During an online Info Session on the EPICradle on April 07th, 2022 – participants interested in applying for an EPICradle Fellowship had the opportunity to exchange and discuss with EPICUR Research staff members and other interested participants. Targeted at Early Career Researchers – from PhD students, junior group leaders to assistant professors – who are planning to apply for an EPICradle in 2022 (Applications are still open until April 15, 2022!), this Info Session offered room for networking, exchange and discuss pressing questions concerning the application process, conditions of the EPICradle fellowship etc. We have compiled the most important questions in a FAQ for you here:
Q1: Is there an option to network if you didn’t attend an EPICamp?
The original idea was that EPICamps should be a place to meet other ECRs and form groups of 3-5 researchers and then apply for an EPICradle as a group. Researchers were supposed to find collaboration partners on their own if they had not attended an EPICamp. There is no general mailing list for this task since partners should have certain overlaps in their research interests and this needs to be determined on an individual basis.
However, EPICUR might be able to connect individual researchers still looking for a group as well as groups lacking team members to apply for an EPICradle. Contact information of these two groups can be forwarded to the ECR board, who will take care of sharing this information on a central platform or in some other way. Spatial Chat might be used as a platform on which ECRs can connect outside of the EPICamps. This could potentially be problematic in terms of organisation since we would need fixed time slots, so ECRs don’t narrowly miss one another. There is no time to organise another EPICamp as an additional networking opportunity.
This issue was initially not accounted for and there should perhaps be a standardised solution for future events of this scope.
Q2: How detailed should the scientific question for an EPICradle application be?
There is no need to have a full project proposal when you apply. It is primarily about showing you have an interesting idea connecting to at least one EPIChallenge and that the team members’ backgrounds are able to contribute to the project in a meaningful way. You should show that you have a rough idea for what you would like to do during the EPICradle and how you want to develop your common research idea.
Since it is a competition and there is a Selection Committee, you should be able to show that you have a viable idea that can be turned into a project proposal by the end of the EPICradle. The clearer the idea, the better, but even just drafting ideas for further joint proposals is a good way to start.
Q3: Do I have to provide travel costs in my budget proposal for the EPICradle application or is this included in the 3,000€ personal stipend?
This depends on who is travelling: Your personal travel costs to Freiburg for the physical-stay-phases of the EPICradle will be covered by your personal stipend. However, field trips or excursions for the EPICradle – given that this is a group activity (i.e., agreed on by ALL team members) – are included in the 5,000€ group budget.
Q4: Does our group have to come from different universities, or can members come from the same university?
We expect two groups of up to five ECRs from different partner universities. Within one group, applicants must come from three different EPICUR countries per institutional affiliation (Germany, France, Netherlands, Greece, Poland, and Austria) and must represent at least three different EPICUR universities.
Q5: The Envisioned Output and Dissemination Proposal for the application mentions not only scientific results but also original and innovative formats – What does that mean?
EPICUR wants to go beyond classical research activities, so your output should connect to civil society. We are open to all ideas; there is room for you to explore and test the limits of academic research. The focus is not just on publications but also on applicability to the general public. This output can obviously be something written but is not limited to that. The dissemination does not have to happen during the EPICradle since this is more a pre-phase of research. You should aim to conceptualise your output, including actors outside of academia, e.g., artists etc. Focus on what your starting point is and then describe your ideal process of distribution.
Q6: For the application process, it is stated that you should hand in a Letter of Recommendation. Is this also mandatory for Post-Docs/Assistant Professors or only for doctoral students?
Doctoral students are asked to provide a Letter of Recommendation to ensure that the EPICradle does not interfere with their work and to avoid conflicts of interest between parties. As such, the answer depends on your personal situation: Postdocs and Assistant Professors are not necessarily required to hand in a Letter of Recommendation but can do so if they wish to inform their surroundings of their intention to participate in an EPICradle. A letter of Recommendation can, of course, also be seen as an additional testimony to the suitability and fit of both the individuals and their topics from the perspective of the applicants’ scientific environment and thus strengthen the persuasiveness of the application.
Do you still have questions? Read more on EPICradles here or watch our Introduction Video to EPICradle: