Newton Fund Latin American Biodiversity Programme

Phase II: Biodiversity – Ecosystem services for sustainable development


Issued on:
21 May 2018

Full Proposals deadline: 16:00 BST on 26 July 2018

 

1. Summary

The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), in collaboration with the:

  • Argentina National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)

  • Brazil/São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

  • Chile National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT)

  • Peru National Council for Science, Technology, & Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC)

are inviting proposals under the ‘Latin American Biodiversity Programme’. This call is supported by the UK through the Newton Fund, which forms part of the UK governments Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is only open to joint UK-Latin American (LATAM) applications.

The Latin American Biodiversity Programme aims to provide trans-regional level understanding of the role of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and the services they provide in managing environments for sustainable development. The programme is being delivered through two calls. Phase I was led by the British Council, which created capacity building and mobility schemes in the first year of the programme.

Phase 2 (this call) is led by NERC, and is a multi-lateral research call based on four thematic areas identified by the funders:

1. Understanding habitats and species.

2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy.

3. Global climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems.

4. Maintaining and restoring natural capital.

Applications to this call are not restricted to successful applicants in the phase 1 call.

Applicants are invited to submit multilateral collaborative research proposals comprising eligible researchers from the UK and at least two participating LATAM countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile or Peru). All proposals will be required to have a UK Principal Investigator, in addition to Principal Investigators from participating LATAM partner countries. Eligibility to apply is determined by each agency’s eligibility rules and the resources requested must also adhere to each agency’s guidelines. Further information is presented below and within Annexes 1-5.

£4.5m is available from NERC to support eligible UK based researchers, with the relevant LATAM funding agency supporting the LATAM researcher effort. Projects can have a maximum duration of 36 months. The funders anticipate funding up to four successful multilateral projects.

Deadline for application is 16:00 BST on 26 July 2018. Successful projects must start, as a condition of funding, no later than 1st February 2019.

2. Background

Latin America is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, but faces challenges concerning unsustainable use of its biological resources for production of food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. There is a need to move away from current unsustainable management of biological resources and transition to a resilient natural resource economy. Social and economic policy linked to environmental pressures will result in land-use changes that will influence biodiversity and the ecosystem processes it underpins, at multiple scales. Moving to a natural resource economy will necessitate radical improvements in the quality and quantity of information to understand the breadth and contribution to ecosystem services made by biodiversity in Latin American biomes.

To achieve this across South America requires a transnational collaborative research activity to identify biodiversity at new levels of detail and understand the breadth and contribution to ecosystem services made by biodiversity. Improved understanding of Latin American biomes, ecosystem functions and their value will create the essential knowledge needed to inform environmental management and restoration, in the context of economic and social development needs. To provide this new level of detail, approaches including modelling, environmental ‘omics, natural capital and Earth Observation (EO) will be required.

Though collaborative multinational research and capacity building, the Latin American Biodiversity programme will provide trans-regional level understanding of the role of biodiversity underpinning ecosystem functioning and the services they provide. The outputs of the programme will align with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including: 8 (promote the Bio-economy), 12 (understand the value of land management), 15, (protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss”).

Structure of programme

Given the regional scale and complexity of the challenge, the Latin American Biodiversity programme is being delivered in two phases. The British Council led Phase I the programme, which focussed on creating capacity building and mobility schemes in the first year of the programme. Its aim was to increase the countries’ R&D capacity and boost interaction between LATAM countries and the UK; setting a stronger foundation for the subsequent large scale research collaboration.

Phase 2 (this call) is a multi-lateral research call is led by NERC. Applicants to the phase 2 call are strongly encouraged where possible to work with, utilize and share data with the expeditions supported within phase 1. However, applications to this call are not restricted to successful applicants in the phase 1 call. A partner match-making service is available to prospective applicants in participating LATAM countries without existing UK collaborators for this call (see section 3.3.1 for details).

Funders

UK: the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK. NERC invests public money in world-leading science, designed to help us sustain and benefit from our natural resources, predict and respond to natural hazards and understand environmental change. We work closely with policymakers and industry to make sure our knowledge can support sustainable economic growth and wellbeing in the UK and around the world. NERC is supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Argentina: National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) is the main research performing organization in Argentina. It comprises four areas of knowledge: Agrarian, Engineering and Material Sciences; Biological and Health Sciences; Exact and Natural Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities. As part of a territorial model, CONICET is an institutional network that includes 15 regional delegations and more than 200 research centres in the country. The objective is to promote new regional and local initiatives for the implementation of national policies on science and technology. CONICET employs and trains 10,000 Staff Researchers, funds around 11,000 research fellowships (both at doctoral and postdoctoral level) and also have more than 25,000 engineers and technicians who provide qualified support to research teams.

Brazil: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public taxpayer-funded foundation that has the mission of supporting research in all fields of knowledge within the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The foundation works in close contact with the scientific community: all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers. FAPESP is aware that the very best research is delivered by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, companies, higher education and research organizations in other countries and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration.

Chile: National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) has been, throughout the 50 years, since its creation in 1967 as an Advisory Commission of the Presidency of the Republic on S&T matters, the entity responsible for strengthening the scientific-technological base and promoting the formation of advanced human capital in the country. The impact of the work of CONICYT today, in the most diverse areas, is improving the quality of life of Chileans, expressed in the slogan "SCIENCE changes our lives". In recent years, CONICYT has promoted the initiative to take advantage of the country's comparative advantages, sharing our natural laboratories with the world's leading scientific institutions and their researchers. The International Cooperation Program, PCI, encourages the linking and strengthening of global networks with the purpose of incorporating frontier knowledge into the national scientific community. Its line of action is to promote, support the integration of the national scientific community with its peers abroad, based on scientific excellence, mutual benefit, and common interests, under various forms of collaboration and within the framework of cooperation agreements in Science and Technology (S & T) signed with foreign organizations.

Peru: The National Council for Science, Technology, & Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC) is a specialized public technical body attached to the Presidency of the Council of Ministries that acts as the governing entity of the National System of Science, Technology, and Technological Innovation (SINACYT). Its purpose is to regulate, manage, guide, encourage, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate the state actions in science, technology, and technological innovation, as well as to promote and drive their development through concerted action and complementarity between programs and projects of public, academic, and business institutions, including social organizations and SINACYT members.

Newton Fund

NERC funds for this programme have been received directly from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the Newton Fund. The Fund forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of Newton Fund partner countries and is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of partner countries as its main objective. Collaborations under the call will contribute to economic development and social welfare in Latin American countries(country), in line with the Newton Fund’s aims. All applications under this call must be compliant with these specifications.

3. Scope

3.1 Programme objectives

The programme will be delivered through four inter-related themes that set out the considerations required to deliver a better understanding of the regional biodiversity and how it can be effectively managed as the region develops:

1. Understanding habitats and species.

2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy.

3. Global climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems.

4. Maintaining and restoring natural capital.

1. Understanding habitats and species

The objective of this theme is to better understand how the species richness and its functional consequences in terms of levels of biodiversity is required to provide the ecosystem services we need, and how to manage land and resource use to support important biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships in an integrated way.

Many regions in LATAM either are underexplored for biodiversity, or are suffering significant biodiversity loss. Across the region, biodiversity is still very poorly described compared with that of temperate regions. There are three key knowledge deficiencies:

1) while some taxa are relatively well known (for example tropical plants or birds) these are rarely surveyed in sufficient detail across whole landscapes, which detracts from our ability to understand ecosystem functioning or human impacts at this level;

2) other key biodiversity groups (for example, soil organisms), are not well studied at any level;

3) interactions between organisms, such as those above- and below-ground or across trophic levels, are poorly understood yet are likely play a key role in regulating habitats and biogeochemical cycles.

These three knowledge gaps mean that there is a need to:

1) expand existing sample networks for well-sampled taxa;

2) supplement networks with basic assessments and valuations for poorly studied taxa, including evaluations of their distribution, abundance and community composition, and;

3) field experiments that link biodiversity with their functional roles in intact and human-disturbed systems.

2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy

The objective of this theme is to better understand the biodiversity resource available within the region, using new technological and skills capacity, to monitor, model; and provide decision making tools directed towards ensuring the regions bio-economy is biodiversity based and thus sustainable.

There is an urgent need in Latin America to develop a resilient natural resource economy. Social and economic policy linked to environmental pressures will result in land-use changes that will influence biodiversity and ecosystem processes at multiple scales. Moving to a natural resource economy will necessitate radical improvements in the quality and quantity of information on the biodiversity and the ecosystem services the biodiversity sits within. There is a need to link biodiversity to function, and to better understand the different ways in which biodiversity imparts value (for example, through functions, through resilience and through iconic species).

To help deliver a stable economy, data on Latin American biodiversity will provide essential knowledge underpinning sustainable management and our understanding of ecosystem function. In many areas the data required for the next-generation models of ecosystem function and landscape scale management are lacking. There are three major challenges:

1) implementation of high throughput monitoring;

2) modelling and understanding land-use biodiversity function metrics;

3) delivering an integrated tool for decision makers.

Each of these involves a large effort, given the scale within the region, and so exemplar approaches may be required.

3. Global Climate Change, Biodiversity and ecosystems

The objective of this theme is to place the better understanding of LATAM biodiversity, its range, functioning and management, within a global and climate impact context.

Whilst regions within LATAM are hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity, the loss, fragmentation and degradation of the habitats across the region are drivers of global biodiversity loss and have important implications for the global climate system. For example, the loss of tropical forests has important implications for the global climate system, as well as a range of other ecosystem services. Deforestation is second only to the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation as a source of greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Maintaining and restoring natural capital

The objective of this theme is to better understand presence and in-situ value of the biodiversity resource within the region, through the use of a range of natural capital approaches (and beyond economic valuation only). In doing so, and in association with the other themes this will inform on the most suitable approaches for maintaining the biodiversity.

Many pressing biodiversity challenges in Latin America relate to human interactions with biodiversity, either negative (e.g. anthropogenic impacts) or positive (e.g. sustainable economic activities and livelihoods based on biodiversity, development of successful bio-economies, climate-smart agriculture etc.). This requires intensified research efforts into the identification of species, landscapes or ecosystems of potential use: for example the identification of wild species for food, forestry, health or biotechnology. Research in these contexts, integrating community-level perspectives, priorities and knowledge with scientific understanding of biodiversity, requires an interdisciplinary approach.

The challenges of managing biodiversity in situ in Latin America are intricately linked with these issues. Whilst fundamental research into the status of species and ecosystems provides critical guidance for management strategies of, for example protected areas, these approaches are not always successful. Development of a better understanding of the natural capital that biodiversity represents and the ecosystem services it delivers – from multiple perspectives including local populations, and across ‘natural’/human-modified/urban landscapes – and integration of these values into decision-making, will be essential for sustainable management.

Prioritisation and delivery of successful ex situ conservation efforts requires a greater understanding not only of the properties, traits and relative importance of target taxa (e.g. threatened species, useful species, endemic species), but also of the techniques necessary for their long-term maintenance. For example, fundamental information on which seed plant species can be stored through traditional approaches, and which (e.g. recalcitrant species) require development of specialised approaches such as cryopreservation, is still lacking for large proportions of the Latin American flora.

Application of emerging technologies

Addressing the four themes is likely to require the application of a number of emerging technologies and their integration with ground data. Examples of emerging technologies may include:

  • Environmental ‘Omics: advances in areas such as eDNA and genetic metabarcoding offer the potential for rapid assessments of biodiversity at highly resolved spatial and taxonomic scales, although there are limitations that include the lack of underlying taxonomic/genetic data sets in many regions.

  • Earth Observation (EO) and remote sensing: sensors that are ground based or satellite mounted, e.g. on European Copernicus satellites, can deliver unprecedentedly high-resolution spatial and temporal observations of biophysical parameters.

  • Modelling and computation techniques can be used to analyse high-resolution spatial datasets of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their spatial patterns and temporal changes.

3.2 Non-scientific objective

A key objective of this programme is the development of collaborative projects between NERC and Latin American funded scientists to develop a joint programme of work to address the challenges faced in Latin America. Collaborations are expected to represent genuine and meaningful partnerships; integration between the UK and Latin American teams will be important to the success of these projects.

The Newton Fund requires that the funding be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines. All applications must therefore be compliant with these guidelines. Note that this applies to UK funding only, and not the partners countries, however as these are collaborative projects, it’s expected that the project as a whole is ODA compliant and make clear that its primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of the partner countries. For further information on the Newton Fund see UK Research and Innovation.

ODA outputs

In Latin America, biodiversity and ecosystems are among the region’s most valuable assets and of strategic importance for attaining long-term sustainable development. South America alone accounts for half of the global terrestrial biodiversity. Natural resources are an important contributor to the GDP of the LATAM funder countries (11.5% averaged, compared to 1.5% for the UK)1. All projects within the programme need to show links between the research and the benefit to the economy and society to ensure proposals are developed with line of sight to relevant ODA outcomes. Evidence of understanding of engagement with users or the understanding of user needs throughout the proposal build stage will help to ensure pathways to impact are taken into account, and that there is line of sight to benefits for the regional countries.

Ecosystems in Latin America support a wide range of human activities - such as agriculture, fishing, forestry, and tourism - that produce market goods and services. These activities play important roles in supporting income and employment in the region; in particular, the four sectors just mentioned employ 17 percent of the region’s workforce2. These sectors are examples of how the projects can demonstrate line of sight benefits within the regions for example:

Nature tourism - whilst tourism accounts for 12% GDP in Latin America, and employes approximately 12M people3, eco-tourism at a regional level is under developed. Facilitating regional governmental bodies to develop eco-tourism could realise significant economic benefits to the region along with environmental protection, and the use of forests.

Agriculture and fisheries - the potential of Latin American biodiversity remains almost untapped due to the lack of basic research and production systems that could enable alternative uses for species. There are however some successful examples of where regional species already have economic significance, such as many hardwood trees, the rubber tree, Brazilian nuts, manioc and cashew. Pharmacological use of Brazilian species is growing steadily, and its economic potential is large. About 40% of Brazilian GNP comes from agro-industries, 4% from forestry and 1% from fisheries4.

Forests - Forest cover in Latin America has declined by 9% from 1990 to 2015 (global average decline over the same period was 5.2%)5, caused mainly by agricultural and logging activities, understanding the impacts of land use and land use change are essential to the regions prospects for sustained development.

Applicants must demonstrate how the main research outcomes will be specific to economic development and social welfare of the partner countries, rather than merely creating the conditions where these might occur. Applicants should consider how their project will:

  • address poverty and development issues;

  • address the issue identified effectively and efficiently;

  • use the strengths of the UK to address the issue;

  • demonstrate that the research component is of an internationally excellent standard;

  • disseminate research findings to a broader audience beyond the scientific community and contribute towards the development of an ecological awareness and culture in Latin America and the UK.

It is expected that through collaboration the projects should seek to increase the skills and knowledge base at the partners institutions in this area, improving their ability to undertake and disseminate research in order to maximise the countries impact on issues of poverty and economic growth.

UK researchers must demonstrate that the research is compliant with ODA requirements and therefore eligible to receive support from the Newton Fund. Applicants should address these points in both the Je-S summary and then more fully, in the Case for Support. As a requirement of funding, UK researchers must also complete a separate ‘ODA statement’.

3.3 Proposal requirements

Proposals should be joint between UK and LATAM research teams and should clearly justify how the proposed research aligns with the scope of this call and will contribute to the delivery of the programme goals.

As well as a UK partner it is a requirement that each project should also have partners from at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call.

3.3.1 Support for developing new partnerships

Prospective applicants from participating LATAM countries currently without UK collaborators should note that Universities UK International (UUKi) is offering match-making service to help connect potential UK partners. LATAM applicants wishing to use this service should complete UUKi’s Partner request form. Their partnership request will also be included in UUKi’s Opportunities for collaboration webpage.

4. Programme requirements

4.1 Programme funding

£4.5m (80% FEC) is available from the UK for this call, with the relevant LATAM funding agency supporting the LATAM research effort. Applicants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile or Peru should refer to the relevant country annexes (Annex 2-5) for further details on funding available to them. The funders anticipate funding up to four successful multilateral projects.

4.2 Implementation and delivery

Any project must address at least one of the four thematic areas outlined in Section 3 Scope.

The maximum duration of the projects is 36 months. Successful projects must start, as a condition of funding, no later than 1st February 2019.

The successful projects will be brought together at a launch and integration workshop in Latin America in 2019, the aim of which is to support linkages and collaboration between the projects, to ensure synthesis and an integrated programme of activity.

A finale event will also be held at the end of the programme. Costs to attend the launch and finale event will be covered by NERC for a limited number of people per project.

Additional mid-term events may be organised in the participating LATAM countries in order to disseminate findings. Projects are expected to attend at least one of these events, and should include the costs to do so within their Je-S application.

4.3 Knowledge Exchange and Impact

Knowledge exchange (KE) is vital to ensure that environmental research has wide benefits for society, and should be an integral part of any research.

All applicants must consider how they will or might achieve impact outside the scientific community and submit this with their application as a Pathways to Impact statement, with associated delivery costs where relevant. Pathways to Impact activities do not have to be cost-incurring; it is not a requirement to include funded activities. Any funds required to carry out any proposed, outcome-driven activities identified within the Pathways to Impact must be fully justified within the Justification of Resources statement.

The Pathways to Impact will identify those who may benefit from or make use of the research, how they might benefit or make use of the research, and methods for disseminating data, knowledge and skills in the most effective and appropriate manner.

An acceptable Pathways to Impact is a condition of funding. Grants will not be allowed to start unless unacceptable Pathways to Impact are enhanced to an acceptable level within 2 months of notification of the panel outcome.

All funded projects may also be required to engage with programme-wide KE activities, in which case appropriate funding for which will be provided by the programme.

4.4 Data Management

The NERC Data Policy must be adhered to, and an outline data management plan produced as part of proposal development. NERC will pay the data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services, but applicants should ensure they request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the research team.

4.5 Programme management

To further improve the regional value of the programme, funds will be reserved from the projects to enable programmatic co-ordination to bring together the funded projects so that information, data, capability or resources could be shared and so help deliver and synthesis programme level outputs.

The successful UK Principal Investigators, working with their LATAM partners, will be required submit a joint proposal to NERC for use of these funds. These funds will be used for integration activities which help the different supported projects work together and add value to the whole body of research and researchers. This may include activities such as shared events, exchanges, short training courses, stakeholder/user engagement and impact, synthesis and legacy activities at a programme level (this will be in addition to their project level pathways to impact activities).

4.6 Reporting requirements

As with all NERC grant holders, there will be a requirement to report through the RCUK reporting system; this is required annually and continues for up to five years post grant end.

Applicants should be aware that according to the Newton Fund requirements, there will be some additional terms and conditions associated with the UK grants which are awarded. Additionally, UK Investigators must assist the NERC with any additional reporting requirements requested by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

5. Eligibility

Each collaborative research proposal must involve, at a minimum, one eligible applicant based in the UK and two eligible applicants based in two of the four participating LATAM countries (Argentina, Brazil/State of Sao Paulo, Chile or Peru).

All applicants must adhere to national eligibility rules for research proposals as set out in the relevant country annexes (1-5). Any queries concerning eligibility should be addressed to the appropriate national agency contacts (detailed in Section 9).

Full proposals which include applicants who are ineligible will be office rejected without review.

6. Application process

6.1 How to apply

6.1.1 Full Proposals

Closing Date: 16:00 BST on 26 July 2018

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal, on behalf of the consortium through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

The UK applicant should list the lead LATAM PI’s and collaborators and Project Partners on the Je-S form. Each individual organisation should be listed as a separate Project Partner. The approximate value of the LATAM collaborators and other contributions should be detailed in the project partner in-kind support section of the proposal form.

Full proposals must be submitted using the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). Applicants should select Proposal Type - ‘Standard Proposal’ and then select the Scheme – ‘Directed International’ and the Call – ‘Newton: Latin American Biodiversity Programme’.

This call will close on JeS at 16:00 GMT on 26 July 2018 and it will not be possible to submit to the call after this time. Applicants should leave enough time for their proposal to pass through their organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date. Any proposal that is incomplete, or does not meet NERC’s eligibility criteria or follow NERC’s submission rules (see NERC Grants Handbook), will be office rejected and will not be considered.

All attachments, with the exception of letters of support and services/facilities/equipment quotes, submitted through the Je-S system must be completed in single-spaced typescript of minimum font size 11 point (Arial or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size to Arial 11), with margins of at least 2cm. Please note that Arial narrow, Calibri and Times New Roman are not allowable font types and any proposal which has used either of these font types within their submission will be rejected. References and footnotes should also be at least 11 point font and should be in the same font type as the rest of the document. Headers and footers should not be used for references or information relating to the scientific case. Applicants referring to websites should note that referees may choose not to use them.

Applicants should ensure that their proposal conforms to all eligibility and submission rules, otherwise their proposal may be rejected without peer review. More details on NERC’s submission rules can be found in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook and in the submission rules on the NERC website.

Proposals for this call should be submitted in standard grant format following the requirements outlined in Section F of the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook.

Please note that on submission to council ALL non PDF documents are converted to PDF, the use of non-standard fonts may result in errors or font conversion, which could affect the overall length of the document.

Additionally where non-standard fonts are present, and even if the converted PDF document may look unaffected in the Je-S System, when it is imported into the Research Councils Grants System some information may be removed. We therefore recommend that where a document contains any non-standard fonts (scientific notation, diagrams etc), the document should be converted to PDF prior to attaching it to the proposal.

The latest start date for projects funded under this Announcement of Opportunity is 1st February 2019.

6.1.2 Full Proposal components

In addition to the standard Je-S pro forma, the lead component of each proposal should include the following documents:

1. A Case for Support comprising:

a) a common Previous Track Record incorporating all Research organisations involved in this proposal (up to 2 sides of A4).

b) a common Description of the Proposed Project (up to 8 sides of A4 including all necessary tables, references and figures) to include:

i) Underlying rationale and scientific issues to be addressed.

ii) Specific objectives of the project, including their relevance to objectives of the call.

iii) Methodology and approach.

iv) Risks and mitigation strategies.

v) Programme and/or plan of research, evidence of access to required facilities, data, collections.

vi) Management of both project and resources, identifying the training and career development opportunities for personnel working on the project. Management of key issues that will be covered in any Collaboration Agreement between UK research organisations and project partner organisations e.g. management of IP (see section 6.1.3 Additional considerations). 

vii) How the proposal addresses Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines, including a justification about the gains to be obtained by working in research collaboration between UK and LATAM countries.

2. UK Costs: a common Justification of Resources (up to 2 sides of A4). This should be for all UK Research Organisations involved, for all Directly Incurred Costs, Investigator effort, use of pool staff resources, any access to shared facilities and equipment. For further information of what to include in the Justification of Resources, see section E in the NERC Research Grants Handbook.

3. LATAM costs: justification of these resources and details of the LATAM investigators should be submitted in a specific format depending on the relevant funding partner and entered into Je-S as attachment type ‘Non-UK Component’. The format should follow the specific guidance for individual funder set out in the relevant country annexes (Annex 2-5).

4. A common Pathways to Impact (up to 2 sides of A4), detailing:

a) those who may benefit or make use of the research;

b) how they might benefit and/or make use of the research; and

c) methods for disseminating data/knowledge/skills in the most effective and appropriate manner.

Full details of the requirements for Pathways to Impact, and a suggested template can be found on the NERC website. The costs of knowledge exchange activities in the plan should be fully integrated into the proposal costings and justified in the Justification of Resources section.

5. A common Outline Data Management Plan (up to 1 side of A4). This section includes information about how the project will manage data produced and identify data sets of long term value that should be made available to the relevant data centre for archiving and reuse at the end of the grant. Further guidance regarding NERC’s Data Policy is available.

6. Project Partner Letter(s) of Support (up to 2 sides of A4 each). A Letter of Support is required from each named Project Partner. This letter should confirm that the support and facilities required to enable the associated collaborations will be made available. No other letters of support should be attached.

7. ODA Compliance Statement (up to 1 side of A4).

This should be uploaded as an attachment type of ‘Non-UK Components’. All research funded through the Newton Fund will form part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) and thus it is a requirement that funding be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines. Therefore, research proposals submitted to this call should describe how the proposed project meets the Official Development Assistance requirements of this call by answering the following questions:

1. Which country/ countries on the DAC list will directly benefit from this proposal?

2. How is your proposal directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of these countries?

3. How do you expect that the outcome of your proposed activities will promote the economic development and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list?

Guidance on ODA compliance is available on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Each component proposal (including the lead) will additionally require the following attachments, where applicable:

a) A CV (up to 2 sides of A4) for each named PI, Co-I, research staff post and Visiting Researcher.

b) PIs wishing to use NERC facilities will need to submit a mandatory ‘technical assessment’ with their proposal (excluding HPC). Given the time restrictions on spend under calls supported by the Newton Fund, we are unable to accept NERC shiptime or aircraft requests as part of this call. All other NERC Services and Facilities must be costed within the limits of the proposal, and agreement that they can be undertaken within the timeframe of the spend must be provided by the facility. For NERC, this means a quote for the work which the facility will provide. A full list of the Facilities requiring this quote can be found on the NERC website.

6.1.3 Additional considerations

Collaboration Agreement

As the research projects will be carried out by multiple research organisations and project partners, the basis of collaboration between the organisations and project partners, including ownership of intellectual property (IP) generated during the project and rights to exploitation, and IP management is expected to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement between the research organisations involved. It is the responsibility of the research organisations to put such an agreement in place before the research begins. The terms of collaboration must not conflict with the funding agencies terms and conditions and national law.

Arrangements for collaboration and/or exploitation must not prevent the future progression of academic research and the dissemination of research results in accordance with academic custom and practise and the requirements of the funding bodies. A temporary delay in publication is acceptable in order to allow commercial and collaborative arrangements to be established.

Details on the management of key issues that will be covered in the Collaboration Agreement, for example management of IP, should be detailed in the Project Management section of the Case for Support. The full Collaboration Agreement must be available to be shared with the funders on request. UK investigators are advised to discuss collaboration agreements early with their collaborators from participating LATAM countries and built in sufficient time to allow signing of collaboration agreements.

Intellectual Property

Ownership of intellectual property (IP) generated during the project and rights to exploitation, as well as any costs regarding management of IP, are expected to be agreed between the collaborating research organisations before the research begins. Details of this agreement should be included in the Collaboration Agreement (as above). Agreements must not conflict with the funding agencies terms and conditions and national law. Any agreements in place between a research organisation and their respective funding organisation must be adhered to, including the sharing of IP costs or benefits. Any IP sharing agreements in place between a research organisation and their national funding body would be expected to apply only to the IP share of that research organisation.

Transfer of Biological and Genetic Materials

Collection and exchange of material may occur between collaborating institutions, as necessary, in strict compliance with the legislation in effect in the UK and LATAM countries. Refer to the relevant country annexes for further details.

7. Assessment Process

Proposals will be internationally peer-reviewed and final funding recommendations made by a joint moderating panel consisting of independent experts and members of the NERC Peer Review College where possible. Applicants will be given the opportunity to provide a written response to peer review comments prior to the moderating panel.

The assessment criteria to be used will be as follows:

  • Research Excellence

  • Fit to Scheme

Feedback will be provided to both successful and unsuccessful applicants.

NERC and the LATAM funders will use the recommendations of the moderating panel along with the overall call requirements and the available budget in making the final funding decisions.

8. Timetable

Stage

Date

Announcement published

21 May 2018

Deadline for submission of full proposals

26 July 2018

Moderating panel meets

November 2018

Latest start date for projects

1 February 2019

9. Contact

For all enquiries, please use relevant contacts listed below.

Country

Contract Person and Organisation

UK

LATAM programme team latam@nerc.ac.uk

Argentina

International Cooperation Office at CONICET coopint@conicet.gov.ar

Brazil

Carolina Costa chamada_nerc_latam@fapesp.br

Chile

Catalina Palma cpalma@conicyt.cl or Rodrigo Monsalve rmonsalve@conicyt.cl  

Peru

Pamela Antonioli De Rutté or Grabriela Lajo Morgan convocatorias@cienciactiva.gob.pe

 

Annex 1: Additional guidance for UK applicants

Funding Agencies

The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Eligibility

Standard NERC eligibility conditions apply to this call. All UK applicants must be eligible to receive research funding from NERC as a Principal or Co- Investigator; see the NERC grants handbook.

UK Investigators may be involved in no more than two proposals submitted to this call and only one of these may be as the lead Principal Investigator.

NERC research and fellowship grants for all schemes may be held at approved UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), approved Research Council Institutes (RCIs) and approved Independent Research Organisations (IROs). Full details of approved RCIs and IROs can be found on the UK Research and Innovation website.

The UK component of all proposals must be compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines. RCUK guidance on ODA compliance can be found here.

Scientific Priorities

NERC will welcome proposals which address one or more of the four themes outlined in the programme objectives:
 

1. Understanding habitats and species.
2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy.
3. Global climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems.
4. Maintaining and restoring natural capital.

Budget

£4.5M from NERC has been earmarked for this call with matched funding from partner agencies in Argentina, Brazil/Sao Paulo, Chile and Peru. It is anticipated that that the funding on the UK side will be divided equally between the four partner countries.

Projects should be up to a maximum duration of 36 months and we envisage funding 3-4 projects each involve at least 2 LATAM countries under this call.

Please refer to the relevant country annex for further information on the funding available for researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Eligible costs

It is expected that applications to this call will be collaborative research proposals involving the UK and at least 2 LATAM countries. NERC will fund the UK component(s) of any successful multilateral collaboration.

The UK component of applications should be costed on the basis of full economic costs (fEC). If the grant is awarded, NERC will provide funding on the basis of 80% of fEC (with the exception of equipment see point 2 below for further information).

NERC will not fund studentships as part of this call (but funds may be requested for exchanges of students supported from other sources).

Only costs for the UK component of the application should be submitted in the Resources section of the Je-S application; information about overseas collaborators and associated in-kind contributions should be submitted in the project partner section of the Je-S proforma.

Please include all relevant UK costs in the Resources section of the NERC Je-S application, taking particular care to include sufficient costs to support an international project such as travel and subsistence in addition to salary (investigators and PDRAs) and consumables.

Please note the following call specific guidance: Equipment: UK applicants requesting items of equipment costing over £10k is not permitted through the Newton Fund.

Submission process

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). See section 6 Application Process in the main text.

Contact

LATAM programme team latam@nerc.ac.uk

 

Annex 2: Additional guidance for Argentinean applicants

Funding Agencies

National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)

Eligibility

Argentinean applicants must contact the office of international cooperation at CONICET to confirm their eligibility for the call before developing the proposal.

CONICET will support applications that involve at least three (3) different research groups from three (3) centres working on a related field.

Multi and interdisciplinary approaches will be particularly encouraged.

The Argentinean PI should be working at a national institution and hold or participate in an ongoing national research project from CONICET or ANPCyT. 

The Argentinean PI must be part of the Scientific Research Career (CIC) from CONICET.

Further information on eligibility for funding can be found at: http://proyectosinv.conicet.gov.ar/convocatorias-y-oportunidades/

Scientific Priorities

CONICET will specially welcome proposals which address the following two of the four themes outlined in the programme objectives:


2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy.
3. Global climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems.

Budget

The total funding available to support Argentinean collaborations in this call is as follows:

CONICET: up to 300.000 AR$ plus two international trips and stays (one to UK and one to the LATAM partner) per year for each successful project.

Eligible costs

CONICET funding will support the following costs incurred by the Argentine researchers on the projects:

  • Travels and subsistence to UK and LATAM partner countries (Note: the beneficiaries of the travel could be postdoctoral fellows and/or researchers from CONICET).

  • Maintenance and other operating services (e.g.: consumables, workshops in Argentina, etc) Field trips in Argentina.

Additional Documents required

As part of the Je-S application process, documents detailed in section 6 Application Process of the main call text must be uploaded to Je-S by the UK PI on behalf of the Argentinean partners to NERC. The documents must be jointly prepared.

In addition to this, CONICET also requires Argentinean applicants to submit the following, which should be attached as ‘non-UK components’:

  • A completed Argentine proposal submission form.

  • A completed Argentine budget request proforma.

  • A letter of endorsement for the proposal from CONICET.


Researchers should consult CONICET in order to obtain the letter of endorsement: coopint@conicet.gov.ar

Copies of all the documents submitted will be shared with CONICET once the call has closed.

Intellectual Property rights requirements from CONICET

Three basic sections should be included:


1. The intellectual property rights arising as a result of work performed under this agreement will belong to both parties in proportion to the contributions made by each.

2. The published papers should include: the authors, their level of participation, and the fact that the work to be published arises from this agreement.

3. In each specific agreement to be signed, where outcomes of economic importance are foreseen, a clause shall be incorporated providing for the protection of the property of the attained results and establishing the distribution of any earnings obtained, between the parties and between the authors of these results.

MTA for Genetic Resources

A specific Materials Transfer Agreement should be executed for all genetic resources transfer stating all facts of said transfer and commitments from the parties.

Submission process

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal, on behalf of the consortium through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). See section 6 Application Process in the main text. 

Contact

International Cooperation Office at CONICET: coopint@conicet.gov.ar

 

Annex 3: Additional guidance for São Paulo/Brazilian applicants

Funding Agencies

São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Eligibility

Only researchers associated with public or private Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo are eligible to apply. Applicants must contact FAPESP to confirm their eligibility for the call before developing the proposal (see more on Additional documents required, below).


Funding from FAPESP will be through the following modalities and follow strictly all the rules of the chosen option. Further information on eligibility can be found as published in the following links:


a) Regular Project: www.fapesp.br/apr
"Exceptionally under this opportunity, proposals Regular Aid FAPESP may be financed for a period of up to 36 months, and stipulated a maximum budget of up to BRL100 thousand per year."


b) Thematic Project: www.fapesp.br/tematico
"Exceptionally under this opportunity, proposals will be financed for a maximum period of 36 months."


c) Young Investigator Project: www.fapesp.br/jp
"Exceptionally under this opportunity, proposals will be financed for a maximum period of 36 months."


Sao Paulo Investigators may be involved in no more than two proposals submitted to this call and only one of these may be as the lead Principal Investigator.

Scientific Priorities

FAPESP will welcome proposals which address one or more of the four themes outlined in the programme objectives:


1. Understanding habitats and species.
2. Biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and bio-economy.
3. Global climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems.
4. Maintaining and restoring natural capital.

Budget

The limit of the project should follow guidelines in each funding guideline.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs are described in each FAPESP modality, listed above.

Exceptionally under this opportunity, proposals can include costs related to the Sao Paulo participation in programme management meetings, as detailed in item 4.5 of the Announcement of Opportunity.

Additional Documents required

As part of the Je-S application process, documents detailed in section 6 Application Process of the main call text must be uploaded to Je-S by the UK PI on behalf of the São Paulo partners to NERC. The documents must be jointly prepared.

In addition, the following should be attached as ‘non-UK components’:

1. Proposal submission form ("FAPESP Research Proposal Form");
2. Budget worksheet ("FAPESP Requested Funding Summary");
3. Letter of FAPESP Eligibility (issued by FAPESP via email).

Researchers from the State of São Paulo should consult FAPESP in order to obtain a FAPESP Eligibility Letter that will be attached to the proposal at the time of submission by the British researcher.

Requests for eligibility letters should be sent to chamada_nerc_latam@fapesp.br, containing the following information in either Portuguese or English:

1. Curricular Summary of the Principal Investigator and Co-PIs from the State of São Paulo (as described in www.fapesp.br/sumula).
2. Information about whether the applicant is currently a PI of a FAPESP ongoing project (indicate the project number).
3. Name and Institution of the UK and LATAM Researcher Partners.
4. Tentative title and 5-line abstract (in English and Portuguese).
5. Budget to be requested to FAPESP in BRL.
6. Time devoted to the project by the SP Researcher (hours/week), and duration of the project.


Important:
Eligibility queries will be answered within a period of up to 20 days upon receipt of the e-mail. Queries submitted close to the call deadline may not be granted in time, and the proposal will be considered ineligible.

Submission process

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal, on behalf of the consortium through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). See section 6 Application Process in the main text. 

In addition, FAPESP also requires applicants from the State of Sao Paulo to submit a proposal though SAGe platform. All the documents listed in the SAGe system are required as components of the proposal, being essential for the merits analysis by NERC, FAPESP, and the LATAM partner agency. It is recommended that, before submission, the SP PI verify if all documents are included in the proposal. Proposals with any missing document will be returned to the PI without review.

A PDF copy of the documents of the collaborators (Full Proposal components, CV etc.) should be included in the SP proposal as Supplementary Documents.

Contact

Applicants applying for funding from FAPESP may contact Carolina Costa at chamada_nerc_latam@fapesp.br

 

Annex 4: Additional guidance for Chilean applicants

Funding Agencies

National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT)

Eligibility

Within the framework of CONICYT's inclusion and equal opportunities policy, applications that incorporate and / or lead female researchers will be welcomed; also, applications from regional centers and universities, as well as those projects that integrate postgraduates, former CONICYT scholars who have completed their studies and obtained their degree abroad or in Chile. Multi and interdisciplinary approaches will be particularly encouraged.

Eligible to apply to this call: Researchers from Chile, with experience in the areas of this call, and who have the sponsorship of Chilean, public or private non-profit institutions dedicated to scientific research and the development of the areas of this call.

Scientific Priorities

CONICYT will welcome proposals which address one or more of the four themes outlined in the programme objectives.

Budget

A total of £490,000 from CONICYT has been considered as matched funding for 3 to 4 projects for 3 years each.

Eligible costs

CONICYT will finance the activities and expenditures of Chilean researchers such as dissemination activities and seminars, operating expenses, tickets and per diem, salaries with some restrictions (established in the CONICYT budget format). Minor equipment: It may not exceed 20% of the total cost of the project.

Additional Documents required

As part of the Je-S application process, documents detailed in section 6 Application Process of the main call text must be uploaded to Je-S by the UK PI on behalf of the overseas partners to NERC. The documents must be jointly prepared.

In addition to this, the following should be attached as ‘non-UK components’:

1. CONICYT Budget form;
2. CVs for Chilean applicants (up to 5 pages per applicant).

Submission process

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal, on behalf of the consortium through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). See section 6 Application Process in the main text.

Contact

Catalina Palma cpalma@conicyt.cl or Rodrigo Monsalve rmonsalve@conicyt.cl

 

Annex 5: Additional guidance for Peruvian applicants

Funding Agencies

National Council for Science, Technology, & Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC)

Eligibility

1.Peruvian Principal Applicants must be working for one of the following institutions:

  • Not-for-profit universities that are licensed or in the process of being licensed by SUNEDU (at the closing date of application), with the capacity to undertake high quality research.

  • Public or private not-for-profit research institutes/ research centres.


2. Peruvian Principal Applicants must have the degree of Doctor in areas of Science and Technology according to OECD (Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences and Agricultural Sciences), have led a minimum of 2 research projects and have at least 2 publications in journals indexed in Scopus or Web of Science or have a Master degree in areas of Science and Technology according to OECD (Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences and Agricultural Sciences), have led a minimum of 4 research projects and have at least 4 publications in journals indexed in Scopus or Web of Science.

3.The letter of support from the Peruvian Lead Institution must state the employment or contractual relationship with the Peruvian Principal Applicant (Minimum: part time of 20 hours a week).


4. Peruvian Principal Applicants must not have breached previous contracts with Cienciactiva/FONDECYT.

Scientific Priorities

CONCYTEC will welcome proposals which address one or more of the four themes outlined in the programme objectives.

Budget

Up to S/ 1,100,000 from CONCYTEC has been considered as matched funding (up to S/ 550,000 per Project).

Eligible costs

CONCYTEC will fund the Peruvian component(s) of any successful multilateral collaboration, considering the maximum value per item (for details see the CONCYTEC bases of the call).

Additional Documents required

As part of the Je-S application process, documents detailed in section 6 Application Process of the main call text must be uploaded to Je-S by the UK PI on behalf of the overseas partners to NERC. The documents must be jointly prepared.

In addition to this, CONCYTEC also requires Peruvian applicants to register in the Cienciactiva´s Platform and take into account that specifications for presentation of specific documents will be detailed in the Bases. The following should be completed and attached as ‘non-UK components’:

1. CONCYTEC budget form.
2. Statement of the Peruvian Applicant Organisation's legal representative.

Use of biological and genetic resources

If the proposal includes the use of biological and genetics resources, the applicants must commit to initiate the process of requesting the research authorisation and / or access contract to the genetic resources, in accordance with the procedures and regulations of the Sectoral Authorities of Administration and management.

Submission process

This programme will support collaborative projects between the UK and LATAM partners and each project should submit a single collaborative proposal that sets out the research to be carried out by both the UK and LATAM partners. All proposals must include researchers from the UK and at least two of the LATAM partner countries participating in this call. The UK applicant must submit the proposal, on behalf of the consortium through the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). See section 6 Application Process in the main text. 

Contact

Pamela Antonioli De Rutté or Grabriela Lajo Morgan convocatorias@cienciactiva.gob.pe



[1] World Development Indicators: Contributors of natural resources to gross Domestic Product (2011) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_sector_composition.

[2] Resend et. al. Economic valuation of the ecosystem services provided by a protected area in the Brazilian Cerrado: application of the contingent valuation method. Braz. J. Biol. vol.77 no.4 São Carlos Nov. 2017 Epub May 25, 2017.

[3] (UNDP, 2010 “Status Report – Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Why these are Important for Sustained Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean”, internal report.

[4] THE ECONOMICS OF BIODIVERSITY IN BRAZIL: THE CASE OF FOREST CONVERSION http://repositorio.ipea.gov.br/bitstream/11058/4830/1/DiscussionPaper_63.pdf.

[5] Rhys Manners & Consuelo Varela-Ortega (2017) Analysing Latin American and Caribbean forest vulnerability from socio-economic factors, Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 14:1, 109-130, DOI: 10.1080/1943815X.2017.1400981.