Call | Phyto and Alien

Announcement for case study proposals in the Phyto VRE and Alien Species VRE


LifeWatch Italy (hereafter LW-ITA), national node of LifeWatch ERIC, is designed in order to manage data on taxonomy, functional traits and properties, interactions and ecological niche of individuals, populations and species, abiotic data and other types of observation data. The e-infrastructure provides tools and services for data archiving, access, quality control, harmonization, integration and analysis.In order to allow addressing basic and applied studies on phytoplankton ecology and alien species, thematic data resources and e-services have been integrated in two Virtual Research Environments (VREs), i.e. Phyto VRE and Alien Species VRE, providing the IT infrastructure for big data, large and complex dataset management and integration, collaborative data analysis and modelling, and advanced computational facilities. Both VREs, originally developed with a specific research aim, now allow a wider range of research activities. The original focus of Phyto VRE is on phytoplankton morphofunctional traits and their role on species coexistence and organisation in guilds, while now researches on Marine Framework Strategy Directive issues, carbon absorption and climate change mitigation can be carried out. The original focus of the Alien Species VRE is on ecosystem and EUNIS habitat fragility to alien species. A possible development, permitted by the already available database, is linked to the self-ecological study of alien species in the geographical area of origin, compared with the physical and biological characteristics of the arrival area and relevance of selected vectors.

LW-ITA invites researcher groups to submit project proposals to develop study cases in the Phyto VRE and Alien Species VRE .
Proposals can include the re-use and/or the customization of resources produced by LW-ITA or by other initiatives (including infrastructures and projects), their integration with resources available to the project proponents, and the implementation of new e-services required to address the specific project questions, which will be funded by the call and realized by LW-ITA.

The call is financed on the CNR FOE 2014-2016 funding, up to an overall maximum of 200.000€.

Detailed information about each VRE and the e-service capabilities herein can be found here.

WHAT does LW-ITA call offer?

For all the proposals positively evaluated, LW-ITA will provide:

  • Free access to the e-infrastructure facilities;
  • Creation of custom data resources and development of e-services into the VREs up to a provisional cost of € 15,000 per proposal. All developments will be realised by LW-ITA up to cover the whole budget planned for the proposal;
  • Technical training for use of the e-infrastructure and its components, additional to the available e-training and helpdesk and scientific support.

WHO can apply?

In order to apply for access to LW-ITA Call a user group (user teams or single users), must satisfy the following mandatory requirements:

  • The user group leader and the majority of the users must work/study in a recognised academic institution, or be employed by a not-for-profit organisation or registered company;
  • User groups must accept the LW-ITA data policy and give open access to the data resources and the e-services developed, at least after an embargo period required for the publication of the project results;
  • User groups must agree to cite LW-ITA, make suitable acknowledgement in their publications and release an early version of the publication arising from the project on Archiv.

Priority will be given to:

  • Project proposals applied by consortia of early career researchers;
  • Project proposals involving interdisciplinary studies;
  • Project proposals which involve research groups belonging to different national nodes of LifeWatch ERIC;
  • Project proposals involving international research groups.

HOW to apply?

In order to apply, you should download and complete the LifeWatch Italy proposal form. Signed submission forms should be sent in PDF to lifewatchitalia[at] by 21 December 2018DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 25/01/2019.

Proposals evaluation and selection

Project proposals will be evaluated as follows:

1. Eligibility check 

LW-ITA verifies received project proposals for compliance with the mandatory requirements.

2. Scientific review 

Eligible project proposals are forwarded to the Evaluation Panel for peer-review, based on scientific and technical merit and on societal impact. The Evaluation Panel is composed of international members with strong expertise in the field of biodiversity and information technology.

The evaluation and selection process will take about 8 weeks. Outcomes of the evaluation will be relayed to user groups via email.


Opening of the call: October 22nd, 2018

Submission deadline: December 21st, 2018 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO January 25th, 2019.

Evaluation and Selection deadline: March 28th, 2019

Duration of study case: up to 8 months

Preliminary presentation of results: December 2019