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Call for tenders - FELLOWSHIP-INITIATIVE 2014-2015 "Forward to a New Normal: Growth, integration and structural convergence revisited - Reference ECFIN 2014 004/B

Deadline for submission of proposals: April 6th, 2014 (23:59 CET)

While the worst of the crisis appears to be behind us with long-term solutions coming into sight, the fall-out continues to weigh heavily on growth and jobs, bringing severe hardship to many. Moreover, advanced economies, emerging market and developing economies are, and will be, facing a combination of old and new risks over the medium term. Thus, we are far from "mission accomplished" and a return back to the 'pre-crisis normal' is neither possible nor desirable. Against that backdrop, DG ECFIN is asking scholars to map out the 'new economic normal' in the context of reshaped economic policy frameworks and governance designs, focussing in particular on medium-term growth perspectives and newly emerging set-ups in areas such as the architecture of financial systems and European convergence and integration mechanisms.

DG ECFIN intends to award around 15 contracts for "Research Fellowships" to academics/researchers covering specific topics on the general themes outlined below. In particular, we are seeking to establish a discursive interaction process between the group of fellows and ECFIN staff.  

Specification of services under the "fellowship" contracts:

Each fellowship comprises the following services: (i) provision of consultancy services in the form of regular interaction and discussions with DG ECFIN staff, including taking part in meetings in Brussels; (ii) preparation of an essay/study/lecture notes on a proposed subject outline taken from the themes and (non-exhaustive) list of topics (see enclosed annexpdf(55 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  for more details) described below; (iii) presentation of the essay/study/lecture notes in a conference or similar event. In the provision of their services, the Fellows will of course retain complete academic independence and freedom of expression of opinions.

  • The fellowship runs from June 2014 to June 2015.
  • Each of the fellows will be invited to a maximum of 3 events in Brussels: They will be requested:
    • to attend a kick-off meeting on 15th September 2014,
    • to participate in an interim workshop or similar event in November 2014 to discuss the topic and/or to participate in ECFIN's 2014 Annual Research Conference (see below)
    • and a closing workshop or similar event in May/June 2015
  • Exact dates will be timely communicated.
  • At the request of the Commission, fellows should also stand ready to present their work at ECFIN's Annual Research Conference (scheduled for November 2014), followed by comments of discussants and a general exchange of views among participants.
  • Fellows will be asked to provide consultancy services in the form of regular interactions and discussions on the subject field with Commission staff (amounting to a total equivalent of approximately 30 working hours).
  • The final essay/study/lecture notes will have to be work created in response to this call and should be about 20-30 pages (approx. 15,000 words in length).
  • The fellow(s) will be required to send an electronic version (Word) of their written contribution to DG ECFIN as follows: an advanced draft version by November 30, 2014 and the final version by 30th April 2015.

Theme I: Medium-term growth perspectives

Issues to be addressed under this theme could include

  • From crisis to secular stagnation? A critical review of demand and supply side narratives.
  • EU growth set against international economic developments in major advanced and emerging economies.
  • Patterns and drivers of productivity growth within and across EU Member States
  • Investment patterns and the benefits of integration
  • (New) strategies for structural reforms: design, coordination and demand management.
  • New manufacturing around the corner? Longer-term challenges for European manufacturing and the role of industrial policies.

Theme II: The architecture of financial systems

Issues to be addressed under this theme could include

  • Depressurising the balloon in time: the withdrawal of extraordinary policy stimulus.
  • The risk-free asset and the safe interest rate: price formation on financial markets and the transmission of monetary policy.
  • Strategies to erode the mountains of public and private debt: a critical reassessment.
  • Banking union and beyond: improving the mechanisms for private risk sharing and allocation of capital in EMU.
  • Finance for investment and growth

Theme III: European convergence and integration mechanisms

Issues to be addressed under this theme could include

  • Centralisation versus re-nationalisation of economic policies in the EU: where did we go too far and where not far enough?
  • United in diversity? How much and what kind of structural convergence is needed in the Euro Area?
  • Fulfilling the minimum requirements for a functioning of EMU? The fiscal compact, fiscal integration and financial market discipline.
  • Structural convergence versus systems competition: the case of taxation, social policies and factor mobility in EMU.
  • Of rich and poor: macro-implications of the trends in income and wealth distribution.
  • Political economy of EMU: rebuilding trust and popular support for economic integration.

Fee – travel and accommodation arrangements – draft contract

  • In accordance with the conditions of the contractpdf(144 kB) Choose translations of the previous link , the Commission intends to pay a global fee of maximum €15,000 for the fellowship services (presentation and consultancy services, written contribution in form of essay/study/lecture notes).
  • In addition and with respect to the meetings in Brussels, travel and accommodation arrangements will be organized by the Commission via a travel agency, acting on behalf of the Commission.  In case of co-authorship, the Commission may provide travel and accommodation for one co-author and for one trip. The fellow or his co-author is not allowed to book anything himself.
  • No separate allowances or reimbursement of costs are possible since they are comprised in the all-in price.

Submission provisions

Candidates are invited to submit their proposal to the e-mail, clearly mentioning their chosen theme in the subject line of the e-mail.

The following must be submitted:

  • a signed application formpdf(33 kB) Choose translations of the previous link ;
  • extended abstract (up to 1,500 words) of the essay/study/lecture notes;
  • a curriculum vitae of the (co-) author(s);
  • a list of publications of the (co-)author(s);
  • signed proxy formpdf(15 kB) Choose translations of the previous link (s), in case of co-authorship.

The mailboxECFIN-2014-004-B@ec.europa.euis reserved solely for submissions. Submissions sent to other mailboxes or to Commission staff cannot be accepted. No other communication should be addressed to this mailbox.

Candidates may submit separate proposals for more than one topic/theme but can only be awarded maximum two contracts. The Commission reserves the right to assign the proposal to another theme.

The essay/study/lecture notes can be co-authored, but the fellowship contracts are signed by the representing author following the above proxy form(s) in case of co-authorship.

Submission of a proposal implies that the candidate accepts all the terms and conditions set out in these specifications and in the contract. Period of validity of the proposal during which candidates may not modify the terms of their proposals: 6 months from the deadline for submission. 

Deadline for submission: deadline for submission of proposals is April 6th, 2014 (23:59 CET). Proposals received after this date will be non-admissible.

The Commission may publish any additional information, inaccuracy, omission or any other clerical error regarding this call on this website.  It is the candidate's responsibility to regularly check for updates during the submission period.

Assessment procedure of the proposals

The procedure for the award of the contracts will be carried out in three successive stages. Only proposals meeting the requirements of stage one (eligibility/participation conditions to the call) will be examined in stage two (selection criteria). Proposals passing stage 2 will then be assessed in stage 3 (award criteria).

Stage 1: Eligibility

Access to this procurement procedure is granted to candidates from states having ratified the Multilateral Agreement on Government Procurement concluded within the World Trade Organisation.

Tenders that are found not to be compliant with the technical specifications will be rejected.

Stage 2: Selection criteria

Candidates will have to pass the following professional and technical selection criteria in order to take part in stage 3 of the procedure (award criteria).

  1. The professional standing of the candidate as demonstrated by outstanding academic excellence in the subject field and measured by academic achievements, employment history and research experience.
  2. A track record of publishing path-breaking research on issues relating to the subject field in leading, peer-reviewed journals.
  3. Typically, meeting the above criterion will require the candidate to hold a senior faculty position at an academic institution/economic research institute, or equivalent, having obtained a PhD in economics and a minimum of 5 years of postdoctoral work and research experience in the subject field.

Stage 3: Award criteria

Only proposals passing the selection criteria will be evaluated and receive points in accordance with the following award criteria:

Qualitative award criteria


1. The clarity of the proposal as assessed by the precision with which:


(i) it explains how the research topic will be addressed,



(ii) it discusses the theoretical and empirical techniques that will be used to analyze specific issues,



(iii) it explains the policy relevance of this analysis



2. The quality of the proposal as measured by:


(i) its potential to provide robust economic analysis that offers value-added vis-à-vis the existing academic literature on the subject field.



(ii) the comprehensiveness of the proposal to address the research topic



(iii) the potential of the proposal to provide new insights on highly pertinent policy issues specific to the research topic



Total points


Ranking of the proposals - Award process

With a view to awarding around 5 contracts per theme under this research project, the proposals will be ranked in accordance with the points received for the above award criteria. The pass mark is set at 65 points.

In the event a candidate would be shortlisted for more than one proposal, the Commission will autonomously determine which proposal will be retained. A candidate can only be awarded one contract.

The assessment procedure is expected to be completed by April/May 2014. Candidates will be informed by e-mail (to your e-mail address used for submission of the proposal) of the outcome of the procedure. Please check your e-mail address regularly.

Publication of the results

DG ECFIN envisages publishing the essays/studies/lecture notes in its Economic Papers series. Ownership and exploitation of the results will be governed by the provisions specified in the draft contract (see above).

Further information

Information of a clarifying nature can be requested solely in writing via the mailbox Requests received less than five working days before the final date for submission of proposals might not be processed.

This invitation to tender is in no way binding on the Commission. The Commission's contractual obligation commences only upon signature of the contract with the successful candidate(s). Up to the point of signature, the contracting authority may either abandon the procurement or cancel the award procedure, without the candidates being entitled to claim any compensation.

If processing your reply to the invitation to tender involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as your name, address and CV), such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, your replies to the questions and any personal data requested are required to evaluate your tender in accordance with the specifications of the invitation to tender and will be processed solely for that purpose by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs. Details concerning the processing of your personal data are available on the privacy statement at: Choose translations of the previous link .

Your personal data may be registered in the Early Warning System (EWS) only or both in the EWS and Central Exclusion Database (CED) by the Accounting Officer of the Commission, should you be in one of the situations mentioned in:

- the Commission Decision 2008/969 of 16.12.2008 on the Early Warning System (for more information see the Privacy Statement on ), or

- the Commission Regulation 2008/1302 of 17.12.2008 on the Central Exclusion Database (for more information see the Privacy Statement on )

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