EXPLORE#6 call for projects, support for international mobility

As part of the I-SITE Program of Excellence (P.E.I), the University of Montpellier (UM) is launching EXPLORE#6, the sixth edition of the support for international mobility call for projects.


This call for projects provides  three distinct schemes:

  1. Support for incoming or outgoing individual mobility stays for the exploration of new international collaboration projects by : professors, researchers, research professors, PhD students, engineers, technicians or administrative staff;
  2. Support for outgoing collective mobility stays to develop new international collaborations (pedagogical, academic and/or scientific) by : professors, researchers, research professors, PhD students,  engineers, technicians or administrative staff from various P.E.I institutions; such projects may involve students;
  3. Support for incoming individual mobility stays of Master students for research internships to enable the development of new strategic collaborations.


The aim of this call for projects is to encourage international collaborations, enhance the attractiveness and visibility of the Montpellier site, and contribute to new initiatives. Within the framework given above, any project exploring new international collaborations, or extending existing collaborations towards new actions, and presenting a clear added value for the P.E.I. may be considered for funding.

Preferred partners

Priority is given to the list of partners below; it is planned to devote 75% of resources to this priority. Proposals outside this list remain possible, up to a maximum of 25% of resources.


South Africa
University of Pretoria

National Higher School of Agriculture (ENSA)
University of Tlemcen

Côte d'Ivoire
INP Félix Houphouët-Boigny

Kenya and Tanzania
Universities with a similar profile UM*1

Hassan-II Institute of Agronomy & Veterinary Medicine (IAV Hassan-II) ; University Mohammed VI Polytechnic

Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar

Carthage University

North America

University of British Columbia
Université Laval
University of Sherbrooke

United States
UC Davis
University of Arizona
Universities with a similar profile UM*1

Latin America

Costa Rica
University of Costa Rica (San José)

University of São Paulo


Universities with a similar profile UM*1

Kasetsart University


University of Heidelberg, University of Oxford
CHARM-EU alliance universities
Any partner, if Horizon Europe project or student mobility in view.


Any existing international partnership tool if the value-added for EXPLORE is demonstrated*2

*(1)Universities with a similar profile to UM: institutions interested in the three pillars of Feed-Care-Protect, research-oriented and open to bilateral student exchanges.

*(2) Existing international partnership tools (if the value-added is demonstrated):


The financial envelope allocated to the EXPLORE#6 program is €400,000.


The candidates are invited to reduce their impact and to favor, when possible, less polluting modes of transportation. When applying online, candidates must enter the amount of CO2e potentially emitted during the round trip, using the Ademe calculation tool.


  • Call for projects: December 18, 2023
  • Application deadline: February 18, 2024 (11:59pm Paris time)
  • Evaluation by the EXPLORE#6 Evaluation Committee: February 19 to March 15, 2024
  • Decision by the UM Strategic Investment Committee: March 26, 2024
  • Announcement of results by e-mail: from April 1, 2024
  • Mobility stays may start: from May 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025


After an administrative analysis of the applications by the International Relations Department, the applications will be sent for evaluation to the EXPLORE#6 Evaluation Committee, chaired by the UM Vice-President in charge of international relations and composed of members of the UM Academic Council (CAC), directors of the UM research clusters and representatives of the COMIS member institutions.

The EXPLORE#6 Evaluation Committee will produce an evaluation of the eligible applications and will propose a ranking submitted to the UM Strategic Investments Committee (COMIS). Results will be sent by email from April 1, 2024 to successful and unsuccessful applicants.



To develop or extend international collaborations for: • PhD students, seeking for potential post-doctoral professional research opportunities; • Professors, researchers, (tenured or contractual at the time of the mobility period) • Support staff (tenured or contracted at the time of the mobility period).


To develop or extend international collaborations (setting up a new training program, building an international partnership between institutions, developing a structuring research project, etc.) for a group of 2 to 4 people composed of professors, researchers, PhD students, support staff (tenured or contractual at the time of the mobility period) from a P.E.I. Institution. Such groups may also involve students. The group must include people from different faculties or P.E.I institutions.


The EXPLORE#6 call for projects funds grants consisting of:

  • A daily allowance, which varies according to the country of destination (see Order of July 3, 2006 setting the rates of mission allowances), for a minimum of 5 days when travelling in Europe and for a minimum of 10 days when travelling outside Europe (excluding travel days). The allowance is capped at 30 days per beneficiary regardless of the total duration of the mobility;
  • Taking care of transportation costs based on actual expenses, up to a maximum of one round trip per beneficiary. Coverage is capped according to the distance between the departure and arrival points, calculated as follows the tool developed by the European Commission :
    • From 0 to 999 km: €600 per beneficiary
    • From 1,000 to 7,999 km: €1,300 per beneficiary
    • More than 8,000 km: €2,000 per beneficiary

These allowances are intended to cover the additional costs of mobility and cannot be used to finance the wage bill. Do not apply to EXPLORE if there is already a funding opportunity on the same theme within the P.E.I..

Assessment criteria

Funding for mobility for the sole purpose of attending a symposium or conference is excluded from the EXPLORE call for projects. In addition to the criteria of consistency (scientific vision: "Feed - Care - Protect" and all disciplines that can contribute to it) and quality of the project, the following selection criteria will be taken into account:

  • Exploratory and structuring character of the application, and presenting an added value for the P.E.I (reinforcement of excellence, acquisition of new skills, innovation) including for requests for mobility of agents not directly related to these themes;
  • Stimulating the openness of Montpellier's communities to international collaboration by enhancing the partnership networks of institutions dedicated to the international stage and by developing collaborations with public or private stakeholders in the fields of training, research and development, or for pedagogical and organizational innovation;
  • Collaborative effect induced within the P.E.I. through outgoing collective mobility stays potentially involving several academic and/or research structures of the P.E.I;
  • A commitment of the hosting and outgoing structures in the exchange, in particular in terms of human and financial resources mobilized, is expected. Collaborations between academic/research structures involved in the P.E.I will be particularly appreciated.


You must submit your application before February 18, 2024 (23:59pm, Paris time) via the following form You will have to provide: a brief description of the project, a letter of support with approval from the director of the applicant's teaching and/or research institution, or from the supervisor for administrative staff and a letter of invitation from the director of the host teaching and/or research institution. For collective outgoing collective mobility stays, the project leader submits the application only once.



EXPLORE#6 is open to students from foreign partner universities (see list above) for individual incoming mobility in the form of a research internship lasting a maximum of 6 months in P.E.I. laboratories. Students must be enrolled in a Master's program at the time of their mobility. Students are not subject to any nationality requirements, but may be subject to the usual laboratory access checks.


A maximum lump-sum grant of €5,000 is paid to the host laboratory. This support is proportionally reduced for mobility periods of less than 6 months. This sum must enable the structures to welcome the student in good conditions: gratification of the internship, financing of consumables, etc. A simple provisional budget must be provided at the time of application.

In addition, the student's travel expenses will be covered up to a maximum of one round trip, depending on the distance between the points of departure and arrival: 0-999 km: €600; 1,000-7,999 km: €1,300; over 8,000 km: €2,000.


The following selection criteria will be taken into account:

  • Introduction to research: discovery of a research problematic;
  • Learning content: acquisition of scientific techniques, conducting experiments, etc.. ;
  • Collaborative effect induced within the P.E.I. : development of collaborations between researchers from foreign laboratories and researchers from P.E.I., thanks to student mobility scheme;
  • A commitment to the exchange on the part of the home and host structures, particularly in terms of resources mobilized, is expected.


The application must be submitted before February 18, 2024 (11:59pm, Paris time) via the following form by the researcher of the host structure who will supervise the student.

You will have to provide a brief description of the project including an estimated budget, a letter of support with a visa of approval from the director of the student structure and a letter of invitation from the director of the hosting structure.