Constructive Advanced Thinking (CAT)
Emergent Societal Issues
The aim of the CAT initiative is to foster networks of excellent early-career researchers dedicated to devising new ideas to understand and to tackle current or emerging societal challenges. Although the programme has a strong focus on the societal relevance of the projects, it is entirely blue sky, bottom-up and non-thematic. CAT encourages a collaboration with stakeholders outside academia (industry, policymakers, NGOs…) who are willing to support or engage in innovative research initiatives.
In order to engage in fruitful discussions and mature their ideas, the groups will be given the opportunity to meet for short stays in different participating institutes, and to be put in contact with the institutes’ fellows and local research communities.
With few guidelines and a very light application process, CAT is designed to maximize the creativity of research groups. This call has been incubated in the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NETIAS) and also involves institutes beyond the network. The collaboration between twelve different institutes in different countries aims at giving these groups access to a great variety of high-level thinkers and researchers in order to go beyond the current frontiers of knowledge and to develop highly innovative ideas on how to address very complex societal issues.
CAT will provide teams of early-career researchers (three to five persons, possibly including an extra-academic stakeholder) time and space for thought and discussion in the best research environments Europe has to offer. During a period of up to three years, teams will benefit from a series of short stays (i.e. between one and two weeks, two to three times a year, for a maximum of six stays) in institutes participating in the programme (see list below). Online meetings and digital research stays at the institutes are possible alternatives to onsite stays and can complete the work and time plan of CAT groups.
CAT will cover travel and accommodation expenses for the team meetings/short work stays in the participating institutes. CAT will not fund salaries or research related expenses.
The participating institutes will support the teams by connecting them with the most knowledgeable and experienced researchers onsite as well as digitally, and by helping them valorise the obtained results through their legitimating channels. During their stay, CAT teams will benefit from the institutes’ amenities and conviviality for work and exchanges. Discussions at the institutes will provide a unique sounding board for innovative ideas and will give valuable feedback.
Please submit your application documents in English as PDF files (the various parts of the application may be sent as one PDF). Applications should include the following materials:
1. a 300-word abstract;
2. a 3000-word max project proposal (references not included in the count) OR a video of 15 min max (in this case, please include the web link in the abstract), describing the team’s research question and how it plans to address it. The team’s motivation as well as the societal issues addressed and the interdisciplinary aspects of the project should be specified;
3. a work plan for the whole project duration, including meetings (tentative dates and possibly preferred hosting IAS) and activities with an indicative calendar;
4. a short description of the team
5. CVs for each participant and an indication of where they will travel from to the meetings;
6. letters of support: at least two from academic researchers; additional letters from extra-academic stakeholders outside academia are encouraged.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 15 October 2022, 15:00 CET
The application platform will open on September 4,2022.
Successful applications will be notified by the end of December, 2022
Stays in participating institutes will take place between January 2023 and December 2025.
Non-selected projects will not receive feedback on the reasons for rejection.
More information is available online at: https://iias.huji.ac.il/Open-Call-CAT or at the web-pages of the participating institutions.
Questions can be directed at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ms. Keren Rechnitzer)