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2014 Rising stars call for applications

Principles of the Rising stars call for applications

Bringing Aix-Marseille University (AMU) to the top research universities worldwide is the
ambition of Aix-Marseille University and its partners. Therefore we have applied for the
Initiatives of excellence call for projects, which is the most important call of the French
governments higher education and research program named Investment for the future. Aix-
Marseille is one of the 8 French top sites, successfully awarded in 2012 thanks to the Aix-
Marseille Excellence Initiative A*MIDEX application. AMU and its partners now aim at
implementing the A*MIDEX initiative, especially by rising up towards excellence the Aix-
Marseilles scientific potential, which is already outstanding, with over 4500
teacher/researchers, 4000 doctoral students and 118 research units, including international
leaders in several disciplines. Right now, the Aix-Marseille site also ranks second in France
with regard to the national research organizations investment.

In this context, human resources strategy, especially talents management, is one of the drivers
for excellence to activate through A*MIDEX. Indeed, attracting and settling more new young
scientific talents on the site, by granting these Rising Stars an adequate environment and
enabling them to fulfill their potential, is a key investment for the future of Aix-Marseille.
The means devoted by A*MIDEX to this pro-active strategy of recruitment of young
academics constitute the Rising stars Fund which is the subject of this call for applications.

The objectives of the Rising stars Fund are the following:
- Settling young scientific talents coming from outside of the Aix-Marseille site, through
A*MIDEX Rising stars packaged chairs
- Developing a peculiar research theme thanks to the laureates scientific project,
surrounded (if possible) by a young promising team within AMUs and its partners
research units
- Increasing the laboratories research capacities: strengthening existing themes, bringing
new abilities
- Preparing the replacement of the life blood of AMU and its partners on the site.

Targets of the Rising stars call for applications:
- Profile of the applicants: The applicants should be young researchers or teacher-
researchers external to the Aix-Marseille site, not having obtained a PhD in Aix-Marseille,
and meeting one of the two following criteria:
1) Being of foreign nationality and not occupying a permanent position in France;
2) Being of French or foreign nationality and practicing abroad .

Moreover, the applicants should:
1) Either be an ERC
-grantee (starting- or consolidator)
2) Or prove to have ability and required characteristics to reach such ERC recognition

- Field of the projects: all scientific domains and fields in the process of being developed on
the site, especially in A*MIDEX 5 priority themes: Energy; Environment, planet and
universe; Health and life sciences; Sciences and technologies; Societies, cultures and

The applicant and his/her project should be backed up by a host research unit of AMU and its
partners, through the sponsorship of one or more manager(s) of research unit(s).

1.2 M, including the laureates wages, to recruit 3 Rising stars on 3 packaged chairs.
Wages of contract staff (PhDs, Postdocs), operating costs, complementary facilities and
administrative and technical support are eligible expenses.

Term of the chair: 2 years that may be renewed once with the same term.

Selection process:
The applications will be assessed by international specialists of the research field. Then for
each A*MIDEX priority theme, a categorization of applications (should be selected, may be
selected, should not be selected) will be proposed by international generalist experts.
The A*MIDEX Steering Committee will make the final decision taking into account the
experts recommendations and AMUs and its partners wider strategic objectives.
The selected applicants will be hired as contract researchers (2 year contract).

Admissibility criteria:
On-line submission of the complete file, conform to the model of application, on the
A*MIDEX website, before the deadline. No addition will be accepted after the closing of the
submission website at the specified time.

European Research Council :

Eligibility criteria:
- Being external to the Aix-Marseille site, not having obtained a PhD in Aix-Marseille and
meeting one of the two following criteria:
1) Being of foreign nationality and not occupying a permanent position in France;
2) Being of French or foreign nationality and practicing abroad .

- Being :
1) Either an ERC-grantee (starting- or consolidator),
2) Either eligible to ERC starting- or consolidator within the 2 following years (i.e.
having 2 to 12 years of experience since completion of PhD) and make a commitment
to apply for it during the 2 years of the Rising Star chair

- Being sponsored by the director of a host research unit from the Aix-Marseille site, and
providing a letter confirming this support.

Selection criteria:
- Profile of the applicant and matching with the scientific project
- Ability to develop an own research theme and to nucleate a young promising team
- Potential to reach international recognition (ERC starting or consolidator grant)
- Coherence of the project with the sites strategy and support from a labeled research unit
to ensure the projects feasibility
- Scientific and technical quality of the project
- Impact of the project : in terms of knowledge progress and importance of the results
- Pulling effect expected on the perimeter of excellence and over the site of Aix-Marseille
- Sustainability of the project, potential to secure the applicant and the team at the end of
the project.

Deadline to submit an application: January 10th, 2014 at 17.00, Paris time.

Conditions to submit an application: on-line submission of the complete application (pdf
file) on the website

For more information:

Model of application
A*MIDEX 2014 Rising stars CFA

Important: This document should not exceed 25 pages (the text must be in size 11 font, with
1,5 spacing, normal margins, A4 format), and should be written in English for the
international experts.

Cover of the application form:
The first page of the file should display the following information:

I/ Nom du candidat/ Name of the

II/ Institution/ laboratoire actuel /
Current Institution/ laboratory

III/ Acronyme du projet/ Acronym of
the project

IV/ Axe(s) thmatique(s)
prioritaire(s)/ Priority theme(s)
Energie/ Energy
Environnement, Plante & Univers/
Environment, Planet & Universe
Sant & Sciences de la Vie/ Health & Life
Sciences & Technologies Avances/
Sciences & Advanced Technologies
Socits cultures et changes/ Societies,
cultures and exchanges
V/ Laboratoire daccueil/ Host

VI/ Financement demand sur 2 ans /
Requested funding for 2 years

VII/ Experts suggrs et non-souhaits
(avec justification pour les experts
non souhaits)/ Experts suggested and
excluded at request of an applicant
(with justification for the excluded

Content of the application file:

I/ Complete CV of the applicant

II/ Scientific file
1. Title and non-confidential abstract of the scientific project (1 A4 page maximum)
2. Description of the research project (15 A4 pages maximum)
- International background of the applicant in the field of the research project (backed up by
references that include finished projects and major relevant publications)
- Theoretical and/or experimental approaches to be used
- Originality and feasibility of the project
- Expected results particularly in A*MIDEX 5 priority themes
- Expected collaborations, particularly with the host research unit
- Work plan, deliverables, and milestones
- Scientific justification of the requested Rising stars grant
III/ Applicants ERC starting or consolidator grant certificate and summary of the funded
project, or commitment to apply for an ERC starting or consolidator grant within the next 2

IV/ Host research unit letter of support, recommending the funding of the applicant through
the Rising stars CFA, and confirming the will to welcome the applicant in the research unit

V/ Three letters of recommendation (paper or scanned originals)