Duration of the secondments
The candidate may include up to a maximum of 3 secondments up to about 3 months each with a mandatory one at a non-academic institution. The total duration of all the secondments shall not exceed 9 months.
GNeuS pillars: interdisciplinary and intersectorality
The GNeuS project consists of 5 different pillars, as shown in the figure. The 5 pillars are:
- Neutron facilities (reactors, spallation sources, compact brilliant sources, …)
- Scientific applications (biology, condensed matter, magnetism, materials sciences, soft matter, …))
- Method development (instruments, sample environment devices …)
- Industrial applications
- Others (patenting, data management, scientific communication, project management …)
Any interdisciplinary activities lie inside the same pillar and differ from the main topic of the application, while any activity that belong to a different pillar is considered as intersectoral activity.
Letter of Commitment: optional or mandatory?
The Letter of Commitment is marked as optional in the GNeuS application package because it depends on the Research Project submitted by the candidate. Optional does not mean that the applicant can arbitrarily decide whether to submit the LoC for its secondments, but she/he has to meet the following conditions.
When the Research Project proposed by a candidate includes secondments only at institutions that are already GNeuS partner no Letter of Commitment (LoC) is required for the submission.
However, when the Research Project proposed by a candidate includes secondments at institutions that are not already GNeuS partner, for each institution that is not a GNeuS partner the candidate must submit a Letter of Commitment duly filled by an institution representative and signed by its legal representative.
The institutions that are already GNeuS partners, and therefore have already signed the Letter of Commitment, are listed at https://gneus.eu/hosting-institutions.
Possession of a doctoral degree OR at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience, what does it mean?
One of the eligibility criteria for the candidate regards the Possession of a doctoral degree OR at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience. Please find here below additional details on this criterion:
1) Possession of a doctoral degree, by January 15, 2022.
This means that the PhD must be present by the deadline. Provisional certificates do not meet this GNeuS eligibility criterion.
2) At least four years of Full-Time Equivalent research experience.
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling her/him to embark on a doctorate, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. A definition of the FTE research equivalent is available at
When calculating experience, only postgraduate research experience is relevant for this purpose.
If a candidate have been working on her/his PhD for longer than 4 years without obtaining the PhD, the second condition (at least four years of FTE research experience) is fulfilled, and the candidate is eligible for a GNeuS grant.
Who can apply for a GNeuS grant? What are the eligibility criteria for a GNeuS grant?
The eligibility criteria for a GNeuS grant are:
- possession of a doctoral degree or at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience;
- at least one original publication in a peer-reviewed journal;
- background in a neutron scattering technique;
- a complete application package submitted through the GNeuS portal (including CV and detailed research plan);
- the proposed research programme may include up to three secondments with at least one mandatory secondment in a non-academic partner organisation;
- MSCA mobility rules: researchers may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization (MLZ, Germany) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the co-funded programme’s call deadline. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holiday and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, are not taken into account.
What is the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Zentrum?
The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) is a leading centre for cutting-edge research with neutrons and positrons. By offering a unique suite of high-performance neutron scattering instruments, scientists are encouraged and enabled to pursue state-of-the-art research in diverse fields as physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, engineering or material science. The MLZ mission is to offer substantial support to scientists from all over the world in addressing the grand challenges facing society today.
The MLZ represents the scientific cooperation for the exploitation of the scientific use of the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz in Garching near Munich, Germany. The main MLZ partners are the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon (former HZG) and Technische Universität München (TUM).
Which is the source of the funds used to finance the GNeuS project?
GNeuS is a COFUND project where the EU provides about 40% of the needed funds and the three MLZ partners FZJ, TUM and HEREON match the remaining 60%. In particular, 33, 10 and 2 grants are financed by FZJ, TUM and HEREON, respectively.
What is MSCA?
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) encourage individuals to work in other countries, making the whole world a learning environment. They encourage collaboration and sharing of ideas between different industrial sectors and research disciplines. MSCA also back initiatives that break down barriers between academia, industry and business.
Official MSCA web site https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/msca-actions_en
How long will a GNeuS grant last?
Each GNeuS grant will last 24 months and cannot be prolonged over the initial granted funding period. Employment after the end of the GNeuS grant must be financed from other sources.
How many GNeuS grants will be offered?
GNeuS offers 15 grants per call, a total of 45 grants in three calls.
How many GNeuS calls will be launched?
The GNeuS project launches three calls on November 1st 2021 (Call n. 1), 2022 (Call n. 2) and 2023 (Call n. 3), respectively.
Which are the MLZ partners that recruit the GNeuS fellows?
GNeuS Fellows will be recruited by the three main MLZ partners, Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon (former HZG) and Technische Universität München (TUM).
Should I contact the MLZ supervisor during the preparation of the application?
Yes, you are warmly encouraged to discuss with the selected MLZ supervisor during the preparation of the research project to submit. Either you pick up one topic offered by the GNeuS project or you freely choose a different one, the MLZ supervisor will not only give advice on the research project, but will also be assisting you and provide any other support you may need.
If I choose one of the suggested topics by the GNeuS project, am I allowed to tune it according to new ideas?
The candidate can tune the research programme according to new ideas and opportunities than described in the selected topic, but is warmly recommended to discuss any tuning with the associated MLZ supervisor.
Which are the available GNeuS topics?
The available topics are listed at the web page https://www.gneus.de/XXXX. The candidates may select one of the available topic as well as propose any new one. It is recommended to discuss with the supervisor at MLZ about all details prior the application submission.
Am I allowed to submit a research programme on a new topic rather than those suggested by GNeuS?
Yes, on top of the GNeuS available topics, the candidate may propose any research topic. In this latter case, it is warmly recommended to discuss with the supervisor at MLZ about all details prior the application submission.
Which are the official GNeuS partners for secondments?
All GNeuS partners listed at the official page (https://gneus.eu/hosting-institutions) is ready for hosting a secondment of a GNeuS fellow.
How does GNeuS deal with intersectorality?
A successful application is based upon a balanced research project of Interdisciplinarity, Intersectorality, and synergy, where intersectorality means to match scientific and technological activities with training on complementary skills that are important in a scientific career, such as, for example, soft and entrepreneurial skills, project management and science communication training.
How does GNeuS deal with interdisciplinarity?
A successful application is based upon a balanced research project of Interdisciplinarity, Intersectorality, and synergy, where interdisciplinarity means to match activities and training on different scientific and technological disciplines. These opportunities are available at the MLZ and in all other GNeuS partner organizations and will support them through first-class training and supervision.
How does GNeuS deal with synergy to INNOVAXN PhD fellow?
A successful application is based upon a balanced research project of Interdisciplinarity, Intersectorality, and synergy, where synergy means the development of leadership and training skills by becoming the co-supervisor of PhD students of another COFUND project (InnovaXN) – by assisting the main supervisor – or, alternatively, of PhD students at MLZ.
Am I allowed to propose new partners for secondments?
You are welcome to propose a secondment at another institution/industry than the official GNeuS ones. When a new institution/industry is proposed for secondment, the institution/industry shall have to sign a letter of commitment, as available at https://gneus.eu/application-package/. Without the formal commitment of the institution/industry to sign the GNeuS Partnership Agreement and to provide the necessary training and hosting opportunities for the secondment the GNeuS Fellow, the request is considered invalid.
How can I follow the review process on my application?
You will find all the information on the status of the review process in your private account of the https://www.gneus.de/XXXX. A traffic light system will help you to identify the results of each step.