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WSL Fellowship Program. Relevance of Science for WSL Opportunities for Science at WSL The WSL Fellowship Program Discussion Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für.

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Presentation on theme: "WSL Fellowship Program. Relevance of Science for WSL Opportunities for Science at WSL The WSL Fellowship Program Discussion Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für."— Presentation transcript:

1 WSL Fellowship Program

2 Relevance of Science for WSL Opportunities for Science at WSL The WSL Fellowship Program Discussion Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 2 Overview

3 WSL is a research institute located away from universities in Zurich, but is actively involved in science teaching (>3000 h/year) A significant fraction of our activities is driven by national demands and national mandates (avalanche bulletin, forest inventory, forest protection, etc.) WSL has strong links to practice Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 3 Relevance of Science for WSL

4 WSL therefore has to carefully balance its efforts in science with its efforts in outreach and extension towards the practice WSL has to maintain a sound balance, since both elements are mandated by the official decree of the Swiss parliament Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 4 Relevance of Science for WSL

5 As a result of this dual mandate, and due to the fact that WSL has to cover many fields relevant to the terrestrial environment: – There are usually at best few, but often 1-2 scientists working in a specific science field – Many scientists have additional mandates for outreach and knowledge transfer to practice – WSL has only few science fields that are internationally strong and well supported Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 5 Relevance of Science for WSL

6 Self-declared attribution of time across the 10 research units ( mean) Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 6 Relevance of Science for WSL

7 On the other hand, WSL has to strive for an internationally recognized science capacity, and this for two reasons: – WSL is part of the ETH domain, and striving for scientific excellence is expected from all members – Irrespective of who the stakeholders are (practitioners, scientists), science always has to strive for excellence, otherwise its relevance deteriorates. Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 7 Relevance of Science for WSL

8 In summary: – WSL has highest interests to keep a strong focus on excellence in science – WSL is interested in attracting the best scientists when filling open positions or as guests and partners for scientific collaboration Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 8 Relevance of Science for WSL

9 WSL has tremendous offerings to science due to outstanding data archives and science platforms from its dedication to monitoring and to the National mandates Such data series often cover long time spans and are maintained at highest quality Data often fully cover all of Switzerland, thus they span large ecological gradients Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 9 Opportunities for Science at WSL

10 Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 10 Opportunities for Science at WSL

11 Examples of data archives: – Forest Inventory with 4 measurement cycles, now starting soon the fifth (LFI) – Snow, permafrost, glacier and avalanche databases and measurement archives – Long-term forest monitoring network (LWF) with access to an EU-wide network (ICP-Forest) – Many large-scale GIS, RS and field based inventories and data sets – … Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 11 Opportunities for Science at WSL

12 Examples of science platforms: – National Forest Inventory: >5000 re-measured plots with hundreds of variables, 4 inventories Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 12 Opportunities for Science at WSL

13 Examples of science platforms: – Long-term Forest Monitoring: 19 intensely monitored plots, >20 years of data Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 13 Opportunities for Science at WSL

14 Examples of science platforms: – Avalanche test bed Vallée de la Sionne: artificial avalanche release, instruments, bunker, etc. Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 14 Opportunities for Science at WSL

15 Examples of science platforms: – The new Plant Protection Lab, fully equipped level 3 lab to study plant damaging organisms Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 15 Opportunities for Science at WSL

16 Examples of science platforms: – Many others exist, and are open to WSL and guest scientists – These platforms and data sets form an attractive basis for international collaboration – WSL is thus often partnering in international research programs such as EU-projects, etc. Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 16 Opportunities for Science at WSL

17 In order to increase the international collaboration and to bring the best scientists to WSL the director and the directorate have launched the WSL Fellowship Program Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 17 The WSL Fellowship Program

18 First, a fellowship program for senior scientists was launched (early 2015) and a first round of applications has been processed Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 18 The WSL Fellowship Program

19 This fellowship is set up as follows: – It is competitive by nature – It provides support funding for travel and subsidies for coming to WSL, but no salaries – It attracts seniors in WSL’s reserch fields and covers 3 months to 1 year (e.g. sabbaticals) – It requires that a short proposal is written, and links to WSL research(ers) is made. – It requires that RU leaders support the application. Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 19 The WSL Fellowship Program

20 We have selected the first three candidates, and are now advertising the next round Currently, the fellowship program primarily addresses seniors, not early career scientists Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 20 The WSL Fellowship Program

21 We believe that attracting highly skilled junior scientists can also be very attractive We therefore plan to extend the fellowship program to early career scientists as a second category of targeted scientists This has not been launched yet Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 21 The WSL Fellowship Program

22 Early career fellowship ideas: – WSL covers only travel and subsidy support – WSL attempts to bring highly skilled early career scientists to WSL for collaboration stays within their postdoc or early career position elsewhere – Rules are similar to senior fellows (research plan, link to WSL science staff, ok from RU- leader) Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 22 The WSL Fellowship Program

23 The fellowship programs are funded out of a directorate reserve (2+ million CHF), which has more than just this purpose, since it covers: – Large investments (full or complementary funding) – Internal projects (applications 1x / year) – WSL Fellowships. Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 23 The WSL Fellowship Program

24 Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 24 Thank you for your attention!

25 How to best advertise the program? How much internal control is needed? Is extension to early career scientists meaningful? How can benefit for WSL be maximized with such programs? Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL 25 Possible discussion points


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