Last week, we took a little trip down the memory lane and went over our major achievements and activities back in 2021 (if you haven’t read the post, you can check it here).

Now, it’s time to look at what the future will bring us and share with you some of our plans for 2022.

We are now on our last grant period, which is predicted to end by the 22nd of October, but we have plenty of plans for the upcoming months. You will surely be hearing from us on each of those plans individually but today, we would like to sum up some of the forthcoming activities and draw your attention for the funding opportunities you can still apply for. So, follow us in this brief overview and make sure you check whether you have an interest in applying to any of these funds.


First and foremost, our Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) program is still up and running. As most of you know already, this funding allows participants to visit a laboratory in a different country. These scientific missions may last up to six months and they are mostly aimed at sharing new techniques that may not be available in a participant’s home institution or laboratory, while fostering collaboration in excellent research infrastructures. So, they are a great opportunity for everyone, especially for those who are giving their first steps in the field, or want to give an extra boost to their career by learning new skills and living an international experience.  So, please bear in mind this opportunity and be sure you check our STSM-dedicated section on the website to know more about it and read the experience of previous participants. There is still time to apply!


Then, let’s also not forget our ITC conference grants. This funding allows participants working on ITC countries (you may find them all here, in green) to attend virtually any high profile international science and technology related event on our major topic of interest, RNA therapeutics and their delivery, as long as it is not sponsored by our Action directly. There are obviously a few requirements you have to meet in order to qualify to these funds, but they are actually quite easy to meet. Basically, besides having a primary affiliation in an institution located in a participating ITC, applicants must either be PhD students or ECIs and have an accepted oral or poster presentation that properly acknowledges COST. There are a few more details, but you may find them all on our ICT section. So, go check it, and make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity – particularly this year, when many conferences and workshops are finally going in-person again. Actually, we may even suggest you a few over the next months. By now, just bear in mind there is a possibility to apply for an ITC conference grant to attend the XXIV Round Table on Nucleosides, Nucleotides, and Nucleic Acids, which will be held in Stockholm, in late August. This exciting conference is actually hosted by one of our DARTER members, Professor Roger Strömberg, who is the chair of the organizing committee.


But, as a COST Action, there is much more we have to offer other than funding, and new and exciting projects are lined up for 2022. For example, we are happy to announce we will be starting a Mentorship program, pairing up researchers within our network at different career stages. You will hear more about this stimulating program soon enough. By now, all we can do is acknowledge the two brave colleagues, who will be coordinating the whole initiative: our well-known Irene Vazquez Dominguez and our newcomer collaborator, Dunja Lukovic.


Another initiative that will take place during the first semester of 2022, and which most of us are eagerly awaiting, is the second edition of our very own DARTER Training School on Science Communication. Again hosted by our Italian colleagues, Michela A. Denti and Elisa Giorgio, who are now well-known for their capacity to translate jargon to lay language, this will be a great opportunity for you to learn a few techniques that will help you take Science out from your lab and into the street. This is all we may say so far, but stay tuned because the dates for the Training School will be released soon.


We could go on listing everything we have scheduled, but we will give you a rest (and save a few trick on our sleeves)… Just remember to follow our socials and go check them from time to time.