T4.1. Preparation of Access Programmes and Systems

T4.1. Preparation of Access Programmes and Systems
T4.2. Scientific and logistic evaluation of proposals
T4.3 Follow-up of funded Access Projects
T4.4 Scientific data management

Lead: AWI

Three access programmes are planned:
1) Ship-time and Marine Equipment Application (SEA programme) for access to the vessels and marine equipment through a full ship-time application, for which there will be a minimum of two Calls. This will give access to the full set of Eurofleets+ RVs and marine equipment across three regions in: i) the Mediterranean and Black Sea; ii) Baltic Sea, North Sea and Global; and iii) “North Atlantic” which will include the entire North Atlantic; as well as Greenland Sea, Norwegian sea and ice-free Arctic regions. The SEA programme will be complemented by the two additional programmes, namely Co-PI and Remote Transnational Access (RTA), thereby extending and widening the access to Eurofleets+ infrastructures.
2) Co-PI programme specifically aimed at early career researchers to implement their own research together with experienced scientists in Eurofleets+ scheduled cruises. Calls for the Co-PI programme will open in parallel to the SEA programme calls. A Call for the Co-PI programme will follow after a decision is granted in the SEA Programme offering the possibility to join and extend an already funded Eurofleets+ cruise. The Co-PI programme will also be open to applications in a continuous running call.
3) Remote Transnational Access (RTA programme) to provide researchers with remote access to samples or data from a Eurofleets + fleet vessel. RTA programme applications will be submitted in a continuous running Call and will be evaluated twice per year. Remote access will allow smaller projects, sample or data needs, to be addressed, when this can be accomplished with one day of ship time.

Preparation of the Programmes and Systems will involve:

  • Development of a central evaluation system and Call documentation. Procedures for submission and independent peer review evaluation of proposals were successfully applied during Eurofleets and Eurofleets 2. These will be updated and adapted for Eurofleets+ to provide a common access point and common evaluation to all the vessels and equipment. This task will be initiated immediately at the start of the project. The focus will be on ensuring a user-friendly online portal and system to provide support, information, and accessibility to potential applicants (see also T4.2).
  • All accompanying documentation for each of the Eurofleets+ Access Programmes will be developed, to include: eligibility, evaluation and selection criteria; proposal templates; application and evaluation guidelines; and all relevant information about the participating research vessels and marine equipment (e.g. specification of the research vessel profiles, equipment on board, availability and operational areas, and associated ROVs, AUVs and telepresence option).
  • Experts will be contacted for their interest and potential availability for the User Selection Panel and for the external referees for remote evaluation of proposals (see T4.2).
  • Detailed information on the availability of the research vessels and marine equipment, operational areas and interoperability of systems will be prepared in advance of the Call opening.
  • Call advertising and promotion will be designed to reach as many potential applicants as possible in collaboration with WP9. Promotion and communication of the Calls will be done through mailing lists established in Eurofleets 1 and Eurofleets 2 and updated through interaction with WP5 (T5.2 Stakeholder database). We will also use websites, personal contacts and social media tools. The Calls will be advertised at international congresses, symposia, workshops, and expositions by oral presentations, posters and flyers.
  • A handbook will be compiled summarising the prerequisites for getting access to the research vessels, such as mandatory health checks, lack of criminal record, visa requirements, etc. Such prerequisites will take account of relevant European and national regulations.
  • Procedures and support measures will be developed to ensure that the pre-cruise stage progresses smoothly for each of the end-user projects.