La Caille exchange scheme

The LaCaille scheme supports short term stays in observatories and laboratories operated by members of the OPTICON consortium, to exchange skills, or allow training in specific techniques. With more and more of modern astronomy done via remote and service observing, and via large and complex common user instruments with which observers often have little or no interaction, OPTICON has identified a need to provide opportunities for astronomers to develop their observational and intrumentation skills. We aim to do this by providing opportunities for astronomers and engineers not yet associated with specific approved observing programmes to join with experienced  Scientists in order to broaden their skills.

Our objective is to enable this process by identifying experienced researchers, with approved observing time, or with access to world class observatories,  who are willing to host additional team members, and matching them with candidates who wish to gain direct experience by participating in practical activities which they would not otherwise be able to do.

The procedure is twofold:

- First, you have to register, either as a student, or as an astronomer proposing an observing programme, or a technical run.
          You will then receive a message, if your application has been accepted

   Some guidelines:
     - The Opticon Access program has been developed to foster collaboration accross Europe
            and to allow access to the forefront observing capabilities of all EU astronomers.
        In a first step, only observatories participating in this program are open for the La Caille exchange scheme.
        Any observing run in those observatories is eligible, whether or not it has been granted/supported by Opticon.
     - The idea is to allow foreign PhD students  or PostDocs (one, or more) to participate in a run,
         if the observer is willing to serve as a mentor during his/her observing run.
         This, at the moment, excludes students/scientists which are directly working with the PI or the project group,
        or are signing the proposal, as those have other means to be financed, including by the Access program itself.

The scheme is open to all PhD students, astronomers, or engineers from across the EU. The costs of the OPTICON supported participant will be met in full, as will any additional direct costs of the mentor related solely to their participation in the programme. There is no obligation on the mentor to include the OPTICON participant in scientific data rights or publications resulting from the project, and the OPTICON supported observer shall accrue no such automatic data or publication rights by virtue of their participation in the project.

  Once you have been accepted as registrants, you can then:
     - As an astronomer, submit one or more observing runs where you are willing to accept the participation
       of students. Please fill in details about the instrumental set-up in the appropriate box. 
        This is done also on the Registration page.
       To garantee the respect of our internal selection rules, we ask you also for a copy of the proposal, at least
       the first page with the title, abstract and names of PI and Co-I's.

The list of runs available for training is posted here.
     - As a student/PostDoc, select one observing proposal in which you would like to participate.
       If accepted, you will get a notification, and instructions about travel.

This scheme is presently open in a test phase; some details may still have to be fixed, please excuse us for any
  possible failure or incompleteness.