Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

SALTIRE Emerging Researcher Scheme

Call opens: Wednesday 12 May 2022

Application deadline: 5pm Friday 15 July 2022

The objectives of SERENE are: to improve the research opportunities and general research environment for emerging geo-environment science researchers based in Scotland or looking to Scotland as an attractive place to relocate, and to increase the volume of research income to Scotland via International funding mechanisms and thereby the size of our knowledge base.

SERENE is challenge-led with a broad focus on: Climate Change, NetZero and a Just Transition: the role of the Natural Environment. This focus is open to broad interpretation across the full remit of SAGES members activities.

Exchanges will be expected to take place between June 2022 and the end of April 2023. All funds must be received by your institution/department by 31st January 2023 latest. If awarded, you will form part of the Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme Alumni and be invited to attend an event with all awardees in Autumn 2022.

SERENE has been simplified to operate with a single open funding stream. SERENE funds 100% of applicant costs, and up to 75% of co-applicants’ costs (if requested).

Applicants do not necessarily need to apply for any funding for the co-applicant if they do not require funding.

Funds for contributions towards travel, accommodation, subsistence and research expenses can be requested for any of the following:

  • 1-way outbound visit (Scotland-Europe) to an academic/non academic institution/group
  • 1-way inbound visit (Europe-Scotland) to a SAGES partner institute from an academic institution
  • 2-way exchange between Scotland – Europe between 2 academic institutions
  • The applicant must be a Postgraduate Researcher and/or Early Career Researcher* currently employed within a SAGES member University
  • Exchanges must take place between Scotland and an EU Member State, EEA or EFTA country
  • Projects may build on, or be extensions to, existing activity or may be new developments
  • Visit must be for a minimum of two weeks. This can be applied as one extended trip or several shorter visits to accommodate caring commitments.
  • Activities can start any time after the award date, and between June 2022 and end of April 2023
  • SAGES defines the start of the project as being any activity undertaken to progress the project, which includes booking flights, planning a  schedule of activities to be undertaken in the initial stages
  • A maximum of £10,000 for a 6-month project (including a maximum of £3.5k for research expenses), we expect the amount requested to reflect the length of the visit
  • Eligible costs are restricted to economy travel with subsistence and accommodation rates limited to the values detailed below**
  • Travel can be conducted by all project participants which includes the applicant, the co-applicant and other members of their teams
  • Application must be signed off by your PI or equivalent supervisor (also the co-applicants PI or equivalent supervisor if applicable)

*The SFC definition of ‘early career’ includes applicants to programmes run by consortia under the SFC-Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme must be within seven years of the award of their PhD (from the point of successful PhD viva to the point of applying) and be within seven years of their first academic appointment (paid contract of employment which lists research or teaching as the primary role).

** Application must be costed according to the following guidelines:

  • Air travel is limited to economy
  • Accommodation is limited to £120 per night (for extended trips rented accommodation should be sought)
  • Subsistence will be limited to £60 per day (all receipts must be retained)


  • The exchange must take place by the end of April 2023
  • As an awardee you would be enrolled in the Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme Alumni and be requested to attend a cohort event in Autumn 2022
  • Any changes to planned exchanges must be approved by SAGES
  • Contingency plans for your exchange, that account for returning COVID-19 restrictions that could impact on your travel, must be considered and outlined in your application
  • An end of project report must be submitted to SAGES within 3 months of the exchange ending
  • Requests for further information on outputs/career progression etc. from the exchange at later dates may be requested by SAGES, and must be provided from the recipient
  • SAGES reserves the right to claw back funds should the grant not be used in accordance with these T&Cs
  • Any unspent funds, must be returned to SAGES
  • Funding must not be used for attendance at conferences, training seminars or similar. You may attend a conference in the country you are visiting but expenses associated with the conference (internal travel, subsistence, conference fees) cannot be claimed
  • Research costs are limited to £3.5k
  • Salary costs are not covered

Funding decisions will be made by the SAGES Research & Innovation Committee and will be based on:

  • The application must demonstrate relevance to “Climate Change, NetZero and a Just Transition: the role of the Natural Environment”
  • The mutual benefit across the specified institutions and the overall impact on the research area
  • Likely benefits to the research of the applicant (i.e. acquisition of new skills and techniques proposed) and that of the wider research group including plans for sharing good practice and KE upon return
  • Wider benefit to your host institution and the wider community, in particular for inbound visits
  • Likely benefits to the longer-term career of the applicant
  • The likelihood of a sustainable relationship with potential further outcomes identified
  • Alignment and awareness of Horizon Europe funding and training opportunities for future career progression and funding
  • Evidence of the ability of the candidate to deliver on the proposed outcomes
  • Sufficient risk mitigation and contingency plan if new travel restrictions emerge

Submitting Your Application
Please submit your application and supporting documents on the SAGES website by 5pm, Friday 15 July 2022

Notification of Outcome
Successful applications will be notified by email by 5pm Friday 05 August 2022

Payment of Funds
If successful, funds will be transferred to your Institution. Funds must be claimed by 31st January 2023

A short report (2 pages A4) must be submitted to SAGES within three months of the exchange. You must provide the SAGES administration with project updates and outcomes when requested for reporting purposes. If this project leads to a published article, or leverages grant funding, please contact the SAGES administration to make them aware.

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