Frequently Asked Questions

What is TA?

TA stands for Transnational Access. This is the primary activity of BRISK2, providing funded access for researchers to use biofuels research facilities across Europe.

What type of applications are considered acceptable?

Submitted applications should clearly state the objective of the visit, a detailed plan of activity and a summary of its novelty and possible achievements. Submitted applications with the sole objective of visiting and/or starting a collaboration with a host organisation will most likely be rejected by the BRISK2 user selection panel. Focus must be upon strong, experimental work that furthers biofuels research.

How are applications assessed?

Applications must first be approved by host organisations. Applications can then be submitted via the website to project coordinators KTH, who will pool them for final assessment by an independent User Selection Panel (USP). The USP meets twice a year in April and October to assess BRISK2 applications with decisions resulting in one of three outcomes: approval, conditional approval or rejection. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within a calendar month of the assessment deadline. BRISK2 assessment deadlines are listed on the Apply page.

What is the User Selection Panel (USP)?

The User Selection Panel makes all final decisions regarding the approval, conditional approval or rejection of all BRISK2 applications. The USP consists of at least two internal experts from BRISK2 partners and two external experts from outside the consortium. The list of external assessors is available on the Apply page.

I am from an organisation outside the BRISK2 consortium, can I still apply?

Yes. BRISK2 is primarily for biofuels researchers from outside the BRISK2 consortium. Researchers from any organisation are eligible to apply.

I have completed my PhD. Can I still apply?

Yes. BRISK2 is available to all biofuels researchers at any stage in their career and from any institution that fulfils the eligibility criteria.

I would like to visit for demonstration purposes with no experimental work required. Can I still apply?

Applications for experimental purposes are recommended and preferred. All applications much exhibit scientific merit. If the scientific merit of a non-experimental visit is successfully argued at application, for example utilizing the BRISK2 infrastructure to improve the veracity of modeling or similar, then a non-experimental proposal could be accepted by the USP.

I am an independent researcher and do not work at a university or research organisation but am interested in a transnational access visit. Can I still apply?

Anyone fulfilling eligibility criteria with a clear and novel research objective can apply for a transnational access visit with BRISK2.

What is the minimum length of visit?

Visit length varies depending upon the nature of the tasks required. Applicants should contact the partner they would like to visit to ensure their stay will be long enough to realistically complete all the required experiments.

What is the maximum length of visit?

Applicants should contact the facility they would like to visit and enquire. The overall maximum length of visit is three months. Proposals should be realistic and preparing your BRISK2 application in discussion with project partners will ensure this is the case.

I am working at an institution outside of the EU. Can I still apply?

Applications are welcome from around the world, however the number of grants available to non-EU applications may become limited in the future. Any changes will be announced on the BRISK2 website. The majority of grants will be awarded to applicants from institutions in EU and associated states including:

  • EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom 
  • H2020 Associated States: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine

Is eligibility based on researcher nationality?

No. Eligibility is based solely on applicants’ current country of residence.

Can teams of researchers apply for transnational access?

Yes. However the grant for travel, subsistence and accommodation will be capped at 1200 Euros for the whole team.

Can I apply without contacting the partner first?

No. Applications must be approved by host organisations before submission via the website to ensure installations will be operational and available at the time of the visit. Applications should be prepared under consultation with host partners to ensure they are eligible and realistic in the timeframes proposed. Once the pdf application form has been approved by your project partner, you can upload it to the BRISK2 website for assessment by the independent User Selection Panel (USP).

Is the BRISK2 application process competitive?

No. BRISK2 grants suitable, novel applications that fulfil eligibility criteria. Assessments are non-competitive and each application is assessed on its own merit, and granted where funding is available.

When is your next Summer School or Workshop and what topics will it cover?

BRISK2 events will be announced on the BRISK2 website www.brisk2.eu. Follow BRISK2 @briskbiofuels on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to find out about the next workshops and summer schools.

How do I receive the BRISK2 newsletter?

Email brisk2@aston.ac.uk with “SEND BRISK2 NEWS” in the subject line to receive BRISK2’s free newsletter. BRISK2 newsletters will also be available to view and download on the website on the news page

Can new organisations join the research infrastructure?

No. The 15 partners are fixed for the duration of the project until 2022.

Do I have to complete a case study?

Yes. All BRISK2 applicants are required to submit a case study for inclusion in the BRISK2 newsletter and website, including a description of your experience of TA and how this helped you and your research develop. Case study forms will be provided by KTH in the event of a successful application, and once completed should be submitted to brisk2@aston.ac.uk. You are not required to publicly share your results, however under Horizon 2020’s open access policy, applicants are encouraged to use the dissemination opportunities available with BRISK2.

Does BRISK2 take any ownership of my results and research?

No. Your research and results belong to you. However, BRISK2 is an EU funded project, and as such it is recommended that all results are made available to the public in line with the Horizon 2020’s open and fair research data policy, for example in the form of a conference or journal paper. Any publications should be communicated to brisk2@aston.ac.uk for inclusion in the BRISK2 newsletter and website.

Are there opportunities for collaboration with BRISK2 partners?

BRISK2 does encourage collaboration and if your visit does lead to a publication, please make this known to Philippa Try at Aston University (brisk2@aston.ac.uk). BRISK2 would be pleased to support the promotion and dissemination of your biofuels research once published.

Can I conduct experiments myself?

Yes. BRISK2 is an opportunity for you to travel and undertake experimental research yourself on equipment you would not normally have access to in your own country. However, safety protocols usually require that experienced operators are involved in the experiment. Where specialist operational expertise and supervision is required, our BRISK2 partners are happy to support you.

Can I bring my own feedstocks?

Yes. However, BRISK2 and its partners cannot guarantee to cover the costs of, or assist with transporting feedstock. Please consult your host institution for advice on this before you travel. Please also be aware the transport of materials is subject to relevant laws and regulations and it is the responsibility of BRISK2  applicants to ensure compliance.

How to I claim my expenses?

Visitors are required to retain all receipts and boarding passes. These must be submitted to the host partner institution who will process your expenses according to their own internal expenses claim systems. Please consult your host institution for advice on this process before you travel.

Will the host partner help me with booking flights and accommodation?

Please contact your host organisation to find out if assistance is available.

Can I discuss future work and study opportunities with BRISK2 partners while on a transnational access visit?

Yes. If your BRISK2 TA visit leads to future opportunities, please let us know.

Can I extend my BRISK2 visit at my own expense?

Yes. Please discuss the practicalities of this with the BRISK2 partner that you intend to visit.

When does the assessment panel meet?

The assessment panel meets twice a year in April and October.

How long will be BRISK2 applications welcome?

BRISK2 will continuously welcome applications via the website until project completion in 2022. Applications are pooled for assessment twice a year. Further information is available on the Apply page. Applicants are encouraged to monitor this website and follow BRISK2 on social media @briskbiofuels to keep up to date with any changes.

My application was approved but the installation is no longer available during the listed access period. Can my visit still go ahead at a different time?

Yes. Please discuss your visit with your host partner.

 Do you have any tips for a successful BRISK2 application?

  • Highlight that the equipment you want to access is not available in your current country of work.
  • Ensure that your work plan is realistic in the timeframe you have specified
  • Discuss your application with your host project partner and ensure your proposal is approved by them before you submit
  • Clearly demonstrate how your proposal is related to biofuels
  • Give clear and meaningful outcomes and deliverables for your visit
  • Explain how your visit will contribute to furthering your biofuels research
  • Don’t apply for a tourist visit.
  • Ensure your application is driven towards furthering biofuels research.

Am I expected to pay any up front costs?

No. However you should take care to plan your visit thoroughly with your BRISK2 host, as costs not included in your work plan and financial projection may not be covered.

What insurance arrangements are in place for my visit?

Insurance arrangements depend on the host organisation that applicants want to visit. Please contact your host organisation for more detail.

How is BRISK2 funded?

BRISK2 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement 731101.