Please review the Fellowship announcement text and make final amendments where needed

Due date: 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hi Luce,

Can I ask you to review the Fellowship announcement text to see if we can go with this w.r.t to the Grant agreement and rules?

You'll find it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MjGniB5Rx2OA7KZoVTofecmrT6LCivQkjcHAxgyxA8s/edit#

Assign to: 

LuceChiodelliUB
Alberto
Costantino
Nadia
melancon
markomanka

Status: 

Open

Priority: 

Very High ("ASAP")
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Comments

Sure

LuceChiodelliUB's picture

Sure, I'll make a first review on Monday and let you know by the next community call.

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More elements

Alberto's picture

Luce: the 20 small Fellowships are the 20 high quality posts mentioned as part of task 2.1 (mentioned also as deliverable D2.2). The 3 large ones are the open competition mentioned as part of task T1.2.

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Waiting for an official approval

LuceChiodelliUB's picture

Hello, 

I have reviewed the text and asked our project officer by the EC for advice (my only concern was: "can we give away cash or do we have to redistribute it to the winners through goods or services ?"). 
If I may: to get you covered, it could be useful to give as precise as possible criteria for evaluating the project, even though you have to keep the call open to very different types of projects. Maybe through Ezio's recommendations ? 

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No Idea how to do this

Nadia's picture
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Is this for our accountability?

Noemi's picture

@LuceChiodelliUB are these so that a reviewer later can check that some very specific evaluation criteria were respected and that the selection of Fellows was not done randomnly, or in unfair, biased ways? This could go in a page with the Terms and Conditions (explaining also who the selection committee is, how many days to inform participants, how/if any document will underpin their reception of the award) and legalese (?)

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Exactly

LuceChiodelliUB's picture

Hi @Noemi

This exactly what I meant - the aim is to give a very clear context to get you covered. I also thought of something like an evaluation grid (at least for the 20 000€ projects) and a short mention of the selection process, that you could use and later keep in archive in case of audits. It would confirm the transparent and objective selection of the projects. It shouldn't be a big deal, just a few lines to provide transparent information to the applicants on what is ahead of them when they submit a project. What do you think?

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Fellowships not eligible for opencare

LuceChiodelliUB's picture

@Alberto / @Nadia / @Noemi /@markomanka / @melancon

Hello, 

I have just received an answer from the EC referring to the fellowships.

I am sorry to tell you that they refused the fellowship action for several reasons:

  1. Cash prizes are not foreseen for CAPS programs ("Sub-grants and Prizes are not foreseen in the work programme (ICT-10-  CAPS) therefore could not be accepted.")
     
  2. Bordeaux feared that the cash prizes may not be eligible, so when we asked for confirmation, we came up with alternatives (for instance, access to international conferences paid by opencare, hiring people with a contract up to the amount of the biggest prize).
    The EC considers it as "subcontracting" (to them you delegate some of your tasks to an external party), but the EC needs it to be described explicitly in the DoA.

    Unfortunately, the DOA clearly states "no third parties involved", making the fellowship program not eligible for the opencare project.
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Clearly a glitch

Alberto's picture

Ok, so: we were transparent in stating we would have an open competition etc. in the proposal. All the material about it is still in the GA. So we have a conflict between form and substance, within the GA.

Additionally, we select, through an open competition, a small number of prototypes for ideas already being developed in the community; and provide them with seed funding and support in return for them testing their own ideas and sharing the results with OpenCare.

Clearly the substance must prevail. This is critical for the fairness of engagement. We should escalate this and ask that the DOA is amended, not because we are changing our project but because we are not changing it. Can this be done? And how soon?

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Already approved in the proposal and grant agreement

Nadia's picture

Hi Luce

The grants have already been approved as part of the winning proposal, they are an explicit deliverable and an absolute requirement for successful engagement of people in the project. Also it is not correct that the EC does not approve this, it has in fact already been done in Catalyst. I am afraid we have to ask you to get back to Loretta and or Fabrizio Sestini and insist they look up the Catalyst example and how it was handled administratively.... thanks!

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Approved in the GA?

melancon's picture

@Nadia Following the different replies in this thread.

Can you point at the precise sections of the GA where this has be properly defined? I am going to have a look with Luce before the meeting tomorrow (Fri May 13, noon) but any help is welcome.

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Description of WP1

Alberto's picture

:-)

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CA ?

melancon's picture

You got me :-) WHat you point to is the Description of Action (DoA) part of the Grant Agreement. What I had in mind was a more financial/administrative document that would lay down in financial/administrative terms that money would be used the way we intend.

I do not see any document of that nature that would make it clear that the commission is ok with using the money to fund socially innovative initiatives (etc. as phrased in WP1).

Of course, I intend to bring WP1 upfront and explain how critical the issue is for opencare.

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vague memories...

markomanka's picture

Good morning @Nadia

is my memory betraying me, or had we foreseen this issue and discussed the idea that we would be spending the "granted" money via our own organizations for material/travels/scholarships?

This way we would not be handing over stringless cash...

Wouldn't this solve this problem?

(FYI @melancon)
 

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Correct but not for same reason

Nadia's picture

We want to ensure we get the deliverable for which we would be awarding the money. Patrick had at some point suggsted giving a part of it up front but I thought it better that if there are costs involved e.g. for trips that we purchase them on behalf of the grantees...that way we have reciepts etc for each expense. But this is only for the period before they have completed everything after which we would have to hand over cash.

For the smaller grants (in exchange for stories) this is neither relevant nor possible...

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Let's fight back

melancon's picture

I am no specialist of EC regulations. Assuming we can indeed amend the DoA, then the arguments you bring should be put into appropriate form to formally ask for such an amendment.

Did you mention all of this earlier, is it me who did not notice the info, lost in the sea of comments on edgeryders?

Guy

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This is new

Alberto's picture

Very new, in fact. Guy, you might have to escalate to Loretta and Fabrizio. 

Please, liaise tightly with Nadia. She needs to say the right things in Berlin, and can use the opportunity to lobby for a solution. 

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"Crisis" meeting

melancon's picture

@markomanka and @Alberto and @Nadia and @LuceChiodelliUB and @Rossana Torri and @Costantino and @zoescope and @Lakomaa

We need to meet to decide on a way to re-address our demands to Loretta -- which she will probably need to herself address to the upper level to make sure we don't get trapped with the control people at the end. All partners must assign priority to this meeting. From what I understand, that's everyone except maybe EHFF (City of Milano?), is concerned (UBx is concerned in that it officially is coordinator). We cannot wait until June to address this issue.

One thing Loretta mentions very clearly: awarding money to non partner participants simply is not possible for CAPS actions (she seems to indicate it is allowed in other actions, but she makes it clear for CAPS).

A possible solution would be (I am using conditional here) to make the support we provide through sub-contracting. That is, to qualify as sub-contrator, those people a partner supports must indeed help this partner to fulfill its planned tasks and deliverables. So we will need to argue in that direction. This has a number of consequences on the budget side. Whatever falls in subcontrating does not qualify for indirect costs, so what that means is we would need to adjust budgets for partners.

This anyway requires that we reopen the Grant Agreement and amend it, and get official acceptation by the commission (and by all partners). My colleagues in Bordeaux (Luce, Adeline) will help us deal with this process.

Please make yourself available. I am available (I am in Quebec, Canada with a -6time differnece)

-- Thursday May 12 (tomorrow), starting at noon Paris time (6am here in Quebec)

-- Friday May 13, starting at noon until 2pm

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Remark and proposal

Alberto's picture

Remark: the following clashes with my experience.

awarding money to non partner participants simply is not possible for CAPS actions

CATALYST was a CAPS project, and it had a very formal open call to third parties. Here are all the documents (selection criteria, deadlines) etc., altso useful for @LuceChiodelliUB): http://projects.sigma-orionis.com/catalyst/open-call-collaboration/. I was involved both consortium-side (as Wikitalia) and open call-side (Edgeryders applied and got funded, and delivered great value for the project). Engagement in CATALYST was very low, nothing like OpenCare, and that move saved our asses. 

Proposal: we (Edgeryders) already cleared with Luce that it is possible for partners to hire independent workers. This is done through something the GA calls an "equivalent appointing act" to an employment contract. She has a list of four conditions for that to happen.

1. The partner keeps results from the person's work.
2. The employee's tasks are duly determined by the partners from the start.
3. He/she works in the partner's premises.
4. The costs related to his contract are not significantly different from those for personnel performing similar tasks under an employment contract with the partner.

These conditions are all met if we accept that OpenCare's premises is the platform... which is true, this is the place where we are doing most of our work. It would be ironic if a DG CNECT programme called Collective Awareness Platforms did not recognize digital platforms as a legitimate workspace! Condition 1 is a bit stressful on the social contract, but we can solve this by specifying we release the content as CC-BY immediately.

So, three possibilities, from easier to harder:

  1. Easy: we invoke the CATALYST precedent, copy their procedure and go ahead. 
  2. Hard: we structure fellowships as "employment equivalent" paid collaborations, done through equivalent appointing acts. The appointing partner will be the aprtner that puts up the fellowship: for now we have fellowships from SF, EDGE, EHHS.
  3. Harder: we structure fellowhips as subcontracting and amend the DOA.

In the meeting, I will stand in for Edgeryders. I am available at both the times you suggest.

 

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CATALYST GA

melancon's picture

Would it be possible to get (and then share) the CATALYST project GA and proposal so we can explicitly refer to it and pass it on to Loretta if needed?

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available

Costantino's picture

Ciao, 

i'm available for both time.

but I think this will be more possible tomorrow (Friday 13th at noon Paris time)

Costantino

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My input

Lakomaa's picture

Did you need my input on this? It was not clear from the text above. (it said maybe not)

I'm travelling but if it of the outmost importance I can reschedule an take part in the meeting. 

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Where?

markomanka's picture

@melancon what platform are we going to host this call on?

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Meeting Friday May 13, noon, Paris time

melancon's picture
Assign to:
LuceChiodelliUB
»
LuceChiodelliUB
»
Alberto
»
Costantino
»
Nadia
»
melancon
»
markomanka

This does not have to be long. I want to have a live discussion to make sure I am not missing any important point before coming back to Loretta.

Prepare all material and arguments such as the one exposed by Alberto in the above post. I need this to back up our request. I plan to have a draft of a document and will circulate it when done. You might only find it later today (remember I just got out of bed ... :-)

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Not sure I'll be on time tomorrow...

Rossana Torri's picture

I'll do my best...

Rossana

 

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I might be late

LuceChiodelliUB's picture

Hello all, 

I have an impromptu office meeting at 11 this morning ... I therefore can't guarantee that I'll be there from the start, I might join at about 12:30 at the latest, sorry :(

 

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UPDATE MEETING about fellowship

Costantino's picture

Hi, 

I think that we need an update meeting about the fellowship situation. 

I heard that we've something to discuss! 

let me know using this doodle

http://doodle.com/poll/b6qy9362u8kyec4t

@Alberto @LuceChiodelliUB @markomanka @melancon @Rossana Torri @Lakomaa

 

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Thanks, my specific question:

Noemi's picture

Clearly the more problematics seem to be the larger amounts - the case study fellowships. With research/storytelling fellowships at ER we have an explicit deliverable for 20 commissioned blogposts - which are commissioned to fellows, so that shouldn't be an issue. What I would need guidance is looking into the contracts needed. Is there a way we can simply give the 250eur per piece based on an invoice?

noemi

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Situation still unclear

melancon's picture

Hi all, (this comment intersects with https://edgeryders.eu/en/comment/23155#comment-23155)

@Alberto and of course @Noemi and @Nadia -- I actually don't know who is on the sterring committee for ER,

@Costantino and of course @zoescope -- again I'm not sure who is the "official" WeMake person on the steering committee,

@Lakomaa,

@LuceChiodelliUB,

@markomanka (and @Massimo?),

@Rossana Torri (anybody else from City of Milano?)

--

The question asked by @Noemi will get an official, clear and administratively/financial robust answer after we have met with Loretta -- but this will have to happen in July due to schedule constraints, mine and Loretta's.

It's nevertheless a good idea to have a live discussion as suggested by Costantino. Please fill in the doodle -- this is mandatory for those who are on the steering committee. We will need to also spend some time discussing all this live in Stockholm too. Let's say we use the call to go over the facts before we study the situation again in Stockholm.

The live discussion could be framed around the possible scenarios to fund fellowships (Case study fellowships):

  • Hiring people as interns (feasible for academic institutions such as UBx and EHFF for sure)
  • "Appointing" people is feasible, when at least this is part of the organization usual administrative processes (@LuceChiodelliUB can clarify). Loretta indicated the commission has eased the terms under which "appointments" can be made. More to come later on this.
  • Subcontracting is an option but requires that we amend the Grant Agreement -- and we can't be 100% sure the commission will accept to amend it the way we wish. @Noemi: as far as I understand, paying on invoice is considered as subcontracting.
  • Giving away money does not comply with the commission's financial, admin and legal rules. I know this is bugging us, but ignoring the rule can have a number of consequences.

 

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City of Milano

Rossana Torri's picture

Hi @melancon and all

I informed Lucia Scopelliti and filled the doodle. We are available on the 8th.

Should you opt for other dates, no problem. We discussed the topic with WeMake and Costantino can bring our point of view, so as to advance the discussion.

As you said we'll come back to the topic at the consortium meeting.

Thank you!

 

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Research Fellowships are not giving away money

Noemi's picture

Hey @melancon, I am replying here to your earlier comment on the community call notes so we have all fellowships related content in one thread.

So I had agreed above  to the document describing the process of selection for our reviewers, but because the discussion around fellowships is still pending and because we have no green light for the larger fellowships, I hadn't put up any public page.

For the purpose of the Op3nCare Research Fellowships (paid articles) I am willing to append a document to go along with the reporting. But technically these are not free prizes, they are ER process for contracting articles - which are still to come. Citing Alberto from above: the 20 small Fellowships are the 20 high quality posts mentioned as part of task 2.1 (mentioned also as deliverable D2.2).  D2.2 is due in November, care of Edgeryders, and will be the collection of articles.

For the purpose of the Case Study Fellowships we will need to draft it together with partners and launch the document in compliance to EC requirements. The 3 large ones are the open competition mentioned as part of task T1.2.  The Open Competition text as Deliverable 1.3 is care of SCIMPulse. I will help put it together if @markomanka calls for help, but what to put in, given the above discussed stalling?!   

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Open Competition text as Deliverable 1.3

melancon's picture

@markomanka as deliverable 1.3 lead beneficiaries

-- please everyone go back to @Alberto 's post on deliverable seen as shared responsiblities

@Noemi who offers to help, and other EdgeRyders and Scimpulse people, @LuceChiodelliUB as admin head

Deliverable 1.3 due date is today. Because the Open Call obviously links with the possibility we have to fund fellowships, we had more or less decided to wait until we had discussed the issue with Loretta. This won't happen but in July (a first foreseen date was June 3rd, but we had to postpone it because Loretta wants the coordinator to be physically present at the meeting, and I am stuck in Quebec until mid-June).

The situation we are in does not allow us to be as precise as we would liked to be in te Call regarding the type of funding we are offering.

Here is what I propose. We nevertheless deliver a version_0 Call text to comply with the deliverable agenda, and omit information that enters the scope of the future discussion with Loretta. We may however produce an accompanying document explaining the situation, explaining why this is version_0 of the Call, and update the deliverable following the July discussion. I think submitting something that's partial is preferable to not submitting anything -- we would then need to produce a document explaining why we didn't submit on time (which, in terms of effort, equals the effort needed to write a 1-2 page accompanying doc).

@markomanka ?

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We have the version_0 call:

Noemi's picture
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it doesn't let me click the link

zoescope's picture

Hi @Noemi

it says: denied , when i roll over the link at the footer of the browser

why?

z

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Fixed

Noemi's picture

Dunno. But clicking opens a denied page where a simple hackis to just edit the link removing the first word. Fixed it anyway.. should work

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We (I) have a problem

melancon's picture

@markomanka and @Alberto and @LuceChiodelliUB

Thanks @Noemi for pointing at this version 0 doc.

I don't understand why Scimpulse has not responded to my comment.

Here is what the coordinator believe is the right action to take, partly because we (UBx) are left with no clear signal. I understand the situation is blurred but we nevertheless have to forward a deliverable to comply with our agenda.

I am unsure the version_0 doc is from EdgeRyders only. Has Scimpulse been invited to review/edit this doc. I plan to use this as a starting point assuming we (UBx) have to do it.

Please react if you feel I am mislead. As I had mentioned, I think it's wrong to adopt a wait-and-see strategy and not deliver anything.

 

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Costantino is on the steering committee

zoescope's picture

The "official" WeMake person on the steering committee is @Costantino

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Conference call?

Lakomaa's picture

Was any decision made on when to hold a confernce call? 

Further, isn´t this an internal ER issue? I have no objections on how other project partners chose to use their funds. 

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Yes, conference call today 13:30 CET

melancon's picture

Thanks for the reminder Erik.

No it's not only an ER issue, as far as I understand.

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