APPLICATION PROCESS

STEP 1: PUBLICATION OF THE CALL

The selection process starts on 15th November 2021, with the announcement of the call. Online application1 to the ER positions is open throughout the duration of the call (3 months) and will close on 15th February 2022, at 23:59 local time (CET). Please note that the entire application process is online, and no paperwork will be allowed via other means of communication, such as mail or email.

 


 

1 For details about the online application, please refer to our Online Application User Manual.

STEP 2: PREPARING THE APPLICATION

The application process is entirely electronic and consists of filling up a form where ERs will be asked to provide:

 

  • Details about his/her name and surname, researcher ID, contact details, etc.
  • Declarations of candidate eligibility (communication rule, mobility and research experience).
  • Summary of research proposal (title, acronym, MSCA descriptors, research area, research abstract).
  • Answers to questions about proposed research activities that may raise Ethical Issues.
  • List of top 3 choices for project supervisors at USAL.
  • Host-institution from the non-academic sector (secondment 2).

 

And uploading the following documents:

 

  • Scanned copy of identity card, resident’s card or passport currently in force.
  • Diploma for his/her Doctoral Degree or certificate justifying at least four years’ full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline.
  • Certificate of contract, residence, enrolment or long stays outside Spain to justify the mobility rule.
  • (Optionally) Certificate of proficiency in English (minimum C1 level as measured by CEFR, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • Scientific proposal (according to the template provided in the application «supporting documents»), including:
    • Project research proposal, which consists of Excellence, Impact and Implementation sections, and it will be limited to 10 pages.
    • Curriculum Vitae.
    • Ethics self-assessment, where those ERs who flag ethical issues in the online application form should explain them in this section.
  • Letter of commitment from the USAL supervisor (according to the template provided in the application supporting documents). It will only be necessary to get one letter of commitment from the first USAL supervisor option.
  • Letter of commitment of the selected Partner organizations, which will host the candidate during mandatory secondment (according to the template provided in the application supporting documents).
  • Letter(s) of reference (up to 3). At least one Letter of reference is mandatory (according to the template provided in the application supporting documents).
  • (If applicable):
    • Career break form (according to the template provided in the application supporting documents). For those candidates having parental and adoption leaves, long term illness, clinical treatment, inactivity in research or displacement because of conflict, etc.
    • Disability certificate. Proof of candidate’s disability so that he/she can avail of the benefits reserved for researchers with special needs.
    • Refugee certificate. Proof of candidate’s status as a refugee.

 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Electronic form and uploaded documents must be completed in English language.

STEP 3: ELIGIBILITY CHECK

Once the application deadline has passed, the applications and the attached documents will be checked against the eligibility criteria. Applicants may be contacted if additional documents are required.

STEP 4: EVALUATION PROCESS

The evaluation process consists of following steps:

 

  • Remote assessment: Each proposal and candidate’s background will be evaluated remotely by 3 international experts according to the evaluation criteria. Each expert2 will elaborate an individual evaluation report on the candidate.
  • Online consensus meeting: The 3 international experts will examine and compare the individual reports, to check on the consistency of the scores applied and, where necessary, to propose a new set of scores. The meetings will result in a consensus report, which will lead to the next step (interview assessment).
  • Interview assessment: The 40 highest ranked candidates above the threshold (70/100)3 will be required to present their research project and CV in an interview through videoconference. The interview will be valued with 10% of the total score, while the other 90% will be the result of the score obtained in the evaluation criteria. Only candidates whose scores are above the different threshold will keep going into the interview assessment.

For more details about the evaluation process and the evaluation criteria, please have a look at our Guide for Applicant.

 


 

2 External experts will sign a contract, including a declaration of confidentiality and absence of conflict of interest, before beginning their work. Confidentiality rules must be always adhered to before, during and after the evaluation.

 

3 The 40 highest ranked proposals will be sent by MT to the Research Ethics Committee (for the Preliminary Ethics Review in order to highlight possible ethical issues that have not been identified by the candidates in their proposals) and to the EIC Equality Inclusion Committee (to identify key strategic and operational issues relevant to equality, diversity and inclusion in the proposals). Please, see section 8 (Guide for applicants) for ethical considerations during the application process.

STEP 5: CANDIDATE SELECTION

For each candidate’s report, a Final Report on the candidate will be elaborated. This report will be used for resolving the call, considering:

 

  • The applicants’ scores.
  • The research area.
  • The equality (ensuring that none of the two sexes have a greater presence than 60% or less than 40%).
  • Special needs (guaranteeing a minimum percentage of 3-5% for people with special needs4 ). These quotas for underrepresented groups will be respected if the candidates exceed the minimum threshold (70/100).

 


 

4 If those positions are not filled, this percentage will be released on to the Reserve List.

STEP 6: RESULTS COMMUNICATION

The Reserve and Rejection List and the Selected Candidate List. The candidates will be personally notified (through and emailed letter), based on the results of the final report. Additionally, candidates can complain about the results of the selection process (within the next 10 working days using the redress template provided).

STEP 7: FORMAL FELLOW APPOINTMENT

The final step in the process consists of the contract signing, which formalizes the beginning of the relationship between USAL and the fellow.

 

IMPORTANT DATES TO NOTE:

  • Call launch: 15/11/2021
  • Submission deadline: 15/02/2022
  • Final list of eligible/rejected candidates: February 2022
  • Evaluation of eligible candidates: March 2022 – May 2022
  • Ranking list of candidates after the evaluation phase: May 2022
  • Final selection of candidates (interview phase): June 2022
  • Official notification of winners: June 2022
  • Contract signing & beginning of fellowship (approximately): since July 2022

 

COMPLAINTS MECHANISM:

All applicants are entitled to request a redress procedure during the selection process if the applicant believes that a mistake has been made during the selection process that may affect the outcome of the eligibility check or assessment process. Detailed information of complaints mechanism is provided in the Guide for Applicants and the template required is available on this website.