E.1 Coordination and organisation
The organisation of this Action will follow rules and regulations set by COST guidelines to be applied in Action specific way as appropriate. The network as a whole will be administered by a Management Committee (MC) in close collaboration with the COST Office. As described in the COST rules, the MC will be convened by representatives of the Parties. The MC will elect a Chair, at least one Vice-Chair, a STSM Assessment Panel, a Web Master for the website of the Action and an Editorial Board for the publications by majority vote. The MC will set up four Working Groups (WG 1-4) and appoint a leader and deputy for each WG. Each WG leaders will be responsible for achieving goals and milestones and for reporting their achievements to MC based on the predefined timetable.
CAPARA will be implemented through a concerted action, which means that research is carried out and financed by the active national grants of participating scientists, while COST provides the necessary management. The coordination of research and exchange of data between the participating laboratories in different European countries will be achieved by realising the common milestones/deliverables of different WGs as described in section D2. It is worth noting that several participants in the Action have experience in earlier COST Actions (i.e. as MC members and WG leaders).
In their respective countries, the MC members will be responsible for co-ordinating the involvement of the national research teams by helping them to utilize synergies by co-operation, facilitating applications for STSM, organising workshops, special meetings for young scientists (e.g. Training Summer Schools) according to the needs of the WGs and in conjunction with the decisions of the MC.
COST offers a number of instruments which will prudently be used by this Action. Major organization and planning will be performed within the MC. Initially the MC will meet once the Action will come into force (within the first 3 months) and set the different WGs. Thereafter, the members of the WGs will meet in separate or combined meetings and annual general conferences. Meetings of the MC will take place twice each year, preferably linked to general conferences and WG meetings. This will ensure efficient coordination of the activities and discussion about the objectives and critical points of the programme. Each WG will arrange a meeting within the first year to plan its activities (plan and coordinate the different meeting, STSMs, publications, training schools, etc.).
In the first MC meeting, the location of the first general conference will be decided. MC will elect a Conference Organising Committee (COC) each year that consists of the local organiser and representatives of each WG. COC will be responsible for organising the general annual conference. The local organiser chairs the COC and reports its progress to MC. Different WGs through their representatives in COC will contribute to setting the scientific programme of the conference. COCs are convened for one year and in each general conference the location and COC of the next conference will be decided by MC.
A website will be established as early as possible to inform about CAPARA as well as its progress and achievement of objectives. It will be the responsibility of the Web Master and the MC to organise the website and keep its contents up-to-date with the progress of the Action. The website will also provide links relevant websites, such as the ones from IGA (http://www.igagoatworld.org/), European Veterinary Parasitology College (http://www.eurovetpar.org/), World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (http://www.waavp.org/), and Association of SouthEastern and Eastern European Parasitologists (http://www.seeep.org/).
In addition, dedicated mailing lists will be established as a mean of communication between different members of MC and WGs. If necessary, decisions regarding approval of STSMs or other matters related to the Action will be made through votes delivered via these mailing lists.
Moreover, all scientific data collected on goat-parasite interactions will made available via a common database launched on the website. The results should also make feasible to appreciate the sustainability of various grazing or browsing systems in different European research institutions. The Action will seek financing among the industry as well as national funds to keep the website and the database up-to-date both to serve the needs of the participants and with the specific aim of ensuring the dissemination or exploitation of the results.
An effort will be made, dependent on the budgetary possibilities, to finance at least 4 STSMs each year for students to exchange know-how between laboratories in different member states as defined in the rules of COST. During selection process, priority will be given to the younger applicants engaged in research as post graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. The selection of applicants will be the responsibility of the STSM Assessment panel, consisting of 4 members (representatives of each WG) and the MC Chair, which will be authorised to assess proposals and to decide on the ones to be funded after consideration of COST rules and procedures. In some cases, external advice may be sought. The criteria for assessing applications, which will be in line with the Actions objectives, will be announced in the website available to potential applicants. Special care will be taken to avoid any bias on the grounds of gender, age or nationality.
Additionally, each year, one WG will be responsible to organise a Training School. MC chair and members will help WGs in organising those training schools and will follow COST rules and procedures for its organisation and selection of participants. Priority will be given to ESRs in taking part in the training school.
Two special publications on Recommendations for Safe and Cost-effective Control of Parasites in Goats and Guidelines for Pertinent Use of Antiparasitic Drugs in Goats will be published as a book or a special edition of a scientific journal in the final year of the proposed Action detailing the achievements of this programme. An editorial board constituted by members of each WG will be appointed by the MC for the production of those publications.
E.2 Working Groups
The network will be organised by forming four WGs. There will be annual WG meetings, separately or combined by WG, and an annual conference where the results of the WGs will be discussed with all members of the network official veterinarians, medical officers and stakeholders. The Working Groups corresponding to the research tasks outlined in Section D are:
WG 1: Epidemiology of parasitic infections
WG 2: Immune response to parasites
WG 3: Pharmacokinetics and AH efficacy
WG 4: Alternatives to chemical drugs
Each of the WGs will be managed by a WG leader and a deputy which will have as main tasks to:
E.3 Liaison and interaction with other research programmes
Co-operation with other existing European and international research programmes dealing with related topics will be envisaged. These will be established by personal contacts in the first instances. The members of the Action that already are members of the other programmes will serve as the primary contact point for establishing the initial contacts. MC through relevant WGs will look at expanding contacts with other European and international research programmes by inviting scientists to participate in the general conferences and focused workshops. Existing links to other continents will be maintained.
E.4 Gender balance and involvement of early-stage researchers
This COST Action will respect an appropriate gender balance in all its activities. The Action will also be committed to considerably involve early-stage researchers. The Management Committee will place these two items as a standard item on all MC agendas.
At the time of writing, the list of experts contains 70 scientists (25 females and 45 males) and 11 early stage researchers. Maximum efforts will be undertaken to improve gender balance and to encourage the involvement of Early Stage Researchers at all levels including their active participation in all meetings, conferences and workshops to be organized in the frame of this initiative.
To strengthen the above argument its worth mentioning that the proposed Action is submitted by a woman, early stage researcher in the first place.
Particular attention will be given to promote and encourage young scientists to undertake STSMs during the Action in order to further strengthen the co-operation and collaboration with other laboratories and broaden the scientific horizons of young scientists.