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News and Updates: General SETAC News

Transnational Call for Proposals on “Ecological Aspects of Microplastics in the Marine Envi

Monday, February 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Plastics, synthetic polymers virtually unknown prior to their broad commercialization in the 1950s, are nowadays ubiquitous in the environment, and their production continues to rise. The global production of plastics was 299 million tons in 2013, of which 60 million tons were produced in Europe alone.

In 2016, the first joint transnational call on “Ecological aspects of microplastics in the marine environment,” launched under the framework of JPI Oceans, and four projects were selected for funding for a three year period. Through these research projects the knowledge about the analysis, weathering and ecotoxicological effects of microplastics in the marine environment has been substantially improved. But not all relevant questions have been addressed in the four projects and the knowledge and understanding about smaller microplastic particles (from 10 µm to very small particles - nanoparticles) is in particular limited.

Building on the results from the previous call and recent scientific findings, this joint transnational call intends to increase the knowledge about the the relevant sources of microplastics, analytical methods for identifying smaller micro- and (nano-)plastics, monitoring their distribution and abundance in marine systems and their effects thereon as well as concepts to reduce inputs of plastic into the marine environment.

Through this new call, JPI Oceans is aiming to promote European and transatlantic research cooperation on the issue, and contribute to the Regional Seas Conventions, to the implementation of the Belém Statement as well as G7, G20 and UN aims of reducing (micro-) plastic pollution in the ocean.

Proposals need to involve eligible research partners from at least three participating countries. Projects will be funded for up to 36 months. The maximum requested funding per proposal is € 2,000,000.

Focus of the Call

This call for proposals comprises four main themes:

  • Identification, characterization and quantification of the major microplastic sources, especially mechanisms and time scales of macroplastic fragmentation.
  • New sampling and analytical methodologies - focusing on the smaller (nano-)particles and in situ measurement methods for all matrices (water, sediment, biota).
  • Monitoring and mapping of microplastics in the marine environment including its effects on the marine environment.
  • Concepts to reduce inputs of plastics into the marine environment including through new recycling methods, raising public awareness, promoting behavioral change, socio-economic analyses

Submission of Proposals and Deadline

The language of the application is English. Applications must be submitted via the online submission tool available at The use of the official application form for this call is mandatory. Instructions and guidelines for submitting applications can be found on the website.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 28 February at 12:00 CEST. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.