?????Royal Museum for Central Africa Biology Department
Ichtyology Unit / Fishbase
?????2017 Training session on FishBase and Fish Taxonomy
organized by the Biology Department – Ichthyology Unit of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
Call for applications for 5 scholarships
?????????????Deadline for submission of applications : 05/12/2016 Training session : 06/03/2017 – 26/05/2017
The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren (Belgium) is part of the FishBase Consortium and responsible for the information on the fresh- and brackish water fishes of Africa. FishBase is the most important online encyclopaedia on fishes and incorporates many tools for ichthyologists and fisheries biologists. The FishBase programme of the RMCA includes a.o. a continuous update of scientific information on the African ichthyofauna and the organisation of an annual and comprehensive training session on the use of FishBase and on the taxonomy of African fishes.
Through an agreement with the Belgian Development Cooperation the RMCA has five scholarships available for the 2017 edition of this training session.
Remark: The organization of the training is contingent upon the approval of the budget 2017, which at the time of the launch of the call was not yet official.
The training session comprises three main components:
• A detailed explanation and demonstration of FishBase in all its aspects, illustrating the encyclopaedic character and the use of its tools.
• A training in the taxonomy of African fishes, including identification exercises, working with keys, the proper curation of collections, morphological examination of specimens and data analysis.
?????1. General context
• A case study based on taxa for which taxonomic problems have been encountered in FishBase or the RMCA collections.
The focus of the training will be on fish biodiversity data and their integration into FishBase, on how to use FishBase and on how to contribute. The context of these contributions may vary and may also include the knowledge of common names, fish ecology, fisheries statistics, aquaculture and many other areas of fish biology, according to the expertise of the candidate.
Applicants should afterwards be able to make their own contribution to fish biology and to continue to work with FishBase. They will be encouraged to teach their newly apprehended skills to new/local users, to help in completing the database and keeping it up to date, and to spread the use of FishBase as a source of information and as a fisheries tool. A long-term collaboration between the candidate, his/her home institute and the RMCA and FishBase is envisaged.
For more information please visit http://fishbase.africamuseum.be.
African scientists with an interest and expertise in African fishes, preferably freshwater fishes, and their biology.
• Only applications from people with residency in Sub-Saharan Africa (cf country list below) and working for an institution, ministry, research institute or university will be taken into consideration. Applications from consultants or individuals will not be accepted.
• Applications from candidates from the following countries only are accepted: Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
• Scientists with a diploma other than a MSc or PhD should demonstrate a record of substantial work related to ichthyology.
• Language skills: this call is for English speaking scientists only (a training session in French will be organized in 2018). A good command of English is requested in case it would not be the mother tongue or the language of education of the applicant.
• Age limit: 45 years at the time of the application.
In addition to the candidate’s CV, the following questions will be used for evaluation of the
• What is the level of direct or indirect benefits of the training for the candidate for his/her future studies on fish biodiversity and what is the intention for the use and support of FishBase?
• What are the prospects for continued co-operation between the applicant (and/or his/her institution) and the RMCA, and how much mutual benefit can be expected?
All applications will be subject to an evaluation by internal experts.
The training staff may formulate specific conditions for the sharing of existing data with successful applicants.
The RMCA encourages the participation of women in its study visit programs, though applications are evaluated on an equal basis.
??????3. Target group
????????4. Eligibility criteria
?????5. Instructions for applications
???A complete application file consists of :
1. The application form, which can be downloaded from the RMCA internet site at the following addresses:
http://fishbase.africamuseum.be (Training at the RMCA – Downloads)
This application form needs to be completed, dated and signed by the applicant.
2. A separate motivation letter outlining:
• why you consider yourself a good candidate for this training;
• what would be the benefits of your training to your home institute;
• what is the level of direct or indirect benefits of the training for you in future studies on fish
• what is the intention for the usage and support of FishBase.
3. A letter from your employer (research institution, ministry, university,…) authorizing your participation in the requested training, confirming your current position within the institution and indicating a commitment to make good use of the newly acquired expertise and what would be the benefits of this training for the institution. This letter must be dated and signed, and provided with a stamp of the institution. The name, position and address of the author of the letter must be clearly mentioned.
4. A letter of recommendation indicating, amongst others, why you are particularly well placed or suited for this training. This letter must be dated and signed with clear mention of the name, position and address of the person. The letter from the person recommending you must be send directly by him/her to the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
5. Copies of relevant diplomas.
6. One recent passport photograph.
Only complete application files will be taken into consideration. No additional information communicated
afterwards will be accepted, unless upon specific request from the RMCA.
The complete application file should reach the following e-mail address before 5 December 2016 at midnight (Belgian time, GMT+2): firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications per e-mail are preferred. If not possible, a paper copy of the application file can be send per regular mail to the following postal address (file must arrive before the deadline):
Ms. Muriel Van Nuffel, Training and Study Visit Coordinator Royal Museum for Central Africa
B 3080 Tervuren, Belgique
Reception of application files will only be acknowledged by e-mail to the e-mail address to be mentioned in the application form. This acknowledgement will be done shortly after the application form is received.
All applicants will be personally informed of the results of the selection process by the beginning of 2017.
Please note that no document addressed to the RMCA in the context of this call will be returned to its sender.
?????6. Scholarship conditions
???• Duration : training session of 3 months, from 6 March 2017 until 26 May 2017. Selected candidates are supposed to be available for the entire session and need to arrive in Belgium before the start of the training session.
• Travel expenses : the RMCA will provide one round-trip ticket (economy class). Some expenses related to obtaining visa will be reimbursed.
• Allowances :
o daily allowance of 44€ covering board, individual transport, and personal expenses of the selected applicant;
o fee to cover shipping costs (to the country of origin) of educational material received during the study period up to a maximum of 200€;
o accommodation provided by the RMCA (accommodation to be shared with other participants).
• Insurance : the RMCA will provide insurance for the selected applicants. The insurance will cover :
o medical and accident insurance (this insurance does not cover medical care related to pre-existing diseases, nor does it cover medical expenses related to pregnancies and/or births);
o third-party liability;
o repatriation insurance.