2020-21 Calls for STSMs for WG1&2 Analysis Arena - deadline 21 May 2021 (OPEN)

ERBFacility is seeking applicants for  Short-term Scientific Missions, from individuals who would like to play a key part in delivering the objectives of the Action

Who are we looking for?

Missions typically require skills in collating, reviewing and analysing information, and in engaging with participants across Europe to build on their knowledge and expertise.

Applicants will benefit from experienced Host Institutions, and will be involved in work that should lead to technical reports and/or scientific publications and allow them to develop their networks of contacts across Europe. Mission-holders are typically invited to attend Action meetings to present and discuss their work.

Missions are open to applicants with all levels of experience from Masters degree student to doctoral student to postdoctoral researcher to senior researcher to Professor level. Track record will be assessed in relation to level of experience, so that less experienced researchers are not disadvantaged. 

Early Career Investigators (up to 8 years experience post-PhD), candidates from participating COST Inclusiveness Target Countries and women are in particular encouraged to apply.

For full details of the Call, and the scientific priorities to which applicants are required to respond, please see the full Call text attached below.

Scientific priorities

TITLE: Assessment of standardisation and harmonization of quality control of analytical datasets and their required metadata to achieve pan-European monitoring

Reference WGs1&2/GP4/STSM1&2 
Up to 2 STSMs will be made available in relation to this scientific priority. STSMs conducting such assessment are likely to involve literature review and metaanalysis elements and seek to identify any weaknesses or strengths of analytical methods applied for biomonitoring of chemicals in wildlife, particularly in raptors.  It is expected that the missions will focus on different contaminants. Applicants may wish to focus on compounds selected for the ERBFacility Proof of Concept. Applications that consider toxic metals, such as lead or mercury, and anticoagulant rodenticides are particularly encouraged. Other chemicals, like POPs, flame retardant, etc might also be considered. 

TITLE: Methods for forensic analysis of Phosphine, cyanide and glycos
Reference WGs1&2/GP4/STSM3 
Up to 1 STSM will be made available in relation to this scientific priority. Wildlife forensic toxicology includes many types of chemicals that must be studied with a wide range of analytical techniques. A study of the analytical capacities in the wildlife toxicology laboratories in Europe has revealed some gaps in the coverage of some types of chemicals that are not included in routine analysis of pesticides and toxic elements. Phosphides, cyanide and ethylene glycol and other glycols are substances that can remain underreported in monitoring of mortality by poisoning in raptors because of the difficulty of included these substances in routine analysis. This STSM will be focused on (1) review of the analytical techniques for these groups of chemicals, (2) defining those techniques more convenient for the current analytical capacities in European laboratories, and (3) set up these methods in a wildlife toxicology laboratory for their dissemination to other labs.

TITLE: Scoping the analytical capacity available within ERBFacility to carry out the Proof of Concept
Reference WGs1&2/GP4/STSM4
Up to 1 STSM will be made available in relation to this scientific priority. The Proof of Concept (PoC) of the European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility has currently identified more than 3000 raptor liver samples that are available for the analysis of anticoagulant rodenticides, lead and mercury. The intention is for this STSM to work in close conjunction with the Steering Group of the ERBFacility Proof of Concept study, engaging in logistical coordination of sample collection, data gathering and analyses. The specific goals of this STSM include: (1) giving support to the organization of the work of different toxicology laboratories, (2) analysing samples in one of these laboratories and (3) coordination of the PoC databases. 

TITLE: Review of analytical methods for contaminant monitoring 
Reference WGs1&2/GP4/STSM5
Up to 1 STSM will be made available in relation to this scientific priority. The objective of this STSM is to review analytic methods used for research and monitoring pollutants in avian species. As a result, there will be a dataset of matrix, method, and references. The dataset will include core parameters like sample size, levels of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ). This database will be useful tool for laboratories, selecting most suitable method for application, based on lab equipment and other characteristics. 

The timings of these STSMs should be agreed with the hosts. Each STSM will ideally be at least 90 days in length although applications for longer or shorter duration will be considered. 

Call documents

You can download below the call text, providing full details of the missions available and how to apply.

You can also download below the template letters to be used for your application:

  • Template Letter of Support for a STSM (from the applicant's Home Institution)
  • Template Letter of Interest to Host a STSM (from the applicant's mission Host)

You can also download below, for information only at this stage, the STSM User Guide (published by COST), the template Scientific Report to be submitted following the conclusion of a mission, and the template Letter of Acceptance of this report.