European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research March 28, 2017, 21:43

Transnational Access

Get 100% funded flight hours for your experiments!

Eligibility criteria

  1. The applicants (leader and the majority of the group) must work in an institution established in a European Member State or Associated State;
  2. The applicants (leader and the majority of the group) must work in a country other than the country(ies) where the legal entity(ies) operating the selected aircraft and/or instrument is(are) established.
  3. Only groups that are entitled to disseminate the foreground that they have generated under the project are eligible to benefit from access.

Note that the raw data provided to the TA user group by the aircraft and instrument operators remains EUFAR property. No benefit, other than for science (publications), should be made from this data unless prior agreement is given by EUFAR.

Note that all publications or any other dissemination materials relating to foreground (knowledge resulting from the project) shall include the following statement: "The research leading to these results has received funding from the European  Union's 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2014-2018) under EUFAR2 contract n° 312609 "


Type of projects

Science projects

It is expected that both expert and non-expert users of research aircraft will submit proposals.

  • Expert users must be looking to gain access to an aircraft from outside their home country that has measurement capabilities that are not available to the applicant and the majority of the user group using the facilities for which he/she may apply using national or other EC research funding.
  • Non-expert applicants will come principally from countries and/or institutions that do not currently have access to research aircraft through their own national funding.

The primary acceptance criterion for a science project will be the quality and impact of the science itself. This will be judged by an independent peer-review process. An independent User Group Selection Panel (UGSP) will make the final approval of projects that have achieved a rating above a predetermined threshold in the peer-review process.

A secondary criterion will be a measure of the impact on scientific users. We are seeking to ensure that as many potential users of the flight data are identified at an early stage in the application process. A project will be more likely to secure TA funding if it can identify a large potential user base. This may include both students and scientists who are otherwise inexperienced in airborne measurements, in which case the project can also be given a high-rating for its training potential.

Instrument development

These are proposals that involve the testing or development of novel instrumentation in any area of airborne atmospheric or geo-science research. It is recognised that the installation of a new aircraft instrument will nearly always result in significant costs to cover the necessary engineering and certification work. EUFAR TA will not be able to support such costs, hence the call for proposals will allow a reasonable period of time to enable either the applicant or the selected aircraft operator (or both) to identify alternative sources of funding to cover this aspect of the project.

The primary criterion for acceptance of an instrument development project will be on the perceived demand for, and scientific impact of, the new instrument. This will also be judged by an independent peer-review process involving experts in airborne instrumentation.

Training courses

The purpose of these courses will be to educate a group of students in the background science, measurement techniques and analysis methods applicable to a defined area of atmospheric or environmental science that involves the use of research aircraft. The intention is to allow students to participate in some data-gathering flights of their own and then to conduct their own data analyses. It is expected that any flights conducted during these training courses will be of sufficient duration to enable groups of students to plan and execute a representative scientific mission. Proposals to host a 1 week to 10 days training course, including a flight campaign, may be submitted on any topic for which the measurement capabilities of the EUFAR fleet are relevant.

The primary acceptance criterion for such a project will be the quality of the teaching that is proposed, both in terms of the people and the programme. Training courses may be proposed for existing students (primarily studying at the Ph.D. level) in the selected field. However, proposals will also be welcomed for training courses for staff currently teaching in such areas of science, but who have not had any previous activity in airborne measurement fields. It is envisaged that such teachers will then be able to encourage successive generations of their own students to engage in airborne research measurement activities.

A secondary criterion for acceptance of a training course proposal will simply be the number of students that are anticipated to attend.


Clustering of Transnational Access flight projects

It is expected that projects that are finally approved by the UGSP will be allocated 10-15 flight hours on the selected aircraft. In general, this will be insufficient to cover long transit flights of the aircraft from its home base to the campaign location. Therefore, TA projects that can be clustered with a flight campaign that is already supported on the selected aircraft are strongly encouraged. Applicants should examine the planning information shown for each aircraft in the TA fleet on the EUFAR website. This may be found here.

The ability of a project to be clustered in this way will be a criterion for its acceptance in all three categories of TA proposal (science projects, instrument developments and training courses).


Selection procedure

Pre-review and assistance with clustering

It is expected that there will be a two-stage review process used for all three types of TA activity. The first stage is intended to provide applicants (especially those who are not experts in airborne observations) with information that will improve the overall scientific quality of their proposals. This pre-review could include:

  • contact with aircraft operators to identify existing nationally-funded projects that may provide opportunities for clustering.
  • contact with expert members of the existing EUFAR community of airborne measurement (tutors), to help the applicant improve their measurement and data analysis methodologies and to select the most appropriate aircraft.
  • extension of the research group with students or scientists from countries not operating research aircraft.

The pre-review stage will also identify situations where the applicant could perform the project better using national facilities and funding – in this case the project will be considered ineligible for TA funding.


  • Science review: the science review will be made by an independent pool of reviewers. The selection of the applications will be made based on the scientific merit: scientific value, originality, and practicality.
  • Logistic evaluation: the selected aircraft (and, if applicable, instrument) operators will assess that the project is logistically feasible.
  • Final decision: the final decision will be based on:
    1. the feasibility: selected experiments will have to be feasible within the time period of EUFAR2 (2014-2018). Studies of rare phenomena will be excluded in order to minimize constraints on the allocated time slots.
    2. the science quality and impact (review marks and comments).
    3. the network value and training potential of the project (experience gained by the scientists actively participating in an airborne field experiment, number of scientists and students involved, country of origin of the members of the group, etc).
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 312609

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