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.
CETAF is continuing its initiative to reward early-career researchers, within the fields of taxonomy, biodiversity and geodiversity science, who base their research on natural science collections. E-SCORE - 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. CETAF awarded E-SCORE for the first time in 2020 to mark the end of the UN International Decade of Biodiversity.
The foundations of E-SCoRe are the natural science collections that are hosted, preserved and curated in research organisations across Europe and in associated countries with CETAF member institutions. The research staff of these institutions explore and document diversity in nature. The knowledge they collectively build provides a foundation on which policies and initiatives for nature conservation and the protection of natural resources are based.
By awarding the E-SCoRe award, CETAF wishes to highlight the significance of collections-based research in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change as well as to support early career researchers in this field.
The prize is given annually and consists of three parts:
- a cash prize of €1,000;
- financial support of up to €1,000 for a scientific visit to a CETAF institute;
- an invitation to the next CETAF Governing Board meeting to present the winning research.
Eligibility and criteria
The CETAF E-SCoRe AWARD is issued once a year to one early-career researcher 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 research approaches, methods/techniques, or theories that align with the principles of open science;
- is enrolled in a graduate school programme to obtain a doctoral degree or has a maximum of 5 years of postdoctoral experience (excluding career breaks) when the prize is awarded (May 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. Affiliation with a CETAF member is not mandatory. For those without current affiliation, their application shall include a nomination from a member of a CETAF institution.
Applications will be submitted by completing the Application Form provided below by 12:00 PM UTC on 31 January 2022. This includes a description of your research and uploading the two required appendices:
- a Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of (most important) publications or other research output (max. 2 pages in total);
- 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 published 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 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.