(Download Users Guidelines HERE)
The objective of the transnational access is to offer to the users free-of-charge access to the research and testing facilities of the MaRINET2 network. As there are limitations to the amount of access available for each facility, it is necessary to set a procedure over the whole duration of the project allowing optimum use of access time. Therefore, five periods of access will be organised over the lifespan of the project, each of them having a 6-month duration. A selection procedure will be organised for each of these access periods, starting with a call for proposals scheduled at least 3 months ahead of the starting date of the access period.
Calls for proposals are managed through the MaRINET2 website. A specific workspace was designed for applicants to fill in a formatted proposal form. Registering to a protected user account is required to access the workspace in order to guarantee confidentiality of the proposals.
It is requested from applicants (users) that they provide information related to the affiliation of the user group personnel, choice of infrastructure and period of access, selection and eligibility criteria. Detailed information is also required regarding the scientific project with a description of the proposed work including a test plan, technical requirements and anticipated outcomes. A possibility is also offered to attach to the form additional documents presenting details on the project.
All these elements are made available to the Infrastructure Manager in charge of the applied-for-access facility after closing of the Call period, in the form of a set of PDF documents.
Exchanges and discussions between users and infrastructure managers are made mandatory during the phase of application in order to ensure adequacy of the requested infrastructure in regard of the aim of the project and testing plan. These discussions should be initiated by the applicants, however, Infrastructure Managers should organise and plan the exchanges so as to make sure they obtain all the necessary information regarding the project and testing plan allowing a proper technical evaluation of the proposal.
In order to provide all users a fair chance of access to the facilities while guaranteeing a high level of quality and relevance of the selected projects, a specific selection procedure is set, involving the Infrastructure Managers as well as a panel of experts, both internal and external to the project and a selection Committee.
The selection process is divided in 4 major steps:
Access periods normally starts within a few days of the announcement of the decision made by the User Selection Board (USB) and last for a 6-month period. USB decisions are made available to the Applicants via their application workspace on the MaRINET2 website and to the Infrastructure Managers via e-mail.
The access procedure starts with an agreement between the User and the Access Provider on the most suitable way to proceed so as to complete the granted period of access.
Infrastructure Managers are asked, as Access Providers, to contact after selection results announcement the User Group Leaders of accepted proposals for their infrastructures in order to discuss the offer and suitable dates for testing within the call period. If the offer and available dates are accepted by the applicant following these discussions, Infrastructure Managers should begin the process of arranging the access visit and obtain any further information needed, such as confirmation of User Group members, any other contact details not requested on the original application, confirm test plan etc. A pre-access face-to-face meeting can be very beneficial in this regard, and Access Providers are entitled to request such a meeting if desired, at the expense of the User Group Leader.
If no agreement can be reached, granted weeks of access will be reallocated to another project placed on the waiting list, if technically achievable, or to the following call.
For those applications which have not been granted, the applicant can review the brief comments made by the User Selection Board and may consider submitting a new application in future TA calls after addressing the review comments. The application process is deemed closed and no further correspondence in relation to applications will be engaged in.
There is no specific policy as part of the MaRINET2 TA Rules and Regulation in the case a User-Group decides to cancel his access period after agreement with the Infrastructure Manager.
However, each MaRINET2 partner institution has the right to include in a contract to be signed by the applicant a clause defining the compensations that could be requested in case of cancellation. However such clause should be bound by the provisions of the Grant Agreement (see rules and conditions in appendix 1).
Once an agreement has been reached and the period of access is open, access to the facility will be organised for the User-Group. From the agreed date of access on and for the duration of access granted by the USB, it is then the responsibility of the IM to provide all the technical and staff support necessary to conduct the testing programme validated by the USB and defined in agreement with the User-Group leader.
The User Group Leader has certain Post-Access obligations imposed by MaRINET2. The Post-Access obligations (see below) can be completed via the applicant’s secure Application Workspace on the MaRINET2 website. These obligations should be fulfilled by the User Group Leader no longer than 45 days after access at the Infrastructure has concluded:
MaRINET2 provides a contribution of €1000 per User Group per week towards the travel and subsistence expenses of Users which is administered by the Access Providers, who have already received this T&S budget. Expenses should be reimbursed according to the limits, normal rules and procedures of the Access Provider. These should be outlined to the User Group by the Access Provider before the starting date of the access. Travel and subsistence claims will also be reimbursed on the same basis to Users when they attend the User Workshop with the prior written agreement of the Infrastructure. Receipts must be attached to claims, which will be made on the Access Provider’s standard travel claim forms. Claims will be reimbursed in Euro (€) or the local currency of the Infrastructure. Claims should only be reimbursed following the completion of the Post-Access requirements via the MaRINET2 website.