Application for a secondment

What are the steps to apply?

(1) Write a secondment plan

Write a plan to describe your secondment's research, training, and networking activities. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and highly technical phrases. The text should be proportional to the secondment length but at least 300 words. See an example of a plan

Address each point, in the same order, in your plan:

  • An explanation of the link between one task of GEOCEP and your research contribution during the secondment. Refer to the work package and task of the project. 
  • An outline of your plans for achieving your research contribution. Describe the topic, the theory, the research problem, the method, the data, etc. 
  • A list of scientific outputs related to the secondment you promise to deliver by indicating the working title and its (tentative) publication outlet.
  • A justification of the choice of the host institution and the persons with whom you intend to cooperate, at least your sponsor at the host institution. 
  • A list of courses, seminars, training, and knowledge exchange activities in which you intend to participate at the host institution.

(2) Determine the duration of the secondment

Select the precise beginning and end date of the secondment. A secondment has to be a minimum of one month (30 days) and a maximum of twelve (12) months long. A researcher can be seconded several times as long as the sum of all of his secondments does not exceed the maximum.

For example, John can be seconded six months to a partner institution in 2021 and six months to another partner in 2022. Jane cannot be seconded to a partner institution for fifteen days in June and then fifteen days in December.

We recommend setting the beginning date of your secondment for at least six months from the time of the application. Several administrative procedures, such as obtaining a visa and an invitation letter, can take 90 days or more.

(3) Obtain an invitation letter

A scientific contact or authorised representative from the host institution writes a letter inviting you for a secondment in the framework of the GEOCEP project. This letter should be signed on the institution's letterhead. At the very least, it mentions your name and the (tentative) start and end dates of your secondment.

The letter mentions the source of funding: ‘This secondment is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 870245.’ Additionally, it can mention one GEOCEP work package.

It is at the discretion of the host institution to include conditions for the invitation, such as access to the library, an office, an email address, etc. The letter can be in portable document format (PDF). The applicant submits the invitation letter with the application. 

(4) Provide proof of affiliation and employment

If you are part of the regular staff, provide a copy of your employment contract showing that you have been employed for at least one month of full-time equivalent. For example, it is sufficient to work four months at 25% and then to have a full-time contract during the period of the secondment. During the secondment, you must be employed full-time (1,00 FTE) by the home institution. Full-time commitment means that no additional work can be undertaken during the secondment. It is also not possible to accumulate other funding from a European Commission’s project during the secondment, for example for the salary, travel expenses, and research activities. 

If you are a Ph.D. student, provide a letter from the registrar which states that you are registered full-time to a Ph.D. program for at least one month prior to the beginning date of the secondment. You must remain registered as a full-time Ph.D. student during the entire period of the secondment. You will no longer be eligible if you defend your dissertation and cease to be a student.

Scan the documents and upload them to the application system on this website. 

(5) Application for a research allowance

Apply via the Apply/sing in page on this website to fill in the details of your secondment and upload the documents. The administration of GEOCEP will confirm the secondment if the researcher is eligible, recommended by his institution of affiliation, and provides all the required documents. If the secondment is confirmed, the applicant will receive a letter that will confirm the amount of the research allowance. The applicant contacts its beneficiary institution to arrange the payment of the allowance.