and centers at the University of Freiburg, as well as to the FRIAS research focus. The research focus gathers a certain number of fellows around a topic of common interest, but other topics and research areas have their place in FRIAS as well.
For a comprehensive list of excellence clusters, priority programs, research centers, collaborative research centers (SFBs), EU-projects, graduate schools and research training groups as well for further information on the 11 faculties and their research profile please consult www.uni-freiburg.de/forschung-en.
For the younger researchers in the Marie S. Curie FCFP junior scheme the advantages of a research stay at FRIAS are systematically secured through a mentoring system: researchers in post-doctoral career phases are paired with senior Freiburg-based researchers who work as facilitators for the fellows. Besides research, teaching is a core requirement for researchers pursuing a career at a university. FRIAS has, from the beginning, offered fellows the opportunity to teach at the faculties of the University of Freiburg. This is of special importance for the qualifications profile of young researchers. However, decisions on whether or not to teach are left up to the fellow. For those who wish to teach, FRIAS offers comprehensive support.
For the fast integration of all international fellows into German social life FRIAS offers German language courses at FRIAS’ expense. Spouses are supported by FRIAS up to 50% of the costs (for durations of maximally half of the fellowship time). The courses are run by the Language Institute of the University (Sprachlehrinstitut, SLI, at http://www.sli.uni-freiburg.de/german ).
Furthermore, FRIAS and the University of Freiburg offer fellows a range of non-scientific training and skills programmes (e.g. project management, leadership skills, presentation techniques, language courses). These are either provided through a dedicated service unit of the university, the Freiburg Academy of Continuing Education (FRAUW), or through professional trainers commissioned by FRIAS.
The expectations that accompany a Marie S. Curie FCFP fellowship include a clear commitment of the researchers to the proposed project, full-time presence at the institute and active participation in the institute’s academic and cultural events. Longer periods of absence require the directors’ approval. These expectations are clearly set out in the fellowship agreement signed by the fellow and the FRIAS.
3. Important information relating to the Marie Curie Programme
It is very important to be aware that an individual researcher cannot benefit, at the same time, from more than one EU funding action.