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Second Europlanet Call for TransNationalAccess

March 22 2016

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure is a major programme funded under Horizon 2020 to support the research activities of the European planetary science community and particularly to foster collaboration.

A central part of the programme is to allow any European researcher interested in pursuing planetary science research access to a comprehensive set of laboratory facilities and field sites tailored to the needs of planetary research.

Access is provided by a Transnational Access (TA) programme which supports travel and local accommodation costs of European researchers (and of researchers from Third Countries under certain conditions), at the facility for an approved period of time to conduct their own research programme. Applications are made to annual calls and are subject to peer review. It should be noted that applicants must apply to use facilities outside the country in which they are employed (i.e. it is a transnational access). Applications can be made for analytical time or access to planetary analogue sites ranging from single days up to several weeks and up to two researchers can be fully financed in each research visit.


Europlanet2020 RI is designed to support planetary science but applications in other research disciplines are also considered based on innovation and potential scientific and technological impact to the planetary sciences field. 

Three themes are proposed, each considers a specific set of locations. 

The second call opens on 15 March 2016 and closes on 29 April 2016. 


TA1. Planetary Field Analogues (PFA) offers access to 5 well-characterized terrestrial field sites that have been selected so as to provide the most realistic analogues of surfaces of Mars, Europa and Titan, to which planetary missions have either recently been directed or are planned. Access is provided for scientists to perform high quality scientific research and test instrumentation for space missions under realistic planetary conditions and undertake comparative planetology research. The PFA are:

1. Rio Tinto Field Site, Spain

2. Ibn Battuta Centre, Morocco

3. The glacial and volcanically active areas of Iceland, Iceland

4. Danakil Depression, Ethiopia (available from early 2017)

5. Tírez Lake, Spain (available from early 2017)


TA2. Distributed Planetary Simulation Facility (DPSF) provides access to a set of laboratory facilities that are able to recreate and simulate the conditions found in the atmospheres and on the surfaces of planetary systems with special attention to Martian, Titan and Europa analogues. The TA also includes the possibility to characterise the texture and mineral composition of samples in unprecedented detail as well as the ability to detect and characterise life, including Next Generation Sequencing. The DPSF are: 

1. Planetary Emissivity Laboratory, Germany

2. Planetary Environment Facilities at Aarhus University, Denmark

3. Open University Mars Chamber, UK  

4. High-pressure laboratory at VUA, NL

5. Cold Surfaces spectroscopy, Institut de Planétologie et Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), France

6. Center for microbial life detection at Medical University Graz, Austria

7. Petrology-Mineralogy Characterisation Facility (PMCF), Mineral and Planetary Sciences Division, Natural History Museum, London, UK 


TA3. Distributed Sample Analysis Facility (DSAF) combines the resources of four of the world's leading analytical laboratories to analyse meteoritic and sample returns with un-paralleled precision, offering possibility to apply a wide variety of stable and radiogenic isotopic systems. The DSAF are: 

1. Radiogenic and non-traditional stable isotope facility: Geology and geochemistry, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, NL

2. Radiogenic, non-traditional stable & rare gas isotopes. Le Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques (CRPG), Nancy, France

3. Stable Isotope Analytical Facilities - The Open University, UK 

4. NanoSIMS 50L Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer - The Open University, UK 

5. Radiogenic & non-traditional stable isotopes: Institute for Planetology (IfP); University of Münster, Münster, Germany

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