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Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) Call for Project
Deadline: 05 Apr 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Natural Resources
 Environment
 Sustainable Development
 Environmental protection
 Sustainable Transport
 Climate Sciences
 Pollution

1 Introduction

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures have created unprecedented situations for societies worldwide. In particular Low- and Middle- Income Countries (LMIC) are likely to be disproportionally affected by this. The slow progress on many pressing challenges of global environmental change and global development has led to increasing emphasis, both in research and policy, on the need to go beyond the study and encouragement of incremental change. Conventional knowledge and capacity building to tackle the challenges associated with sustainability have had some positive impacts but are ultimately not fully adequate. Consequently, there is growing attention to the need for more fundamental transformations in the way societies interact with each other and with the natural environment as the basis of sustainability. Societal transformations refer to profound and enduring systemic changes that typically involve social, cultural, technological, political, economic and environmental processes. A comprehensive and concerted research initiative is needed that can boost research on transformations to sustainability, and catalyse new kinds of solutions to environmental and social challenges.

It is for these reasons that the Belmont Forum, NORFACE and the ISSC together as the Transformations to Sustainability funders launch the Programme ”Transformations to Sustainability” (Acronym: T2S). This programme will contribute to re-structuring the broad field of sustainability research by placing social science, as well as the humanities, at the heart of interdisciplinary research in a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic. 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.

It is important that projects in this research programme be led by a Main Applicant from social sciences/humanities (SSH) and primarily predicated not on the development and demonstration of technological innovation, but rather on enhancing our understanding of societal aspects of transformation in relation to sustainability. At the same time, the concrete challenges around which the needs of and opportunities for societal transformations to sustainability are researched can also provide innovative approaches that will reinvigorate social science analysis. To study the challenges targeted in this call, both inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that enable researchers to address the interconnections and interdependencies between natural and human systems, as well as between science and society, are needed. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to include in their research teams relevant expertise from other fields of science, including the natural sciences, and to engage societal stakeholders, including community-based partners, in formulating research problems and co-developing and co-implementing knowledge on transformations. In addition, applications are strongly encouraged to build effective research partnerships with regions of the world where knowledge and expertise relevant to sustainability challenges have thus far been under exploited.

This programme has two major objectives:

  • To develop understanding of and promote research on transformations to sustainability which are of significant social, economic and policy concern throughout the world and of great relevance to both academics and stakeholders.

  • To build capacity, overcome fragmentation and have a lasting impact on both society and the research landscape by cultivating durable research collaboration across multiple borders, disciplinary boundaries, and with practitioners and societal partners. This includes facilitating the development of new research collaborations with parts of the world which are not often involved in large-scale international research efforts, notably low- and middle-income countries.

The programme is structured around three themes, described in detail in the Programme Text accompanying this Call for Proposals. Every research project should focus on at least one of these themes.

Thematic areas:

  1. 1)  Governance and institutional dimensions of transformations to sustainability

  2. 2)  Economy and finance of transformations to sustainability

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

Proposals on the above described specific research themes may also include one or both of the following cross-cutting issues, also described in detail in the Programme Text:

Cross-cutting issues:

  1. 1)  Conceptual aspects of processes of transformation

  2. 2)  Methodological innovation

The themes and the cross-cutting issues for the programme have been prepared by an international, multi-disciplinary Theme Expert Group.

Applicants should always consider whether diversity perspectives (such as gender and ethnic background) are relevant to the research questions the project will examine. If this is the case, these perspectives and the way they will be treated in the project must be described in the application.

The funding available for this T2S programme over a period of three years has been set at a minimum of 13 M€ across the international funding partners.

The technical aspects of the call are described in the rest of this document.

 

2 Eligibility

Proposals must comply with all eligibility requirements listed under this section as well as under Heading 3. “Submission of Proposals and Assessment Procedure” and the individual country-specific eligibility criteria which can be found in Appendix 1.

2.1 Topics

Proposals must address research topics falling within the scientific scope of the call, as defined in the Programme Text. Proposals must address one or more of the three themes as defined. 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.

2.2 Consortia

This call for proposals brings together the need for working on societal transformations to sustainability challenges in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary1 way. To study the challenges targeted in this call, inter-and transdisciplinary approaches are needed to address where appropriate the interconnections and interdependencies between the natural and human systems. The generated synergies and linkages will open new avenues of inquiry, produce new robust interdisciplinary knowledge, and generate new models and opportunities. Through this call, the NORFACE Network and the Belmont Forum will contribute to re- structuring the broad field of sustainability research by placing social sciences, as well as the humanities, at the heart of interdisciplinary research in a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic. Consortia may consist of partners active across several positions within the research and development system (i.e. innovation, applied research, fundamental research) and across disciplines (e.g. natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and engineering).

Each consortium should be led by a Main Applicant from social sciences/humanities (SSH) and bring into being integrated teams of scientists from relevant other academic disciplines ( e.g. natural sciences, technical and engineering sciences) as appropriate, and engage with societal stakeholders to produce new knowledge and perspectives that can contribute to finding equitable and durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability in specific contexts. 

Each proposal must be written by a project team. A project team must involve at least three national research teams4, based in three different countries, and eligible for the funding from three different T2S funders (see list below). It is strongly encouraged that consortia contain at least two national research teams eligible for funding from two different EU member states or associated countries5 and at least one applicant from another country participating in this call in order to be able to take advantage of the funds provided by the European Commission. The eligibility of national teams is subject to national eligibility rules, or to ISSC eligibility rules, as appropriate (see Appendix 1). In case of doubt, the relevant funding agency can advise on eligibility. If one of the national research teams in a consortium is not eligible and/or the trans-national three-country minimum requirement is not met, the whole consortium will be considered ineligible and the proposal will not be evaluated.

The call involves funders from the following countries:
EU Member States and Associated Countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Non-European: Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Japan, USA.
The ISSC will fund research teams in low or lower-middle-income countries only.7 Please note that researchers from low and middle income countries are also eligible as co-investigators on projects funded by the ESRC.

The added value resulting from transnational cooperation must be addressed in the proposal. There is no limit to the total number of partners who may be involved in a project.

Main Applicants, Co-applicants and team members must be eligible for funding from these funders, irrespective of their individual nationality. Depending on the national/ISSC eligibility rules, eligible applicants may come from organisations such as:

  • Research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities with research undertakings)

  • NGOs, citizens’ representatives

  • Cities, municipalities, regions

  • Companies (from industry/large companies to SMEs)

  • Consumers (e.g. business enterprises, test households)

The inclusion of stakeholder or community-based partners is considered to be critical to the process of societal transformation, and applicants are expected to demonstrate how they engage with appropriate stakeholders during the lifespan of the project. Proposals should reflect on how they intend to do so. Contributions by these partners may be either cash or in-kind.10

Each project team should strive to include researchers at an early stage of their careers, including post- doctoral researchers and PhD students unless indicated otherwise in the country-specific guidance (see Appendix 1). T2S strives to promote gender equality, and encourages female researchers to apply.

Participation is strictly limited to a maximum of two proposals per applicant (whether as Main Applicant, Co-applicant or team member) and no individual can act as Main Applicant in more than one proposal. In the Full Proposal stage, applicants who are involved in two proposals will be asked to show how they will distribute their time between the two projects, should they be funded. Teams must convincingly justify the participation of all applicants involved in their proposal.

Teams that have submitted an Outline Proposal who are invited to the Full Proposal stage are not allowed to make changes to the core of the proposal or the project team. However, in case of force majeure, changes in the consortium are allowed. Force majeure cases include (a) a Main or Co-applicant changed her/his affiliation and after consultation with the Coordination Office or (b) following an explicit recommendation by the evaluation panel and in line with (national) eligibility requirements. You are advised to consult the contact point at your national funding agency (see Appendix 1) if you have doubts relating to this matter before submitting an Outline Proposal. Adding cooperation partners who are not eligible for funding in the Full Proposal is allowed. At the Full Proposal phase the relevant funding organisations will again check and confirm the eligibility of all applicants involved in a proposal.

Roles within a consortium

Main Applicant’s role
Every project has one Main Applicant. The Main Applicant will be a social sciences/humanities (SSH) researcher responsible for carrying out and managing the project. (S)he will be the contact point for T2S on behalf of all the applicants and responsible for the administrative and financial management of the overall project, should it be funded. In addition, the Main Applicant is responsible for leading the project activities at her/his own institution. The Main Applicant must be based at an institution eligible for the funding of a participating T2S agency. Main Applicant status is not limited to researchers at any specific career stage, though national/ISSC eligibility rules apply.

Co-applicants’ role
The Co-applicants are responsible for the administrative and financial management for the national part of a project, should this be funded. Each Co-applicant is responsible for leading the project activities at her/his own institution. Each Co-applicant should be based at an institution eligible for the funding of a participating T2S agency. Co-applicant status is not limited to researchers at any specific career stage, though relevant national/ISSC eligibility rules apply.

There may be more than one Co-applicant from one country but only one Co-Applicant per University/Research Institution in a given proposal. Other project team members at the University/Research Institution should be listed under the heading ‘Other research team members’ in the Outline Proposal template. If there is more than one applicant from a country, one of them needs to be identified as the national contact point in the proposal template. If this is not clear, the T2S Coordination Office will consider the first person named as National Contact Point. Communication from the Co- ordination Office or the T2S partners may be sent to this contact point, who will be responsible for distributing the information to the other partners in the country.

Other project team members
All other eligible project team members participating in the proposal can be listed as other project team members. PhD students or Postdocs whose names are not yet known can be included as “NN”. Some funding agencies are able to cover the personnel costs of researchers from outside their country. If these personnel costs are eligible these researchers should also be listed as other project team members.

Cooperation partners
Additional personnel from countries not involved in the call or ineligible for support from T2S funding agencies can be part of project teams once the three agency minimum is met. Unless specified otherwise in the country-specific eligibility requirements, however, they will be required to bring their own support.11 Those researchers and non-academic partners who are not eligible for funding from the T2S programme funders but who would like to contribute to the project are invited to participate as Cooperation partners. No funding can be requested for them from the T2S programme. The applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal will be asked to demonstrate the sources from which the participation of the Cooperation partners will be funded. Contributions by external partners can be either cash or in-kind. T2S accepts personnel input and the material contributions as in-kind co-funding on the condition that these are capitalised and that they form an integral part of the project. This should be made clear in the description and planning of the research.

Please note that the applicants who submitted the Full Proposal should be the same for the Outline Proposal stage. However, a team is allowed to add Cooperation partners to the consortium between the Outline and Full Proposal stage.

 

2.4 Funding

Available funding
Small and large projects are equally welcome. The total funding requested from the T2S partners must not exceed € 1,500,000 across all participating partners. A justification of the requested budget will be required. Projects requesting more than € 1,500,000 will be ineligible, even at the Outline stage. Please see Table 1 below for the available budgets per country/funder.

Eligible costs

All costs must be eligible according to the national eligibility rules available under “National Eligibility Requirements” (see Appendix 1). Applicants may request funding for personnel costs, consumables, travel costs, equipment, subcontracting and other costs in accordance with the relevant national research funding rules. Please read the “National eligibility requirements” to verify the eligibility of specific budget items according to the rules of your funding organisation. In case of doubt, applicants should consult their respective national contact person who can advise on funding rules.

Projects will be expected to engage in knowledge exchange activities regarding the outcomes of the project, and engage stakeholders as early in their project as possible. Costs for these activities can be included in the requested budget in addition to the costs for research according to national funding rules.

The estimated budget must be given in Euros only and be tabulated according to the proposal template provided. For applicants from countries outside the Euro-zone, please convert your budget to Euros and indicate the exchange rate used. In the Outline Proposal form only estimated costs need to be stated, but these should still be as realistic as possible. For this, it is strongly advised to consider the national guidelines for eligible costs that must be used at the Full Proposal stage. Estimated costs can be updated in the Full Proposal with a maximum change of 10%.

Project duration

Projects can last up to 36 months. Projects can start June 2018 at the earliest, and must have started by 1 December 2018 at the latest. All national research teams within a given project will be expected to start their projects at the same time. Proposals for projects lasting more than 36 months will be declared ineligible.

 

Table 1: Available budget from each Funding Agency

Table 1 shows the minimum national and regional contribution that is available for this Call from each funder. The total national and regional budgets for this call will be co-funded by the European Commission under Grant Agreement No 730211. The additional budget of the European Commission will be used in a flexible way (not proportionally to national and regional budgets) to fund as many high quality projects on the ranking list as possible. A total amount of public funding of has been set at a minimum of 13 M€, including support from Horizon 2020.

Table 1 also shows whether funding agencies are able to fund researchers from low- and middle- income countries and non-academic partners. It serves as an introduction to the national annexes in Appendix 1; please consult Appendix 1 for the detailed eligibility criteria per funding agency and contact the national contact person for more information.

 

(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE )

 

3. Submission of Proposals and Assessment Procedure

3.1 Procedure

Proposals to the T2S research programme will be processed in two stages.

In the first stage, Outline Proposals are invited with a deadline of April 5, 2017, 17.00 Eastern Daylight Time (22.00 GMT). Proposals received after the deadline will not be eligible. Only proposals that meet all the conditions set out in this call text are eligible and will be included in the assessment procedure. The eligible proposals will be assessed in an “open competition”, in which an international panel of experts identifies a shortlist of proposals that are potentially fundable based on the programme’s assessment criteria. The Main Applicants of the proposals invited to the second stage will receive a notification in June 2017, inviting them to submit a Full Proposal.

Proposals in the Full Proposal round are submitted for assessment to external expert reviewers. Applicants will be given the opportunity to comment on the reviews, after which an international panel of experts will assess the proposals, the reviews and the rebuttals, arriving at a list of projects recommended for funding. Based on the ranking by the Expert Panel, and taking into account the available (agency) budgets, the participating national and regional funding agencies in the T2S Board will take funding decisions, depending on the national rules. The T2S Board expects to make funding decisions in April 2018.

3.2 Outline Proposals

The Outline Proposals are abridged versions of the Full Proposals. The Outline Proposals should be submitted via the BFGO online portal (https://bfgo.org). Any required supplemental documents should be uploaded in PDF format. Guidance on how to submit the outline proposal is available on the BFGO and NORFACE T2S website. Proposals received after the deadline, or failing to comply with the published requirements will be rejected. All Outline Proposals must be completed in English and follow the proposal structure as set out in the proposal template available on the NORFACE T2S and the BFGO website. Incomplete proposals and proposals not using this structure will be declared ineligible and will not be evaluated.

Only one proposal form per Outline Proposal may be submitted and must contain information on the following items.

1. Title of the project and acronym

2. Name, affiliation and contact details of the Main Applicant

Give the name, title(s), gender, affiliation, telephone numbers, email address and postal address at which the Main Applicant can be reached during the whole proposal, assessment process, the date when the Main Applicant received her/his PhD and the percentage of working time s/he will spend on the project. Specify if the Main Applicant is participating in another proposal submitted to this programme.

3. Name, affiliation and contact details of the Co-Applicants

Please state the Co-applicants per country. Please name only one Co-Applicant per University/Research Institution. Other project team members should be listed under heading 5 ‘Other research team members’. Give the names, title(s) and postal address at which the Co-Applicants can be reached during the whole application and assessment process. Give telephone numbers, email address, the date when the Co- applicant received her/his PhD and the percentage of working time s/he will spend on the project. Specify if a Co-Applicant is a participant in another proposal submitted to this programme. If there is more than one applicant from one country, identify the national contact point.

4. Other team members (eligible for funding)

Please give the details of all other eligible project team members participating in the proposal. Give the name, institute, the percentage of working time to be spent on the project and whether s/he participates in another Outline Proposal. Where the names of PhD students or Postdocs are not yet known, include them as NN and give as much information as available.

5. Cooperation partners (not eligible for funding)

If applicable, please include here information about partners in the project who will be cooperating but are not eligible for T2S funding (see page 6 & 7 for an explanation). Give the name, institute, the percentage of working time to be spent on the project and the source of funding.

6. Summary of the project (max. 1500 characters, excluding spaces, add word count)
Please include the following information: relevance of the research topic to the call; objectives, potential outcome and impact of the project; explanation of how the project will be organised.

The summary will be made public if the project is funded by T2S. Make sure the abstract clearly describes what you are going to investigate, why you are going to investigate this subject and which results you expect to find.

7. Keywords (max. 8)

8. Discipline or disciplines of the project

9. Duration of the project

Please specify the date on which the project is intended to commence and the duration of the project. Implementation of the research project must start within six months of the date of the award letter and within the time frame outlined above.

10. Have you submitted the same idea elsewhere or have you requested any additional grants for this project from any other institution?
Please specify whether you have requested any additional grants for this project from any other institution.

11. Project description (max. 2500 words, excluding spaces, excluding references, add word count). It is recommended that this section include the following:

  1. a)  project description;

  2. b)  data management plan;

  3. c)  potential impact of research;

d) references.

a) The project description should explain in clear language:

  • Which research question does the proposal seek to answer?

  • Why is this research question significant? How will it contribute to the theme or themes of the call? If applicable, how does the proposal cut across different themes of the programme?

  • By what methods and work plans will the research question be tackled?

  • In what ways is the project transformative? What are the main theoretical and conceptual innovations expected from the project?

  • What added value will be gained by undertaking the research as a collaborative project with the proposed partners? What is the transnational added value of the project?

  • How will the applicants and cooperation partners contribute to the project? What research expertise and competence do they bring to the project proposal?

  • What are the expected outcomes and impacts of the research project? How will findings be shared with interested parties?

  • Please clearly delineate the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of secondary data sources and thoroughly justify any new data collection to address the research questions.

 

b) Data management plan13
The plan should include information about the types of data, information, products, model code, or other products being generated by the project. It should outline the accessible archives, data journals, or other open repository where these products and accompanying metadata will be housed. Please clearly delineate the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of secondary data sources and thoroughly justify any new data collection to address the research questions. Please note that the programme may support the collection of new data, be that quantitative or qualitative, but only where data needed to address key questions does not exist. If the research involves primary data collection or acquisition, please indicate how existing datasets have been reviewed and state why currently available datasets are inadequate for this proposed research.

c) Potential impact of research

  • What are the expected outcomes and impact of the research project? What are your anticipated

    pathways to impact?

  • Who are the potential users, both academic and non-academic, of the research?

  • Which activities will be deployed to maximise knowledge exchange with potential users?

d) References
Please list the references used.

12. Timetable of the project (max. 500 words, excluding spaces, add word count).

13. An estimated budget for the project.
Please include the total requested funding per participating national applicant as well as the total budget requested from T2S. If a cooperation partner from a non-eligible organisation contributes to the programme, please include their contribution in the budget. The proposal form contains two tables that must be used for the estimated budget. Please consider national eligibility requirements.

The budget in the Outline Proposal needs only to contain an indicative funding request but this should still be as realistic and careful as possible. Applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal will be required to provide fully accurate, detailed and justification of resources at that stage. For applicants from countries outside the participating countries, please convert your budget to Euros and indicate the exchange rate used and the source15.

14. Curriculum vitae of the research team including a publication list.

Provide a short CV of the Main Applicant and the Co-Applicants, and of Cooperation Partners if applicable. The Main Applicant’s and Co-Applicant’s CV may cite a maximum of 10 relevant publications. Each Co- Operation Partner’s CV may cite a maximum of 5 relevant publications. The CV of the Main Applicant should include the information on her/his experience leading national or international collaboration research projects. CV should be no longer than 2 pages each.

Please mark key publications which are directly relevant to the proposed research with an S at the beginning of the publication details (the S stands for significant). Please only include manuscripts which have been accepted for publication or which have already been published as part of the recognised literature.

Evaluation of the Outline Proposals

Eligible Outline Proposals will be reviewed by an international independent evaluation panel, consisting of experts nominated by the Call partners and appointed by the T2S Board. The composition of the T2S

evaluation panel will be available on the T2S website after the evaluation of the Full Proposals is finished. Expertise in the panel aims to cover widely the disciplinary fields targeted in the call. The panel assesses the Outline Proposals comparatively, using the defined criteria (see paragraph 3.4) and subsequently prioritises these according to likelihood of funding, without making use of external referees. The panel will recommend a short list of applicants to the T2S Board to be invited to submit Full Proposals. Based on the ranking by the Expert Panel, and taking into account the available (agency) budgets, the participating national and regional funding agencies in the T2S Board will take funding decisions, depending on the national rules.

All applicants will receive notification of the shortlisting decisions in June 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal, with a deadline of 26 September 2017, 13.00 Eastern Standard Time. All applicants will receive a brief assessment of their proposal from the panel.

3.3 Full Proposals

Full Proposals must be completed in English and follow the proposal structure as set out in the proposal template available on the NORFACE and Belmont Forum websites. Full Proposals should be submitted via the BFGO online portal. Any supplemental documents uploaded to BFGO should be in PDF format. Guidance on how to submit the proposal will be available on the BFGO and NORFACE T2S websites. Proposals received after the deadline, or failing to comply with the published call requirements will be rejected. Only the candidates who are invited to submit a Full Proposal by the T2S Board are eligible. The applicants who submit the Full Proposal should be the same as at the Outline Proposal stage. However, a team is allowed to add Cooperation partners to the consortium between the Outline and Full Proposal stage. Incomplete proposals and proposals not using this structure will not be evaluated. If the stated maximum number of words and/or pages is exceeded, or if the necessary documents are not included, the proposal will be disqualified.

Only one proposal template per Full Proposal may be submitted and must contain information on the following items:

1. Title of the project and acronym

2. Name, affiliation and contact details of the Main Applicant

Give the name, title(s), gender, affiliation, telephone numbers, email address and postal address at which the Main Applicant can be reached during the whole proposal and assessment process, the date when the Main Applicant received her/his PhD and the percentage of working time s/he will spend on the project. Specify if the Main Applicant is participating in another proposal submitted to this programme.

3. Name, affiliation and contact details of the Co-Applicants

Please state the Co-applicants per country. Please name only one Co-Applicant per University/Research Institution/Organisation. Other project team members should be listed under heading 5 ‘Other research team members’.
Give the names, title(s) and postal address at which the Co-Applicants can be reached during the whole application and assessment process. Give telephone numbers, email address, the date when the Co- applicants received her/his PhD (if applicable) and the percentage of working time s/he will spend on the project. Specify if a Co-Applicant is a participant in another proposal submitted to this programme. If there is more than one applicant from one country, identify the national contact point.

4. Other team members (eligible for funding)

Please give the details of all other eligible project team members participating in the proposal. Give the name, institute, the percentage of working time to be spent on the project and whether s/he participates in another Outline Proposal. Where the names of PhD students or Postdocs are not yet known, please include them as NN, and include any other information available.

 

5. Cooperation partners (not eligible for funding)

If applicable, please include here information about partners in the project who will be cooperating but are not eligible for T2S funding (see page 6 & 7 for explanation). Give the name, institute, the percentage of working time to be spent on the project and the source of funding.

6. Summary of the project (max. 1500 characters, excluding spaces, add word count)
Please include the following information: relevance of the research topic to the call; objectives, potential outcome and impact of the project; explanation on how the project will be organised.

The summary will be made public if the project is funded. Make sure the abstract clearly describes what you are going to investigate, why you are going to investigate this subject and which results you expect to find.

7. Keywords (max. 8)

8. Discipline or disciplines of the project

9. Duration of the project

Please specify the date on which the project is intended to commence. Implementation of the research project must start within six months of the date of the award letter.

10. Have you submitted the same idea elsewhere or have you requested any additional grants for this project from any other institution?
Please specify whether you applied for any additional grants for this project from any other institution.

11. Project description (max. 7500 words, excluding references, with word count) should be uploaded and should explain in clear language:

a) Research proposal

  • Which research question does the proposal seek to answer?

  • Why is the research question significant? How will it contribute to the theme or themes of the call?

    If applicable, how does the proposal cut across different themes of the programme?

  • What is the impact of the project on theoretical and methodological approaches in the field? By what methods and work plans will the research question be tackled?

  • In what ways is the project transformative? What are the main theoretical and conceptual innovations expected from the project?

  • What are the importance and relevance of the chosen comparative approach/methods?

  • Please clearly delineate the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of secondary data sources and thoroughly justifies any new data collection to address the research questions. If the research involves primary data collection or acquisition, please indicate how existing datasets have been reviewed and state why currently available datasets are inadequate for this proposed research.

b) Data management Plan16
The plan should include information about the types of data, information, products, model code, or other products being generated by the project. It should outline the accessible archives, data journals, or other open repository where these products and accompanying metadata will be housed. Please also clearly delineate the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of secondary data sources and thoroughly justify any new data collection to address the research questions. If the research involves primary data collection or acquisition, please indicate how existing datasets have been reviewed and state why currently available datasets are inadequate for this proposed research.

 

c) International cooperation and composition of the research team

  • What added value will be gained by undertaking this research as a collaborative project with the

    proposed consortium? What are the advantages of a transnational project, in its comparative

    nature for instance?

  • How will the applicants and cooperation partners contribute to the project? What research

    expertise and competence do they bring to the project proposal?

  • What is the work plan?

  • What are the plans of the project for including early-career researchers / emerging researchers in

    the project activities?

  • How is an equitable gender balance sought in the composition of the project team?

d) Potential impact of research17

  • What are the expected outcomes and impact of the research project? What are your anticipated

    pathways to impact?

  • Who are the potential users, both academic and non-academic, of the research?

  • Which activities will be deployed to maximise knowledge exchange with potential users?

Applicants are expected to demonstrate consideration of who may be interested in the outcomes of the proposed work in their proposal. In projects where non-academic partners are participating, project leaders must submit meaningful and binding arrangements for the management of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues. In the case of research that does not lend itself to knowledge utilisation as described in the aforementioned terms, the researcher is requested to explain why s/he believes that knowledge utilisation is not applicable to the proposed research.

e) References
Please list the references used.

12. Timetable of the project (max. 500 words, excluding spaces, add word count)

13. Communication and dissemination (max. 500 words, excluding spaces, add word count)

  • -  Plan of publications resulting from the research;

  • -  Plan of dissemination/knowledge exchange: describe the main target groups, instruments

    and how knowledge will be embedded;

  • -  Valorisation: describe how the valorisation of the developed knowledge will be realised;

  • -  Plan for the storage of and access to data collected, if applicable.

14. Management and monitoring (max. 500 words, excluding spaces, add word count)
Please describe how the project will be managed as a whole and how the monitoring of the progress against the objectives and anticipated results will be ensured.

15. Ethical issues & data storage (max. 500 words, excluding spaces, add word count)
Please describe whether there are any ethical issues raised by the proposed research and/or storage of data and if so, how they are addressed appropriately and comprehensively by the research proposal and the project design.

16. Budget for the project

Please include the total requested funding per participating national applicant as well as the total budget requested from the T2S programme. If a cooperation partner from a non-eligible organisation contributes to the programme, please include their contribution in the budget. Please consider the national eligibility requirements and include the financial budget table of each participating country as an annex. The proposal at this stage should include fully accurate, detailed and justified costs. For applicants from 

countries outside the Euro-zone, please transfer your budget to Euro and indicate the exchange rate used and the source.18

17. Justification of resources (max. 1 page per country)
Please provide a justification of resources (JoR) for each and all agencies involved in the funding request (i.e. one per participating country). Justification should be provided for the overall level of funding requested in respect to the value added of the proposed research. The JoR should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed taking into account the nature and complexity of the research proposal. The JoR should be no more than 1 page of A4 for each country.

Mandatory annexes to the Full Proposal

  • Curriculum vitae of the applicants and a publication list

    Provide a short CV of the Main Applicant and the Co-Applicants, and of Cooperation Partners if applicable. The Main Applicant’s and Co-Applicant’s CV may cite a maximum of 10 relevant publications. Each Cooperation Partner’s CV may cite a maximum of 5 relevant publications. The CV of the Main Applicant should include the information on her/his experience leading national or international collaboration research projects. CV’s should be no longer than 2 pages each.

    Please mark key publications which are directly relevant to the proposed research with an S at the beginning of the publication details (the S stands for significant). Please only include manuscripts which have been accepted for publication or which have already been published as part of the recognised literature.

  • Please include the financial budget table of each participating country as an annex.

  • In a project where cooperation partners from non-eligible institutions are participating, a letter of commitment must be included as an annex to the proposal summarising the commitment of the cooperation partner to the project and demonstrating the source of funding.

Important note: when writing your proposal, take into account that it will be read by both experts and a broadly composed evaluation panel.

Evaluation of the Full Proposals

Full Proposals are submitted for assessment to external, independent referees for peer review. In this second stage, there is a possibility to submit a list of two non-referees who will NOT be asked to assess the application as referees. This is optional for every Main Applicant. The suggestions can be sent
to t2s@nwo.nl before 1 October 2017. Each Full Proposal will be evaluated by a minimum of two external referees. The reviews by the referees will be sent anonymously to the Main Applicant for comments before the evaluation panel assesses the proposals. The reports will be sent to the Main Applicant in January 2018 and s/he will only have five working days to respond. Main Applicants will not be informed of the identity of the referees.

In addition, in the panel at least two assessors will be assigned as rapporteur for each Full Proposal. The assessments received from the external referees, the comments received from the applicant and the pre- assessment from the rapporteurs will form the starting point for a joint review carried out by an international evaluation panel consisting of experts in the field.

The panel will prepare a consensus evaluation report on each Full Proposal based on the proposal, the external reviews, the comments by the Main Applicant and the panel discussion. The panel will summarise its assessment in a consensus report. The panel will make a funding recommendation to the T2S Board. Based on the ranking by the Expert Panel, and taking into account the available (agency) budgets, the participating national and regional funding agencies in the T2S Board will take funding decisions, depending on the national rules. T2S Board will take the final funding decisions by April 2018. Main 

Applicants of awarded proposals will be asked to draw up a cooperation agreement detailing the administrative arrangements in the project. The applicants will receive the consensus report of the evaluation panel as feedback after the final funding decisions. The recommendations and requirements of the consensus report have to be implemented in the project.

3.4 Evaluation Criteria

Eligibility criteria for Outline and Full Proposals are published according to national/ISSC funding rules in Appendix 1.

Formal criteria for Outline and Full Proposals have been described in chapter 3.2 and are summarised here as follows:

  1. 1)  Proposal has been submitted with all requested documents in time.

  2. 2)  Proposal includes eligible organisations according to national eligibility criteria (see Appendix 1).

  3. 3)  Applicants come from at least three eligible funders as listed in the Section 2.2 on Consortia.

  4. 4)  Each consortium should be led by a Main Applicant from social sciences/humanities (SSH) and

    bring into being integrated teams of scientists from natural science and other sciences as relevant, and engage with societal stakeholders to produce new knowledge and perspectives that can contribute to finding equitable and durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability in specific contexts as listed in the Section 2.2 on Consortia.

  5. 5)  Project duration is 36 months maximum.

  6. 6)  The total funding requested from the T2S partners must not exceed € 1,500,000 across all

    participating partners.

  7. 7)  Proposal is written in English.

  8. 8)  Proposal does not exceed word limits.

  9. 9)  Proposals meet any additional country-specific criteria, as outlined in Appendix 1.

All Outline Proposals and Full Proposals are assessed against three sets of criteria: (1) scientific excellence, (2) quality and efficiency of the implementation and the management, and (3) potential impact. All three sets of criteria will be taken into consideration and will be given equal weight. Each criterion will be scored on a scale from one to five, with a minimum threshold of three on each criterion being necessary for the proposal to be considered for funding.

Scientific excellence - Quality of the transnational project

  • −  Sound concept, and quality of objectives

  • −  Transformative research agenda

  • −  Progress beyond the state-of-the-art

  • −  Quality and effectiveness of the scientific and technological methodology, data collection and associated work plan

Quality and efficiency of the project implementation and management plan

  • −  Appropriateness of the management structure and procedures

  • −  Expertise and relevant experience of the individual applicants and cooperation partners

  • −  Quality of the consortium as a whole (including whether the consortium is social sciences and/or

    humanities led and the degree of complementarity and inter- and/or transdisciplinarity)

  • −  Appropriate allocation and justification of the resources to be committed (budget, staff, equipment)

Potential impact

  • −  The scientific and societal impact

  • −  The fit to objectives and research themes of the programme

  • −  The extent to which research is likely to be of value to stakeholder communities

  • −  Appropriateness of measures for the dissemination and/or exploitation of transnational project results, and management of intellectual property

Eligible Full Proposals will be submitted to the Evaluation Panel. The Evaluation Panel draws up recommendations and qualifies the proposals with a score. Each Full Proposal will be evaluated by at least three independent experts. (Note: To be eligible for funding provided by the European Commission, the T2S eligible Full Proposals will be ranked according to the evaluation results and the selection will be made on the basis of this ranking.)

Based on the ranking by the Expert Panel, and taking into account the available (agency) budgets, the participating national and regional funding agencies in the T2S Board (GPC) will take funding decisions, depending on the national rules. Funding decisions are final, and cannot be appealed. A written statement on the evaluation of each Full Proposal will be sent by the Call Secretariat to the Main Applicants. The Call Secretariat will inform the Main Applicants of projects that have been recommended for funding, on the subsequent contracting procedure.

 

3.5 Timeline

 

October 2016

Pre-announcement of the programme

 

January 2017

Launch of the programme and publication of the Call documents

 

5 April 2017, 17.00 Eastern Daylight Time (22.00 GMT).

Deadline submission Outline Proposals

 

April - June 2017

Evaluation of Outline Proposals

 

June 2017

Applicants will be informed about the decision on Outline Proposals

 

26 September 2017

Deadline submission Full Proposals

 

October - December 2017

Peer-review of Full Proposals

 

January 2018

Rebuttal by applicants

 

February 2018

Panel meeting to evaluate Full Proposals

 

March 2018

National decision-making procedures

 

April 2018

Applicants will be informed about the decision on Full Proposals

 

 

4. Other Information

4.1 Programme coordination

The T2S Coordination Office is located at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and National Science Foundation (NSF, USA). The Coordination Office has the responsibility for the overall coordination and technical organisation of the Call.

The T2S Board, dealing with strategic issues, represents the highest authority in decision making, in which all T2S partners are represented. The T2S Board will decide on the projects to be recommended for national funding, and which projects will be rejected. Formal funding decisions are made by the individual partner organisations and are subject to the policies and guidelines of the partner organisations.

The T2S Management Team will advise the T2S Board on the implementation of its strategy. The T2S Management Team consists of one staff member from each participating funding organisation. The Management Team member will act as the national contact point for the applicants to give information on or explain the Call procedures as well as national rules and procedures (see list of members in chapter 4.5).

4.2 Research Integrity

When preparing the proposal and carrying out the research project, the T2S Board expects applicants to adhere to rules of good research practice as outlined in The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. The principles of integrity include, among others, fairness in providing references, giving credit, honesty in communication and impartiality and independence.

4.3 Data Management and Open Access

All proposed projects will require a data management plan. If needed, data management plan templates are available from the Belmont Forum website. At the Outline Proposal stage, only a brief summary is required. If your submission is invited to the full proposal stage, a more complete plan must be submitted as part of the full proposal packet. The plan should include information about the types of data, information, products, model code, or other products being generated by the project. It should outline the accessible archives, data journals, or other open repository where these products and accompanying metadata will be housed.

Open access, is intended to improve and promote the dissemination of knowledge and the availability of data, thereby improving the efficiency of scientific discovery and maximising the return on public research funding bodies’ investment in R&D. Beneficiaries funded are required to deposit data collected in the course of T2S projects, and peer-reviewed articles resulting from their projects to an institutional or subject-based repository. They are expected to make their best efforts to ensure open access to data and peer-reviewed articles as soon as possible, taking advantage of national or international arrangements where these are available.

4.4 Avoid overlap with research commissioned on the topic

Applicants should pay due regard to the focus of research commissioned. Proposals should consider the achievements of other European and (inter)national initiatives recently completed, underway, or at an advanced stage of planning,

 

4.5. Consortium Agreement

Each project recommended for funding is strongly encouraged to have a signed consortium agreement between all partners prior to the start of the project, at least addressing the following topics:

  • -  Internal organisation and management of the consortium

  • -  Intellectual Property arrangements

  • -  Settlement of internal disputes

    4.6 Further information

    For additional information, please contact the T2S Coordination Office (NSF, The United
    States, HHAPKE@nsf.gov or NWO, the Netherlands, t2s@nwo.nl) or the T2S contact person at your national funding agency. The following contact persons from the participating national research councils and agencies are available for questions regarding the Call and procedure (see Appendix 1).

 

 

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