Lake Baikal Foundation for Environmental Applications and Research launched the second grant competition for young researchers «Baikal Initiative».
According to the terms of the competition, Lake Baikal Foundation will allocate 1 million rubles to finance talented solutions both in the direction of environmental protection of the lake and in expanding the range of applied scientific research on the Baikal due to its unique endemic environment. The participants have to prove that their projects are relevant and important according to the «public expertise»: financial assistance will be provided to the projects which will independently collect 20% of the project budget through crowdfunding, sponsors and other public support channels. 80% of successful projects’ budgets will be covered with grants from Lake Baikal Foundation.
- detection and supporting technological and applied scientific research aimed at protecting the Baikal’s environment;
- popularization of scientific knowledge about the Baikal.
- to update the contest documents;
- to draw researchers’ attention to the contest, to post information about it at web-portals, in social media and at scientific organizations’ web-sites;
- to interact with the Scientific-technological Council of the Foundation, to analyze and to select the most relevant and useful projects;
- to provide grants for the winners;
- to help with projects’ implementation.
Winners of the «Baikal Initiative» contest 2018:
- «Development of implantable fluorescent biosensors for in vivo monitoring of heavy metals in tissues of endemic amphipods of lake Baikal». Manager – Anton N. Gurkov. The Expert Council highlighted the team’s high qualification, modern research methods and, most importantly, the fact that the project will help to solve the problem of heavy metal pollution of the Baikal.
- «Conservation and recruitment of the Olkhon vole population in the Baikal region». Manager – Igor V. Moroldoev. The initiative meets a very important challenge – to prevent Olkhon voles’ extinction. This species was first described quite recently but it is already endangered.
- In 2018 the last year’s participants also had an opportunity to win the contest. Grand Prix went to the project-winner of 2017 «Monitoring of waterbirds in the southern part of lake Baikal in the long-lasting low-water period». Manager – Alexander I. Povarintsev. The experts marked exceptional scientific novelty of the project. The researchers also proved social significance of their project: they raised money for co-financing with crowdfunding.
- «Research on distribution of microsporidiosis in Baikal endemic invertebrates». Manager – Zhanna V. Petunina. The project is recognized as interesting and relevant. Separately, experts stressed the presence of a link between indicators of infection with microsporidia and local ecosystem disturbances caused by anthropogenic impact. The project is currently searching for co-financing.
The winners who found the needed amount of co-financing will start implementation of their projects in February 2018.
You can find details on the project stages, the Expert Council members and the description of the winning projects 2017 at the «Baikal Initiative» website (in Russian).