JAF Meeting 15/16 February 2006, Agenda Item 10 - a New COST Instrument: Young Investigators Network (YIN) (link)

January 30, 2006

Brussels, Jan 2006

Full text of Document 204/06
Suite of documents 204/06

To: COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) Subject: JAF meeting 15/16 February 2006, agenda item 10
- A new COST Instrument: Young Investigators Network (YIN)

Delegations will find attached a proposal from the COST Office for "A new COST Instrument: Young Investigators Network (YIN)" to be examined by the JAF Group at its meeting on 15/16 February 2006.

Following the examination the JAF Group is invited to submit the proposal to the 164th CSO meeting in March for approval.

Delegations, in particular those not represented at the JAF meeting, are kindly requested to send their comments on the proposal, if any, to the Secretariat by 10 February 2006 at the latest.

Introduction

COST plans to play an active role in coordinating national efforts to support the Lisbon objectives. In response to suggestions made in the Mid Term Review 2005 and by the CSO and the JAF group the COST Office proposes the adoption of a new instrument. This new instrument builds on the experience gained over the past decades and offers new opportunities to young researchers. This new type of COST networking support is targeted at researchers in the very early stages of their careers. This group can be best defined as the researcher at postdoc level, having accomplished a postdoc training starting their career and holding their first position (e.g. holders of Marie-Curie Reintegration Grants, EURYI Awardees etc.). Applicants for the new instrument should hold their PhD for no longer than 5 years.

A new COST Instrument: Young Investigators Networks (YIN)

The new COST instrument is called Young Investigators Networks (YINs). Based on a close cooperation with the Marie-Curie-Programme within the EU Framework Programme and the respective national programmes, the main COST objective is to enable young researchers and scientists throughout Europe and beyond, to establish their brilliant ideas in the ERA, make them known and encourage them establish a close collaboration.

In particular the new COST instrument YIN will contribute to closing the gap between the training part and the project funding part in European funding opportunities, including the ERC. This objective requires close interaction with the partners on the national level.

COST has a proven record of being an "enabling" agent to support European integration. COST must be keen to strengthen this role. New ideas generated by young teams, in particular from the new member states, shall be endorsed in order to enable them to gain experience and recognition through the YIN instrument. To this end, whilst the proposal should be of high scientific quality and excellent researchers should be included, the scientific track record of the proposer shall not be a decisive selection criterion.

A YIN will support Management Committee and Working Group meetings, STSMs, training schools and special training in research management delivered under special arrangements for COST. In addition, COST will organise special "YIN Conferences" to stimulate exchange between the groups and to foster the development of the European Research Area. The support for YINs will be by annual grants with an average support similar to traditional COST Actions plus central funding for research management training and centrally organised "YIN Conferences". Therefore, the total funding for a YIN will be up to a maximum of 120 k p.a.. The duration of a YIN will be strictly limited to a maximum of 4 years.

The participation of these young scientists as Management Committee members will also serve as a training ground to promote their ambitious ideas on a broader scale.

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