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Pre-announcement: A multilateral joint call for proposals on Transformations to Sustainability (T2S)

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures have created unprecedented situations for societies worldwide. Conventional knowledge and capacity building to tackle the challenges associated with sustainability have proven inadequate, and a comprehensive and concerted research initiative is needed to boost research on transformations to sustainability that can catalyse new kinds of solutions to environmental and social challenges.

A Multilateral Joint Call for Proposals on Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) implemented jointly by NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe), the Belmont Forum and the ISSC will soon be published. Since the Pre-Announcement was published on 7 November, the ISSC, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), has been able to commit to supporting the participation of researchers in low- and lower-middle-income countries in this call. More information will be available as soon as the call is finalized and published.

The programme is supported by funding agencies from the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. More information on the participation of Norway will be posted as soon as possible, and support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme may also be available for this programme.

Call themes

1. Governance and institutional dimensions of transformations to sustainability

2. Economy and finance of transformations to sustainability

3. Well-being, quality of life, identity, and social and cultural values in relation to transformations to sustainability

Proposals for innovative research addressing one or more of these themes are invited. The description of the three themes gives a clear indication of areas that are considered priorities. However, it is expected that applicants will develop and add to these areas. In addition, applicants are encouraged to consider linkages across the themes and invited to reflect upon one or both of the following cross-cutting issues: (1) conceptual aspects of transformation processes and (2) methodological innovation. Co-production of knowledge and research problem formulation is considered to be critical to the process of societal transformation. Therefore, proposal applicants are strongly encouraged to include stakeholder or community-based partners in their projects.

Application rules

(Correct at the time of publication (November 7 2016))

  1. A project team must involve at least three national research teams, eligible for the funding from three different T2S funders.
  2. Researchers from at least two eligible European funders (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) and one non-European funder (Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Japan, USA) should be involved in a consortium.
  3. Inclusion of stakeholder or community-based partners is encouraged.
  4. National teams are subject to budget limitations set by their national funding agency/agencies.
  5. Researchers in non-European countries (Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Japan, USA) may be consortium leaders.
  6. Each consortium should be led by a social scientist and should also include researchers from other disciplines including e.g. natural sciences and technical sciences insofar as it is relevant for the research questions and the researchers are eligible for funding according to national eligibility requirements.
  7. Each proposal can request up to 1.5m euros for a maximum project duration of three years.
  8. Applicants (regardless of country base) may participate in no more than two proposals and in only one proposal as Main Applicant.
  9. Each submitted proposal will go through a two-stage (Outline Proposal and Final Proposal) evaluation process.
  10. All submissions must be made online via the Belmont Forum online proposal portal (BFGO).

The official Launch of the Call for Outline Proposals is expected to be released in December 2016. More information will then be available on the NORFACE website and Belmont Forum website.

So what should I do now?

  1. Develop a research idea.
  2. Work with your colleagues in the scientific community to build a project consortium involving researchers in at least three different participating countries.
  3. Go to the LinkedIn group “Multilateral Joint Call: Transformations to Sustainability (T2S)” and announce that you are looking to partner with others on the research topic of your interest (but within the scope of T2S Call Topics).
  4. Decide whether you would like to be project coordinator or participant in a project.
  5. Review the Outline Proposal application form (published December 2016), and start drafting your Outline Proposal with your consortium.
  6. Be alert to the official announcement and get ready to submit your application online.

This announcement is preliminary. Specific details might change, and you are advised to refer to the NORFACE and Belmont Forum websites for updated information.


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