National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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Ask the NCCR

Do you want to know more about PlanetS, its organization, structure, options, prospects or limitations? After the last General Assembly and some subsequent discussions, we thought that a number of issues might not be clear and asked you to send us all these questions you have about the NCCR that you never had a chance to ask (or dared asking). In the InsiderS No. 15 we already answered three questions. Here are the next two. Please continue to ask the NCCR.

What are the different membership status in PlanetS (member, associate, in-kind, external, alumni, etc.) and what do they mean?
In which way each can be supported by PlanetS, what can PlanetS bring to them? 

There are indeed different ways for people to be associated with PlanetS. The reason for having introduced these differences is related to SNSF regulations for financial support and, in particular, the need to keep the different funding instruments/sources separate. In other words, SNSF needs to keep track separately of research (and associated expenses) carried out under the instrument NCCR from the one done within usual Research Grants, Ambizione Fellowships, etc. In addition, SNSF also needs to account for the contribution to a NCCR from the participating institutions (in our case UBE, UGE, UZH, ETHZ, EPFL). Hence, these different categories essentially help us satisfy externally set (by SNSF) administrative constraints while trying to keep the science unaffected. Below a short definition of these categories.


What are the topics that the NCCR board discusses and decides on?

The Executive Board is the governing body of the NCCR. The Board is essentially the equivalent of the legislative body of a government while the Director and the Co-Director represent the executive. In other words, the Board discusses and decides on all major strategic and financial issues facing the NCCR. Strategically, the change of structure of the NCCR for phase 2 from seven large projects into three domains with many smaller projects has been discussed and iterated at length in the Board before the decision for implementation in phase 2. In general, the entire approach to writing the proposal for phase 2 has been discussed and decided upon in the Board including the setting of priorities and the content of the bonus programme. Financially, the decision to issue calls for new initiatives and the funding selection have been taken by the Board. The financing of the JURA as well as the exhibits in museums in Geneva and Lucerne have been decisions by the Board. Basically, any new activity not already discussed in the proposal and requiring more than 20-30 kCHF is first presented to the Board for approval. The excellent spirit within the NCCR has allowed essentially all the Board decisions to be taken by consensus.

InsiderS No. 15: Ask the NCCR 
Please send your questions to:

Fine-tuning Espresso
"I love dealing with topics that go against the grain"
Categories: Internal Newsletter

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