Applications for travel funding are often successful in EJP SOIL - to the benefit of early-career researchers
Since April 2021, it has been possible to apply for EJP SOIL grants for travels in relation to workshops, summer schools, conferences and more - and almost all of the applications have been successful. Furthermore, applications for funding used for getting access to infrastructure have often received a positive response, since the first call opened back in September 2021. This is of specific importance to early-career researchers.
An important part of the EJP SOIL is to strengthen the training of emerging and established scientists working on agricultural soils across Europe - as well as to provide early career paths for scientists.
Two of the tools used to achieve these goals are the “Visiting Scientists” and “Access to infrastructure” grants, which are announced by two bi-annual calls - the latest one in September this year.
While the “Visiting Scientists” call aims at strengthening the knowledge exchange and capacity building in the form of physical visits between EJP SOIL and non-EJP SOIL partner institutions, a stronger focus on the accessibility of data from long-term field experiments and analyses in soil laboratories across Europe is the main aim of the “Access to infrastructure” call.
- Besides knowledge and data exchange, both calls give the opportunity to increase and strengthen the network between institutions and scientists. This is of specific importance for young researchers but scientists at all stages of their career as well as technicians can apply for grants, says Katharina Meurer from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, who is working to promote training within the EJP SOIL framework:
Funding to attend PhD courses
One of the young recipients of the “Visiting Scientists” grant is Beata Bartosiewicz from the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation in Pulway in Poland.
- Thanks to funding from EJP Soil, I had the opportunity to attend the course “Soil Systems - From Field to Model: peat soil study, mapping, statistical analysis and modelling”, held in Riga. The topics of the course were related to my interests, and the skills gained enhanced my professional qualifications.
Another early-career researcher, Rong Lang from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, used a “Visiting Scientists” grant to attend a summer school on “Quantitative Approach to Soil System Dynamics”, which provided her with the opportunity to learn and practice with real case studies:
- I learned new things and started a collaboration with the specialist on digital soil mapping to map changes in soil carbon for Swedish arable land, she says.
High level of success
These two EJP SOIL researchers are not alone. In fact, the applicants for the two grants so far have often been successful.
- Since the first call in April 2021, 17 scientists have applied for the “Visiting Scientists” grant and no less than 15 of them received funding for travelling. Among the applications were requests for financial support for visits of workshops, summer schools, and conferences, as well as method-learning and proposal or paper writing, Katharina Meurer points out.
For the “Access to infrastructure” grant, the first call was opened in September 2021, - together with the second call for “Visiting Scientists” - and since then, four of the nine applicants have been funded after review by the evaluation committee.
Further calls will follow in spring and autumn 2023.
Contact: Katharina Meurer, firstname.lastname@example.org