Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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Glacial Ecology training course in Italy
From Tuesday 02 August 2022
To Saturday 13 August 2022
Location Milano & Santa Caterina Valfurva (Stelvio National Park), Italy

Glaciers have long been considered almost lifeless environments, but this view does not correspond to reality. In recent years, they have been recognized as ecosystems in their own right, teeming mostly with microbial life, but also hosting larger organisms. Our current knowledge of glacier ecosystems is poor and fragmented. Most studies conducted so far focused on peculiar supraglacial habitats and were restricted to specific taxa. The course is organised in two locations and will last 12 days. The venue for field activities and some lectures is the Rifugio Branca in Santa Caterina Valfurva (SO), Italy Alps. Alpine Guides and expert researchers will guide participant for sample collection in the National Stelvio Park. The venue for wet molecular laboratories, bioinformatics and statistics computer laboratories, practicals and other lectures is the University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

The focus of the course is to train young scientists with different backgrounds to interact with each other in planning and executing research projects aiming at identifying the ecological processes of supraglacial and proglacial ecosystems. The course will teach to reconstruct ecological webs and other ecological relationships. It spans from sampling campaign and traditional morphologic classification of organisms to sequencing, bioinformatic and statistical elaboration of sequencing data.

Registration includes:

  • Course registration and material
  • Accommodation at Rifugio Branca (2 – 6 August)
  • Accommodation at Milano Bicocca (7 – 14)
  • All Lunches and dinner at Rifugio Branca
  • Lunches at Campus Bicocca
  • Coffee breaks
  • Transportation from University of Milano Bicocca to Rifugio Branca and up to the Stelvio National Park and backward
  • A social event

It is preferable that participants bring their own equipment for the excursion on the glacier, namely mountaineering boots, crampons, climbing helmet, climbing harness, and an ice axe. An email containing details on the equipment issue will be sent to participants in due time.


Upon acceptance participants will be sent an email containing information about payment details. The following types of payment options will be available: invoice, bank transfer, PayPal.

Selection criteria

Maximum 25 participants are allowed. Young career researchers, mainly PhD Students and post-doc can apply. Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Motivation letter (half a page, A4) and CV (1 page, A4).
    Applicants must explicitly state any previous experience in field trips and especially in glacial habitats.
  • Relevance to the field
  • Fair distribution of applicants from different countries and scientific institutes.
  • Fair gender distribution.

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts must be written in English and do not exceed 500 words.

Poster specifications

Virtual poster session. 3 slides for 5 minutes presentation

Travel Grants and Registration Fee Waivers

A limited number of travel grants and registration fee waivers are available for participants.

Applicants do not need to apply separately for these but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered.

Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizers. Priority is given to participants of any nationality working in laboratories in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey, as well as from EMBC Associate Member States Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan. More information is available on the EMBO Travel Grants' page.

Child care grant

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the child care grant and specify the sum that you will need.

All further information can be found on the course website.

Tuesday 02 August 2022

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Huginbakken 14
9019 Tromsø
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