On behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), we are pleased to invite you to participate to the second Call for Research Proposals of the Living Planet Fellowship.
The main objective of this initiative is to provide support to young researchers who have a doctoral degree and who would like to initiate a scientific career in the context of Earth Observation, Earth science and Climate research. This second call is dedicated to research proposals supporting candidate researchers responding to the Climate Change Initiative (http://www.esa-cci.org), specifically targetting:
- Exploitation of Essential Climate Variable (ECV) products generated by the ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) for improved understanding of the climate system.
- Examining Cross-ECV consistency and multiple ECV use (those under the CCI Programme in particular).
1. Call for Research Proposals Package
The Call for Research Proposals package includes the following documents:
- Cover Letter: L15_CCI_034_The Living Planet Fellowship call for Research Proposals for CCI 2015
- Appendix 1: Call for Research Proposals 2015 (Including its Annex A: ESA Climate Change Initiative, Annex B: Proposal Template and Annex C: PSS form)
- Appendix 2: Draft Partnership Agreement
In order to respond to this Call, you must submit all of the documents described at Section 2.3 of the Call for Research Proposals (Appendix 1).
The documentation (Call for Research Proposals package) can be downloaded here.
2. Institutions Entitled to Participate in the Call
Projects carried out under this call will be funded under the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) element of ESA’s European Earth Watch Programme (Earth Watch). Earth Watch is an optional programme of the Agency, and participation in a project is restricted to institutions which have their registered office in one of the following Participating States: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
3. Closing Date
Your proposal and all supporting documents must be sent by e-mail to: Climate.Office@esa.int by no later than 30 August 2015 (the Closing Date).
Any questions relating to this Call must be sent, by e-mail to Climate.Office@esa.int, not later than two (2) weeks before the Closing Date.
Frequently Asked Questions
- As a young researcher searching financial support, my co-supervisor was interested in this call for proposals. We would like to know if I, as a PhD student, can be included also in the project.
Answer: The fellowships are post-doctoral positions for those who already have received or will have received their PhD by the start of the Living Planet Fellowship in 2015. Funding is for one Post-doc which needs to be in agreement with a host institution on a co-funding basis. Please refer to Appendix 1_2015 in the Call for Research proposals package for more information.
- It has been stated in the draft agreement that it is supposed to be a post-doctoral position, can staff of an institute cooperate within the framework of a project?
Answer: The fellowships under this co-funding arrangement are intended to be full time posts for 2 years. A staff member at an institute who has commitment of their time elsewhere during the period of 2 years cannot therefore apply.
- In Appendix 1, section 2.3, one of the documents requested is:
‘A statement from the Host Organisation accepting without reservation the conditions of the draft partnership agreement (please, see Appendix 2 of the present call). Offers without such a statement or with reservations to the Partnership Agreement will not be considered for evaluation.’
But in Appendix 2, several documents and forms are available. Which part of Appendix 2 should I fill? Is it Annex 1? And what should I do with the rest of Appendix 2?
Answer: The call is thus constructed:
The cover letter
Appendix 1 (The Call)
Annex A – The CCI programme
Annex B – The Proposal template
Annex C – PSS cost forms
Appendix 2 (the draft partnership agreement)
(with its own appendices 1 to 3)The statement from the Host Organisation accepting without reservation the conditions of the draft partnership agreement concerns only Appendix 2 (in its entirety). The draft agreement does not need to be completed.
You MUST fill in and complete Annex 2 (the Proposal Template) and Annex 3 (PSS forms) of Appendix 1.
- Can the “letter of support from the Host Organisation” be written by the scientist who is supposed to supervise my work in the host organisation?
Answer: The letter of support from the Host Organisation can be by the project supervisor provided they have the authority to do so as representative of the Host Organisation (i.e. the person in the organisation who has the legal power to take the required commitment for the organisation).
- Can you send the proposal package for research proposal for fellowship ‘ Climate change’?
Answer: The proposal package is available from the link http://livingplanetfellowship.esa.int/files/Package2015.zip
- Candidates must have received a Ph.D. research degree (or shall receive it before the start of the fellowship contract within 2015) in Earth science, physics, engineering, Earth observation, climate research or a related discipline.” I hold a Ph.D in social sciences – economics (with particular focus on econometrics and applied methods) does this mean I am ineligible?
Answer: A PhD in economics does not automatically rule you out but a familiarity with Earth observation and climate research would be an advantage given the programme themes.
- Projects carried out under this call will be funded under the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) element of ESA’s European Earth Watch Programme (Earth Watch). Earth Watch is an optional programme of the Agency, and participation in a project is restricted to institutions which have their registered office in one of the following Participating States: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Does this mean that the host lab MUST be located in one of those countries, i.e. a project based in France or Italy could not be funded?
Answer: The host institution must be based in one of the Participating States listed above.
- I would like to enquire about the flexibility of the start up date for the most recent call for ESA Living Planet Fellowships. I intend to submit my PhD thesis by the end of 2015 to be examined early 2016 (Q1). This is quite a normal schedule for PhDs. In your guidelines you say that the award of the PhD must be during 2015, and the start date is by the end of 2015 which would not be possible for me. Would it be acceptable to delay the start date by up to 3 months and begin the Fellowship no later than April 2016?
Answer: Unfortunately we cannot delay a postdoctoral fellowship until 2016 as the 2 year term must fall within the finishing date of the CCI programme itself, which is 2017.
- Can you just confirm if the application will require extra funding (such as 20 or 30% of the total fellowship or the ESA Climate Office provides 100% of the fellowship)?
Answer: ESA provides a fixed sum of 40k Euro/yr for 2 years plus a maximum of 3k Euro for travel across the two years. A condition of the award is that the host organisation shall make up the remainder of the cost of the postdoctoral position and must commit at least 30% of the total budget.