Some of the biggest European university and research associations have come together to call on the European Union to follow their 10 recommendations for European research: the Coimbra Group, the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH), the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA), the European University Association (EUA), the League of European Research Universities (LERU), The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and The Leiden Group.
The group have issued 10 recommendations which echo many of the key concerns surrounding the next Framework Programme (FP9) expressed by research and university associations. Together they take a hard line in advocating zero compromise on excellence as a funding criteria, whilst at the same time calling for a more open and inclusive Framework Programme across disciplines, countries and stakeholders. They also call for improvements in the Commission’s evaluation process, increases to the applicant success rates and further simplification of the programme.
From the text:
- “Maintain ‘Excellence’ as the most important selection criterion across all of H2020 and into FP9;
- Enhance the trustworthiness and transparency of the evaluation process;
- Implement mechanisms to address the low success rates which are raising participation costs and reducing the attractiveness of the programme;
- Address today’s global challenges which need the involvement of a wide variety of disciplines, including those that investigate humans, their culture, history, values and behaviour and which must also be reflected in research agendas;
- Substantially increase the funding allocation to both the ERC and MSCA programmes;
- Incentivise participation of all countries in the European Research Area (ERA) without compromising excellence in any way;
- Invest in frontier-led and collaborative, cross-border research, and maximise its impact on the citizens’ social, economic and cultural well-being across all areas of H2020 and FP9;
- Develop a more sophisticated and nuanced definition of ‘impact’ and an enriched and broadened definition of ‘innovation’. Apply the definitions consistently and appropriately, reflecting the differences between project types and durations;
- Further support open science ensuring benefits for society;
- Continue the process of simplification to reduce administrative barriers for all participants;”