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Guidelines for Applications

URGENT NOTICE for applicants to the Joint Call on Food Security and Land Use Change:

  • Due to technical difficulties with the online submision portal, applications will also be accepted via email.

In this case, please directly send your application in MS Word format, available here, to the Theme Programme Office.

  • The deadline for submitting proposals for the Joint Call on Food Security and Land Use Change isthis monday, September 30th 2013, 24:00 UTC.

Funding Instruments

Recognizing that there is a need for adequate interdisciplinarity and end user community engagement, the call intends to promote the building of communities/networks that effectively engage relevant stakeholder groups. Interdisciplinarity and stakeholder engagement is likely to be fostered within community building projects, and requires time to engage people and raise trust. Conversely, it is recognized that there may be networks established from previous initiatives which are ready to embark on large scale projects.

Thus, this call offers two types of project:

  • Type 1/Community building projects (12 to 18 months for up to 300k€).

These short-term exploratory projects seek to build communities that bring on board various disciplines and stakeholder groups around a common object of research.  The focus should be on networking, capacity building, co-design of research questions and co-building of methodologies for integrated research, spatial scale interaction analysis, knowledge appropriation by key users, etc.

  • Type 2/Medium- to long-term integrated projects (3 to 5 years up to 3M€).

These projects will seek to address the key research questions in an integrated manner, with emphasis on a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach in co-design and co-implementation. Proposals should seek to enhance fundamental understanding of the complex interactions between and within natural and human systems specifically in relation to food security and land use. The proposals must include stakeholder involvement from the outset and must have a clear plan for how the results would be used.

This 2013 call is expected to support up to 15 Type 1 projects and up to 3 Type 2 projects.

Type 1 projects will be selected with a one-step procedure (full proposal) and Type 2 projects will be selected with a two steps procedure with pre-proposals and full proposals.

 

Research Matching

One of the criteria on which the proposals to the Belmont Forum & FACCE JPI 2013 International Opportunities Fund will be judged is the collaborative nature of the projects, specifically among a diversity of countries and the involvement of a variety of natural and social science disciplines. We recognize that all researchers may not have already established networks of collaborators that cover these types of collaborations. To help facilitate this process we have established a Research Matching web interface on the Belmont Forum page for those researchers interested in the International Opportunities Fund Call for Proposals.

The research matching site is available to all researchers interested in the IOF Call. To register, basic information will be required including discipline, area of expertise, and a 1-2 sentence summary of topical interest within the IOF theme. This database will be available through the Belmont Forum website and searchable for those interested in finding a collaborator with a certain background or within a specific topic area. All researchers should please consider registering for this service.

Principles for Applications

Consortium partners should identify a Leading Principal Investigator (LPI) for each proposal for application, management and communication purposes. The LPI is officially responsible for all communications with the Program Office, including submission (please check National Annex) of Full Proposal for Type 1 projects, of Pre-proposal for Type 2 projects and, if invited to do so, of Full Proposal for Type 2 projects. Full proposals for Type 1 projects and short Pre-proposals for Type 2 projects must be submitted by interested consortia by 30th September 2013. These will be considered by a scientific review panel that will invite submission of Full Proposals for Type 2 projects by November 2013. Full Proposals for Type 2 projects must be submitted by February 2014 (further details will be available later).

In addition to the information provided here, please refer to the National Annexes for the relevant countries involved in your application.

Principles of Funding

Within each selected consortium, funding of the participating researchers is provided by their respective national Funding Agencies according to their normal terms and conditions for project funding. Funding is meant for community building (Type 1 projects) and collaborative research (Type 2 projects). A consortium agreement (including International Property Rights) will need to be developed between the participating researchers should their application be successful, and shared with the relevant Partner Organizations.

All projects have to include a budget for participation in synthesis meetings that will be held back-to-back with a scientifically relevant international conference or event.

Eligibility

Funding should support researchers to cooperate in consortia consisting of partners from at least three of the participating countries. Moreover, so as to benefit from the additional geographic breadth brought by the link between the Belmont Forum and European FACCE-JPI, all proposals including FACCE-JPI countries should also include at least one Belmont Forum country which is not a member country of FACCE-JPI (see Table above).

Each consortium must show clear links through to users and include collaboration between natural and social sciences, and other sciences where relevant.

All applicants must fulfil national eligibility rules for research grant applications as set by their national Funding Agencies. Additional eligibility rules may be applied by the Partner Organizations involved, such as opportunities to support research capacity building in some developing countries. Please see the relevant National Annex and/or contact the relevant national contact point for more information.

More than one applicant from each country is possible in each consortium. However, consortia should aim for a balanced geographical contribution to the research project.

Researchers from countries not represented by any of the Partner Organizations can participate in the research project at their own expense (unless otherwise allowed by Partner Organizations please see National Annexes).

If an applicant is found to not be eligible, the proposal will only be evaluated if the remaining elements of the proposal remain viable and meet the eligibility criteria.

Selection criteria

The Panel of Experts and individual External Reviewers will review the proposals under the following selection criteria (the weight of each criteria will depend on the type of the project – Community building projects versus Integrated projects – see below Selection procedure):

1. Quality/Intellectual Merit

  • · Scientific quality and innovativeness of the goals and objectives of the joint research plan
  • · Added value to be expected from the international research collaboration

How well does the activity advance knowledge and understanding within its own field and across different fields?

Does the proposal contribute to scientific excellence and significant progress toward the state of the art?

To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original concepts?

If these partnerships currently exist what does this new funding allow them to do that they could not do otherwise?

What is the added value of the international cooperation? Where appropriate this should also include the extent to which Partner Organizations' existing investments are leveraged in the proposed project.

2. User Engagement and Societal/Broader Impacts

  • · Engagement of research users (relevant policy makers, regulators, NGOs, communities or industry)and the effectiveness of proposed knowledge exchange activities
  • · What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society, policy-development or economies?

How have users been engaged and how effective are the proposed mechanism for knowledge transfer to decision makers?

Does the project involve early career researchers?

Does the research collaboration focus on global challenges for which solutions can only be achieved by global scientific approaches?

3. Inter-disciplinarity and Personnel/Quality of the Consortium

  • · Collaboration between natural and social sciences, and other sciences where relevant
  • · Competence and expertise of team and complementarities of consortium (inter-disciplinary / inclusion of all necessary expertise)

How strong is the collaboration between the natural and social sciences?

How well qualified are the proposers (Leading Principal Investigator and team) in terms of science knowledge, expertise and experience to conduct the project?

What is the quality of previous work in terms of past or potential contributions to, and impact on the proposed and other areas of research?

Is the Leading Principal Investigator team (including any identified Co-Principal Investigators) able to lead the project, e.g. having strong management and leadership skills, or having complementarity of expertise and synergy of the members of the team?

4. Resources and Management

  • · Appropriateness of resources and funding requested
  • · Balanced cooperation

How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?

Is there an operational plan with well-defined milestones in place?

Is the coordination plan adequate?

Is there sufficient access to resources?

Are the requested investments well justified and relevant?

Are the scientific and financial contributions requested of the Partner Organizations from each country well balanced?

Selection Procedure

Type 1 project selection procedure

The LPI (or LPIs Institution where appropriate) should submit their proposal electronically to the Program Office through the online system. There may be additional national application requirements - please see the National Annex of your respective Partner Organization.

Peer review will be coordinated across the participating Partner Organizations using panel review, sharing a common review form.

Full Proposals will be discussed and recommended for funding by the PoE based on the selection criteria, with User Engagement and Societal/Broader Impacts and Inter-disciplinarity and Personnel/Quality of the Consortium being the primary criteria in selection.

The final award decision will be the responsibility of the Partner Organization. Upon the final decision a list of funded projects will be published on the Belmont Forum website.

All LPIs will receive the result and a short written summary from the Theme Program Office on their Full Proposals.

Type 2 project selection procedure

The selection of Type 2 projects to be funded follows a two-stage peer-reviewed selection process. In the first step, the LPI (or LPIs Institution as appropriate) are required to submit a Pre-Proposal electronically to the Program Office through the online system (see 'submit proposals' tab in left menu). Applications must be completed in English. Please refer to the guidelines for Pre-Proposals, all accessible under the 'Forms and Downloads' tab in the left menu.

The Pre-proposals will be evaluated by a Panel of Experts (PoE). The PoE will encompass the necessary expertise to cover the call Theme in the natural and social sciences and include members with expertise in the field of policy and decision-making. The PoE will establish a pool of high-quality applications based on the above-mentioned criteria that will be invited to submit Full Proposals.

All LPIs will receive the result and a short written summary from the Theme Program Office on their Pre-proposals.

The Full Proposal must be closely based on the successful Pre-proposal and substantial changes to the proposed program of research or consortium membership is not anticipated.

The LPI (or LPIs Institution where appropriate) should submit their proposal electronically to the Program Office through the online system. There may be additional national application requirements - please see the National Annex of your respective Partner Organization.

Peer review will be coordinated across the participating Partner Organizations using external and panel review, sharing a common review form. Each proposal will be peer-reviewed ideally by three experts.

Full Proposals will be discussed and recommended for funding by the PoE based on the selection criteria and the assessments of external reviews, with Quality/Intellectual Merit being the primary criterion in selection.

The final award decision will be the responsibility of the Partner Organization. Upon the final decision a list of funded projects will be published on the Belmont Forum website.

All LPIs will receive the result and a short written summary from the Theme Program Office on their Full Proposals.

Reporting and Synthesis Meetings

LPIs of successful proposals will be requested to submit a report to the Theme Program Office upon completion of the research project. Each PI must also fulfill the national reporting requirement(s) of the respective Partner Organization. All projects have to include a budget for participation in synthesis meetings that will be held back-to-back with a scientifically relevant international conference or event.