The Lake Baikal Foundation for Environmental Applications and Research launches the second grant competition for young scientists «Baikal Initiative».
According to the terms of the competition, the 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 possible at Baikal due to its unique endemic environment. Baikal Initiative’s participants will have to prove that their projects are relevant and important in the opinion of the «public expertise»: financial assistance will be provided to the projects that will independently collect 20% of the project budget through crowdfunding, attracting sponsors and other public support channels. 80% of the budget of successful projects will be covered by grants from the 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 up-date the contest documents;
- to draw researchers’ attention to the contest, to post information about it at web-portals, in social media and on scientific organizations’ web-sites;
- to interact with 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.
Winning projects of the «Baikal Initiative» 2018 first stage:
- «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 highlightes the team’s high qualification, modern research methods and, most importantly, the fact that the project would help to solve the heavy metal pollution problem 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.
- «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.
- In 2018 the last year’s participants also had an opportunity to win the contest. Grand Prix went to the winner project 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.
The second stage of the competition for co-financing is held from September 1 to December 15, 2018.
Details of the project stages, the Expert Council members and the description of the winning projects 2017 can be found on the «Baikal Initiative» website in Russian.