Incentive Award towards Social-Ecological Sustainability

The Laboratory of Applied Ecology (LEA-UTAD) launches an Incentive Award for pilot-project proposals focused on the demonstrative relevance of ecosystem services.
Twenty years after the foundation of the Laboratory of Applied Ecology, the Incentive Award of €10 000 (ten thousand Euros), evaluated annually by an independent Jury composed by personalities from entities linked to the problematic of sparsely populated rural territories, intends to support pilot-project proposals, to be implemented throughout a minimum period of 6 months in the Laboratory of Applied Ecology/CITAB, that meet at least one of the following requirements: (1) integration of interdisciplinary approaches and environmental management options to analyse social, ecological and social-ecological resilience, with ecosystem services linking subsystems of terrestrial and riverine habitats; (2) identification of win-win situations where landscape attributes can be optimised for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service provisioning and socioeconomic development; (3) promotion of active integration of participatory and innovative approaches strengthening the role of social-ecological resilience and ecosystem services for societal perceptions, such as human well-being, people’s quality of life and mitigation of risk exposure/vulnerability; (4) reconciliation of different stakeholder groups’ interests in obtaining multiple benefits (ecosystem services) from landscapes, whilst simultaneously maintaining biodiversity; (5) development of innovative methodologies to effectively valuate ecosystem services. EXPECTED IMPACT AND OUTCOMES Overall, we expect the Laboratory of Applied Ecology Incentive Award to contribute with proposals to resilience-oriented management and governance towards ecological sustainability of natural and social-ecological systems. Specifically, we expect to advance the knowledge on how to valuate ecosystem services of those ecosystems, by objectively developing innovative practical methodologies applied to societal goods, benefits and wellbeing, using the North Portuguese rural regions as case studies. GUIDELINES FOR PILOT-PROJECT PROPOSALS a) Identification of the participant, affiliation (external to CITAB/UTAD) and respective project proposal; b) Explanation of the motivation and reasons that led to the project proposal, to whom the outcome of this idea is relevant and why (5000c max); c) Description of the innovative aspects of the proposal (10000c max); d) Task execution plan with the respective chronogram for 2022 (2500c max); e) Idea for developments and future work related to the proposal (5000c max). CONDITIONS a) The winning proposal will be accepted at the Laboratory of Applied Ecology/CITAB, throughout a minimum period of 6 months, under a scientific collaboration protocol with the entity that the person responsible for the proposal represents; b) The implementation of the proposal will have the Laboratory of Applied Ecology logistical and technical-scientific support; c) The budget allocated to the winning proposal is not transferable but managed by the responsible of the proposal, in conjunction with the Laboratory of Applied Ecology, taking into account the previously approved task execution plan. REGULATION a) This Incentive Award is open to young researchers (up to 35 years old) who may submit pilot-project proposals within the scope of the present contest; b) Candidates may submit pilot-project proposals by sending a PDF document, organized according to the guidelines described above, to the email address of the Laboratory of Applied Ecology (; c) Each candidate can submit only one pilot-project proposal; d) By sending the pilot-project proposals, the candidates expressly accept the terms and conditions set out in the present Regulation; e) The submission deadline for pilot-project proposals is 15/11/2021, and the respective communication of the results will take place on 15/12/2021; f) The pilot-project proposals submitted to the Laboratory of Applied Ecology Incentive Award will be analysed and evaluated by a competent Jury, according to the following criteria: (1) Pertinence and Relevance (20%); (2) Curriculum vitae (20%); (3) Innovation (20%); (4) Feasibility (20%); (5) Potential impact (20%); g) The Jury will be composed by the following members and entities: João Alexandre Cabral (UTAD); João Pradinho Honrado (FCUP); Dina Pereira (Associação de História e Arqueologia de Sabrosa); José Pereira (Grupo Nordeste); João Azevedo (IPB); Edna Cabecinha (UTAD); Mário Santos (UTAD); h) The Jury will not award the incentive if the proposals under evaluation do not have a score higher than 80%.

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Thursday, 23rd September 2021