10th VLAG Open Round Call for project proposals for the PhD and ...


10th VLAG Open Round Call for project proposals for the PhD and ...

10th VLAG Open RoundCall for project proposals for the PhD and PostDoc projectsSummaryThe research school VLAG announces an open round for the research proposals funded by WageningenUniversity, Maastricht University and the participating institutes. The pre-proposals may be submitted no laterthan 1 November 2013. The full proposals must be submitted no later than 1 March 2014.IntroductionThe research school VLAG financed 60 PhD and 2 Postdoctoral projects in the past 9 rounds and oneinterdisciplinary VLAG/MGS round.The proposals should meet a number of requirements:- Scientific quality is the guiding criterion for selection. Additionally, the innovative, explorative and originalcharacter of the project proposal is important.- We are looking for high-risk proposals that may be difficult to fund elsewhere. Proposals should not bebased on existing research programs (e.g. Public Private Partnerships).- Multidisciplinary collaboration is a strict requirement. The research must be carried out by at least two chairsgroups / research groups within VLAG, and the expertise of both participating groups should be deployedclearly. The cooperation must be such that research should be carried out for at least a quarter (or more)within each participating group.(Annex: List of VLAG partners)- Proportional allocation of strategic funds across the research areas, and consequently proportionalallocation per participating research group is taken into account as well.One chair group / research group (including endowed chairs and personal professors) can be involved in twoproject proposals of which in one as lead applicant. In other words, a group can be the lead applicant in oneproposal and a co-applicant in a second proposal, or twice a co-applicant.The composition of the research team cannot be changed between pre-proposal and full proposal phase.Compared to previous rounds a criterion is added for the selection of the pre-proposals. Recently appointedresearchers in Tenure Track, and recently appointed professors are encouraged to submit proposals.If the lead applicant and/or co-applicants belong to one or both of the categories listed below, the pre-proposalwill have a higher chance to be selected for further development into a full proposal:- The authors are new employees that were appointed at Wageningen University (from outside WageningenUniversity) after 1/1/2012 and are enrolled in the Tenure Track system (at all levels).- The authors are appointed as regular professor, or endowed professor after 1/1/2012.This criterion will no longer play a role in assessing the full proposals. We assume that the selection of preproposalswill create a level playing field.Selection and review methodologiesPrior to the selection/review the proposals are screened for eligibility and completeness, after which three stepsfollow:1. The VLAG MT selects the pre-proposals that can be developed into full proposals.2. The authors of the selected pre-proposals will be asked to provide names and contact details of 5 potentialexternal reviewers.1

3. The review of each full proposal is performed by 3 experts. This need not necessarily be the reviewerssuggested by the applicants.The breadth of the VLAG program implies that we cannot work with one group of referees who will review andrank all proposals. If possible, multiple proposals will be reviewed by one expert.The following criteria are used in assessing the full proposals:- Scientific Quality (proposal, originality, methodology, scientific perspectives)- Feasibility (work plan, use of existing knowledge, equipment/techniques, supervision, co-operation)All criteria are assessed both quantitatively (by assigning one of the four grades between ‘outstanding’ and‘unsatisfactory’) and qualitatively. After receiving anonymous assessments the applicants can respond to thereviewers’ comments within the 'rebuttal' phase.Based on the experience from the previous rounds we may conclude that the procedures described above couldbe handled fairly quickly and that the chance of success for the full proposals is about 60%.Available resourcesWithin this round, we hope to be able to support about 6 projects.The Graduate School solely provides the salary costs for the appointment of a PhD or PostDoc. The additional36% for the integral costs within Wageningen University is also provided. The lead applicant guarantees thefinancing of the research costs.Co-financingThe research institutes that submit a project proposal together with university groups are expected to co-financepart of the salary and of the research costs. This contribution should be proportional to the extent of theinvolvement of the institute in the project.The rules based on previous experiences are as follows:- If the main applicant is from a research institute and/or the PhD student/PostDoc will be in part appointedand working at the institute then the institute contributes at least 50% of the salary costs.- In case of cooperation between University group(s) and an institute with the university group as the leadapplicant, the institute contributes a minimum of 25% of salary costs.- In case of cooperation with a research group that is part of another graduate school, these researchschools/groups contribute 50% of the salary costs.Considering the total amount of K € 250 (integral cost structure within Wageningen UR) the salary costs for aPhD candidate currently amount to k€ 62.5 per year.ProcedureThe pre-proposals can be submitted until 1 st November, 2013. For the pre-proposals the fixed format (2 A4pages in length) should be used. The format can be found at http://www.vlaggraduateschool.nl/vlagrounds.htm.All applications must be submitted in English. VLAG MT will decide which pre-proposals can be developed intofull proposals at the end of November / beginning of December 2013.The full proposals must be submitted ultimately on 1 st March 2014.The ranking of full proposals, based on the outcomes of the peer review and rebuttal, is done by the VLAG MT.The MT members who are involved as applicants will be replaced by another PI from the VLAG community. Thefinal decision about the allocation of resources is the responsibility of the Scientific Director of VLAG and Directorof NUTRIM and will take place in August 2014.The earliest start date for the PhD/Postdoc projects granted within this Open Round is 1 January 2015. If asuitable candidate is available, an earlier start date will be considered.Wageningen, May 20132

Annex: Partners within Graduate School VLAGWageningen University - Department Agro-Technology & Food SciencesMore information: http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Chair-groups.htmCluster Food Sciences:1. Food Chemistry, Prof. H. Gruppen2. Food Microbiology, Prof. M.H. Zwietering3. Food Process Engineering, Prof. R.M. Boom4. Food Quality and Design, Prof. V. Fogliano5. Physics and Physical Chemistry of Foods, Prof. E. van der LindenCluster Bio-based Sciences:6. Biobased Commodity Chemicals, Prof. J. Sanders / Prof. H. Bitter7. Bioprocess Engineering, Prof. R.H. WijffelsCluster Bio-molecular Sciences:8. Biochemistry, Prof. S. de Vries9. BioNano Technology, Prof. A.H. Velders10. Biophysics, Prof. H. van Amerongen11. Microbiology, Prof. W.M. de Vos12. Organic Chemistry, Prof. H. Zuilhof13. Physical Chemistry and Colloid Sciences, Prof. J. Van Der Gucht14. Systems and Synthetic Biology, Prof. V. Martins Dos Santos15. Host-Microbe Interactomics, Prof. J. Wells* (Animal Sciences Group)Cluster Nutrition Sciences:16. Nutrition & Health, Prof. F.J. Kok17. Nutrition & Epidemiology, Prof. P. van ‘t Veer18. Nutrition, Metabolism & Genomics, Prof. M. Muller19. Nutrition & Pharmacology, Prof. R. Witkamp20. Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, Prof. C. de Graaf21. Toxicology, Prof. I.M.C.M. RietjensMaastricht University - NUTRIM - School for Nutrition, Toxicology & MetabolismMore information about the research groups at: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/NUTRIMResearch Line 1: Metabolic syndrome (Prof. R.P. Mensink)- Programme 1: Energy balance and obesity- Programme 2: Diabetes and cardiovascular disease riskResearch Line 2: Gut-liver homeostasis (Prof. A.A.M. Masclee)- Programme 1: Gut-liver metabolism- Programme 2: Intestinal integrity and defenceResearch Line 3: Chronic inflammatory disease and wasting (Prof. L.J.C. van Loon)- Programme 1: Inflammation and oxidant-antioxidant networks- Programme 2: Skeletal muscle weakness in ageing and diseaseResearch Line 4: Gene-environment interactions (Prof. F.J. van Schooten)- Programme 1: Disease susceptibilityFood & Biobased Research (FBR) - Contact: Prof. Harry Wichers or Erik van SeventerRIKILT- Institute of Food Safety - Contact: Prof. Michel NielenTNO Healthy Living - Contact: Dr Henk HendriksNIZO Food Research - Contact: Dr. Peter de JongRIVM - National Institute of Public Health and the Environment – Contact: Prof. Hans Verhagen3

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