First Call for MARGISTAR Conference Grant for Young Researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC)


MARGISTAR has announced a new conference grant to support researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC). This conference grant offers researchers and innovators under the age of 40 and active in Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs) or Near Neighbour Countries (NNCs) funding for attending and presenting at academic conferences until September 2023.

Up to €1,500 for young researchers attending face-to-face conferences

Young researchers wishing to attend face-to-face or virtual conferences can now apply until 22 May 2023 to receive one of two €1,500 or €500 grants from MARGISTAR. In particular, MARGISTAR will support conference presentations that deal with topics relevant to the COST Action, for example on the sustainability of mountainous areas, periphery traps, visions of post-marginalised futures, and transformation pathways in, of, and for mountainous areas.

Who is eligible to receive the MARGISTAR ITC Grant?

ITC Grants are intended for young researchers and innovators under the age of 40 who are affiliated with a legal entity based in:

  • A COST Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC)
  • A Near Neighbour Country (NNC)

A list of these countries can be found in the COST Country and Organization Table.

To be eligible, candidates must present an oral or poster presentation of their own work. The COST Action programme and the MARGISTAR COST Action must be acknowledged in the presentation using the official logos and visual identity. The main subject of the presentation must fall in line with the scope and topics of MARGISTAR and grantees are expected to actively network with other participants to promote MARGISTAR to potential stakeholders.

How do applicants apply for the MARGISTAR ITC Grant?

The application process is organised through the e-COST platform and is open until 22 May 2023.

To apply, applicants should log in and click on the ‘Grant Applications’ tab. The application form can be accessed by clicking ‘Apply for grant’ and selecting ‘ITC Conference Grant’ on the ‘Apply for new grant’ page. The application form requires the following details:

  • Presentation title;
  • Conference title;
  • The conference date, which must fall within the active Grant Period (10 June-30 September) and may not overlap across two consecutive Grant Periods;
  • Conference country;
  • Attendance type (face-to-face or virtual);
  • Amount requested for the ITC Grant.

To complete an application, the following documents must be uploaded:

  • The ITC Grant application (download here);
  • The abstract of the accepted oral or poster presentation;
  • The acceptance letter from the conference organisers;
  • A cover letter explaining how the application matches the criteria of this call. The cover letter should include a clear statement explaining whether the applicant is receiving other funds for participation in this conference;
  • A short CV in the Europass format;
  • A breakdown of the estimated cost of the conference.

How will ICT Grant applications be evaluated?

Following the application deadline on 22 May 2023, all grant applications will be assessed by the MARGISTAR Grant Awarding Coordinators and MARGISTAR Core Group. It is anticipated that decisions will be made within ten working days of the deadline. The MARGISTAR Core Group will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:

  1. Contribution to MARGISTAR COST Action objectives and deliverables: In particular, the assessment will consider the relevance of the proposed presentation for the advancement of the MARGISTAR proposal and publication and/or further research potential. The explanation of how research will support MARGISTAR in achieving its scientific objectives will be strongly considered. Priority will be given to the members of the MARGISTAR COST Action and those whose research interests align with the Action.
  2. Compliance of the conference topic with the MARGISTAR COST Action: The selected conference must align with topics related to the sustainability of mountainous areas and in particular address periphery traps in mountain areas, visions of post-marginalised futures, or transformation pathways in, of, and for mountain areas.
  3. Contribution to the applicant’s career development: In the cover letter, the applicant should explicitly address their motivation for participating in the conference in terms of new knowledge, visibility, and career development. The establishment of new contacts for future research collaborations and impact on the applicant’s career will be strongly considered in the evaluation.
  4. Inclusiveness criteria: Applicants not benefitting of other funds (all types, directly or indirectly) will have priority. Gender balance, geographic coverage, and distribution among different MARGISTAR Working Groups will also be considered. Previous successful applicants are not excluded from applying, but preference and priority will be given to applicants who have not been awarded an ITC Grant in the past.
  5. Coherence of the proposal: This criterion considers the cost involved, mobility (i.e., the duration and destination of the proposed travel), and impact of the presentation. Oral presentations are favoured over poster presentations, as are presentations developed within a collaborative project comprising two (or more) COST Member Countries.

What do grantees need to do after the conference?

After attending the conference, grantees must submit your travel documentation within 15 days and a conference report and supporting documents within 30 days via e-COST. This includes:

  • The complete conference report, using the COST template;
  • A scientific report on the outcomes of the conference participation. This will be published as a blog post to the MARGISTAR website;
  • A copy of the given presentation (oral or poster);
  • Conference proceedings indicating the grantee’s presentation (oral or poster);
  • A certificate of attendance from the conference;
  • Receipt of the paid conference fee.

If the Conference dates are modified by the organisers, the grantee should get in touch with the Grant Awarding Coordinator and provide an updated Acceptance Letter certifying the change of the Conference Dates. The Action Grant Manager will then provide an updated Grant Letter.

The grant is paid after the report has been approved by the Management Committee Chair; all grantees will be  notified as such via email. The grant application, conference attendance, report, and grant payment must start and end during the Grant Period (i.e., before September 2023). In no case should grantees begin their mobility period before receiving confirmation of the Grant.

For additional information about this call, please contact MARGISTAR ITC Conference Grants Coordinator Diana Valero, [email protected] or the MARGISTAR Grant awarding coordination team at [email protected].

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About MARGISTAR & How To Join

The MARGISTAR forum reflects collaboratively on natural, environmental, social, and economic inter-relationships and interactions in mountainous areas, and identifies a range of environmental, social, economic, and political challenges. It enables innovation by co-designing pathways for the transformation of marginalised mountainous areas towards their green, digital and healthy futures.

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