The molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation in vertebrates are not well understood, despite their paramount importance to neuroscience. CHARM-Vis aims at investigating changes in the chromatin landscape and transcriptional activity in a prototypical model system for memory formation: visual imprinting in domestic chicks. The expected outcome of the project is remarkable. The use of single-cell, next-generation sequencing technologies will allow to study the system of interest at an unprecedented level of resolution, potentially leading to relevant new discoveries. Novel bioinformatics software pipelines will be developed for analyzing the data, and made available as free, open source software. All the data generated in the project will be made public as well, in order to benefit future research. A highly interdisciplinary consortium of world leading institutions will be involved in the project, including experts in chick visual imprinting from Ilia State University, Georgia, bioinformatics specialists from Navarrabiomed, Spain, and biotechnology experts from Karolinska Institute, Sweden. The combined expertise and synergy of the international consortium, along with the long-lasting scientific experience of the applicant, will ensure the successful fulfillment of the proposal. All the involved parties will greatly benefit from participating into the project. The applicant will deepen his expertise in bioinformatics and neuroscience, reinforcing his position as independent researcher. A mutual exchange of knowledge will take place among the involved institutions, whose know-hows are highly complementary. The project will also have beneficial, long-lasting effects after its end. We expect novel scientific questions to spring from the results of the project, stimulating the applicant as well as other researchers in performing further research, expanding the current knowledge and consolidating their careers.
EMBRACE analyses blockages to democratisation in the European neighbourhood, identifies ways to overcome them and suggests new policy tools for EU democracy promotion (EUDP). EMBRACE takes stock of developments in democracy-building, assessing EUDP instruments, ambitions and concepts. EMBRACE investigates episodes of political deadlock and opening to identify, analyse and explain behavioural, institutional and structural blockages, and the conditions under which they can be overcome. EMBRACE is sensitive to variation in democratisation trajectories, and the cultural, historical, and geopolitical context in which blockages emerge. It also keeps an eye on the blockages from within the EU. EMBRACE surveys the local needs for an improved EUDP and develops new policy tools (e.g. digital platform, EUDP mapping tool, EUDP best-practices collection, policy papers, video clips, podcasts, training webinars) for EUDP practitioners and pro-democracy activists. EMBRACE’s approach to empirical research combines a quantitative large-n with a qualitative middle-n comparative research strategy. Quantitatively, EMBRACE analyses the larger trends of EUDP and its effects on democratisation over the last two decades in all 23 neighbours. Qualitatively, EMBRACE investigates episodes of deadlock and opening from 12 selected countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, Western Balkans, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Intra- and cross-regional comparison is systematically included in EMBRACE’s research design and WP structure. For data collection and analysis, consortium partners located in EU- and in non-EU countries team up. Six stakeholder committees monitor the entire research process assuring that local needs and narratives are considered. In doing so, EMBRACE provides the EU with in-depth knowledge and an innovative policy toolkit enhancing partnerships for a stable and secure European neighbourhood, and incentivising resilient political actors to embrace democratic change.
COSMOS2020plus is the next funding phase of the Space NCP network after COSMOS2020. For participants of Horizon 2020 Space the project will allow to continue organising information days, providing a newsletter service and a website. To improve the performance of single Space NCPs exchange means and trainings will be performed. Through this the overall performance of NCP services should be improved.