The “Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence" support and accreditation is a programme of the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness that aims to promote excellence in scientific research in Spain.
The Severo Ochoa subprogramme seeks to boost research activities taking place in specific institutional and organizational environments in which a scientific community works closely together to achieve common objectives, facilitating interaction among its members and at the same time showing a high degree of openness to international collaboration.
It is aimed at existing centres and units that perform cutting-edge basic research and are among the world's best in their respective areas. The impact and international scientific leadership of these centers and units is essential for their recognition.
The selection process is transparent and based on international best practices.
The evaluation and selection is carried out by an independent scientific committee consisting of internationally renowned scientists. “Severo Ochoa” Scientific Committees include leading international researchers. The three scientific committees cover these areas: “Life Sciences and Medicine”, “Mathematics, Experimental Sciences and Engineering” and “Humanities and Social Sciences”.
Accreditation as a “Severo Ochoa Centre or Unit of Excellence” is valid for four years and includes a grant of one million Euros per year during this period.
A limited number of Severo Ochoa centres or units of excellence are accredited each year. At the end of their four-year accreditation period they may apply again for accreditation, following the same procedure as new applicants for the accreditation and associated grant.
The Severo Ochoa Programme targets those centers–be they existing university departments or institutes, public organizations’ research centres, or stable units that meet the requirements of the calls– that carry out cutting-edge basic research and are among the world's best in their respective areas. Networks of centres or units are excluded.
The centres or units that apply to this programme must demonstrate that their research fulfills the programme’s requirements for excellence and that they:
Accreditation as a Severo Ochoa center or unit of excellence has a duration of four years and includes:
Each “Severo Ochoa” centre or unit of excellence must have a Scientific Director, who is not necessarily the director of the institution. The Scientific Director must be highly respected by his peers for research that meets the highest standards as well as having a significant capacity for leadership in the management of research.
“Severo Ochoa” centres or units of excellence must be centres of reference and clear examples of the quality and relevance of the pioneering scientific research carried out in Spain, and as such should serve to lead and energize our research system as a whole and boost its international profile.
The second call of the Severo Ochoa programme was published in the Official State Gazette on 11/07/2012. The deadline for applications is August 6, 2012.
The evaluation and selection of process Severo Ochoa centres and units of excellence is based on the centre's activity over the past five years (2006-2010), assessing, among other things, scientific production; participation in projects with competitive funding and, especially, the results obtained in the European Union’s IDEAS Programme; the track record history and leadership capacity of the of the centre or unit’s scientific director and principal investigators; the centre’s structure and organizational model of the centre and its human resources strategy; and its international position and collaboration with top-level centres and its degree of international openness as well as its ability to attract the most prestigious researchers in its field.
The Scientific Committee and external experts also evaluate: (a) the research programme, (b) the human resources programme and (c) the evaluation and monitoring plan for the next four years (2013-2016).
Of a total of 61 proposals evaluated in the first phase and after a rigorous selection process conducted in two phases, the centres that have been accredited as a Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence, as listed in the final resolution of this first call, are:
Chairpersons of Scientific Committes:
Members of Scientific Committes and Experts involved in the evaluation of Severo Ochoa 2011 call:
«Mathematics, Experimental Sciences and Engineering»:
«Humanities and Social Sciences»:
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