Guidelines for TNA

The MOSBRI programme offers TNA to 13 European biophysical laboratories, widely distributed over Europe and selected to ensure a comprehensive portfolio of technologies and expertise. You can read about the access modalities and the submission process on this page. To provide transparency on the decision process, both the moderation and reviewing criteria are described below.

MOSBRI proposal handling outline.

Proposal guidelines

MOSBRI provides access in different modes.

Access to MOSBRI pipelines: This means an integrated access to a synergistic set of biophysical instruments and technologies. This will allow the TNA user to fully exploit the expertise of the TNA site to tackle advanced questions. Read more about the available pipelines here.

Access to instruments and methodologies: Use this proposal submission method if you have a focussed research question and already know which instrument/methodology your project needs access to. First select a MOSBRI partner or look at the list of techniques to identify a partner offering the instrument/methodology, read the MOSBRI partner pages with instrument/methodology descriptions, and fill out the instruments/methodologies form.

Common to these two access modalities is that the moderator panel may provide you with feedback and suggestions for other partners or pipelines if the panel views this as being beneficial for the project. Furthermore, some MOSBRI TNA centres provide remote access with mail-in sample services and is indicated on each partner page.

Project maturation: If you are unsure which pipeline or instrument suite will best answer your project’s scientific question, the moderator panel experts can offer to guide you via project maturation (see figure above). In this case, only a description of the project has to be submitted.

Products: For example, protein standards that can be used to calibrate and benchmark instruments or for training. Current list of products.

All proposals submitted are moderated and reviewed according to the guidelines found below. Moderators will consult with the TNA sites(s) to ensure compatibility. Once a proposal is accepted, the final communication for scheduling and execution is made directly between users and the TNA site. Even when a proposal is accepted by moderators and reviewers, the TNA site has the final decision on acceptance of the access and right to change the requested time slot(s) with reason (availability, conflicts, technical issues etc.). The MOSBRI TNA manager may assist resolving such issues if necessary.

Timeline: In the first year of the project, MOSBRI aims to relay initial feedback to the applicants within 15 days. This will be evaluated after the first year and will be adjusted according to the needs of the user community. Note (June 2021): During the summer holiday months of July and August, processing a submission may take longer.

Proposal moderation and Moderator guidelines

A TNA Moderator Panel, composed of eight experts from the participating TNA sites (broadly covering all the technologies provided), will assess which of the MOSBRI services are most relevant to address the request. This moderator panel will make a first read-through of the proposal to ensure that it complies with the services MOSBRI offers and, if necessary, liaise with the applicant to optimize the proposal.

In cases where a proposal falls outside of the scope of MOSBRI, the proposal is returned with recommendations for improvements or, if applicable, with a referral to other European Research Infrastructures. Once the proposal is finalized, the TNA moderator panel will forward it to the TNA Reviewer Panel.

Based on the evaluation and recommendations of the reviewers (see below), the TNA management team, composed of the Moderator Panel coordinator (ProLinC) and the TNA manager (AU-SRCD), will either accept or reject the proposal, with accepted proposals directed to the most appropriate MOSBRI TNA site to handle it. If the number of applications exceeds the maximum amount of TNA available for the period of application, higher scored applications will have priority.

Reviewer panel and Reviewer guidelines

The TNA Reviewer Panel is composed of internal and external reviewers with at least 20 members to ensure a short response time. More than 50% of the members of the reviewer panel will be external to the MOSBRI programme to ensure that the process is transparent and unbiased, while internal members will ensure compatibility with TNA sites and will recommend the best site for the execution of the TNA visit.

The review will be carried out using well-defined criteria:

  • Scientific Excellence: score from 6 (High) to 1 (Low)
  • Expected impact: score from 6 (High) to 1 (Low)
  • Timeliness: score from 3 (Highly relevant) to 1 (Not relevant)
  • Feasibility: score from 3 (High) to 1 (Low)

In addition, the reviewer is asked to make any other relevant comments about the project, which will be visible to the applicant.

To be successful, an application must receive scores of at least 4 (Scientific Excellence/ Expected impact) and 2 (Timeliness/ Feasibility). The identity of the applicant is hidden from the reviewers, to ensure a bias free evaluation. MOSBRI may update the criteria at a later stage, at the earliest after the first year of operation, if experience with the reviewing system demands it.

We kindly ask that reviewers return their review of a proposal within 2 weeks of receiving a request, or to immediately inform MOSBRI if they are unable to carry out the review.

TNA proposal submission will open near the start of the MOSBRI project, which is currently projected to be the 1st of July 2021.