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NISPAcee Professional Development Programme
For Doctoral and Young Researchers
Institutions interested in their participation in the Programme should send their Letter of Intent to Ludmila Gajdosova, NISPAcee Executive Director: gajdosova@nispa.org
I. Goal
1. The Goal of this NISPAcee Professional Development Programme for Doctoral and Young Researchers (PD Programme) is to foster and strengthen high quality research of Ph.D. students and other categories of young researchers from the central and eastern European region, through the establishment of a research network of participating institutions.   The network would serve as an exchange, communication, consultation and presentation of research work performed by participating young researchers and presentation of their research findings and final research papers.  

II. Outputs
1. Outputs of the programme will include high quality final research papers, developed by participating Ph.D. and young researchers considered for publication in NISPAcee publications, including the NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy, or in special e-volumes of the programme.  

III. Participating institutions and Participating Young Researchers
1. NISPAcee will serve as a leading Institution, responsible for the overall PDProgramme execution.
2. Any relevant Institution, legal or sub-legal person (faculty, department, institute, etc.) from Central and Eastern Europe can apply for participation in this "PDProgramme".  NISPAcee would negotiate the conditions of participation in the "PDProgramme" individually with each applicant as described in part VII of this Project.
3. Participating institutions are entitled to nominate their own young researchers to participate in the project.

IV. Management and Coordination of the Project
1. NISPAcee will be responsible for the overall management of the Project.  NISPAcee will establish the necessary structures for the project’s management and administration and will design the necessary procedures and templates for applications and evaluations. NISPAcee will appoint a Main Programme Coordinator responsible for the quality of research results, and a Main Programme Manager responsible for the overall execution of the project. NISPAcee will launch a project communication platform and additional appropriate supervision bodies as required. 
2. Each participating institution would appoint one person, generally responsible for communication with NISPAcee and execution of the project – a Programme Head.  Another academic staff member (Supervisor) could be appointed for the supervision of their own participating young researchers.

V. Academic field
1. Participating institutions and proposed research could cover the following fields:
Economics, Management, Business, Finance, Public Administration, Public Policy, Quantitative Research, Computer Science, Information Science, Political Science, Public/Administrative Law, and also other connected disciplines.

VI. Core Organisational Principles
1. Any participating institution has the right to nominate young researchers for the Project. The nomination, submitted by a Programme Head (Nomination Form attached) will be assessed and approved or disapproved by the Main Programme Coordinator.
2. Eligible young researchers would include PhD students and young researchers from participating institutions.  Any nomination will have to include:
• Completed Nomination Form and CV of a researcher.
3. Participation in the Programme will have to be approved by the Main Programme Coordinator based on the submitted nomination.
4. Selection criteria:
• Submission of nomination materials.
• Relevance of academic field.
• Quality of research proposal.
5. NISPAcee would support all accepted young researchers through its network and professional capacities.
6. A final research paper, prepared by a participating researcher, would represent a tangible output of the programme. The final paper has to be approved by the Main Programme Coordinator and the Programme Head.
7. Participating researchers would be strongly encouraged to apply, with their research papers, for a respective NISPAcee Annual Conference and they will have to pass a standard selection procedure.  Exceptions (such as a presentation at another main international conference on a given research topic, or at an ad-hoc research seminar co-organised within the project by NISPAcee or Participating institutions, or a similar event) must be approved by the Main Programme Coordinator and the Programme Head.
8. A final written evaluation and confirmation of the  successful completion of the research plan  of a participating researcher  (the Evaluation Form attached) will have to be completed by the Main Programme Coordinator and the Programme Head at the end of his/her participation in the Programme.
9. Based on a positive evaluation, NISPAcee would issue the Programme Certificate for the participating researcher signed by the Main Programme Coordinator on behalf of NISPAcee and the Programme Head of the Participating institution.
10. The Programme will be evaluated on a yearly basis. This evaluation will be prepared by each participating institution and afterwards approved by the Main Project Coordinator. Based on these evaluations, NISPAcee will prepare an annual progress report submitted to all participating institutions and widely published for the promotion of the Programme.

VII. Programme execution
1. All details determining the participation conditions for institutions shall be defined in an Executive Contract signed between NISPAcee and the participating institution on a one-year basis. The Contract will be signed for a given calendar year, and could be extended for another year based on agreement by both parties.
2. The Contract will have to include the names of the persons responsible for the Contract execution, number of participating students and financial conditions.
3. Each participating institution will have to financially contribute to NISPAcee for the management and administration of the project. The financial contribution to be paid to NISPAcee would depend on the number of participating students and services required for them, and will be individually negotiated with each participating institution.
4. The core activity of the Programme would be the participation of young researchers in the NISPAcee Annual Conferences with their papers presenting their research results. Other activities, for example, seminars, workshops etc. could be organised by NISPAcee for participating researchers, based on the requirements of participating institutions. Such activities will have to be included in an Executive Contract for a given year, or its amendment duly signed.
5. Each participating institution will have to confirm that they will cover participation costs, including conference fees, of each participating researcher selected for a paper presentation at the NISPAcee Annual Conference.
6. The Executive Contract will have to be signed by a legal representative of the participating institution and by the NISPAcee Executive Director.
VIII. Duration and Termination of the Programme
1. The Programme was launched upon its approval by the NISPAcee Steering Committee in 2019.
2. The Programme could be terminated by the decision of the NISPAcee Steering Committee to be taken based on a review of the Programme Annual Report, due to not fulfilling the Programme goal.
3. The termination would come into force at the end of the calendar year within which such a decision shall be taken. This would mean that running Executive Contracts would have to be terminated at the end of a given calendar year and could not be extended.  NISPAcee’s obligations, set out in valid Execution Contracts for any given year, shall have to be fulfilled.
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