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EGU 2020: Financial support to attend the General Assembly

EGU 2020: Financial support to attend the General Assembly

The EGU is committed to promoting the participation of both early career scientists and established researchers from low and middle-income countries who wish to present their work at the EGU General Assembly. In order to encourage participation of scientists from both these groups, a part of the overall budget of the EGU General Assembly is reserved to provide financial support to those who wish to attend the meeting.

EGU’s Roland Schlich travel support scheme is named in honour of Roland Schlich, a geoscientist who was instrumental in the formation of EGU. Roland was one of the founders of the Union, as well as served as executive secretary (2002–2004) and treasurer (2005–2015).

From 2005 to 2019, the total amount of financial support awarded through the scheme grew from about €50,000 to €120,000, with 310 awards being allocated in 2019 to support attendance to the 2019 General Assembly, representing a 32% application success rate. For the 2020 General Assembly, the EGU has allocated €130,000 for financial support. About 80-90% of the funds are reserved to assist early career scientists in attending the conference. The remaining funds will be allocated to established scientists.

Financial support includes a waiver of the registration fee and a refund of the Abstract Processing Charge (relating to the abstract for which support was requested). Additionally, the grant may include support for travel expenditures, at the discretion of the support selection committee, to a maximum of €300.

Eligibility

The EGU currently runs two different Roland Schlich travel support schemes: Early Career Scientist’s Travel Support (ECSTS) and Established Scientist’s Travel Support (ESTS); you will be able to find more details about each of these awards on the About & Support section on the EGU 2020 website. You will also find details on who is eligible for the awards on the website.

Scientists who wish to apply for financial support should submit an abstract, on which they are the contact author, as well as the first and presenting author, by 1 December 2019. Late applications, or applications where the scientist is not the main author, will not be considered.

The EGU support selection committee will make its decision to support individual contributions by 20 December 2019. All applicants will be informed after the decision via email in late December or January. Only the granted amount mentioned in the financial support email will be paid out to the supported contact author.

Please note that, as of 2017, a participant can receive a maximum of two ECSTS and two ESTS during their career. In other words, applicants who have received two travel supports in a category in the past are not eligible to apply for that category again.

How to apply

The abstract submission page (click for larger). If you wish to apply for financial support, please select the relevant support box.

You start your application for the travel support scheme, by first submitting the abstract of your oral, poster or PICO presentation. To do so, please enter the call-for-abstracts page on the EGU 2020 website, select the part of the programme you would like to submit an abstract to, and study the respective session list. Each session shows the link to Abstract Submission that you should use. More information on how to submit an abstract is available from the EGU 2020 website.

Applying for financial support is then easier than ever! As soon as you make your choice of session you will be prompted to select whether you wish to apply for financial support. If you do, be sure you tick the appropriate box when submitting your abstract. Bear in mind that, even if you are applying for support, you will still need to pay the Abstract Processing Charge. A screenshot of the abstract submission process is shown above.

Evaluation Criteria

As of 2015 there is an improved selection process for the allocation of the awards. Abstracts are evaluated on the basis of the criteria outlined below.

If you have any questions about applying for financial support for the 2020 General Assembly, please contact Didier Roche (programme committee officer for travel support) or Olivia Trani (EGU Communications Officer).

Join us at the EGU 2020 General Assembly: Call for abstracts is now open!

Join us at the EGU 2020 General Assembly: Call for abstracts is now open!

From now, up until 15 January 2020 13:00 CET, you can submit your abstract for the upcoming EGU General Assembly (EGU 2020).

In addition to established scientists, PhD students and other early career researchers are welcome to submit abstracts to present their research at the conference. Further, the EGU encourages undergraduate and master students to submit abstracts on their dissertations or final-year projects.

The EGU recognises that there are many outstanding students who would benefit from attending and presenting at the General Assembly and, therefore, provides a discounted registration rate to this group. Interested undergraduates can apply to present a poster, talk or PICO presentation on research undertaken in a laboratory setting, on a mapping or field project they’ve been involved in during their degrees, or any other research project of relevance.

To start the abstract submission process, first browse through the EGU 2020 sessions to find the best fit for your research. Clicking on ‘Please select’ will allow you to search for sessions by programme groups and submit your abstract to the relevant session.

Note that all first authors of abstracts submitted to the General Assembly 2020 have to be a 2020 EGU member. The membership can be acquired upon abstract submission. Furthermore, as a first author you are only allowed to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. A second regular abstract can be submitted to sessions led by the Education and Outreach Sessions (EOS) programme group (the maximum number of abstracts, including solicited abstracts, remains two). Additional guidelines on how to submit an abstract are available on the EGU 2020 website.

An innovative presentation format – Presenting Interactive Content, better known as PICO – has been implemented at the General Assembly since 2013. PICO sessions bring together the advantages of both oral and poster sessions, allowing authors to present the essence of their work and follow it up with interactive discussion. Please note that some sessions are ‘PICO only’ sessions, meaning you cannot select oral/poster preference. If you are submitting to a PICO only session be sure to check out our PICO guide from 2019, for tips on how to prepare your presentation.

The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 15 January 2020, 13:00 CET. If you would like to apply for financial support, called the Roland Schlich travel support, to attend the 2020 General Assembly, please submit an application no later than 1 December 2019. We’ll be providing further information about how to apply for travel grants and how they are awarded in a forthcoming post.

EGU 2020 will take place from 3 to 8 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2020 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU20 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

Educators: apply now to take part in the 2020 GIFT workshop!

Educators: apply now to take part in the 2020 GIFT workshop!

The General Assembly is not only for researchers but also for teachers and educators with an interest in the geosciences. Every year the Geosciences Information For Teachers (GIFT) workshop is organised by the EGU Committee on Education to bring first class science closer to primary and high school teachers.

EGU General Assembly 2019 GIFT Workshop. Jean Luc Berenguer (Committee on Education member) leading practical session (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

The topic of the 2020 edition of GIFT is ‘Water in the solar system’. This year’s workshop will be taking place on 4–6 May 2019 at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.

Teachers from Europe and around the world can apply to participate in the 2020 edition of GIFT, and to receive a travel and accommodation stipend to attend the workshop, by November 30. Interested teachers should apply using the online application form.

Not sure what to expect? More information about GIFT workshops can be found in the GIFT section of the EGU website. You can also take a look at a blog post about the 2015 workshop and also learn what the workshop is like from a teacher’s perspective here. You might also find videos of the 2019 workshop useful too.

Cities of the future

Cities of the future

Over half the world’s population lives in cities. Many a metropolis rises high above carpets of concrete and tarmac, vibrant, bustling, and prosperous. But this urban environment comes with many a problem. From poor air quality to hazardous temperatures, there are several dangers present in urban environments. Scientists speaking at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna earlier this year have been testing designs that could change cityscapes and tackle the challenges of urban living. The solution, it seems, is making these areas greener.

As well as making cities more aesthetically pleasing, more vegetated urban environments come with a wealth of benefits, including improving wellbeing, absorbing noise and creating new habitats. With horizontal space at a premium, scientists and engineers are looking to city walls to make environments greener, exploring how growing vertical gardens can help address the challenges associated with urban environments.

“We should have much more vegetation than we currently have. That’s the source of a number of problems,” says Fulvio Boano an environmental engineer at Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.

The problems include a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Cities are typically warmer than the surrounding countryside. Dense networks of dark roads and pavements absorb more solar radiation than natural vegetation, and high-rise buildings can also interfere with natural cooling effects, like wind. Combined, these urban features make cities warmer than their surroundings. The effect is more pronounced at night, leaving urban areas several degrees warmer than their suburban counterparts, resulting in an urban heat island.

The difference may only be a few degrees, but the impact that this change can have is no small matter, especially when combined with a heatwave. For vulnerable members of the population, including those over the age of 65, deaths due to heat stress are much higher when night-time temperatures exceed 25 °C indoors. Of course, air conditioning can help bring room temperature down, but there may be more sustainable solutions out there. Thomas Nehls, a researcher at Technical University Berlin, Germany, suggests vertical gardens are among them. He presented his recent research at the Assembly in April.

Roof and wall structures are ideal for urban greening, but with much more wall space going, vertical gardens could well be the future. Credit: Ryan Somma

Planting building walls with greenery provides shade, reducing the solar radiation reaching the building and the way plants uptake and lose water also helps remove heat. Between a bare wall and a green one, the difference in temperature can be as much as 16 °C on a hot summer’s day and – over a large area – these vertical gardens could help cities stay cooler. “For indoor night-time heat stress, every single wall especially south, south-west and west oriented walls will reduce the heat stress inside the buildings,” explains Nehls, whose interest in urban greening started with ideas around how to handle rainwater in cities.

“Water needs to get evaporated into urban atmospheres instead of being drained to the sewers and, finally, rivers or surface waters,” asserts Nehls. Vertical gardens slow down water movement, allowing it to be used by plants, and evaporated back into the atmosphere, rather than racing down a gutter. It means the gardens can be watered sustainably too.

Ongoing research at the Department of Land, Environment and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI) in Torino, Italy, goes one step further – exploring whether vertical gardens can clean up domestic wastewater too.

A tiny vertical garden in testing at the Department of Land, Environment and Infrastructure Engineering at Politecnico di Torino. Credit: Alice Caruso

The average person uses 200-250 litres of water per day, and most of this ends up as wastewater, which usually requires energy to treat and make reusable. But, with vertical gardens, we can do the same with much less energy and fewer resources.

The idea is simple, by covering building walls with layers of plants, you get the many benefits of urban greening, and your very own wastewater treatment facility.

How domestic wastewater purification works. Credit: Alice Caruso

The design is currently being tested on university buildings at Politecnico di Torino, and is capable of cleaning all domestic wastewater except sewage. With roughly 100 litres of this produced daily per person, the technology could be a big step towards meeting water treatment demands. Scaling up the technology is the next challenge, including working out how the vertical wall should be built to meet the needs of a family.

Domestic wastewater provides plants with the water they need and, as it percolates through the system, the water is slowly cleaned and stripped of many ‘undesirables.’ The process removes many common pathogens, present in concentrations orders of magnitude lower than the original wastewater. Microbes in the soil and roots are thought to do most of the work, but exactly how they purify the water is not yet known. Together, the plants and microorganisms remove nutrients and contaminants.

“We need energy to treat water, we need energy to make water drinkable and we need energy to pump it into houses. This kind of application is going to reduce all that,” Boano explains.

There may be other benefits too, “green surfaces in your direct surroundings will keep you calm, reduce blood pressure and other symptoms of stress,” suggests Nehls, emphasising that while the benefits to wellbeing aren’t fully known, there’s a lot of potential.

For the scientists working on the future of our cities, the reasons for making them greener couldn’t be clearer: “[we want] to make the environment more comfortable for people and our children,” says Politecnico di Torino’s Alice Caruso, who presented the work at the Assembly.

By Sara Mynott, EGU Press Assistant