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Terms and Conditions

A. Applying for a Fellowship

1. By submitting your application electronically, you are declaring that the information you are supplying is factually correct. DIGI+ reserves the right to withdraw any Fellowship awarded, or if you have commenced employment, the host institution reserves the right to terminate your employment should any of the information provided in the application be found to be false or misleading.

2. All applications to the DIGI+ programme will be made through the DIGI+ website. All data will be stored in a secure location and access restricted to the management team.

3. Personal data being used in the DIGI+ programme will be stored for the duration of the fellow’s contract and as required for the DIGI+ programme. By the end of the DIGI+ programme, all personal data collected will be destroyed according to relevant regulations.

4. All sections of the application, in addition to the documentation required, must be completed and submitted. Incomplete applications will NOT be processed.

5. All applicants are required to nominate a DIGI+ supervisor on their application. The named supervisor will be supervisor for the entire duration of the Fellowship. Applicants must contact the supervisor before they submit their application and receive an acknowledgement that the supervisor is willing to work with them and has the required experience and interest to support the Fellow’s project implementation. This approval for supervising the project can be through a letter of support or e-mail which must be included in the appropriate section in Part A. The Supervisor must be affiliated with one of the host institutions and be listed on the DIGI+ website.

6. In certain circumstances applications submitted in hard copy may be accepted if agreed in advance of the call deadline.

7. Applications for the call must be submitted by 5 pm on the 22nd of September 2023. All times stated are Irish Standard Time (IST). Late applications will not be accepted. Confirmation of receipt of your application will be sent to the e-mail address you entered when registering. Please contact info@digipluscofund.eu if you do not receive acknowledgement within 2 hours of submitting the application (Please check the junk/spam folder in your email first).

B. Evaluation and Selection

8. The DIGI+ selection process adheres to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers promoting open, merit-based and transparent recruitment and attractive working and employment conditions.

9. The DIGI+ selection process adheres to the principles of excellence, transparency, fairness and impartiality, efficiency and speed, and ethics and security as outlined in the HE Programme Guide  and MSCA Work Programme 

10. Evaluation criteria, ranking processes and cut-off thresholds are detailed in the Guide for Applicants.

11. Applicants will receive feedback following the technical eligibility check, following remote review, and following the interview stage via email.

12. Applicants will be informed if they are placed on the reserve list. Applicants on the reserve list will be informed if a fellowship becomes available in case of decline by a successful candidate. All remaining applicants on the reserve list, will be informed within 12 weeks if they have not been awarded a fellowship.

13. All candidates have a right to redress. Applicants wishing to appeal a decision must contact the PM no later than 30 days after receiving evaluation results.

14. Redress requests can only be made regarding procedural issues or received incorrect application of eligibility criteria, and not with regard to the scientific judgments of the remote reviewers or members of the interview panels. Decisions from the Redress Committee are binding.

C. The Offer

15. Following approval of the final funding decision by the SC (Steering Committee), successful candidates will receive a letter of offer.

16. The applicant will be required to accept the offer, in writing, within 7 working days of receiving notification. It is expected that successful Fellows will start the Fellowship in January/February 2024.

17. In the unlikely event that the host institute is not able to support the Fellowship, and the DIGI+ management cannot find an alternative acceptable host, the award of the fellowship may be withdrawn. Similarly, the host institutions also reserve the right to withdraw an offer if the programme is withdrawn for any reason, or if an error has been made by the host institution.

D. Employment as a DIGI+ Fellow

18. The Fellow will be employed on a specific purpose or fixed term contract, full time for a duration of 24 months, as a Research Fellow at their host institution. General terms and conditions and the employment contract will be as standard for that institution, and specify the following:

a. nature of the appointment and type of fellowship

b. start date and total duration of the fellowship

c. guarantee that the employment contract with the host organisation will be maintained for the total duration of the fellowship including secondment periods

d. names of the supervisors in charge of supervising the project and place of work e. salary level of the fellowship, including any additional payments, such as mobility allowance etc. and payment information for the fellow f. annual leave and other leave entitlements (e.g. maternity leave)

19. The actual gross salary received to the fellow may vary depending on employment conditions at the host institute and will be confirmed in the employment offer. All salaries may be subject to tax and deductions under Irish National law which may change during the duration of the programme.

20. If circumstances arise that result in the Fellow being unable to complete their duties in executing their project tasks, they must inform their Supervisor and the DIGI+ programme manager without undue delay, who will assist in defining a replacement research plan.

21. Fellows will be bound by their host institutions policies with respect to work, paid or otherwise, outside of their contracted hours.

22. Fellows will work in the premises of their host institute. All fellows will have appropriate laboratory space and resources to carry out their research. Secondment host will also provide necessary space and resources to conduct an agreed secondment.

23. Fellows will receive an induction on policies & procedures of the host institution/department
to ensure safety and assist integration. Laboratory and administrative staff will be available to
assist them in any matters which arise.

24. Fellows will receive the security benefits that all employees are entitled to under Irish law. All
fellows will have appropriate accident insurance through their host organisation and all fellows are directly covered for public health care. Fellows may opt for additional private health insurance through one of the Irish private health insurance companies.

25. All Fellows will contribute to a pension scheme operated by their host institute.

26. The DIGI+ IP policy will adhere to Ireland’s National IP Protocol, which is aligned with HE policies. Any results generated by research fellows remain the property of the host organisation (unless otherwise agreed). Where a member wishes to protect the confidentiality of any data, documents, or other material, it will enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the researchers involved before the start of the research project.

27. DIGI+ fellows research activities will operate in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/.679) on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.

28. All Fellows are required to undertake a six-month secondment in a non-academic organisation that suits their research, training and development needs.

29. All Fellows should have two supervisors: a Primary Academic Supervisor and a Secondment Supervisor. Furthermore, an Independent Interdisciplinary Mentor (agreed between fellow and primary supervisor) will form part of the Supervisory Team.

E. Applicant Eligibility Criteria

30. Applicants may be of any nationality.

31. Applicants must be fluent in English (written and spoken).

32. Applicants must comply with the Transnational Mobility Rule: a. applicant shall not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the call deadline. The following periods are not taken into account: a) compulsory national service; b) time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention; c) short stays (such as holidays), i.e., the researcher did not reside or did not have their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country during that period.

33. Two levels of DIGI+ fellowship will be available depending on the research experience of the candidate.

34. The proposal:

a. Must be complete (Parts A, B, C and D) and in English.

b. Must be received on or before the call deadline (5pm IST, 22nd of September 2023) through the website.

c. Must adhere to the ethical standards applicable to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and the DIGI+ programme.

d. Must be within a DIGI+ research area and identify a DIGI+ Supervisor. e. Must be able to be conducted while hosted at the institution that the DIGI+ Supervisor is affiliated to. f. Must contain details of a secondment to industry and a clear impact on standards.

35. Only one application per applicant may be submitted per call.

36. The Supervisor named for the project must agree to act as Supervisor for the duration of the Fellowship through a letter of support or e-mail to be included in Part A.

F. Ethics Criteria

37. It is expected of all partners that the highest ethical behaviour and standards will be adhered to throughout the duration of the Fellowship Programme. DIGI+ explicitly is compliance with relevant national and EU legislation.

38. NUIM and all DIGI+ hosts are committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with the Data Protection Acts and acknowledges the rights that these Acts confer on individuals as well as the responsibilities the Acts place on university employees who process personal data in the course of their duties.

39. DIGI+ will not fund: a. research activities aiming at human cloning for reproductive purposes b. research activity intended to modify the genetics of human beings that could make such changes heritable c. research activities intended to create human embryos for the purpose of research or for stem cell procurement

40. Applicants are required to complete an ethics table as part of the application process. Should any issues be identified, an Ethics self-assessment must be submitted and will go through ethics review to confirm eligibility in parallel to the evaluation and selection process.

41. All applications for which ethical issues are flagged will be reviewed by the Programme Ethical Review Committee (PERC). The PERC may declare the proposal ineligible, eligible as presented or may ask for additional information and then take a decision. Proposals with ethical clearance will proceed to the next stage of the evaluation process. Proposals without ethical clearance will be declared ineligible.

G. Reporting

42. All DIGI+ academic hosts have developed a Researcher Career Framework or similar, and have established Research Development Programmes, developed in consultation with Researchers to support the career and professional development of Researchers.

43. Each fellow will develop, revising the initial training plan submitted over the application process, a PCDP, with the support of their ST (Supervisory Team).

44. The PCDP will form the basis for all supervision meetings, will be reviewed every six months by the fellow’s ST and adjusted to reflect changes to the scientific project and career development objectives, indicating new activities to reach these objectives.

45. The PCDP will support the acquisition of skills such as supervision, teaching, dissemination, communication, and outreach activities. Fellows’ PCDPs will be reviewed annually by the DIGI+ SB (Supervisory Board) and by HR of the host institution to ensure adherence with the Charter and Code.

H. Public Announcement

46. During each 2-year fellowship, DIGI+ fellows must submit at least 4 international, peer-reviewed publications (conference papers and journal publications), at least one with a sustainability focus. Each fellow must engage in at least 2 further dissemination activities (including industry publications) per year.

47. All public announcements and publications given or authored by the Fellow which arise from the work carried out during their Fellowship must acknowledge that the work was co-funded by Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions under Horizon Europe using the following wording:

48. All public announcements and publications given or authored by the Fellow which arise from the work carried out during their Fellowship must acknowledge any other source of financial or intellectual contribution as directed by the DIGI+ Programme Manager or Fellow’s Supervisor, for example a Science Foundation Ireland award or an Industry Partner contribution.

49. DIGI+ follows the principles of open research Europe and OS (Open Science) with the concept of “as open as possible as closed as necessary” fully compliant with EU requirements on Open Access.