We invite proposals for a project to be supported by the European Federation of Freshwater Sciences (EFFS). The call has been developed as a joint effort of the EFFS board, the European Fresh and Young Researchers (EFYR) and representatives of the Fresh Blood for Fresh Water (FBFW) meetings, based on a previous call from the Jóvenes-AIL (J-AIL) of the Iberian Limnological Society. It has the primary goals of encouraging young freshwater researchers across Europe to create synergistic interactions that lead to new knowledge, promote networking among young European Limnologists and offer experience in generating research ideas, acquiring funding, planning and carrying out a collaborative international scientific project.
Collaboration among scientists over a wide geographical area offers the possibility to plan innovative experiments with a relatively small budget. Such collaborative projects have the potential for combining outstanding research with networking, and thus can be very valuable for scientists at an early stage in their careers. As an example, a project such as this initiated by the AIL, developed into a programme involving 42 young scientists performing measurements in 11 rivers in Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Proposals submitted to the present call should specify original research on any aspect of the ecology of inland waters. We are seeking to support research relying on the original and well- designed use of inexpensive and simple methodology, and will favour multidisciplinary interactions among young researchers from several European countries. This is an `equal opportunity call’ which is open to all young members of the limnological societies constituting EFFS. National societies from Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain/Portugal, Switzerland and United Kingdom financially support this programme and kindly encourage the participation of their young members.
Who is eligible?
Only researchers at Masters, PhD- or early Post-Doc level (max. 2 years after PhD completion at the application deadline) can submit proposals and participate in the selected project. The researchers need to be members of the limnological societies within EFFS (the list of societies is available here). The final team must include at least one participant affiliated to each of the funding societies (Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain/Portugal, Switzerland and United Kingdom).
Duration of the project
The project should be completed within two years after signing the grant agreement (see details in the section “Once the proposal is selected: Team assembly”); publication of scientific outputs is not required within this time frame although realistic plans for publication should be part of the proposal. If the team decides to publish their results in open-access journals, the publication fee needs to be included in the total budget of the project proposal.
Budget
The budget available for this inaugural round is 8,000 euros (VAT included), which could be supplemented by funds provided by the participants. This budget may cover consumables and travel expenses, conference fees and publication costs. Salaries and non-consumable materials cannot be paid by the budget. As mentioned above, the final team must include at least one participant affiliated to each of the funding societies:
– The Group of Austrian Members of SIL (Verein Österreichischer Limnologen) (Austria). Contribution: 500€.
– French Limnological Association (France). Contribution: 1,000 €.
– Deutsche Gesellschaft für Limnologie e.V. (Germany). Contribution: 2,500€.
– The Italian Association of Oceanography and Limnology (Italy). Contribution: 1,000 €. – Iberian Association for Limnology (Spain andPortugal). Contribution: 1,000 €.
– Swiss Society for Hydrology and Limnology (Switzerland). Contribution: 1,000 €.
– Freshwater Biological Association (United Kingdom). Contribution: 1,000 €.
In the absence of an applicant from the membership of a particular society the budget available may be reduced by the sum contributed by that society.
Rules
Each young researcher can only submit one project. However, each project can have up to two proposing investigators (PIs; preferably, but not exclusively, belonging to different countries), who will lead the project. The PIs and any number of co-investigators make up the final project team. The PIs will be in charge of managing the project funds and shall report the main results and account of expenses to EFFS by the end of the project. Young researchers from across Europe will be invited to join the winning project after its acceptance, but the proposing investigators can also provide a list of potential participants from different European countries during the application. The PIs can belong to any of the EFFS affiliated countries, but, as mentioned in the previous sections, to attract the total sum available, the final team must include at least one participant affiliated to each of the funding societies (Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain/Portugal, Switzerland and United Kingdom). In addition, other young scientists from these or other affiliated societies can participate.
How to apply
Young researchers interested in submitting a proposal, from any society within EFFS should complete the Project Proposal Form and send it by e-mail to the contact persons listed below with “Young Freshwater Project” in the subject line. The name of the Project Proposal Form file should include the first initial and last name of the proposing investigator (e.g. “FreshProject_ASilva”or “FreshProject_ASilva+APozo” without spaces or
accents, with the 1st letter of each word in caps). The project proposal should be submitted as a single file containing the following sections:
– Title of the project, name(s) and affiliation(s) of the PI(s), up to five keywords.
– Project abstract (maximum length 3,000 characters including spaces, minimum font size 11pt).
– State of the art (maximum length 5,000 characters including spaces, minimum font size 11pt).
– Methods and development of the project, including project tasks and timetable (maximum length 20,000 characters including spaces, minimum font size 11pt).
– Impact of the project (maximum length 5,000 characters including spaces, minimum font size 11pt)
The annexes should be merged at the end of the Project Form. Mandatory annexes are: (i) (a) letter(s) testifying that the proposing investigator(s) has (have) the support from the host(s) institution(s) to carry out the project (ii) CV for the applicant (s). We will acknowledge receipt of the application within three working days.
After the submission deadline, projects will be assembled and sent to the members of the jury for evaluation.
Submission deadline
The deadline for the submission of projects is 12 am (GMT) of 31st January 2016, with the time of the e-mail header as proof of date. The applications must be sent simultaneously to:
[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Evaluation criteria
The jury will be constituted by five members to be nominated by the EFFS board, together with the Boards of the EFYR and the FBFW, among renowned limnologists without any link with the presented projects.
The projects submitted will be evaluated according to the following criteria and scored from 0 to 10 points:
A. Scientific merit and innovation: Relevance to wider society and originality of the project proposed; Methodology for carrying out the project, including available instrumental resources at the centres where the research will be performed; Hypotheses to be tested and contribution to scientific knowledge; Potential scientific outputs.(up to 4 points).
B. The potential for interactions among young European researchers in different scientific disciplines and for enabling a balanced representation of participants from differing geographical, cultural and gender backgrounds. (up to 4 points).
C. Feasibility of the work-plan: Organization of the project in terms of the proposed objectives and resources. (up to 2 points)
Only one project will be selected. The decision of the jury will be announced not later than 29th February 2016, by e-mail sent to all young researchers who have submitted a project, as well as the communication in the EFFS websites of the selected project, and the titles of
proposals that were not funded. Applicants will also receive an evaluation report addressing the criteria mentioned above. The decision from the jury is final.
Once the proposal is selected: Team assembly
In order to reach out to young researchers across Europe that could join the collaborative project, an invitation will be sent out via existing e-mailing lists of the different national Limnological Societies, as well as of the FBFW and EYFR networks. Social media will be used to advertise the project further. Young researchers wishing to participate should write a letter affirming that they are willing and able to participate in the project in the terms described in the proposal. Instructions on how to proceed will be given in the invitation e-mail. Young researchers that meet this criterion will be put into contact with the proposing investigator(s) of the project, who will decide if the interested researcher qualifies to join the team according to the project needs. The final project team must be assembled by 29th April 2016. After the project team is created, the grant agreement will be signed and project will develop as specified in the Proposal Form, under the leadership of the PIs.
The final amount to develop the project will be transferred to the PIs.
Dissemination of results
A final report, sufficiently detailed to reflect all results and conclusions, should be submitted (by e-mail to the addresses listed in section “Submission deadline”) by PIs within three months after the end of the project. The report should have a maximum length of 20,000 characters with spaces and minimum font size 11pt, including Figures and Tables. This should also specify expected deadlines for dissemination (publication) of scientific outputs and detailed justification of the project expenses. In parallel, at least one scientific paper should be submitted to an international peer-reviewed journal no later than three years after the start of the project, covering complete or partial aspects of the research carried out.
All participants in the research will be considered as potential co-authors in the project outputs (except theses). Among the outputs of the project we would expect at least one paper to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and will require an oral presentation of preliminary results at SEFS10 at Czech Republic and of final results at the first meeting of SEFS after the end of project. The EFFS and funders of this call must be acknowledged in any publication or conference presentation. Participants should also set up a blog featuring real-time updates on project progress and activities. Use of other social media and alternative outreach venues to provide visibility for the project and the call is encouraged.

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