Good agreements make good friends: A LERU model contract for European Training Networks


It is important to have such a template because it is the basis on which LERU universities draft the mandatory Consortium Agreements that are required for European Training Networks (ETN) projects, which are part of MSCA Innovative Training Networks (ITN) in H2020. It is also intended to serve for broad use, and as such, it will be presented by one of the leading creators, Karl Kerschbaum (University of Zurich), at the EARMA Annual Conference on Monday 29 June 2015 in Leiden.

Developed by the LERU Legal Expert Group, the LERU template is based on the DESCA (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) model, a comprehensive Model Consortium Agreement which offers a reliable frame of reference for project consortia. Taking the DESCA model as the starting point, the special requirements for ETN projects in MSCA have been integrated by the LERU Legal Expert Group in this template.

As stated by LERU Secretary-General, Kurt Deketelaere: “Together with the ERC, LERU believes the MSCA to be the single most important contributionHorizon 2020 makes to attracting and retaining the best talent in(to) research in Europe.” Within MSCA, ITN ETN actions provide joint research training for early-stage researchers involving at least three partners fromin-and outside academia, favouring mobility, high-quality research and intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training and skills.

These actions are aimed at early-stage researchers (with less than 4 years of research experience), and often but not necessarily oriented towards training doctoral students. As such they advance some of the important recommendations made by LERU with regard to doctoral training. As highlighted in the LERU briefing paper to the EU institutions “An ERA of change(May 2014): mobility opportunities for all researchers should be promoted and more should be done to remove legal, administrative and practical obstacles and to ensure good uptake of theinnovative training principles. Mobility of researchers across different sectors, in particular between academia and industry, should also be fostered. LERU has developed this template to help interested organisations participate in MSCA ITN ETN actions and hence enhance young researchers' participation.

Last week LERU renewed its engagement regarding ERA (European Research Area) by signing a joint statement, together with other stakeholder organisations and the European Commission. Researcher training is one of LERU's action areas within that commitment to advance ERA. That is why LERU is pleased to provide this template for use by everyone and as such to contribute to research and doctoral training, essential pillars in building up ERA.

LERU template for MSCA ITN ETN - PDF version

LERU template for MSCA ITN ETN - word version

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