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Mindthegap Program

Mindthegap Programme - An outstanding career development opportunity in biomedical research

Mindthegap is an advanced postdoctoral training programme that aims to attract to iMM experienced researchers of any nationality, or to reintegrate Portuguese PhDs who have trained abroad. The programme provides state-of-the-art conditions for applicants to develop their leadership potential and to position them for success as research leaders.

Overall, Mindthegap Programme will recruit six postdoctoral fellows, in either Junior or Advanced Positions.

Each Mindthegap fellow will be offered the opportunity to:

  • Join an internationally competitive Group at iMM to develop an individual research project in a stimulating and truly multidisciplinary scientific environment;
  • Take part in complementary skills training activities;
  • Test the potential for technological development of his/her scientific ideas;
  • Benefit from an attractive work contract, which includes a living allowance (ranging from 46.800 to 58.500€ per year), travel mobility allowance and contribution to research and management costs.

The call is now closed.

Junior positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhDs (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least two years and up to six years prior to the publication of the call for proposals; Junior contracts will run for 30 months; ** Advanced positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least five years and up to nine years prior to the publication date of the call for proposals. Advanced contracts will run for 24 months.

Minthegap Programme has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement nº 608873.

  • Structure of the Training Programme

    Mindthegap programme includes five Training Components scheduled in a year calendar.

    A training programme will be available for fellows at the start of their contract and at the beginning of their second year of contract.

    1.Training Through Research
    The Training Through-Research corresponds to the implementation of Mindthegap fellow's research project, in coordination with the iMM Supervisor.

    2. Complementary Skills Training
    Two in-house short courses (1-2 days) on media training, presenting skills, ethics and scientific integrity, technology transfer, grant preparation and writing, especially tailored to a postdoctoral audience, will be delivered twice a year at iMM. In addition, at the end of their contract, Mindthegap fellows will be offered the opportunity to attend one of EMBO Laboratory Management Courses for Group Leaders, which provides expertise on issues such as, hiring of staff, leadership and team development, communication, conflict management and problem solving.

    3. Secondments
    Secondments consist of 3- 6 months research placements offered at our partner, Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IBB), designed for fellows to gain high qualified trans-disciplinary skills integrating knowledge from engineering and biological sciences fields with focus on potential translation to clinical applications. A Research & Training plan designed by the Mindthegap fellow together with an IBB tutor will specify (i) research objectives and strategy, (ii) experimental design and methodology and (iii) new skills and learning outcomes targeted.

    4. Funding Mentorship Programme
    Each Mindthegap fellow will be assigned two Funding Mentors (group leaders at iMM or at IBB), in addition to the Scientific Supervisor: a Content Mentor, experienced in attracting very competitive and highly prestigious international funding; and a Grantsmanship Mentor, experienced in the grant submitting process. Mentors will support fellows with the planing and preparation of Grant Proposals and/or Business Plans to be submitted to several Agencies and/or Sponsors, throughout the full extent of Mindthegap fellows' contracts.

    5. Go-to-Market projects
    The Go-to-Market projects training is integrated in the innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) track of the Bioengineering Systems Doctoral Program offered in association by IST, New University of Lisbon and University of Minho and in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Bioengineering Focus Area – MIT Portugal Program. Mindthegap fellows may take part in 2 main activities:
    (i) Introduction to Technological Innovation: an educative module including a "I&E Course", aiming at inducing an entreperneur attitude and providing tools towards development of business ideas;

    (ii) Bioteams for Innovation: fellows integrate teams formed of researchers and business catalysts and work with existing scientific and technological breakthroughs to develop go-to-market strategies.

  • Eligibility

    Mindthegap Programme welcomes applications of qualified fellows of all nationalities, irrespective of gender, age, racial or ethnic background.
    Mindthegap applicants must fulfill the three criteria stated below.

    1. Fit into one of the following categories:

    • Junior Fellows: have been awarded their PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least two and up to six years prior to publication of the call for proposals;
    • Advanced Fellows: have been awarded their PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least five years and up to nine years prior to the publication date of the call for proposal.

    2. Comply with incoming and reintegration rules
    In addition to fulfilling the mobility rule, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in Portugal for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the deadline for submission of proposals.

    3. Provide proof of acceptance by a suitable iMM Supervisor
    Prior to application submission candidates must select a suitable Supervisor- chosen from the pool of overall iMM Group Leader hosts. The Application package must include a letter from the Supervisor confirming that he/she agrees to supervise the Mindthegap candidate and provide the adequate conditions for the development of the fellow's research project. iMM Group Leaders will be open to hosting interdisciplinary and pioneering proposals (please see also Role of iMM Supervisor and Applications)

  • Role of the IMM Supervisor

    Prior to submitting the Mindthegap application, candidates must identify potential supervisors amongst the 35 iMM Group Leaders. Candidates entail discussions with preferred iMM group leaders to check their interest and agreement regarding providing scientific supervision and the adequate conditions for the development of his/her research project.

    Although it is natural that research proposals will bear some link to the research focus of the iMM or that of our partner IBB it is not a requirement. Potential iMM supervisors will be willing to host proposals of an interdisciplinary nature which cross boundaries between different fields and research and pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research.

    The Supervisor must provide the candidate with a confirmation letter, which is part of the application package, and that clearly states his/her commitment in terms of supervison and ensures that infrastructure, equipment and matching funds are available for the full duration of the Mindthegap fellowship (please see Applications).

    Once the Mindthegap fellow starts the research project, the Supervisor will:

    • review, consolidate and improve the scientific-focused skills and competences, and the transferable skills of the fellow;
    • facilitate the integration of the fellow into the IMM academic, scientific and social life;
    • guide the fellow with his/her future career plan.
  • Applications

    The Minthegap Programme offers up to six fellowships, either Junior or Advanced Positions:

    • Junior positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhDs (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least two years and up to six years prior to the publication of the call for proposals; Junior contracts will run for 30 months;
    • Advanced positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least five years and up to nine years prior to the publication date of the call for proposals; Advanced contracts will run for 24 months.

    Prior to submitting your application, please the check the Eligibility criteria.

    1. Minthegap Application Package
    Please note that the four Application Package documents, listed below are to be provided in English, using the appropriate Mindthegap Template Forms and send in PDF format via email to mindthegap@medicina.ulisboa.pt according to the mailing Instructions (please check below).

    1.1.   Candidate´s Application Form (CV + Personal Statement):
    CV: your complete Curriculum Vitae, including the publication list;
    Personal Statement: 1-page statement with your rationale for applying to Mindthegap Programme i.e. stating how enrolling with our Programme matches your background and professional path, and future career goals.
    Please download and fill in the ApplicationForm provided here.

    1.2.   Research Proposal Form
    Detailed description of the research proposal, including abstract, state of the art, research objectives and plan, importance of the proposed research, project timeline and milestones, choice of the host, bibliography, justification of host laboratory choice and relevance for personal career development.
    Please download and fill in the ResearchProposalForm provided here.

    1.3.   Ethical Issues Form
    Form aimed at checking for potential ethical issues related to the Research Proposal.
    Please download and fill in the EthicsForm provided here.

    1.4.   Supervisor Confirmation letter
    Prior to submitting the Application, candidates must select a suitable iMM Group Leader supervisor (see
    Eligibity). Each Supervisor must provide the applicant with a Confirmation Letter clearly stating that the necessary co-funding and infrastructure is available for the duration of the fellowship.

    2. Mailing Instructions
    The Full Application Package documents - Application Form, Research Proposal Form, Confirmation Letter and Ethics Form - should:

    2.1.   Be labeled with your initials and saved as independent PDFs;
    Example: If your full name is Maria Julia Brown, your Application Form, Research Proposal, Confirmation Letter and Ethics Form should be respectively labeled:
    MJB_ApplicationForm.pdf, MJB_ResearchProposal.pdf, MJB_ConfLetter.pdf and MJB_EthicsForm.pdf

    2.2.  Be attached to the same email message and send to: mindthegap@medicina.ulisboa.pt

  • Evaluation and Selection

    1. The Selection Process
    The Managing Team will oversee the different steps of the selection process.

    1.1.   Applications validation
    Proposals are checked by the Managing Team to make sure they were submitted by the deadline, are complete- including all requested Application Package documents (see Application) and fulfill all Eligibility criteria.

    1.2.   International Peer Reviewers Evaluation
    The Managing Team allocates each valid proposal to three external International Peer Reviewers who assess it according to the Evaluation Criteria stated below. The Managing Team may call on board additional reviewers, to properly cover the research fields' of applicants'.

    1.3.   Ranking
    International Peer Reviewers evaluation reports are collected by the Managing Team. The Selection Committee, formed of 2/3 Group Leaders external to IMM, 1/3 internal to IMM, may be called to decide on final scores when no evaluators consensus was reached. In coordination between the Selection Committee and the Managing Team the ranking of proposals is established on the basis of the marks received and overall appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses.

    1.4.   Ethics Review
    Before any funding decision is taken proposals retained for funding undergo an ethics procedure, coordinated by the Ethics Committee to examine whether they comply with national and European rules regarding research ethics.

    1.5.   Communication of Results
    All applicants are informed that their proposal will be funded, or will not be funded. In addition, all receive a communication about the final outcome of the evaluation.

    2. Evaluation Criteria

    Mindthegap candidates are expected to have produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor. In addition, they should demonstrate a track record of early achievements, including publications (as first author) in major international peer-reviewed scientific journals, invited presentations in well-established conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes, organization of scientific events etc

    Reviewers will evaluate proposals according to two criteria:

    2.1.   Track record and potential for independence of the candidate: assessing candidate's Application Form (CV + Personal Statement) and weighting 60%.

    2.2.  Scientific excellence of the research: assessing the Research Proposal and weighting 40%.
    Each of the above is marked in a scale from 1 (non-competitive) to 4 (outstanding). i.e. 4,0 (top 10% of proposals); 4,0-3,5 (top 20%); and 3 (top 30%). Candidates ranked equal or below 2, upon combined evaluation of the 3 respective reviewers do not meet the quality threshold to be reatained for funding. Please check table below for an overview of Evaluation Criteria.

    Evaluation Criteria Summary:

    Track record for potential Independence

    Scientific excellence of the project –approach ambition and feasibiliy

    Threshold: 2*

    Weighting: 60%

    Threshold: 2*

    Weighting: 40%

    Priority in case of ex-aequo

    1

    2

    Ability to propose and conduct ground-breaking research. Originality and innovation of scientific achievements going beyond the state-of-the-art

    Degree of relevance of the challenges proposed by the research project

    Evidence of creative independent thinking

    Degree of innovation of the idea underlying the project

    Abilities and skills to adequately execute the proposed project

    How ambitious and beyond the state of the art are the objectives of the research (e.g. novel concepts and approaches or development across disciplines)

    Degree of internationalization, including geographical and/or intersectorial mobility

    Feasibility of outlined scientific approach and adequacy of the conditions granted by the host institution to support the research project

    Level of doctoral training

    Adequacy of proposed research methodology to achieve the goals of the project

    Research profile for intended grant level

    Potential to produce innovative knowledge that can contribute to benefits to society or to the business sector

     Note: Together with the rank criteria, and in order to maintain transparency in the selection process, we aim that selected candidates already at IMM at the time of application will only count for up to 1/3 of the total recruited fellows.

  • Post Selection

    All candidates will be informed of the selection process outcome on January 2016.

    The Managing Team will correspond with selected fellows (January-February 2016) send out the decision letters and assist fellows in organizing the formal requirements for issuing their Minthegap fellowship contracts.

    Mindthegap fellowships should start as soon as possible, and at the latest three months, after receipt of decision letter. Eventual exceptions must be properly justified by the fellow's Supervisor.

    Mindthegap fellowships consist of a salary for 24 months (Advanced Positions) or 30 months (Junior Positions) (please see table below).

    Salary (Euro/fellow-year)

    Advanced Position

    Advanced Fellowship

    Junior Position

    Junior Fellowship

    Living Allowance

    58 500

    46 800

    Mobility/ Travel allowance

    8 400

    7 500

    Contribution to research cost

    16 000

    12 000

    Total (Euro)

    82 900*

    66 300*

     

     

    The duration of Mindthegap Fellowship cannot be prolonged: maximum 24 months for Advanced Positions and 30 months for Junior Positions. Employment after the initially granted time must be financed by other sources.

    * Living and mobility/travel allowances include the total remuneration costs: salaries plus social security charges (holiday pay, pension contribution, unemployment rights, lunch subsidy, etc.) and other statutory personnel costs associated to the remuneration. All personnel payments will be processed in accordance with the normal practices of the Institute and Portuguese laws.

  • FAQ

    1.How many Mindthegap Fellowships are available?
    Minthegap Programme will offer a total of up to six fellowships, as Junior* or Advanced** Positions.
    For details on Call Timelines please check here.

    *Junior positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhDs at least two years and up to six years prior to the publication of the call for proposals; Junior contracts will run for 30 months;
    **Advanced positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhD at least five years and up to nine years prior to the publication date of the call for proposals. Advanced contracts will run for 24 months.

    2. How do I apply and what is the role of IMM Supervisors?
    Prior to submitting your application you must identify a suitable Supervisor among the 35 iMM Group Leaders.

    • Information on the different iMM Research Groups can be found here.
    • You should entail discussions with your preferred IMM group leaders to check their interest and agreement regarding providing scientific supervision and the adequate conditions for the development of your project.

    Once you have identified your Supervisor, he/she must provide you with a confirmation letter, which is part of the application package, and that clearly states his/her commitment in terms of supervision and ensures that infrastructure, equipment and matching funds are available for the full duration of the Mindthegap fellowship.

    In addition to the Confirmation Letter from you Supervisor, the Application package includes an Application Form, a Research Proposal Form and an Ethics Form. You must complete the Template Forms provided at Applications.

    The four Application package documents (Conf Letter, Application Form, Research Proposal Form and Ethics Form) must be send in PDF format via email to mindthegap at medicina.ulisboa.pt according to the Mailing Instructions. Please see Applications.


    Applications must be submitted by at the latest by the deadline: October 30th, 2015 (06:00 PM CET).

    3.Which areas of research are covered by Mindthegap fellows?
    Applications are prepared with the support of an iMM Supervisor chosen by the candidate among the 35 iMM Group Leaders.
    Please check iMM Research areas here.
    For information on the choice of a Supervisor see question 2.
    Although it is natural that research proposals will bear some link to the research focus of the iMM it is not a requirement. Potential iMM supervisors will be willing to host proposals of an interdisciplinary nature which cross boundaries between different fields and research and pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research.
    Candidates choose freely their host lab and project in order to maximize their experience and the advancement in their scientific career.

    4.Where can I carry out the Mindthegap fellowship?
    Mindthegap fellowships can be carried out at iMM. IMM is located on the campus of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, iMM is a Laboratory Associated to the Ministry for Education and Science and a reference for science in Portugal.

    5. How much is an Mindthegap Fellowhip worth?
    There are two types of Mindthegap fellowships:
    Junior positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhDs at least two years and up to six years prior to the publication of the call for proposals; Junior contracts will run for 30 months;
    Advanced positions: for fellows who have been awarded their PhD at least five years and up to nine years prior to the publication date of the call for proposals. Advanced contracts will run for 24 months.
    For salary information please check here.

    6. Can Mindthegap Fellowship be prolonged?
    The maximum duration of a Junior Fellowship is 30 months, and the maximum length of an Advanced Fellowship is 24 months. Mindthegap contracts cannot be prolonged beyond these maximum limits. Employment thereafter must be financed from other sources.

    7. What are the eligibility criteria?
    Mindthegap Programme welcomes applications of qualified fellows of all nationalities, irrespective of gender, age, racial or ethnic background. Mindthegap applicants must fulfill three criteria:

    • Fit into one of the types of Fellowships offered: Junior or Advanced Fellowships;
    • Comply with incoming and reintegration rules;
    • Provide proof of acceptance by a suitable iMM Supervisor.

    Detailed info on Eligibility Criteria can be found here.

    8. Can I apply if I do not have my PhD diploma yet?
    If you have not yet been awarded your PhD you are not eligible to apply for a Minthegap fellowship.
    For a Junior Mindthegap you must have been awarded your PhD at least two years prior to the publication of the call for proposals;
    For Advanced Mindthegap you must have been awarded your PhD at least five prior to the publication date of the call for proposals.

    9. May Candidates with unconventional research paths/career breaks apply?
    The Programme encourages applications from researchers after a career break because it allows for extensions to the eligibility period in case of career breaks, as long as they are properly documented. Eligible career breaks are the same as adopted for the ERC grants. For maternity, the effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by 18 months for each child born before or after the PhD award. For paternity, the effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by the actual amount of paternity leave taken for each child born before or after the PhD award. For long-term illness (over ninety days), clinical training or national service the effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by the actual amount of leave taken for each incident which occurred after the PhD award. The elapsed time since the award of the first PhD should not in any case surpass 9 years and six months. The reference date towards the calculation of the eligibility period should be the date of the actual award according to the national rules in the country that the degree was awarded.

    10. May Medical Doctors apply?
    The Programme encourages applications from medical doctors. To be considered as eligible applicants, medical doctors need to provide the certificates of both basic studies (MD) and a PhD or completion of clinical specialty training or proof of an appointment that requires doctoral equivalency (i.e. post-doctoral fellowship, professorship appointment). Additionally, candidates must also provide information on their research experience (including peer reviewed publications) in order to further substantiate the equivalence of their overall training to a PhD.

    11 .What is the Role of the iMM Supervisor?
    Prior to application submission candidates must identify a suitable Supervisor among the 35 iMM Group Leaders
    Candidates entail discussions with their preferred iMM group leaders to check their interest and agreement regarding providing scientific supervision and the adequate conditions for the development of his/her research project. When the candidate's Supervisor has been chosen, he/she must provide the candidate with a confirmation letter, which is part of the application package (see Applications).

    Once the Mindthegap fellow starts the research project, the Supervisor will: i) review, consolidate and improve the scientific-focused skills and competences, and the transferable skills of the fellow; ii) facilitate the integration of the fellow in the IMM academic, scientific and social life; iii) guide the fellow with his/her future career plan.

    12. Who is entitled to be an iMM Supervisor?
    Any of the 35 iMM Group Leaders is entitled to become a Mindthegap fellow Supervisor. Information on the different iMM Research Groups can be found here.

    13. What information is required from the iMM Supervisor?
    Candidates' research proposals must obtain Supervisor's approval.
    Furthermore, Supervisor must provide a confirmation letter, which is part of the application package (see Applications), where he/she explains that he/she is prepared to collaborate with candidate providing the necessary support.

    14. What documents must I submit?

    The Minthegap Application package comprises four documents:

    • Application Form (CV + Personal Statement);
    • Research Proposal
    • Ethics Form
    • Supervisors Confirmation Letter

    Please note that the four Application Package documents, are to be provided in English, using the appropriate Mindthgap Template Forms and send in PDF format via email to mindthegap@medicina.ulisboa.pt according to our Mailing Instructions.

    For detailed information on Application Package and Mailing instruction see here.

    15. How do I submit my application?
    The four documents that form the Mindthegap application package must be submitted in PDF format, attached to the same email message according to the Mailing instructions decribed here (see mailing instructions)

    16. What is the exact submission deadline?
    The deadline for submitting applications is October 30th, 2015 (06:00, CET).

    17. What are the different steps of the selection process?
    For complete information on the various steps of the Selection Process see here.

    18. What are the evaluation criteria?
    For full information regarding the Evaluation Criteria see here.

  • Contact us

    Instituto de Medicina Molecular,
    Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa
    Av. Egas Moniz

    Ed. Egas Moniz
    1649-028 Lisboa
    Portugal

    Luisa Figueiredo, Director of iMM Post-Doctoral training

    For management queries, please contact mindthegap@medicina.ulisboa.pt or +351 217 999 411.

     

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