RadioNet Advcanced Radio Astronomy in Europe EC FP6
TNA General
Main Information
Travel Forms FP6
TNA sites
Links & Resources
Document Archive
RadioNet Wiki FP6
RadioNet Partners
Acknowledge RadioNet when you publish!

RadioNet Transnational Access


RadioNet includes a coherent set of Transnational Access programmes aimed at significantly improving the access of European astronomers to the major radio astronomical infrastructures that exist in, or are owned and run by, European organizations. This suite of facilities offers a unique array of capabilities, unmatched anywhere in the world. The combined investment, in today's prices, approaches €500,000,000. The objectives of the Transnational Access portion of RadioNet are to draw together, for the first time, all of the European radio facilities under one umbrella; to enable the European user community to have easy and transparent access to the entire range of facilities; and to offer them an integrated, professional and consistent level of user support. RadioNet's goal is, through the judicious use of EC funding, to simultaneously improve the data products delivered by these facilities and to extend the opportunities for access to a wide-range of EU and Associated State users.

How to Apply for Access

Observing time at seven European telescopes (or arrays) is available to astronomers from EU Member States and Associated States that meet certain criteria of eligibility. Time on these facilities is awarded following standard selection procedures for each TNA site, mainly based on scientific merits and feasibility. New users, young researchers and users from countries with no similar research infrastructures, are specially encouraged to apply. User groups who are awarded observing time under this contract, following the selection procedures and meeting the criteria of eligibility, will gain free access to the awarded facility, including infrastructure and logistical support, scientific and technical support usually provided to internal users and travel and subsistence grants for one of the members of the research team.

Click here for a comprehensive description of the RadioNet TNA sites, including web addresses, details for proposal submission, and RadioNet TNA contact information. A full list of postal and email addresses is available on the Contacts page.

Criteria of Eligibility

The policies for eligibility for access and the rules governing the TNA programme are laid out below:

Eligible countries

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom
Associated States
Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Iceland, Israel, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Eligibility of the user groups

means a researcher within a user group, including the user group leader.
User group
means a research team of one or more researchers given access to the infrastructure under the project. Each user group is led by a user group leader.

To be eligible for participation in the RadioNet TNA access programme a user group must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. both the user group leader and the majority (i.e. 50% or more) of the users must be employed by institutions within Member States or Associated States;
  2. both the user group leader and the majority (i.e. 50% or more) of the users must be employed by institutions in a country other than the country(ies) where the legal entity(ies) operating the infrastructure is(are) established;
  3. The institution of affiliation of the user group leader and the majority (i.e. 50% or more) of the users shall not have access by right to the facility being applied to.
  4. In no case shall a user be eligible for travel and subsistence support to access his/her own facility through this programme.
  5. Groups previously supported under the FP5 EVN Access contract may continue to be supported.

In most cases these rules are clear, however for the international institutes within RadioNet the following table applies with regard to condition 2. above:

FacilityIneligible countries of residence under condition 2. above
EVNNetherlands (host country for JIVE)
IRAMFrance, Germany, Spain (host countries of legal entities that run IRAM)
JCMTUK, Netherlands (host countries of legal entities that run JCMT)

Some user groups may prefer to access the facility electronically (i.e. via an archive) rather than through a visit. In such cases it will be necessary for the facility to demonstrate electronic access, possibly through the issuance of a password. TNA funding may also be used to support the travel of users to 'user meetings' of a particular facility.

Obtaining TNA Funding

Once a user group has been awarded time and informed about this funding opportunity the user group leader can apply for a grant for a member of the user group to visit the facility. This is easily done by contacting the TNA contact person for a given facility (see the Facilities page or the Contacts page) at least two weeks prior to the observing or data reduction visit. As a general rule, only one member from the user group can be supported; additional grants are approved only under exceptional circumstances. The user group leader will receive by e-mail detailed information about the procedure to apply for these travel and subsistence grants. It is the responsibility of the group leader to decide which member of the user group will be supported. If applying for travel support for a facility users' meeting the individual researcher should apply to the TNA contact person directly. Travel Claim Forms for TNA sites can be found here.

It is the policy of the RadioNet Board that facilities should, when possible, offer TNA funding to young astronomers, those new to a facility or those from countries/institutes less able to afford travel to the facility.

Once the observing or data reduction run has been completed, the travel expense voucher and associated receipts must be sent by post to the TNA contact for the facility. The group leader is also required to complete the Project Summary Report, and the members of the user group (including the group leader) will also be invited to submit the User Group Questionnaire. These questionnaires, treated in the strictest confidence by the RadioNet Project Manager and the EC, will help the whole RadioNet consortium to provide better scientific, technical and logistic support to visiting astronomers.

Once we have received your voucher and receipts and the required Project Summary Report, the astronomer supported by the grant will be reimbursed for his/her expenses without delay.

Observers Feedback

One of the aims of the European Community Research Infrastructures Action is to provide scientists from anywhere within the Community with easy access to Europe's major research infrastructures. The Action is implemented through contracts between the European Commission and major European research infrastructures. These contracts serve to support, among others, the mobility costs of visiting scientists and their costs of using the infrastructure.

To enable the Commission to evaluate the Research infrastructures Action, to monitor the individual contracts, and to improve the services provided to the scientific community, each Group Leader of a user-project supported under an EC Research infrastructure contract is requested to complete a User Group Questionnaire. In addition, in order for RadioNet to continually improve its TNA services to the astronomical community, user group leaders are also requested to complete a similar questionnaire which will be sent directly to RadioNet management. Each of the two questionnaires should be completed once by each user group as soon as the experiments on the infrastructure come to an end.

All replies will be treated in the strictest confidence. The information given will only be used for monitoring and assessment purposes.

EC QuestionnaireRadioNet Questionnaire
Complete the EC questionnaire online.

Complete the questionnaire online or send electronic or paper copies to:
Dr. Althea Wilkinson
RadioNet Project Manager
University of Manchester
Jodrell Bank Observatory
Cheshire SK11 9DL
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1477 571321 Fax: +44 (0)1477 571618