Access to any Research Icebreaker in ARICE will be regulated according to the Excellence-driven Access mode. This mode of access is dependent on the scientific excellence, originality, quality and technical and ethical feasibility of an application evaluated through peer review conducted by external experts.

The Scientific Liaison Panel (SLP) will base their selection of scientifically excellent proposals on the external evaluations provided by international experts. Only scientifically excellent-ranked proposals will be considered for the logistical evaluation, ensuring that only excellent proposals are considered for funding.

In case of equally ranked proposals, priority should be given to user groups composed of users who:

  • have not previously used the installation, and
  • are working in countries where no equivalent research infrastructure exist.

The SPL will apply the principles of transparency, fairness and impartiality.

Collaborative applications from teams and institutions where no equivalent research infrastructure exist, female and young scientists are strongly encouraged. International and/or industrial partners are welcome.

The scientific excellence of proposals complying with the ARICE Eligibility Criteria will be evaluated using the following Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Scientific and Technical Quality of the Ship-Time Proposal (Weighting 30%)
    • General Scientific Background:

      Is the current state of knowledge in the research area well described?

      Are cited references relevant and reflect the state-of-the-art?

    • Specific Aims of the Expedition:

      Is the proposed topic of high scientific quality and does it provide innovative aspects?

      Are the research objectives and expected outputs of the proposal clearly stated? Are they achievable from a scientific point of view?

      To which extent do the expected results lead to a progress beyond the current state-of-the-art?

  2. Quality of the Work Programme (Weighting 20%)

    Is the work plan adequate? Is it clearly described and well defined? Is the research area, the number of planned stations and transects well justified? Can the proposed work plan be realized in the set time?

    Are the scheduled tasks and methods adequate to the set objectives? Is it clearly stated which methods and equipment will be employed?

    Does the proposed project maximise the use of the research vessel and associated infrastructure? Has the proposal assessed any likely risks and are provisions for downtime/bad weather included?

  3. Impact on Society and Public Outreach (Weighting 15%)

    Is the proposed topic able to contribute to societal needs? Would this research enhance innovation capacity; create new market opportunities, strengthen competitiveness, address issues related to climate change or the environment, or bring other important benefits for society?

    Are dissemination activities addressing the general public planned?

  4. Technical Capability and Scientific Qualification/Track Record of the Proposing PI and User Group (Weighting 15%)
    • Technical Capability to Carry out the Research Cruise (Weighting 5%)

      Is all necessary equipment available to carry out the proposed project?

      Are there resources available to support the analysis of gathered data and samples?

    • Scientific Qualification/Track Record of the Proposing PI and User Group (Weighting 10%)

      Background/track record of the PI related to its active years in science.

      Background/track record of the scientific team.

      Are the roles and responsibilities of the scientific team clearly stated? Is the combined expertise suitable to achieve the research objectives of the cruise?

  5. Collaboration with International/National Partners/Industry (Weighting 10%)

    To what extent are new user groups with limited access to marine infrastructure integrated?

    To what extent is the proposed project embedded into larger research programmes on a national, EU or international level?

    What is the potential for a long term integration/collaboration on an international level?

    Are collaborations with industry envisaged?

    Are there “shore-based scientists” (remote participants) for data treatment and exploitation? Is a clear concept presented how the gathered data will be shared with shore-based scientists, analysed and published?

  6. Training of Early Career Scientists (Weighting 10%)

    Is the training component well defined in the proposal? Is it achievable?

    How many early career scientists and students at PhD level and below will be involved?

    Are berths devoted to early career researchers/scientists in a training role?

Applicants have to ensure that sufficient information is provided in the proposal to enable a thorough evaluation of all criteria.

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