The call 2014 for collaborative projects is intended to encourage collaboration between member laboratories of OT-Med and to boost the excellence of their research in the domains which are the priorities of OT-Med (see below). This year, to avoid dispersion between numerous small projects and to stimulate ambitious and coordinated actions, the calls for collaborative projects, postdoctoral and PhD fellowships are grouped together, so that it is possible to propose either small incentive projects or larger multi-annual projects including Ph.D. students or post-docs. All projects must involve several OT-Med partners and apply an interdisciplinary approach, well related to the objectives of OT-Med. Proposals concerning the support of the organisation of international conferences, summer schools, workshops etc. are also eligible. Projects involving national and international actions, including Southern countries, are particularly welcome. A total amount of 500 k€ is devoted to this call in 2014, with a maximum of 6 PhD theses and 4 postdocs. For the multi-annual projects, this amount concerns the costs for the first year, the remaining cost being deferred to the 2015 budget.

Context

The project OT-Med is a « labex » funded by the French national programme « Investissements d'Avenir » for the period 2012-2019 (http://www.otmed.fr). OT-Med has as its objective to study the impacts of environmental change (climate, land use etc.) on ecosystem resources and services, as well as on human society in the Mediterranean Basin. OT-Med intends to create synergies between its participating scientists at all levels. This is being achieved by organising interdisciplinary exchanges in research and education, by promoting interdisciplinary research projects, through an ambitious policy for hosting visiting researchers, postdocs and PhD fellowships, and exchanges with Southern countries, by organising international symposia, summer schools and workshops, by organising scientific, technical and socio-economic databases resulting from research, for both scientists and stakeholders etc.

Domains covered by OT-Med

It is a prerequisite for submission that a draft version of the projects has first been presented to the coordinator of the concerned work package (WP), who will check the eligibility of the project and its compatibility with the priorities of the WP. The PI may be requested to modify the project and/or to merge it to another project to reinforce its scientific qualities.

-WP1: Understanding and evaluating Mediterranean climatic change and natural hazards : This includes earthquakes, landslides, extreme climatic events, sea-circulation changes, perturbation of aquifers and hydrosystems. There is special interest in long term variations of these changes including paleo-scales (contacts: Olivier Bellier, bellier@cerege.fr, France van Wambeke, france.van-wambeke@univ-amu.fr)
-WP2: The impact of climate and socio-economic changes on ecosystems with a focus on ecosystem services, in particular related to biodiversity, soils, agriculture, forestry, marine biogeochemistry and food-web interactions (contacts: Wolfgang Cramer, wolfgang.cramer@imbe.fr, Alexander Ereskovsky, alexander.ereskovsky@imbe.fr)
-WP3: Human-environment interactions, including the perception of hazards, adaptation and mitigation; modelling of decision-making in the context of risks; the functioning of international environmental regimes for climate and biodiversity; the study of ancient Mediterranean civilizations with respect to their adaptation to climate change (contacts: Olivier Chanel, olivier.chanel@univ-amu.fr, Sylvie Thoron, sylvie.thoron@u-pec.fr)
-TWP1: Coordination of observation systems necessary to collect data and make data syntheses (contacts: Thomas Curt, thomas.curt@irstea.fr, Patrick Raimbault, patrick.raimbault@univ-amu.fr)
-TWP2: Development and validation of an integrated model extending from the climate system to socio-economic agents (contacts: Alberte Bondeau, alberte.bondeau@imbe.fr, François Carlotti, francois.carlotti@univ-amu.fr)

Application requirements

Internal call for joint projects
- The planned research must be carried out within at least two member laboratories of OT-Med (see web site) or within one OT-Med member laboratory associated with one member laboratory of ECCOREV. If this condition is satisfied other laboratories and private enterprises are also welcome.
- A project may include costs for research expenses, small equipment, a PhD thesis fellowship (three years) or a postdoc fellowship (maximum two years). We do not cover technicians' or engineers' salaries. Project costs relate only to personnel actually paid by the project – a substantial involvement of the PI and other OT-Med members is expected.
- After approval of a project, the selection of the candidates for the posts specified in the project (Ph.D. students, postdocs) will be under the responsibility of the project PI(s) after it was accepted, but approval by the executive committee is required; employment contacts will be drawn up and signed by OT-Med.
- The duration of the project may be between 1 and 3 years (a project including a PhD fellowship should be a 3-yr project).
- The funding amount that can be requested is not limited a priori but the demand must be compatible with the amount of money available for this call (see above).
- Co-funding (already obtained or requested) is welcome and enhances the chance of selection. Thus, the call may be used as “seed money” to prepare a new project, to consolidate the financial plan of a starting project, or to complete an ongoing project.
- Priority will be given to coordinated projects discussed during the progress meeting of OT-Med, 4-6 December 2013, at the condition that they are sufficiently mature, but other projects are also welcome.

Organisation of summer schools, conferences, workshops
- The main organiser must be a member of one of the OT-Med laboratories.
- This call is intended to support international events, occuring after June 2014, in which local students and scientists are given the opportunity to interact with high level scientists from various countries and particularly Mediterranean countries.
- It is essential for these events that the organiser invites a number of distinguished speakers in order to attract a sufficient number of participants; a few fellowships must be reserved to young scientists from developing Mediterranean countries.
- Summer schools are intended to train young scientists in cutting edge research concepts or techniques related to OT-Med's scientific domains; workshops are intended to gather around a table the best specialists in a given topic within the scientific areas of OT-Med and to carry out collaborative work (data syntheses, reviews, model development ...); OT-Med funding can be used as a complement for a conference budget in preparation or for setting up a new conference. In any case, the event must be of an outstanding level and at the centre of the OT-Med priorities.
- The OT-Med committee may propose some key speakers, corresponding to the international collaborations that it is developing. Only the projects accepted by a WP coordinator are eligible. But this eligibility does not guarantee the selection of the project.

Process

- The proposal must be submitted by a scientist from OT-Med (in concertation with the WP leaders concerned) by email to the administrative director of OT-Med: bonifay@cerege.fr before the 10th March 2014.
- The proposal (one pdf file) must follow the form provided in the appendix.
- After initial screening, the OT-Med Executive Board will assign two external referees for each project.
- At end of May 2014, the Management Board will rank and select the projects; applicants will be notified before the end of June.
- The selection criteria are: (1) the scientific excellence, innovative nature of the project and quality of the interdisciplinarity, (2) the robustness (feasibility) of the work plan, (3) the consistency between the project and the priorities of OT-Med, (4) the quality of the organization set up to support the project, including a realistic and coherent budget, (5) the academic excellence of the investigators.
- It is possible that the selection of a given project is made contingent on a modification of the proposed budget.

Obligations of funding recipients

- The recipient must submit a short research report at the end of the project, indicating (1) how the actual cost of the project was covered by the funds received, (2) how the objectives have been achieved, (3) the main output, in particular the papers published or submitted in relation with the project. For two-year projects, a progress report must be submitted before the end of the first year.
- The recipient must acknowledge OT-Med as the funding source in all communications related to the project, in particular in publications and oral presentations.

Form for submission to OT-Med call 2014 (download here)