Research Training Network - FP6

Training and/or transfer of knowledge activities

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Training/ToK plans: Secondment Programme

The consortium will combine and fully exploit the complementary expertise at the different teams through an active plan of joint appointments and secondments. In this way, the appointed ESRs/ERs will sample diverse aspects of the field of molecular astrophysics and thereby develop a well-rounded training. In addition, this will actively promote transfer of knowledge within the consortium. For the ESR, one institute will be the host institute, but these appointments will include secondments to the other institute(s) in order to ensure proper exposure of the ESRs to different methods and techniques.
For the ERs, appointment will be joined between two institutes. The ER will be appointed first at the first institute and then for the second year at the second institute. In this way, the ERs will enlarge their expertise in an effective way, while at the same time the consortium will actively promote transfer of knowledge. Where applicable, the instrument of secondment will also be used to further these goals for the experienced researchers and the consortium as a whole.

When the ESR/ER is seconded to another institute, he/she will be assigned a local supervisor. However, their home-institute supervisor will make regular visit(s) to monitor and supervise overall progress in his training and activities.

In accordance with Annex III.2.2i, ESRs/ERs on secondment will not spend more than 30% of their total appointment period in the network at another contractor. With regard to the joint appointments, the family circumstances of the ERs concerned will be fully taken into account and due care will be taken to ensure that each time the eligibility criteria for appointment as given in Annex III.3.2 will be satisfied.

The schedule of joint appointments and secondments is detailed in Table B.4. This schedule has been devised to both encompass the common research projects of the contractors involved, as detailed in the workplan, and to provide the appointed ESRs/ERs with a wide experience. While some contractors will not directly appoint an ESR/ER, they will train the ESR in their secondment in an essential and complementary aspect of molecular astrophysics in terms of the science milestones the ESR will be involved in. In addition, they will contribute to the overall interweaving of the consortium, and contribute unique expertise and experience required for the overall science goals in the area of laboratory astrochemistry using ion-traps (Leiden), astronomical modelling of photodissociation regions and interstellar shocks (UPS), and laboratory spectroscopy using Fourier transform spectroscopy techniques (CNRS).

Table B.4: Consortium interactions: Secondment and joint appointments1

Early Stage Researcher

Institute of appointment



RuG Leiden
UMIST Meudon
Warsaw UR12
KUN U.J.F. Meudon
Meudon UPS
Toulouse III Madrid
Unibas Cologne
Madrid Meudon

Experienced researchers

First appointment

Second appointment


Bordeaux Perugia
UR12 UR12
LILLE (CNRS)3 Cologne
Göttingen4 UGOT4 UOXF.DN4

Notes for Table B.4
1) ESR will be seconded to the second (and third) institute for training. In some cases, secondment to a third institute is required for the workplan. ERs will be appointed for one year at the first contractor and for the second year at the second contractor to transfer knowledge across disciplines and national boundaries.

2) There are two large experimental astrochemistry groups in UR1, who will share the ER for two years. In addition, there is a molecular physics group in UR1. The Warsaw ESR will be seconded to this latter group.

3) During the LILLE appointment, the ER will be seconded to CNRS.

4) This involves an appointment for three years for the three groups (Göttingen, UGOT, and UOXF.DN).

Specifically, the ESR appointed to RuG will be involved in model studies of deuterium chemistry and will be seconded for 10 months to Leiden to study deuterium fractionation reactions in the laboratory (topic 1.3.2 and 1.3.8).

The ESR appointed to Durham will be involved in modelling ion/neutrals decoupling in star forming regions. The ESR will be seconded for 10 months to UPS to work on the shock and photo-dissociation codes, in particular to introduce the new ionisation/electronic attachment processes quantified by the consortium into the models (topic 2.1.8).

The ESR appointed to Meudon will be involved in studying the impact of dust grains on the gas chemistry, in particular the water abundance in star forming regions. The ESR will be seconded for 10 months to UPS to introduce sticking and desorption processes on grains into shock and photodissociation models (topic 1.1.9, 1.1.10, 1.1.11). This ESR will also contribute to update the Meudon collision rates database (topic 3.1).

The ER appointed at LILLE will be involved in laboratory spectroscopy studies of small deuterated species and will be seconded for about 2 months to CNRS where the essential preparatory FIR Fourier transform spectroscopy will be done for this study. Through these secondments, the ESR and ER are provided with an integrated training in the relevant aspects of their topic.