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AquaSYNC will from time to time open calls and invite to establishment of new Synthesis Working Groups (SWGs), including themes and chair (step 1) and members (step 2).

The 2023 Call for new Synthesis Working Groups is now open:

AquaSYNC is launching an Open Call for two new Synthesis Working Groups (SWGs). ​


The key research service offered by AquaSYNC is a ‘synthesis activity/process’ involving SWGs targeting a specific research question. Working groups are typically composed of experts from a range of disciplines, sectors, career stages, and institutions. They come together for short periods of time to tackle large-scale questions in basic and/or applied aquatic science, using the synthesis approach. Each participant brings data, methods, experiences, and perspectives, while AquaSYNC offers logistical and technical support to enable their innovation. By integrating diverse perspectives and data sources, our working groups connect dots, discover gaps in knowledge, and reveal untapped insights.


​AquaSYNC applies and develops the working group model and promotes the value of diversity between participants and collaborative science. In fact, research has shown that the diversity of participants in working groups is key to enabling greater productivity and problem-solving capacity.


The SWG model is designed to accelerate discovery and increase the impact science can have on decisions to enable people and nature to thrive. AquaSYNC working groups will advance scientific understanding in aquatic ecology and the environmental sciences significantly over the coming decades.


An SWG focuses on providing answers to topical relevant research questions through collaborative research and analyses of existing data sets.


When proposing a new SWG, the requirements to be met are few and simple: 1) a SWG is led by a chairperson 2) the research questions to be addressed have an aquatic theme, i.e. limnic (lakes or rivers) or marine (estuarine, coastal or offshore waters), 3) the work should be anchored in existing data sets, which will be collected and analyzed, and 3) the chair and the SWG are required to draft and present a manuscript by December 2023.


AquaSYNC will provide funding, infrastructure, and support throughout the lifetime of the SWGs.


Funding for the SWGs will cover the following expenses: 1) costs related to physical meetings, including catering, 2) travel costs, accommodation for all members of the SWG, and per diem for the members of the SWG, and 3) potentially also costs related to AquaSYNC’s handling, QA/QC and analyses of accessible data sets.


The SWG will work in 2023 with an initial online kick-off meeting (expected around May) and two in-person SWG meetings, one in June-July and one in October-November. The SWG will end in December 2023 with an online final meeting where a draft manuscript should be presented and discussed - however, the last meeting could in principle be postponed to January-February 2024.


The Open Calls and the realization of the two SWGs initiated will follow a three-step process.

Step 1: Proposal for SWGs and chairpersons


AquaSYNC calls for proposals for new SWGs, including the research questions to be addressed, a suggested chairperson and data sources on which the work will be based.


A template for submission of a proposal in step 1 can be found here.


Please note: 1) it is not a strict requirement but it is preferable that the proposal is submitted by the intended chairperson of the SWG, 2) the signature certifies that all information in the proposal is correct, and that the applicant will chair the SWG (if approved and established) and will participate in at least three SWG meetings: an online kick-off meeting and two physical meetings (each 3-days) and 3) incomplete proposals will be rejected without further explanation.


Deadline for submission is 10 February 2023.


All proposals received in due time will be carefully evaluated by AquaSYNC. Evaluation criteria are: 1) relevance and novelty, 2) availability of data sets, 3) experience of the chairperson. The proposal will be shortlisted and forwarded to AquaSYNC Scientific Advisory Board, who will be responsible for the final selection.


Step 2: Call for member of approved proposals for SWGs


AquaSYNC will select up to two new SWGs based on the proposals submitted in step 1.


In close collaboration with the SWG chairperson, AquaSYNC will launch a second call for participants in the SWGs. In addition to the chairperson and the AquaSYNC support, there are expected to be 5-7 members in each working group.


A template for application for SWG membership will be provided.


The selection of the members will be coordinated by AquaSYNC and the chair. We aim for diverse SWGs with a mix of experienced researchers and early career researchers covering different disciplines within aquatic sciences, but social scientists and in some cases practitioners with a management background are also welcomed.


Deadline for application is 24 March 2023.


Step 3: Kick-off and SWG meetings


The 2023 work plan includes four meetings:


  1. Online kick-off meeting (2-3 hours), to set the scene and arrive at a joint understanding of the objectives, roles, working procedures and planned outputs.

  2. In-person meeting for (3 days in June or July) hosted by AquaSYNC in Copenhagen.

  3. In-person meeting for (3 days in October or November) hosted by AquaSYNC in Copenhagen.

  4. Online final meeting in December 2023, to take stock of the work carried out and to present and discuss a draft manuscript.


More information about the new SWGs, the chairpersons and the members of the groups will be provided at a later stage.



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