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Procedure and Selection


1. There will be 3 calls for proposal submissions: 

30 Apr - 30 Sep 2021; 15 Jan - 15 Apr 2022;  Sep-Oct 2022

The deadline for the third call is 31 Oct 2022 (23h59 Lisbon local time).


2. Applications should be submitted here.


3. The entrants must provide the following items:

        a) Name and affiliation.

b) Project title and the state of the art of their field of interest and the question(s) to address in their proposal (maximum of 3.000 characters, including spaces).

c) Summary of the experiments they want to perform using the prize money and how it will help them to answer their scientific questions (maximum of 3.000 characters, including spaces).

d) Budget indicating how the prize will be spent and if a secondment is required.

e) Two letters, one from the PhD supervisor and the other from the collaborative Group Leader / Head of Facility, confirming their support for the application and compliance with Ethics regulations. These letters should state the following:

" I [Name of PI/Collaborator] support the application of [Name of applicant] to the SymbNET PhD Prize.

The research to be developed at [Name of Institute] within the scope of the SymbNET PhD Prize complies with all national and European ethical and safety rules. The Laboratory / Facility where the project will be developed follows all national and European ethical and safety rules, and all licenses required for experimentation have been acquired.

[date] and [signature]”

This statement must be filled, even if the project does not raise ethical questions or licenses are required.


4. Eligibility requirements will be verified by the SymbNET task leader (Luís Valente, FCG-IGC) and contributors (Thomas Bosch, CAU; Philipp Engel, UNIL; Nassos Typas, EMBL) with the support from the project manager (Mariana Simões, FCG-IGC).


5. Proposals will be evaluated by a pool of 10 PhD students (reviewers), 2 from each  SymbNET participating institution. This pool of students will be nominated every year by the spokesperson from the different SymbNET partner Institutions.


6. Reviewers that work on research groups or services involved in any applications in that edition will be excluded from the evaluation process.


7. Reviewers will be asked if they have any conflict of interest (COI), as described here. Those who declare such COI will be excluded from the evaluation process. 


8. Each reviewer will provide a priority list with what they consider to be the 3 best applications. 


9. Selection will be based on: 

a) The relevance of the question being addressed (is the proposal addressing an important topic in the scientific areas represented in SymbNET?) 

b) The scientific strength of the proposal (are the experiments proposed well designed and able to address the scientific question?)

c) The feasibility of the proposal (are the experiments possible to do within 1 year? Are the experiments possible to complete with the prize money?)

d) The added value of the collaborative project to the PhD research


10. The 3 applications that are more frequently nominated by the reviewers are sent to an independent committee, who will select the winner.  This committee comprises two members of the Advisory Board: Nancy Moran (University of Texas at Austin, US), and Eduardo Rocha (Institut Pasteur, France).


11. If it is not possible to distinguish a top three due to an identical number of votes from the PhD review panel, all applications that are tied in one of the top three positions are sent to the advisory board, who will select a winner.


12. The selected project will be announced in October 2021, May 2022 and November/December 2022.


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