Photo credits: Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.
This CETAF community initiative celebrates the new generation of scientists working on collections that help document, describe and understand life on Earth. The 2023 edition will be exclusively dedicated to the PhD students.
CETAF is launching for the fourth year its community initiative to reward early-career researchers within the fields of taxonomy, biodiversity and geodiversity sciences. The E-SCORE Award - Excellence in Scientific Collections-based Research is a celebration of the new generation of scientists who have shown dedication to the use of collections that help document, describe and understand life on earth, and the processes that have shaped it. The award also celebrates the United Nations-endorsed International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls annually on the 22nd of May to commemorate the 1992 adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Collectively, we are the leading European voice for taxonomy and systematic biology. Natural history museums, botanical gardens and biodiversity research centres from across Europe hold a wealth of biological and geological collections, including animals, plants, fungi, rocks and genetic resources. The collections of our 74 institutions comprise an estimated 1.5 billion specimens, including over 80% of the world’s described species. This unprecedented resource serves to drive scientific research and public engagement worldwide. A vibrant community of experts manage, study and open up these collections, our community brings together a vast array of expertise in scientific research, with over 5000 scientists in 24 countries. Taxonomy is at the heart of our work: a science that is fundamental to understanding the biodiversity of the world around us, studying evolutionary processes and reconstructing the history of life on Earth.
By awarding E-SCORE, CETAF wishes to highlight the significance of collections-based research in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change. This year 2023, the E-SCORE award is addressed to Ph.D students (at their last stage or finished in the last 6 months).
The prize will be given annually and consists of three parts:
■ A cash prize of 1,000 €;
■ Financial support (up to 1,000 €) to facilitate a scientific visit of the Award Winner to one of the CETAF institutes;
■ An invitation to the next CETAF Governing Board meeting for a (virtual) presentation of the winning research.
ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA
The CETAF E-SCORE AWARD is now issued every two years to specifically address PhD students who meets the following three criteria:
● Conducts research, including taxonomy, based on natural history collections, which directly or indirectly contributes to addressing global challenges, including biodiversity sustainability;
● Has published research (e.g. a taxonomic monograph, paper, database, thesis or software) that presents innovative aspects of research approach, methods/techniques, and theory that align with the principles of open science;
● Is enrolled in a graduate school programme to obtain a Doctoral degree when the prize is awarded (May 22, 2023) or has been enrolled until November 2022.
Awards will be made considering the scientific relevance, innovation, societal impact and international impact of the research. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in science, and especially from women and minorities. Applications need not be from a member of CETAF but should include a nomination from a member of a CETAF institution.
APPLICATIONS Applications will be submitted by completing the Application Form provided on the CETAF website, and returning this together with required appendices to the CETAF Chair Evaluation Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12:00 PM UCT on 30 April 2023.
The required appendices are:
1. A Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of (most important) publications or other research output (max. 2 pages in total)
2. A copy of the applicant’s Doctoral diploma or a certificate of enrollment in a graduate school
An Ad-hoc E-SCORE Evaluation Committee will be formed from within the CETAF community who will confirm that entries meet the eligibility requirements and review applications based on the assessment criteria. The Evaluation Committee’s decision will be taken one month in advance of the award announcement and will be final, i.e the committee’s decision cannot be challenged. Applications that are incomplete, have arrived after the deadline or do not comply with the criteria will not be considered. The winner will be notified by phone and email. CETAF reserves the right to withhold the prize if there are no eligible applicants.
The 3rd edition of the e-SCoRe Award was won by Dr Guillaume Ghisbain, from the University of Mons.
The CETAF consortium, consisting of 71 European natural science institutes, represents a unique infrastructure and research network of natural science collections. Their collections facilitate fundamental geodiversity and biodiversity research, particularly in taxonomy and systematics, that enables ground-breaking discoveries across broad fields of science. The CETAF community jointly holds 1.5 billion specimens that represent about 80% of the world’s described species. These institutions and their researchers are custodians of this irreplaceable natural heritage that serves scientific and social progress.
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