ITC and ECI Conference Grant

Procedure for applying for a grant to attend a conference
(for young researchers in Inclusiveness Targeted Countries)

We now have funds in hCOMET specifically to support attendance at conferences. A guide to applying is available as a pdf: www.cost.eu/download/inclusiveness_target_countries_conference_userguide

There follows a summary of salient points from the guide:

Who is eligible?
'Any e-COST user who is a PhD student or an Early Career Investigator (ECI) and is affiliated with an institution located in an ITC country participating in the Action can submit an application request for an ITC Conference Grant. The applicant must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow.'

ITC (Inclusivenes targeted countries) are:
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey
.

ECI is defined:
as a researcher whose career spans less than 8 years between the date of the PhD/doctorate (or similar experience) and the date of involvement in the 
COST Action . Periods of career leave have to be added to this time span. 

It seems that you must be giving a talk or presenting a poster at the conference. The conference location is not limited to Europe (though European conferences are generally preferred by COST).

How to apply?
Log into eCOST: https://e-services.cost.eu/user/login/
If you are new to eCOST you will have to create an account and provide details of affiliation, education etc. (your profile).
Click on the 'ITC Conference Grants' tab (It seems that this tab appears only if you are registered as from an ITC).
Click on 'Create Conference Grant request' and you will get the application form; this is mostly self-explanatory. It includes applicant details; the COST Action (hCOMET is CA15132); details of the conference; the Grant Period [this refers to the COST Action; we are in year 2, and conference dates must fall within the current grant period]; and your bank account details.

You also must estimate the amounts required for travel, subsistence (max. €160/day) and the conference fee (max. €500). The amount you finally receive cannot exceed this estimate.

NB: You can save the request only if all fields on the form have been completed.

After saving the request, click on the button to take you to the next page which asks for supporting documents:

1. CV with publications list
2. Short description of your involvement in hCOMET
3. Confirmation from conference organisers of speaking slot or poster presentation
4. Copy of abstract of talk or poster

Upload files and submit request.

What happens next?
The application goes to the chair of the Management Committee for approval. The chair must confirm the applicant's status as PhD student or ECI, agree the amount of the award, and confirm the completeness and validity of the supporting documents.

If the application is rejected, the MC chair must give reasonse (and guidance for a re-application).

After approval of the application, the Grant Holder is informed and (assuming funds are available) activates the application; the grant letter is sent to the applicant.

Timeline
The application must be submitted at least 45 days before the conference start date.

You will not receive a grant until after the conference.

Within 15 days of the end of the conference, you will receive a reminder to submit a scientific report using a template available on the 'Supporting Documents' page of the application or from http://www.cost.eu/ITC_conference_grant_report_template

The deadline for submitting the report is 30 days after the end of your participation in the conference. The report has to be approved by the MC chair before the Grant Holder pays the award to the applicant.

Andrew Collins
hCOMET MC chair
September 21 2017