On March 12, 2015, an Info Day on the funding opportunities of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions in the context of the Horizon 2020 was organized by the Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, supported by the National Documentation Center (EKT) and hosted at the lovely premises of the Aristotle University Research Dissemination Center (KEDEA), at Thessaloniki, Greece. Since we at Agro-Know are putting our effort in various aspects and calls of the Horizon 2020 programme, we considered this an important event that would allow us to get in touch with the community (mostly researchers) that aims to submit proposals in the context of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions. For those not familiar with these actions, they aim to promote the mobility of researchers both within and outside Europe, transfer of knowledge and attraction of the best researchers from other countries to Europe.
The event started with a presentation about the EURAXESS Greece Network by Dr. Sanopoulos (CERTH) and the Enterprise Europe Network Hellas by Mrs. Piteli (Praxi Network). Both presentations aimed to provide participants with the required support tools that will allow their networking and increase their funding opportunities – we have already established a connection with Praxi Network and we attend at least some of the interesting events that they organize.
The second half of the event was dedicated to the presentation of the various Marie Curie funding opportunities through the H2020 programme. Mrs. Annouchka Nabokoff, Project adviser, European Commission, Research Executive Agency. Mrs. Nabokoff presented the various Marie Curie funding opportunities in details and responded to the numerous questions coming from the audience, mostly asking clarifications on the requirements for applying for these calls. You can find the agenda of the event in the EKT website.
So what did we actually do? The event provided us with the opportunity to contact directly Greek researchers (such as PhD candidates, research stuff and academia from various disciplines) who are interested in applying for funding in the context of the Marie Curie calls; not only we were able to better understand their needs in terms of applying for funding but they were also kind enough to complete a short questionnaire that we had prepared for the occasion, aiming to collect feedback on how aware these researchers are of the Horizon 2020 Open Access Policy and the Open Research Data Pilot (see this PDF), and which are the major challenges that they meet when preparing a proposal to be funded by the Horizon 2020 programme.
This feedback will allow us to fine-tune the service that we are currently preparing, aiming to serve people who would like to get support from experts regarding the description of an Open Access policy/plan for their proposal, with the implementation of an open access plan in their running research project or with applying an Open Access Policy in their institution. And since this improved service will go back to its potential end-users, it is a win-win situation for both sides!