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Joint NERC/Defra announcement of opportunity
This announcement of opportunity has now expired, and this page is preserved here only for reference purposes.
BiodivERsA: a pan-European call for international research projects on biodiversity, linking scientific advancement to policy and practice.
Closing date for pre-proposals: 3 March 2008, 12:00 (Central European Time)
BiodivERsA is a network of 19 public research funding organisations from 14 European countries supporting scientific research in the field of biodiversity. The network is funded as an ERA-net project under the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme for Research. This call is being launched by the partners of the BiodivERsA ERA-net, who will also be providing the funding for these trans-national projects. NERC and Defra will provide joint funding (in the form of NERC research grants) to enable UK researchers to participate in successful proposals.
Funded projects are expected to start in late 2008.
Full details of the call and the application procedure are located on the BiodivERsA website.
The call is open to research on all ecosystems and organisms. Proposals must:
- link scientific advancement to challenges in biodiversity policy and conservation management;
- generate new knowledge and insights with the eventual goal of using them in policy and practice; and
- generate added value to national research projects across Europe by linking expertise and efforts across national teams.
Research questions can be of fundamental or more applied nature.
Project duration can be 1 to 4 years.
Projects should address one or more of the three themes outlined below.
- Global change and biodiversity dynamics
- Impacts of climate change on biodiversity and impacts of biodiversity on climate change.
- Impacts of habitat loss, biological invasions, ecosystem conversion and landscape fragmentation on biodiversity dynamics.
- ecosystem responses to human-induced changes.
- Conservation models to cope with impacts of global change.
- Ecosystem functioning
- Understanding the role of biodiversity (at any level) in ecosystem functioning and the management of ecosystems; especially exploited ecosystems in the context of global change.
- Ecosystem services
- Identifying, evaluating and integrating ecosystem services in project assessment methodology.
- Using economic tools for evaluating ecosystem services
- Modelling the impact of public policies (eg economic policy, infrastructure, land use and maritime planning, renewable resource management, health etc) and private sector strategies on ecosystem services.
- Managing perception and conflict.
The call is open to research on all ecosystems and organisms. We consider the challenges to be of equal importance across all types of ecosystems: aquatic, marine and terrestrial. Applicants should carefully note the specific aims and scope of the call, in particular, the emphasis on linking excellent science to policy and practice.
Policy relevance will be assessed by means of the following criteria:
- Relevance for the identified policy application, importance of the research for solving pressing concerns and/or issues related to biodiversity
- Identification of appropriate end users
- Approach to stakeholder engagement
- Arrangements for knowledge transfer
Policy relevant research priorities within the scope of this Call have been identified in the UK BRAG 3 Year Report (PDF, 296KB - downloadable from the UK Biodiversity Research Advisory Group website) and the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy.
Scientific aspects will be assessed by means of the following criteria:
- Scientific quality of the proposed research
- Novelty/originality and innovation
- Clarity of the hypothesis
- Quality and suitability of the consortium
- Level of inter/multi/trans-disciplinarity
- Fit to thematic priorities
Scientific quality is considered before all other criteria and its excellence is a prerequisite for funding.
Projects must involve at least three countries participating in this first BiodivERsA call for proposals. These comprise Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Other countries may join at a later date and this website will be updated accordingly.
National eligibility criteria apply to research organisations and for participation by the private sector (profit and non-profit). As each country determines its own criteria for eligibility, these must be checked with the respective national contact points (details for UK National Contact Point below) when developing proposal partnerships
This call is open to UK researchers eligible for NERC directed funding and also UK organisations that are eligible for Defra research funding. NERC's funding web pages can provide further guidance with respect to eligibility for UK applicants.
NERC standard eligibility criteria for investigators and researchers apply, ie an individual may only be principal investigator on one proposal, plus be involved on one further proposal as co-investigator (or be involved in two proposals as co-investigator).
BiodivERsA partners participating in pan-European call.
|Austria||Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forshung|
|Estonia||Estonian Science Foundation|
|France||Agence nationale de la recherche|
|France||Ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement et de l'Aménagement durables|
|Germany||Projektträger im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt|
|Hungary||Ministry of Environment & Water|
|Italy||Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca|
|Netherlands||Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research|
|Norway||Research Council of Norway|
|Portugal||Foundation for Science & Technology|
|Spain||Ministry of Education & Science Spain|
|Sweden||Swedish Environmental Protection Agency|
|UK||Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs|
|UK||Natural Environment Research Council|
Total funds available to UK partners are expected to be up to £2·7m.
The total value of the programme is around €20m.
Eligible costs of participants should be calculated according to national guidelines. For UK applicants, this will be calculated on a Full Economic Cost (FEC) basis. This means that organisations are required to identify all direct and indirect costs for the research project. For further details of full economic costing please consult the Research Grants Handbook for full economic costs grants in the first instance.
UK higher education institutions and research council institutes have an approved 'Transparent Approach to Costing' (TRAC) methodology for calculating the FEC, which should be used. Other research organisations should use an equivalent methodology. The research organisations must clearly demonstrate the cost basis for these overheads and ensure no duplicate funding.
The UK contribution will be 80% of the FEC for UK higher education institutions, research council institutes and (NERC eligible) independent research organisations; these organisations are required to provide a signed letter from the head of department, research office or similar, confirming that funding arrangements are in place for the balance of 20%. For organisations which are not NERC eligible but which are eligible for Defra funding, the UK contribution to the programme will be 100%.
Full details of the call - its management and evaluation process, electronic application forms and procedures - can be found at the BiodivERsA website.
A two-stage application process will be used.
- The deadline for pre-proposals is 3 March 2008, 12:00 Central European Time.
- The deadline for full proposals is 16 June 2008.
Any queries about the participation of UK applicants in this call should be addressed to:
Dr Julia Wilson
Tel: 0131 445 8581