Call for Proposals – Research Partnership Grants
THIS CALL HAS NOW CLOSED.
Background: The challenges of transdisciplinary collaboration on nexus topics
The Nexus Network aims to foster collaborations between researchers from different scientific disciplines, and between researchers and stakeholders in business, policy and civil society, in order to improve decision-making at the nexus of food, energy, water and the wider environment. In order to support the development and implementation of transdisciplinary research on nexus-related topics, the Nexus Network has committed £400,000 to a two-phase funding process in 2015 – 2016.
Phase 1 of the Nexus Network research partnership programme (which closed in January 2015) awarded six networking grants of up to £20,000 each, in order to support researchers to build meaningful inter- and trans-disciplinary research collaboration networks, and to engage a range of stakeholders as knowledge partners in the co-design of research proposals on nexus topics. Recipients of phase I grants are encouraged to apply to phase II, but this is an open call, and not restricted to recipients of phase I funding.
In this call, the Nexus Network has a total of £300,000 available to support inter- and trans-disciplinary research projects on nexus themes. That is projects that improve understanding of the food- energy- water- environment nexus interactions and support actions to improve their sustainability.
Proposals are invited for funding of up to a maximum of £150,000 each. The Nexus Network, which is funded by ESRC, will award funds consistent with RCUK policy, which is the Nexus Network will contribute up to 80% of FEC to HEIs, and 100% of costs to non-academic collaborators.
Full proposals should be submitted by 1700 UK time on 31 Jan 2016. Applicants will be informed of the funding decisions in April 2016. Grants must start by 1 July 2016. Proposals should be for projects of up to 12 months duration.
The projects and activities funded in this call will become part of the Nexus Network portfolio of work, that includes an on-going series of thematic workshops. All applicants should read through the aims of the Nexus Network, and look at our upcoming workshops.
- Proposals must have the potential to improve understanding of interactions between food-energy-water and the environment.
- Proposals must involve collaboration beyond academia (e.g. with civil society, business or policy) in the co-design of the research.
- The thematic focus of the research can be either UK based or international.
- Research Partnership Call opens: 19 November 2015.
- Submission deadline: 31 January 2016 1700 hrs GMT.
- Funding decision / award: Early April 2016.
- Latest start date for awarded projects: 1 July 2016.
- Latest end date for awarded projects: 1 July 2017.
- This call is open to researchers based at UK organisations that are eligible to receive Research Council funding (including Higher Education Institutions and some independent research organisations). Researchers based outside the UK may also be involved in an application, and collaborations between UK researchers and international partners are strongly encouraged. But the lead applicant (through whose institution/organisation the funds will be administered) must be based at a UK institution.
- Lead applicants must have a PhD or at least 5 years full-time equivalent research experience.
- Stakeholders from business, policy and civil society who wish to take part in this process must seek a partner in an eligible UK academic institution, through whom funds will be administered. The Nexus Network team would welcome approaches from non-UK or business, policy and civil society organisations, with strong ideas for research, but who find themselves unable to find suitable UK academic partners.
- Funding cannot be awarded directly to individuals but will be paid to the organisation/institution with which they are affiliated (if you are not an employee of the lead organisation, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are willing to enter into an agreement with the University of Sussex, to manage the award and administer the funding on your behalf).
THIS CALL HAS NOW CLOSED.
In the online application form you will be asked for the following information:
- Name and institutional affiliation of lead applicant and partners.
- Proposed title of project.
- A clear, non-expert summary of the nexus issue, challenge or opportunity, to be explored (up to 6000 characters including spaces).
- A description of the project activities, including proposed methodology and deliverables (up to 6000 characters).
- A description of the transdisciplinary nature of the project, including the different academic disciplines and other knowledge partners (from outside academia) who will be brought together in this project, and how (up to 2000 characters including spaces).
- Track record of the proposed team (up to 2000 characters including spaces).
- Amount applied for, budget breakdown and justification of the funds requested (up to 2000 characters including spaces).
We do not require any additional documentation beyond the data entered in the form fields.
Applications will undergo a three-stage process:
- First sift by the Nexus Network management team and exclusion of applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria (see point 5. above)
- Peer review of eligible proposals by a cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary panel consisting of representatives from business, policy, civil society and academia
- Final selection, including potential interviews.
- Scope: does the application engage with two or more nexus areas (food, energy, water and environment)?
- Engagement strategy: does the application outline a persuasive strategy for engagement between disciplines and between researchers and other knowledge partners? (i.e. are the kinds of engagements suggested appropriate and feasible? Do the applicants display a depth of understanding about the possible barriers and challenges to inter- and trans-disciplinary work, and has thought been given to how these might be overcome?)
- Feasibility of the work plan over the grant period, and appropriateness of the budget, including Value for Money.
What will the award require of successful applicants?
A standard grant agreement between the University of Sussex and the applicant’s organisation will be established before projects start and funds are disbursed. The grant agreement will include terms and conditions related to:
The grant start date and duration; the grant payment schedule; reporting requirements and timeframes; outputs and results; participation in key Nexus Network events and workshops. NB: An audit trail of project expenses is a requirement of ESRC funding. Applicants must be able to identify all direct costs claimed and maintain records of expenditure.
For further details or to discuss your proposal please contact the network coordinator, Cian O’Donovan by emailing C.O-Donovan@sussex.ac.uk or call 01273 873603.