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  • General Questions

    • What is the duration of the fellowship?

      Each fellowship will be granted for 2 years.

    • If I am selected for the CIVIS3i fellowship, when can I start my research project at the recruiting university?

      Your research project, if selected, will start up to six months after notification to the candidate and acceptance of the fellowship.

    • Are there any similarities between the MSCA PF and the CIVIS3i Postdoctoral Fellowships programme?

      The Marie Skłodowska Curie - Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA PF) programme is similar to CIVIS3i Postdoctoral Fellowships, but they are not identical. Both programmes are part of Marie Skłodowska Curie actions and are open to Experienced Researchers (postdoctoral level) in mobility. For both programmes, applicants should apply with their own research project (bottom-up approach). The application files are somewhat similar. But, the eligibility criteria and the financial conditions are slightly different. The MSCA PF’s eligibility is under the Horizon Europe program (HEUR), whereas the CIVIS3i is under the Horizon 2020 (H2020) program. One of the eligibility differences between these two programs is that for the MSCA PF, only candidates with a maximum of 8 years of full-time research experience are eligible, while there is no maximum number of years of research experience to apply for a CIVIS3i fellowship.

      For your information, CIVIS member universities launched an initiative with the purpose to facilitate the collaborations between researchers and supervisors within the framework of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships.

      If you need further information on the MSCA PF in the framework of CIVIS, do not hesitate to contact CIVIS.

    • How many applications do you expect?

      Based on the experience of other COFUND programs within the CIVIS Alliance universities, we expect to receive around 200 applications per Call of CIVIS3i. Update: For the First Call we received nearly 300 applications, with between around 40-80 applications per recruiting university.

    • Will the living allowance include social security and other benefits?

      Yes, living allowance includes social security. The fellowship contract is fully subjected and party to the Provisions of the recruiting universities’ national Social Security systems. The Social Security regime covers: Health Insurance, Maternity leave, sick pay in case of hospitalisation, Disability Insurance, national pension system, national unemployment system, Insurance against Workplace Accidents, Family Benefits, and Provisions towards Occupational Diseases.

    • Does the CIVIS3i Programme cover relocation, visa, and insurance expenses of selected Fellows and their family members?

      No. All these expenses need to be covered by the CIVIS3i Fellows and their families independently. However, if the Host Institute agrees, there is a possibility to cover relocation and visa expenses from financial resources other than project costs.

  • Eligibility

  • Applications

  • Evaluation

    • How are the external experts chosen?

      External experts are chosen by using existing databases of experts (EC, CIVIS3i partner universities, AMU’s A*MIDEX Foundation, etc.). The selection of the experts is based on the following criteria:

      • The external expert has an active publication track-record in the specific field with several peer reviewed publications and citations per publication (excluding self-citations) during the last ten years.
      • The external experts have to confirm that they (i) never co-published with the candidate (ii) did not co-publish neither with the candidate’s PhD advisor nor with the local host at the recruiting university in the five years prior to the evaluation process.

      You can see all the details describing the CIVIS3i evaluation process on the Guidelines for Evaluators, available on the CIVIS3i website.

    • Will the selected fellowships depend on the number of applications received in each university?

      No, the number of fellowships per recruiting university is fixed, regardless of the number of applications received.

    • Will there be an interview of the candidates?

      Yes, at each call there will be an interview with the candidates that pass the first stage of evaluation (double peer-revision). After the double peer-revision stage is completed, all applications will be ranked and the 32 best-ranked applications will be shortlisted and selected for an interview with the Selection Committee. The number of candidates to interview per recruiting university will be the double of the number of fellowships offered for each university (AMU: 5 positions, 10 interviews; ULB: 4 positions, 8 interviews; SUR: 3 positions, 6 interviews; UAM, 4 positions, 8 interviews). The three steps of the evaluation are:

      • Eligibility check
      • First Evaluation Stage: Remote experts evaluation by double peer-revision
      • Second Evaluation Stage: Selection Committee interview

      You can see all the details describing the CIVIS3i evaluation process on the Guidelines for Evaluators, available on the CIVIS3i website.

    • Is there a reserve list?

      Yes. After the interview with the Selection Committee, the 16 best-ranked applications will be selected for funding. The 16 remaining shortlisted applications will be either on a reserve list or rejected. If a candidate selected for funding decides not to accept the CIVIS3i position, the 17th ranked applicant in the reserve list will be offered the fellowship and the process will continue until all fellowships per recruiting university are granted. The reserve list will also be done per recruiting university.

    • Does the CIVIS3i call allow candidates to be held on waiting lists across calls?

      For each CIVIS3i Call, there will be a separate reserve list. It will consist of a maximum of 16 researchers per each call.

    • What happens if not all fellowships are attributed in one of the four recruiting universities?

      Should the final list of 16 applicants not suffice to cover all fellowships in one of the CIVIS3i recruiting universities, the open fellowship places of this university will be transferred to the next call (only valid for the First Call).

    • Will the evaluators take into account the level of experience of the applicants?

      The experts will evaluate the proposal based on an evaluation sheet. Three main aspects will be considered: excellence, impact and implementation. Within the excellence criterion, evaluators are invited to consider “the track record of the candidate in relation to the level of experience” (Guide for Evaluators).

  • Supervision

    • Is the list of potential supervisors published on the CIVIS3i website final and compulsory?

      The list of potential supervisors published on the website provides contact information for researchers who have agreed to potentially supervise CIVIS3i fellows. Nevertheless, the CIVIS3i supervisor may be any individual in possession of a PhD, employed at one of the institutes of the CIVIS3i recruiting universities. Thus, should you not find the right person listed, please identify your potential supervisor directly on the institutes’ websites.

    • How many supervisors will a CIVIS3i fellow have?

      CIVIS3i fellows will be supervised by a team of three individuals: one main advisor, a co-advisor, and a secondment mentor.

      The main advisoris affiliated to the recruiting university; The co-advisor is affiliated to the co-host university; The secondment mentor is affiliated/employed by the secondment organization chosen by the candidate. The secondment mentor must be a different person than the advisor and co-advisor.

      If already identified at the time of submission, candidates are required to contact the supervision team before submitting their application. At the minimum, candidates are required to have already identified, contacted and obtained a letter of acceptance from the main advisor. It is recommended to identify all elements of the research proposal, including the supervision team, the co-host institute and secondment before submitting the application. However, if such elements are not fully defined upon the call deadline, they can be defined at a later stage.

    • What is the role of the different supervisors/mentors?

      The triple supervision/mentoring in CIVIS3i will have a research dimension but also a training and career support dimension.

      The main academic advisor will facilitate the proper integration of the fellow in the local research environment and will support the fellow in achieving the planned scientific and training goals. To ensure that the fellowship will have a significant impact on the fellow’s future career prospects, the advisor and the fellow will establish a yearly Career Development Plan that will summarise the fellow’s individual training programme (research and transferable skills trainings) and career prospects beyond the project. The main advisor will work closely with the co-advisor and the mentor to ensure a coherent supervision and guidance, especially on training and career development. A follow-up report will be addressed every six months to the CIVIS3i management team by the advisor and the fellow to guarantee a good progress of the individual project.

      The role of the CIVIS3i co-advisor is to ensure the international and interdisciplinary dimensions of the project are met. The co-advisor will be a researcher with complementary knowledge and expertise that will support the CIVIS3i fellow in addressing the interdisciplinary dimension of the research project and will guide the fellow to take full advantage of the cross-fertilisation of disciplines, methodologies and techniques. Interdisciplinarity collaboration can be implemented through virtual means, research visits. The number and duration of research visits to the co-host is to be defined in accordance to the project’s objectives. The co-host organization and the co-advisor must be different from the secondment organization and mentor. The co-host must be chosen among the CIVIS Alliance’s 10 Universities.


      The non-academic mentor will be appointed by the non-academic partner to support the fellow and ensure intersectoral collaboration. A mentor will support, give advice and guidance, bring in their professional network. The mentor will play a significant role in the career prospects of the fellow by promoting access and integration into the socio-economic sector, advising the fellow on training needs that are coherent with the industrial needs, share their professional experience, their network and give advice on pursuing career goals and developing an attractive professional profile. The mentor will be selected by the candidate in collaboration with the main advisor. The mentor should preferably have a different scientific background from the candidate. The secondment organization can be selected from the list of 24 non-academic CIVIS3i partners or outside of this list.


      It is recommended to have a mentoring/co-supervision scheme consisting of at least three interactions per year (e.g., phone call, video conferences, emails) and one face-to-face meeting per year if possible. The fellow mentee should perform a summary report after each interaction, validated by the mentor. This recommended mentoring scheme should be adapted to the objectives of each project.

    • What are the specific tasks and deadlines for supervisors (and fellows)?

      CIVIS3i is an H2020 project, so there are certain commitments to the European Commission that CIVIS3i fellows will have to follow, and some of them will need the contribution of the supervisors.

      For instance, a final report will be expected about the actual work conducted, explaining any deviations from the planned work, which needs to be approved by the supervisor.

      Supervisors will have to take part in the Career Development Plan of the fellow, which is expected to be refined during the first three months of the fellowship and must be revised every 6 months during the fellowship; there will be a “supervision day” organised by the CIVIS3i management team to allow supervisors to be trained for the coaching in career development. The CIVIS3i Career Advisor and the Local Career Advisors at each of the partner universities will assist in the Career Development tasks. Supervisors may help the CIVIS3i fellows to identify relevant training courses and events, to develop the fellows’ skills and network, beyond their discipline and sector. Supervisors will also be responsible for identifying together with the candidate a training plan in interdisciplinary and intersectoral research, through generic training at their universities or CIVIS3i, as well as through events more specifically related to the research project and its interdisciplinary theme.

      Supervisors will have to validate the fellows’ progress reports to be sent yearly to the CIVIS3i management team. Such progress reports must follow certain criteria to meet the commitments with the EC, such as report on the progress of the research relatively to the work plan and any deviations and mitigation actions, dissemination activities and outputs (research publications, conferences, outreach activities, etc), reporting their Data Management Plans and usage of Open Access to Research Data (the CIVIS3i management team will assist supervisors and fellows in that task), report on the training and career development, and any ethics issues relevant to the funded fellow’s research.

    • Can a supervisor have more than one candidate?

      Yes, but the candidates must have different research projects.

    • What are the criteria to supervise a CIVIS3i fellow?

      To supervise an application, you must hold at least a PhD degree, be a permanent scientific or academic at one of the CIVIS3i recruiting universities, have experience in supervision, and a career level above that of the postdoctoral fellow.

  • Secondments

    • What are secondments?

      Secondments are research or training visits to another academic or non-academic organization offering expertise that is not existing in the host group. Secondments can be included to support the intersectoral and interdisciplinary dimensions of the research project and the fellow’s career development. A secondment must be meaningful, justified and helpful to achieve the objectives of the project. Secondments are different from research stays at the co-host institute.

      Intersectoral exposure can be implemented in the project, for instance, by including dialogue with socio-economic actors, participating in industry networking events contributing to expand the fellow’s career prospects, etc. Secondments can also support the research project, the training programme (i.e., career development) or the dissemination activities (e.g., outreach).

    • Are secondment mandatory in CIVIS3i?

      Yes, secondment periods are required and facilitated within the CIVIS3i partners and beyond them.

    • What is the duration of a secondment in CIVIS3i?

      CIVIS3i secondments have a duration of 3 months overall. The secondment can be broken down into shorter periods, but overall it must be 3 months.

    • Are secondment partners limited to the list provided on the CIVIS3i website?

      The organization of secondment must be described in detail. There is no geographical restriction, but CIVIS3i has a network of 24 partners already committed to receive CIVIS3i fellows and give them full support and mentorship.

    • Should I include in my application an invitation letter from the institution where I would like to implement the secondment?

      No. At the application stage, no letters from a secondment institution are required, although applicants may include them in the optional documents section if they wish so. Please note, however, you must describe your secondment’s plan in your application, if already defined.

  • Host institutes

    • Does the CIVIS3i fellowship include funds for the host institute’s overheads?

      No. The CIVIS3i fellowship, ie, the 2-year postdoctoral fellowship for the researcher, is allocated only for the research and training of the fellows themselves. This means that the host laboratory will not be in charge of some types of expenses (missions, travel, training, laboratory consumables, small equipment, documentation, etc.). The CIVIS3i coordination and financial officers will be very attentive to how the fellowship funds are used to ensure that the fellowship is not misused by the host laboratories.

      Host institutes/laboratories must contribute financially to ensure that the CIVIS3i fellow will have all the support needed to timely conduct their planned work and achieve the planned objectives (classic cost of a research environment). The CIVIS3i project management funds are not designed to give laboratories an additional budget; its use is intended for the organization of training events, governance, etc. related directly to the CIVIS3i fellow and their projects.

  • Ethical issues

    • Is it possible that the project recommended for funding will be rejected because of ethical issues?

      Projects will be evaluated on their merit; however, ethical issues will also be assessed. A research project that is not in accordance with the ethical rules in force in the country of the recruiting university and the European Union may be rejected.

    • What is needed to apply in compliance with ethical issues?

      The required Ethics Issues Form and Ethics Self-Assessment. As part of their application, CIVIS3i candidates will be asked, on the online submission platform, to fill in a table of issues (similar to a questionnaire) in order to identify which ethical problems may appear in their projects. Once an ethical issue is flagged by the applicant on the online form (yes/no answers), the candidate must indicate where the issue is found on the research and training proposal (page number, subtitle if applicable), what are the EU and national ethics legislation applicable, and is required to describe how the ethical issue will be handled.

      Please be aware that it is the applicants' responsibility to identify any potential ethical issues, to handle the ethical aspects of the proposal and to detail how these aspects will be addressed. The appropriateness of the measures proposed will be assessed by ethics experts during the ethics review, which is a part of the overall evaluation procedure.

    • When should the Ethic self-assessment be included in the application? What information should it contain?

      All applicants are required to complete an Ethics Issues Form in the online application platform. Preparing the Ethics Self-Assessment is obligatory only if an applicant answered “YES” to any question specified in the Ethics issues online form. So, if candidates reply "YES" to any question on the Ethics Issues Form (online), they will be required to “describe how the project meets the EU relevant legislation on Ethics and the National legislation and good practices on research ethics”.  Applicants can find an example of the ethics self-assessment form on the CIVIS3i Guide for Applicants.

      In the ethics self-assessment, applicants should explain the ethical aspect of their research regarding the objectives, methodology and possible implications of their project. They should also explain how the planned research will comply with the fundamental ethical principles, as well as the relevant European and international legislation and regulations.

      Please be aware that it is the applicants' responsibility to identify any potential ethical issues, to handle the ethical aspects of the proposal and to detail how these aspects will be addressed. The appropriateness of the measures proposed will be assessed by ethics experts during the ethics review, which is a part of the overall evaluation procedure.

      For more details, please refer to the H2020 “How to complete your Ethics Self-Assessment” guide.

      Ethics permits and authorizations can be optionally uploaded to the “Other optional documents” on the CIVIS3i submission portal as part of your application.