Collaborative Local research Actions on Plant health and AgroSystems: CLAPAS

Incentives for exploratory research 2024

The Key Initiatives of the I-SITE Excellence program are designed to meet the following objectives:

  • bring together, in an organized partnership, multidisciplinary skills to produce innovative projects of general interest to the region or the I-SITE consortium;
  • structuring a scientific community ;
  • present a structuring, innovative or discriminating character for the site;
  • generate transformative effects in terms of research and training.

The CLAPAS key initiative is launching its first call for exploratory research projects to explore new research fronts in plant health. This call for projects is open to all research structures under the supervision of establishments in the strategic agreement attached to the University of Montpellier clusters (CIRAD - CNRS -- INRAE - Institut Agro Montpellier - IRD), whose research activities focus on plant and agrosystem health in the broadest sense of the term.

The CLAPAS key initiative aims to promote interdisciplinary research on the phytobiome (or exposome) of cultivated plants, involving plants, their environment and associated communities of micro- and macro-organisms. This research is essential for understanding the complex interaction networks within the phytobiome and their effects on the health of plants, soils and agrosystems. Using this knowledge to encourage more sustainable agricultural practices is a key aspect of plant and agrosystem health management, and also contributes to environmental preservation and human and animal health. These approaches are even more crucial in the South, where the impact of climate change is greater. Moreover, a number of tools, methods and concepts are common to the study of human, animal and plant health (parasite transmission mechanisms, epidemiological models, quarantine measures, etc.) and can be shared for an integrated approach to health ( One Health concept).

The aims of this research are to anticipate risks (" predict/monitor/prepare "), to consider and evaluate management solutions and strategies ("prevent/cure "), and to assess the impact of these solutions (" repair/strengthen resilience ") on agrosystems.

The aim of this AAP is to support exploratory research projects or to consolidate projects between at least two different research units attached to the University of Montpellier's research clusters, with a view to tackling research fronts in the following areas:

  1. the mechanisms and ecology of biotic interactions in agrosystems and associated natural ecosystems;
  2. the role of microbiota in the host's adaptation to its environment;
  3. epidemio-surveillance, invasion routes and the adaptive dynamics of micro- and macro-organism populations.

Human and social science approaches to the role/impact of agricultural practices and their socio-economic determinants, including practices for managing health risks and protecting the health of agrosystems, would be welcome.

 In line with the ambitions of the CLAPAS key initiative, this AAP strongly encourages seed projects, risk-taking and originality. The submission of interdisciplinary research projects with a focus on the South, or the initiation of new collaborations, are also encouraged.

Available amounts

Maximum funding per project: €10,000

Potential overall amount for this 2024 AAP: 90 k€.

(Another call for proposals of this type, for a higher overall amount, will take place in September 2024, to enable Master's students to take part).

Funding will be available until the end of 2025. The following costs are eligible: operating expenses, internship bonuses, equipment (any purchase > €500), outsourcing/subcontracting, mission expenses and travel expenses. 


  • Launch of the AAP: 25/03/2024
  • Application deadline: 03/05/2024
  • Dispatch to internal evaluators: 06/05/2024
  • Analysis of applications by Selection Committee:05/24/2024
  • Announcement of results: 05/27/2024
  • Credit availability: early June-24

How to submit

Applications should be submitted in Word format using the downloadable template.

Projects must be designed for a duration of 1 year to 18 months and written in French. Proposals should be returned by email to Diana Fernandez. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent within 48 hours.

Projects must have been approved by the directors of each research structure.

As far as possible, projects should be part of the open science approach, making the data produced easy to find, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).

Successful applicants will be asked to provide a graphic illustration summarizing their project for posting on the website, and to present the results of their actions at inter-unit seminars at the start and end of their project.

Target audience

Researchers, teacher-researchers, engineers. The project will necessarily involve two partners from different units and with different skills.

Scientific Committee

Projects will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary scientific advisory board, which includes external experts from developing countries. Each proposal will be assessed by two members of the scientific evaluation committee.

Selection criteria

The evaluation criteria are the quality and originality of the scientific project, and the complementarity of the collaboration.