The H2020 project eLTER PLUS provides opportunities to perform research focussed on a selection of eLTER sites handpicked for the purpose of small to medium scale ecological and socio-ecological projects. The first call for access to the well-equipped eLTER Sites is now open! The call offers access to 44 sites in 20 countries, mostly in Europe. Scientists working in the areas of biodiversity, biogeochemistry, hydrology or socio-ecological research are encouraged to participate in the call, which will be closed on 23 December 2020. The call provides two types of access: the option Transnational Access (TA) enables in-person visits (e.g. to collect and analyse data), whereas Remote Access (RA) enables the “remote users” to specify what activities could be implemented on their behalf by the local teams. eLTER PLUS promotes both approaches but due to possible COVID-related travel restrictions, at present, a focus on RA is recommended. The eLTER PLUS TA/RA scheme offers free of charge access to the research site(s) and all the services provided by them. For TA, travel and subsistence costs of the users are covered as well. All sites included in the scheme are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation to enable comprehensive ecological measurement and experimental campaigns. They also provide a wealth of additional data and background information that support the research objectives. For a full list of the sites, which were selected to represent all European biogeographic zones, please visit the eLTER PLUS First TA/RA call for proposals webpage and the eLTER Site Catalogue for additional photos and information. Successful projects typically are conducted during the summer season, but users may choose any timing starting as early as April. The selection criteria will mainly consider the scientific excellence of the proposed work, the involvement of promising young scientists at the start of their career, the feasibility of the proposed application in accordance with the site manager, as well as the formal eligibility criteria in line with European Commission H2020 access regulations. A selection and review panel will carefully evaluate the received proposals in order to enable transparent, fair and impartial review of the applications. For its first call, the eLTER PLUS project predefined a set of research-questions within the following thematic categories: Drivers, trends and status of biodiversity (1), Carbon and nitrogen cycling in ecosystems (2), Water stress in ecosystems (3), Socio-ecology (4). Proposers may address one or more of the recommended research questions within this framework or define their own research questions. To apply for the call, please visit the ‘How to apply’ section of the call web page; there you can find the necessary application documents, as well as additional information on the administrative, operational and financial procedures.
ecosystem, ecology, research, biodiversity