Here you can find comments,
opinions and criticism on the project “Idle Crayfish: from the unknown to the next generation of species conservation assessment”, points of view addressed
to a wide audience expressed by our research team, but also from the outside.
More than ever, this competition has meant everything to my professional career. Not one but two are the reasons why this project meant so much.
The first, and most obvious, is my desire to offer a future to my new-born "child" - the Idle Crayfish (Austropotamobius bihariensis). I would like to see it protected from the environmental threats. It needs special care because the populations are small, restricted to a small geographical area (true, mostly in protected areas), which involves a number of problems: risk of biological degradation due to inbreeding, risk of being exposed, and consequently literally exterminated, to invasive species and the carried pathogens.
The second reason is that I really want to coagulate a team around me. This can be done when you have the right to coordinate doctorates. I kept trying to keep young students around me but their interest was probably not very clearly established, I lost them along the way. Moreover, those interested in research had to choose another coordinator during their academic career. All I needed to initiate the habilitation procedure (this is the name of the certificate that allows to lead doctorates according to Romanian legislation) was to have in my portfolio, in addition to a certain score that I had already satisfied for more than 7 years, two projects as Principal Investigator (i.e., win it on your own idea) and I only had one won in
So here are the ingredients for which this project competition meant a chance for me. Unfortunately, such project competitions have not regularly open calls, which is frustrating because you don't have a horizon in which to reorganize yourself.
I gave all my best this summer. I wrote, organized and applied with this project proposals that seems to have liked the evaluators enough to give it 93.4 points. Enough to place me on the 13th place (what a luck!!!) out of a total of 81 submitted, on a fundable position. I want to recall some criticism from the reviewers: (i) they found my CV good, but not great - okay, it was frustrating that after I submitted the application, some of the most important papers got acceptance from the editors in significant journals, but all it matters was what you had at the time of project proposal submission; (ii) I didn't had any prizes - and rightly, I didn't. Again, after sending the proposal, I received two extremely important awards: the
"Mircea Zăgănescu" Award from
West University of Timisoara and the
"Award for Excellence in Research" from Ad Astra Association. But again, they were not going to matter in the evaluation because they had appeared after my application was sent; and finally (iii) the fact that I am not the editor of any major scientific journal - and guess what?... after submission, I was invited (without doing anything specifically) to be editor of
Water (top journal) and more recently, at the equally famous
Frontiers publishing group.
Program: PN III - Fundamental and frontier research Subprogram: Exploratory Research Projects Financing: Romanian Government Financing Authority: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation (UEFISCDI) Applicant's Guide:
Accepted proposals of 2021 competition, domain Biology and