NEETs and Public Employment Services | Call for Mentees

Mentoring Group | NEETs and Public Employment Services

Call for Mentees – NEETs and Public Employment Services

Apply to the Call for Mentees (Open until 31th October 2021 15th November 2021)

More info about “NEETs and PES Mentoring Group”

As part of the COST Action 18213 – Rural NEET Youth Network (RNYN), a call is open for the RNYN mentoring scheme “NEETs and Public Employment Services (PES)”. This mentoring program strictly connects with the actions of the CA 18213, which started in October 2019 and that will be completed in October 2023. This Action encompasses the creation of a European-led multidisciplinary network from countries showing higher NEET youth rates in rural areas.

The mentoring programme aims to support Early Career Researcher (ECR), i.e. researchers up to 8 years after their PhD completion, as well as PhD students in developing research proposals on the following topics:

1) to identify the different types of NEETs, their distribution in the different contexts and type of interventions that each of these groups need to exit from the NEET status

2) to improve knowledge on the PES functions and on their effective capacities to help young people in job search

3) to create a privileged communication channel with PES, finalized to a regular information exchange on NEET needs, characteristics, and to directly communicate with them

4) to identify the actions which can help in early school leaving prevention, because early school leavers are among the most at risk of becoming NEET

5) to study the different dynamics characterizing NEETs in rural and urban areas

6) to stimulate young researchers to apply for projects in studying NEETs and the possible actions to improve their employability

The mentoring program will be implemented for 12 months (from January to December 2022) and it will involve training schools, engagement group activities, as well as group and peer-to-peer mentoring sessions.

Specifically, the mentoring program will offer the following opportunities:

– To receive intensive training on the development and preparation of research project proposals on the topic of “NEETs and PES”.

– To develop the capacity to design and develop interdisciplinary and applied research at national and international levels on NEETs, the role played by the PES across countries, focusing both on rural and urban contexts.

– To be part of a network of researchers, actively involving researchers from less research-intensive COST Countries (ITC countries), with the capacity to capture funding to develop applied and interdisciplinary research on “NEETs and PES”.

– To participate and engage in activities aiming to involve young people, stakeholders and policymakers in the elaboration and implementation of research projects on rural youth participation.

– To participate in the design, development and submission of a funding proposal at local, national and/or regional level (EU) within the lifetime of the mentorship programme.

Selected candidates will also have the opportunity to join the CA 18213, and benefit from its activities and events. The expected general timeline for the mentoring program will include:

  • January: Kick-off training school
  • From February to June: Engagement group activities (including stakeholders’ involvement)
  • From July to November: Peer-to-peer online mentoring sessions
  • December: Final event

More information on the timing and the activities included in the mentoring program can be found at the following link:

Who can apply?

Candidates applying for the CA 18213 mentoring program must comply with all the following mandatory criteria:

(1) To be an Early Career Researcher (ECR) that completed their PhD in the 8 years previously to the call; OR a PhD student who will be finishing his/her thesis in the subsequent 18 months;

(2) To be affiliated with a research institution based in a COST member country;

(3) to present a recommendation letter from a senior researcher from his/her institution.

Priority will be given to ECIs and PhD students belonging to one of the following Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC): Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Republic of Serbia.

Furthermore, a gender balance should be ensured.

Evaluation procedure

The applications will be assessed by a jury of 3 members of the CA 18213.

Important dates:

  • Deadline for receiving applications: 31st October 2021 15th November 2021.
  • Submissions checking and evaluation: Between 15th to 30th of November 2021.
  • Results communications: 30th November 2021. Results of the application will be communicated via email.

Evaluation criteria

Proposals are assessed according to a system of 100 points, based on three types of criteria:

    1. Scientific soundness and excellence of the manifestation of interest (40 points);
    2. Plan for future research development in the area (40 points);
    3. Additional criteria (20 points).
  1. Scientific soundness and excellence of the manifestation of interest (up to 40 points)

(1) The topic of interest is aligned with one of the mentoring programs focuses (10 points);

(2) Goals associated to the proposal are clear, attainable and defined in a smart way (10 points);

(3) The contribution to the field of rural NEETs social exclusion is innovative, covering an under researched topic (10 points);

(4) The expected contributions of the mentoring program to the development of a research proposal are clear (the candidate presents at least three clear arguments about how the participation in the mentoring program will enable he/she to develop his/her research idea) (10 points).


  1. Plan for future research development in the area (up to 40 points)

(1) Deliverables: the candidate plans to submit a project proposal for international funding by the end of the mentoring program (15 points); OR

(2) The candidate plans to submit a project proposal for national funding at the end of the mentoring program (7.5 points);

(3) Timeline for the deliverables: the submission of the proposal occurs within 12 months after the conclusion of the mentoring program (15 points);

(4) The project proposal involves collaborations with members of CA 18213 network as well as with researchers outside CA 18213 network of members (10 points) OR the project proposal involves collaborations within CA 18213 network of members only (7.5 points).


  1. Additional criteria (20 points)

(1) The proponent is affiliated with an institution based on an ITC country (+ 10 points);

(2) The proponent is a woman (+10 points).

Additional notes: In case of a conflict of interests, such as if the applicant or host is affiliated with one of the reviewers, the reviewer will be excluded from the reviewing processes for the application.

Exclusion criteria:

(1) The topic does not fit the mentoring programme;

(2) Applications that do not reach a total average score of 50 points.

Application of the evaluation criteria

✓ The number of points out of which each category will be evaluated are indicated in parenthesis (with each number indicated being the highest).

✓ For each application a single average score will be calculated. After that, for each application a single average score (proposed by each reviewer) will be summed and divided by 3 (number of reviewers). At the end, a ranking list will be organized based on the total average score.

✓ Starting with those with the highest points, the mentoring positions program will be distributed until the available budget is consumed.

✓ For applications with an equal number of average points that fall on the threshold of being supported, a decision will be made to promote the representation of all working groups as equally as possible.


  • The mentoring program will involve at least two face-to-face events (depending on the COVID-19 pandemic). Several other events will be organised online during the program (e.g., workshops, roundtables, etc.). The mentees are expected to attend all the events and activities. Absences can be accepted in exceptional situations, but each mentee is expected to participate in at least 80% of activities. The mentees are expected to get information about the missed activities by themselves.
  • For face-to-face activities, all travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by COST Action based on a daily allowance. The daily allowance depends on the country where the activity is organized, based on COST Associations rules.

FORM TO APPLY Deadline (31st October 2021 15th November 2021):

More info about Mentoring program:




COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks.
Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

Official COST Web: CA18213