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News Second Call for proposals of new SYNTHESYS project - FPVII

Concerned URL
Source Carole Paleco
Release date 02/09/2010
Geographical coverage Belgium, EU-Countries,
Keywords grant, research

SYNTHESYS funding is available to provide scientists (Users) based in European Member, Associate and Candidate States to undertake short visits to utilise the infrastructure (comprising the collections, staff expertise and analytical facilities) at one of the 16 partner institutions for the purposes of their research.

Belgian Taxonomic Access Facility (BETAF)

The main Belgian collections comprise RBINS, Brussels, which covers Europe and other geographical regions and RMCA, Tervuren which focuses on the afro-tropical region. Together they comprise BE-TAF and represent the best Belgium has to offer in collections and related research expertise and analytical facilities.

BETAF collections include:

At the RBINS: Invertebrates comprise about 10 million specimens, Ph. Dautzenberg collection: 4,5 million specimens of molluscs. Together with the general mollusc collection, the RBINS holds about 8 to 9 million specimens and 45,000 species of molluscs. G. Gilson collection. Vertebrate collections include 22,363 lots of fishes, 13,080 of amphibians, 15,681 of reptiles, 72,147 of birds and 34,545 of mammals. Entomology collections harbour about 12 million specimens. They contain large series of type material especially of the Staphylinidae (types of 13,000 species), Cerambycidae, Curculionidae, Buprestidae, Chironomidae, the dragon flies of Selys Longchamps and many others. In Palaeontology, the RBINS is the only Natural History Museum in the world to store 30 entire Iguanodon skeletons (Bernissart), and unique collections of fossil invertebrates (brachiopods, corals, bivalves, gastropodes, ammonites, ...) with more than 30,000 type specimens from the type areas of classical Devonian, Carboniferous, Cretaceous and Cenozoic Stages. The Palaeo-anthropology section includes the famous Neanderthal skeletons of Spy, and is managing the world-wide catalogue of Hominids Remains. The Mineralogy section stores an international systematic collection of 25,000 samples illustrating the variety of natural facies and the geographical distribution of sorts (82 % of all known species). The Department of Geology has a large collection of rock samples from outcrops and boreholes at the disposal of researchers. The Marine ecosystems Department is managing important oceanographic databases and sophisticated mathematical models for simulation of waves, storm surges, sediment transport, phytoplancton dynamics, etc.


At the RMCA: The Entomology : 6 million specimens represents all the different orders of insects present in Africa. Carabidae collection of Dr. P. Basilewsky covers the whole Afrotropical region and is extremely rich in type material: more than 7,500 taxa of which 1,600 primary types and and more than 3,000 secondary types. Xylarium: One of the biggest wood collections of the world (57,000 specimens - 13,000 species, mainly by Vermoesen, Louis, Pierlot, Deschamps); particularly rich and unique for central Africa. Zoology: One of the largest zoological biodiversity collections in the world from the African continent: 7–8 million invertebrate specimens of 117,000 species and 1.5 million vertebrates of 6,115 species of central Africa. Collections of large apes, freshwater fishes, insects and the birds of equatorial origin are unparalleled. Mammalogy: 120 000 specimens (skins, specimens preserved in alcohol, skulls and skeletons). Mineralogy: Includes historical Shaba-Uranium minerals Uranides rocks


BETAF Users will be hosted by a BETAF staff member (Host), at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences or at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.


Proposals for funding are welcomed from high-caliber researchers seeking access for short-term visits (average duration 15 days). SYNTHESYS is able to meet the Users' costs for:

  • Research costs*
  • International travel
  • Local accommodation while based at the TAF
  • A per diem to contribute towards living costs and travel to/from international departure points


 * Research related costs including bench fees and consumables (including molecular biology at some TAFs).


The SYNTHESYS Partners are inviting applications from researchers based in the Member States of the EU:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Greenland), Estonia, Finland, France (including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, La Réunion), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Plus the Associated Countries of the EU: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Republic of Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.


The 2nd Call Deadline is Friday 15th October 2010 (17:00 UK time).


For more information contact:

Please note that this information has expired.

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