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Trans-national co-operation among National Contact Points for Marie Curie Actions (People NCP’s) (PeopleNetwork)
Start date: 01 Aug 2008, End date: 31 Dec 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

National Contact Points (NCPs) play a crucial role in the Framework Programme as providers of information and assistance to potential participants (applicants) of new projects and contractors in on-going projects. They reach out to the European research community in order to inform and raise awareness about the funding opportunities of the Framework Programme, to advise and assist potential applicants in the preparation, submission and follow-up of grant applications, and to offer support during the execution of projects – especially with respect to the management and administrative aspects of projects. Moreover, due to its closeness to the European research community, the European Commission perceives the NCP Network as an important instrument for gathering feedback on possible problems and difficulties in the implementation of the Framework Programme. One of the great strengths of the NCP system is its national orientation and ability to provide support to applicants in their own native language. This is carried out by experts that are not only well versed in the modalities of the Framework Programme, but, as a rule, also possess keen knowledge of the national research landscape in their respective fields. On the other hand, however, this national orientation poses certain problems. The decentralised system – organised and financed nationally – has led to the development of a collection of heterogeneous structures. In an effort to address the weaknesses described above, the project proposal PeopleNetwork aims at the development and implementation of a coordination mechanism for stimulating closer cooperation among National Contact Points for the PEOPLE programme in the Seventh Framework Programme. PeopleNetwork will facilitate the improvement of the overall quality of NCP services across Europe in the area of mobility and increase the transparency of EU fellowships and training opportunities to ensure equal access for all.
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