Call for additional partners of PASCAL 2 Network of Excellence

PASCAL 2 is a European Commission financed FP7 Network of Excellence that started in March 2008 and that will run until February 2013. It focuses on the development of principled approaches to machine learning, statistical analysis and pattern recognition and their applications to diverse areas including cognitive systems and robotics, user interfaces, and vision, speech and text understanding. Many of the leading European research groups in these areas participate. The funding is allocated dynamically by a range of network programmes that promote network themes and encourage interaction and community building in these areas. As a part of this activity, we have held an annual call for new sites for the past two years, and we will hold a limited call again this year. Any site that is eligible to participate in EC financed projects can apply, but the process is highly selective and for budgetary and network-focus related reasons only a very small number of new sites can be admitted this year. New sites are expected to be world leading in their research areas and they must demonstrate links with existing sites that are sufficient to ensure future collaboration and good integration into the network. Sites working on any network-related theme can apply, but for this call preference will be given to building critical mass in our thematic priority area of creating artificial cognitive systems (including but not limited to robotic systems, embedded agents, etc) based on sound statistical and machine learning principles. For more information about the application process and deadlines, see below.

Information required for an application to become a new PASCAL 2 site

For consideration at the 3 September 2010 Steering Committee meeting, applications including all of the following information must reach the Committee by FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2010 and the corresponding letters of reference must reach the Committee by FRIDAY 13 AUGUST 2010. There will be no extensions. Applications and letters should be sent in PDF or plain text format to the PASCAL administrator Rebecca Martin at UCL, Rebecca.Martin at

Information to include:

  • The site name and manager.
  • The name of the PASCAL 2 Beneficiary that will manage the site’s budget for it (for most sites this will be UCL [1])
  • The names of two previously agreed sponsors from within the PASCAL 2 network. These must be from two different countries (one country can be that of the candidate site) and they must be permanent staff at their respective institutions. The applicant should ask each sponsor to email a confidential letter of support for the application to the Committee by FRIDAY 13 AUGUST 2010. The letters should evaluate the leadership and excellence of the site and the added value for the network as a whole of including it (complementarity, critical mass, probable collaborations, advancement of network goals…)
  • A proposed initial list of members at the site, giving their employment status (permanent, postdoc, PhD student) and keywords for their research interests.
  • A few paragraphs (absolute maximum 1 page) explaining concisely how the site intends to contribute to PASCAL 2 and describing the kind of work that it does, its alignment with PASCAL 2 and its goals, any past or current participations in PASCAL activities, how the group plans to interact with other PASCAL 2 sites,… Include a list of at most 5 recent publications that illustrate the quality and alignment of the work at the site. Small sites will need to argue that they have the critical mass to participate as an autonomous PASCAL site.
  • The information required for a Contract Preparation Form: official names and addresses of the institution(s) concerned; names, email addresses and telephone numbers of the people in their contracts offices who will handle contract preparation; full names and titles of their contract signatories.
  • Before submitting an application, you must also verify that your institution has read the Non-Beneficiary accession agreement and is willing to accede to it (Downloadable version available here).


[1] Most new sites are expected to join as “Non-Beneficiary” members. This essentially allows full network participation except that the site budget is managed by UCL rather than the site itself and staff can not be employed. If staff need to be employed later (e.g. following a successful Pump Priming or Harvest request) the site can apply for promotion to full Beneficiary status at that stage. However sites that are attached to existing multi-site Beneficiaries, notably the CNRS, can immediately become full members via their Beneficiary, subject to the agreement of that Beneficiary. The application and approval process is the same for all new sites.