STN – Call for Applications

Dead­line to be announced in autumn 2022

Applic­ants should provide a pro­pos­al with the fol­low­ing components:

  1. a descrip­tion of the research area to be tar­geted, show­ing why it is timely to address it in this way and out­lining the expec­ted bene­fits to the field from the STN (max. 1000 words),
  2. a plan for the first two years of oper­a­tion of the STN and an out­line of activ­it­ies over the remain­ing years (max. 500 words),
  3. the names and affil­i­ations of the pro­posed organ­isers, with brief (max. one page) CVs, and
  4. a budget, with brief jus­ti­fic­a­tion, for the STN activ­it­ies pro­posed for the first two years.

Applic­ants should also identi­fy an insti­tu­tion that is pre­pared to open an account in which the funds can be depos­ited and man­aged by the applic­ants. ‘Over­heads’ will not be paid to this insti­tu­tion but reas­on­able dir­ect admin­is­trat­ive costs will be eli­gible. Fund­ing for each 2‑year block will be sub­ject to approv­al by the STN Com­mit­tee, estab­lished by Coun­cil, fol­low­ing receipt of a report of activ­it­ies in the pre­ced­ing 2 years. The insti­tu­tion man­aging funds will be asked to provide a cer­ti­fied state­ment of expendit­ure to accom­pany the report. The prin­cip­al cri­terion for renew­al will be evid­ence that the fund­ing provided had been used to fur­ther inter­ac­tion in the top­ic area.

Applic­a­tions should be sent to the ESEB office email ( as PDF files by tba. Updated ver­sions of pre­vi­ously-sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als are wel­come. Pro­pos­als will be assessed by an inde­pend­ent STN Review Pan­el, appoin­ted by the STN Com­mit­tee fol­low­ing the clos­ing date and ensur­ing no con­flict of interest by pan­el mem­bers. The STN Review Pan­el will make fund­ing recom­mend­a­tions to Coun­cil. The res­ult will be announced after the next Coun­cil meet­ing, at latest on 31 August 2023.

The prin­cip­al cri­terion for selec­tion of an STN will be its focus on an act­ive area of research with­in the scope of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. Pref­er­ence might be giv­en to STNs that pro­pose new con­nec­tions between sub-dis­cip­lines or that focus on the res­ol­u­tion of cur­rent con­tro­ver­sies. New STNs will address top­ics dis­tinct from those covered by cur­rently-fun­ded STNs. A score for this cri­terion based on part (1) of the applic­a­tion will account for 50% of the over­all pan­el score. It is primar­ily for the pro­posers to demon­strate the need for an STN, the poten­tial for it to stim­u­late pro­gress and the activ­it­ies that will enable the net­work to be effect­ive. A typ­ic­al STN might organ­ise one small dis­cus­sion meet­ing per year but it might also organ­ise train­ing events and its mem­bers might work togeth­er to gen­er­ate resources or pub­lic­a­tions. Inter­ac­tion among mem­bers might be fostered, between meet­ings, using social media, online dis­cus­sion for­ums or sim­il­ar. A score for the effect­ive and innov­at­ive nature of the plans laid out in part (2) of the pro­pos­al will account for 25% of the over­all pan­el score. The final 25% of the score will be based on the budget and adher­ence to the fol­low­ing guidelines:

  1. A pro­pos­al should be sup­por­ted by at least three ESEB mem­bers (mem­ber­ship in date on the clos­ing date for applic­a­tions), from at least two and typ­ic­ally three coun­tries and tak­ing gender issues into account, who com­mit to organ­ising the STN for its dur­a­tion (or to find­ing appro­pri­ate replace­ments if forced to step down). A mem­ber should sup­port no more than one pro­pos­al in a giv­en applic­a­tion round and organ­isers of cur­rent STNs should not be pro­posers of new STNs.
  2. STNs should organ­ise at least one meet­ing in the non-Con­gress year fol­low­ing its incep­tion and one in its final non-Con­gress year. Com­ple­ment­ing these meet­ings with an innov­at­ive range of oth­er activ­it­ies is strongly encouraged.
  3. Each STN will be expec­ted to make at least one con­tri­bu­tion to one of the ESEB journ­als (Journ­al of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy or Evol­u­tion Let­ters) dur­ing its peri­od of oper­a­tion. This might be a Tar­get Review or Spe­cial Issue, for example.
  4. STNs should con­sider offer­ing at least one con­tri­bu­tion to an ESEB Con­gress in the peri­od the STN is run­ning or the final year of operation.
  5. Each STN should main­tain an act­ive pres­ence on the web, with access pos­sible from the ESEB web­site at least to ‘pub­lic’ areas. We appre­ci­ate that STNs may wish to main­tain some private work­ing space, for example for the pre­par­a­tion of publications.
  6. STNs may have a core mem­ber­ship and restrict some activ­it­ies to this core group but gen­er­ally their activ­it­ies should be as open as pos­sible to all inter­ested participants.
  7. STNs may wish to seek addi­tion­al funds from oth­er agen­cies, or from par­ti­cipants. If this is con­sidered essen­tial for the planned activ­it­ies, then a strategy should be out­lined in the proposal.
  8. ESEB mem­bers should be giv­en pri­or­ity and, where appro­pri­ate, giv­en sub­sid­ised access to STN activ­it­ies where num­bers are lim­ited or where there is a cost to participation.
  9. STNs should strive to involve the widest pos­sible range of par­ti­cipants in terms of career stage, gender and nationality.
  10. ESEB sup­port should be recog­nised in all pro­mo­tion of STN activ­it­ies and in any pub­lic­a­tions or oth­er out­put arising from STN activities.

For any fur­ther inform­a­tion or enquir­ies, please con­tact the chair of the STN com­mit­tee, Ellen Decaesteck­er (

The STN Com­mit­tee,
Ellen Decaesteck­er (Chair), Troy Day, Yan­nis Michala­kis, and Simone Immler