About

The Belmont Forum

Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science. Forum operations are guided by the Belmont Challenge, a vision document that encourages:

International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

Forum members and partner organizations work collaboratively to meet this Challenge by issuing international calls for proposals, committing to best practices for open data access, and providing transdisciplinary training.  To that end, the Belmont Forum is also working to enhance the broader capacity to conduct transnational environmental change research through its e-Infrastructure and Data Management initiative.

How the Belmont Forum Works

Scientist and stakeholder support is made possible through Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs), which are the Forum equivalent of a call for proposals.  In its first five years of operation, the Forum successfully led seven calls for proposals, supporting 48 projects and more than 450 scientists and stakeholders, representing over 35 countries on 6 continents.  Themes addressed by CRAs have included Freshwater Security, Coastal Vulnerability, Food Security and Land Use Change, Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Arctic Observing and Science for Sustainability, and Mountains as Sentinels of Change.  New themes are developed through a scoping process and made available for proposals through the Belmont Forum website and its Grant Operations page.

Each proposal submitted to a CRA theme in the Belmont Forum Grants Operations (BFGO) must consist of a project co-developed by natural scientists, social scientists, and stakeholders that hail from at least three countries.  Stakeholder is used in its broadest sense in CRAs, representing the potential to co-develop and co-implement projects with communities, policymakers, business and industry, unionized bodies, tribal organizations, non-governmental organizations, and many others not listed here.  Similarly, the Forum’s definition of social science includes the full breadth of social disciplines, including economics and the humanities.  The research itself can take place within one or more countries anywhere in the world, but the team itself must be eligible for support from three funding organizations participating in the CRA.

Projects are merit reviewed and awards are made through coordinated funding from individual organizations.  For example, a successful project team with participants from the U.S., South Africa, and Japan would be funded so that U.S. project members would receive funding from U.S. institutions at the same time that South African participants and Japanese participants would receive support from their respective institutions.  We also partner with funders whose support can cross national boundaries.  Details about eligibility and available support for interested applicants can be found in the organizational annexes for each call for proposals.

The Forum is open to a breadth of possible funding and support partnerships in its Collaborative Research Actions.  Investment in a CRA is not limited only to Forum member organizations, nor is it constrained to only national fundamental research funding agencies and ministries.   The Forum strives to make opportunities for interested supporting organizations to connect with the scoping process as early as possible to allow joint discussion and development of the Collaborative Research Action.  However, it is possible for any organization providing either in-kind or monetary support to a CRA to join at any time in the development process.  An organizational annex details each organization’s investment in the CRA, its particular interest in the theme, who is eligible for support, and the name of a program contact.

Note: not all Belmont Forum members participate in every CRA.

Open Data Policy and Principles

The Belmont Forum adopted its open data policy and principles at the Belmont Forum Plenary meeting in Oslo, Norway in 2015. The e-Infrastructures and Data Management team is working to implement this across all collaborative research actions of the Belmont Forum and to coordinate and promote access to transdisciplinary research data.

History

The Belmont Forum builds on a legacy of international scientific collaboration that began more than 25 years ago.  Today, it welcomes new members and partner organizations from the global scientific community committed to helping fulfill the Belmont Challenge.

Our current member and partner organizations are listed below.  Details on how an organization can become a member or a partner is also detailed below.

The origins of the Forum date back to 1990 with the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research.

1990: The International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) forms as an informal group of representatives from agencies that support Global Change Research (GCR).

June 2009: The National Science Foundation and Natural Environment Research Council host a conference of key environmental and geoscience funding agencies at the Belmont Conference Center in Elkridge, Maryland, USA.

October 2009: The Belmont Forum becomes the Council of Principals for the IGFA.

2013: The first Collaborative Research Actions are released with a focus on Coastal Vulnerability and Freshwater Security.

October 2014: IGFA and the Belmont Forum merge under the name Belmont Forum.  A new governance structure is adopted, with an elected Steering Committee and two Co-Chairs.

June 2015: A permanent Secretariat is established to further the goals and operations of the Belmont Forum.

October 2015: The Forum members vote in favor of an open data policy and principles.  The policy and principles are part of a larger Community Strategy and Implementation Plan, developed after two years of community consultation and expert input.  The policy and plan are being implemented as the e-Infrastructure and Data Management (e-I&DM) Initiative.

September 2016: The Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination Office or C3O for the Forum’s e-Infrastructure and Data Management Initiative is opened.

Governance

Memorandum of Understanding Signing from SMARTS2 Project - Source: [Author Unknown]. MOU signed UH with OUAT. Digital Image. [Source Unknown], [Date Published Unknown]
Blackgram Meeting - Source: Pradhan, Dr. Aliza. [Title Unknown]. Digital Image. [Source Unknown], [Date Published Unknown]
Blackgram Meeting - Source: Pradhan, Dr. Aliza. [Title Unknown]. Digital Image. [Source Unknown], [Date Published Unknown]

Members are legally allowed to mobilize resources from national or international research funds and are engaged in activities that address the Belmont Challenge.  

Members

 

Argentina
Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT)
Principal: Miguel Blesa
Principal’s Representative: Monica Silenzi
http://en.mincyt.gob.ar/

Australia
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Principal: Paul Bertsch
http://www.csiro.au/

Austria
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW)
Principal: Irene Gabriel
https://www.en.bmwfw.gv.at/Seiten/default.aspx

Brazil
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Principal: Gilberto Camara
Principal’s Representative: Reynaldo Victoria
http://www.fapesp.br/

China
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Principal: Yucheng Chai
Principal’s Representative: Yongtao Zhang
http://www.nsfc.gov.cn/publish/portal1/

Chinese Taipei
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
Principal: Yue-Gau Chen
Principal’s Representative: Yu-Pin Lin
https://www.most.gov.tw/en/public

European Commission (EC)
Principal: Marialuisa Tamborra
http://ec.europa.eu/

France
French Research Alliance for the Environment (AllEnvi)
Principal: François Jacq
Principal’s Representatives: Stephanie Thiebault, Stéphane Blanc
http://www.allenvi.fr/
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Principal:
Johann Muller
http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/en/
Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
Principal: Patrick Monfray
http://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/

Germany
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Principal: Harald Leisch
http://www.dfg.de/
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Principal: Wilfried Kraus
Principal’s Representative: Isabel Vogler
https://www.bmbf.de/en/index.html

India
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
PrincipalMadhavan Nair Rajeevan
Principal’s Representative: Parvinder Maini
http://moes.gov.in/

Italy
National Research Council (CNR)
Principal: Enrico Brugnoli
Principal’s Representative: Elisa Palazzi
http://www.isac.cnr.it/

Japan
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Techology (MEXT)
Principal: Satoshi Tanaka
Principal’s Representative: Tomohisa Yamamoto
http://www.mext.go.jp/
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Principal: Yoshiko Shirokizawa
http://www.jst.go.jp/

Mexico
National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT)
Principal: Arturo Borja
http://www.conacyt.mx/

The Netherlands
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Principal: Dick van der Kroef
http://www.nwo.nl

Norway
Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Principal: Kirsten Broch Mathisen
http://www.forskningsradet.no/

Qatar
Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)
Principal: Omar Boukhris
http://www.qnrf.org/

South Africa
National Research Foundation (NRF)
Principal: Dorsamy Gansen Pillay
Principal’s Representative: Andrew Kaniki
http://www.nrf.ac.za/ 

Sweden
The Swedish Research Council (Formas)
Principal: Lisa Alemsjö
http://www.formas.se/en/

Turkey
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)
Principal: Ipek Erzi
https://www.tubitak.gov.tr/en

United Kingdom
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Principal: Duncan Wingham
Principal’s Representative: Kate Hamer
http://www.nerc.ac.uk/

United States of America
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Principal: Maria Uhle
http://www.nsf.gov/

Members-in-Waiting

 

Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
http://www.iai.int/

Belmont Forum Partners are organizations that subscribe to the Belmont Challenge, but do not fund research and/or do not meet the criteria for membership. 

Partners

 

Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
https://www.earthobservations.org/index.php

The InterAcademy Partnership (iap)
Principal:
Peter McGrath
http://www.interacademies.org/

International Council for Science (ICSU)
Principal: Heide Hackmann
http://www.icsu.org/

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Principal: Pavel Kabat
http://www.iiasa.ac.at/

International Social Science Council (ISSC)
Principal: Mathieu Dennis
http://www.worldsocialscience.org/

SysTem for Analysis, Research & Training (START)
www.start.org

United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
Principal: Michael Kuperberg
http://www.globalchange.gov/

The S & T Alliance

The Belmont Forum is a member of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, an informal international partnership based on a shared commitment to make full use of the potential of science and technology to inform equitable, sustainable solutions to the most pressing questions currently confronting human kind. In addition to the Belmont Forum, the S & T Alliance is composed of:

The flagship initiative of the Alliance is Future Earth, a 10-year programme of research for global sustainability.

The Belmont Forum Secretariat serves as the administrative arm of the forum and is tasked with carrying out decisions made during the plenary meetings.  The Secretariat, hosted at the French National Research Agency (ANR)  in Paris, consists of eight members and is headed by the Executive Director.  

Secretariat Members

Erica Key, Executive Director

Erica joined the Belmont Forum as Executive Director of the Secretariat in June 2015. She leads membership and strategic development for the Belmont Forum, building connections between funders and organizations invested in global change research. She forges these new connections to ensure that the Belmont Forum Challenge–which focuses on advancement of interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multilateral scientific research to inform human action–is met and the value-added of this approach is demonstrated. Erica draws on her experience as a program director at the U.S. National Science Foundation, interagency agreements lead, and a global change researcher to elevate Belmont Forum activities through transparent communication, flexible partnering, and active engagement with the international research and data communities.
Mao Takeuchi, Deputy Director

Mao is located at the French National Research Agency (ANR) in Paris and is on assignment from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Mao is responsible for the overall coordination and follow-up of Belmont Forum Member and Steering Committee decisions, also for maintaining the quality assurance of CRAs. She holds a degree in International Relations. Previously, she was an Engagement Officer at the Future Earth Secretariat. She also worked seven years for UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector. Her mission is to help create a sustainable world by facilitating interdisciplinary research through Belmont Forum CRAs.
Susanna Ehlers, NSF (USA), Communications Director

Susanna works in the International and Integrated Activities for the Directorate for Geosciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Susanna comes to NSF educated as a Physical Geographer and having worked as an Air Quality Scientist for over six years in the government and private sectors. Susanna is responsible for internal and external communications for the Belmont Forum, including website maintenance, social media presence, and outreach materials. When she’s not acting as the Communications Director for the Belmont Forum, she’s assisting NSF with its many commitments and contributions to CRAs.
Roel Marsman, European Commission

After graduating in 2007 as a historian in the Netherlands, Roel worked as a teacher in Turkey, Ghana and Belgium until beginning to work for the European Commission in 2015. Roel works as an administrative agent for the Research and Innovation Department in Brussels where he contributes to the logistics and governance of the Belmont Forum.
Caroline Ingelbrecht, European Commission
Chuang Zhao, NSFC (China)
Arturo Mendoza, CONACYT (Mexico)
Moira Karosuo, CONACYT

The Belmont Forum Steering Committee is led by two co-chairs, elected by the membership for 3-year terms.  Since 2015, it is required that co-chairs first serve on the Steering Committee before being elected to the co-chair position.

Current Steering Committee Members

Maria Uhle, co-chair, NSF (USA)
Gilberto Câmara, co-chair, FAPESP (Brazil)
Marialuisa Tamborra, European Commission
Yue-Gau Chen, MOST (Chinese Taipei)
Harald Leisch, DFG (Germany)
Dorsamy (Gansen) Pillay, NRF (South Africa)
Yoshiko Shirokizawa, JST (Japan)
Kate Hamer, NERc (UK)

Past and Present Co-Chairs of the Belmont Forum

Tim Killeen
Alan Thorpe
Steven Wilson
Albert van Jaarsveld, NRF-South Africa
Patrick Monfray, ANR
Kurt Vandenberghe, European Commission
Gilberto Camara, FAPESP
Maria Uhle, NSF
Satoru Ohtake, MEXT

The Group of Program Coordinators is the body of program representatives involved in each CRA development, proposal review, and award process.  Because different organizations invest in different themes, the composition of the Group of Program Coordinators is different for each CRA.  It is not required to be a Belmont Forum member to provide funding support to a CRA.  Many organizations in the Groups of Program Coordinators are not members and participate according to their institutional interests.

Each Group of Program Coordinators elects a Thematic Programme Office for that CRA.  The Thematic Programme Office must include at least one representative from a Belmont Forum member organization.  The Thematic Programme Office provides oversight through the CRA development and implementation process, including hosting the review process, managing the CRA timeline, and issuing decline letters.

Organizations participating in the Group of Program Coordinators and Thematic Programme Offices for past CRA’s

  1. Coastal Vulnerability

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
German Research Foundation (DFG)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
National Research Foundation (NRF)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)

Thematic Programme Office: NERC, NSF

  1. Freshwater Security

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
German Research Foundation (DFG)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
National Research Foundation (NRF)
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)

Thematic Programme Office: NERC, NSF

  1. Food Security and Land Use Change (joint with JPI-FACCE)

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MOARD)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
National Research Foundation (NRF)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Research Promotion Foundation (RPF)
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Teagasc
Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)
Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)

Thematic Programme Office: FAPESP

  1. Arctic Observing and Science for Sustainability

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies of the National Research Council (CNR-DTA)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
NordForsk
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS)
Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Thematic Programme Office: NSF

  1. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
German Research Foundation (DFG)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Techology (MEXT)
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
National Research Foundation (NRF)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Research Council of Norway (RCN)

Thematic Programme Office: ANR and DFG

  1. Mountains as Sentinels of Change

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW)
Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies of the National Research Council (CNR-DTA)
German Research Foundation (DFG)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Thematic Programme Office: CNR-DTA and NSF

  1. Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages (joint with JPI-Climate)

The French National Research Agency (ANR)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Formas
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Techology (MEXT)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)Qatar National Research Foundation (QNRF)
Research Council of Norway (RCN)

Thematic Programme Office: ANR and MoES

  1. Food-Water-Energy Nexus (joint with SUGI Era-Net)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
InnovateUK
Academy of Finland (AKA)
The French National Research Agency (ANR)
Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
European Commission (EC)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Formas
Federative Research Structure (FRS)
National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS)
Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD)
Innoviris
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT)
Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR)
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
National Science Centre (NCN)
NOW
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Qatar National Research Foundation (QNRF)
Research Council of Lithuania (RCL)
Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Research Promotion Foundation (RPF)
Swedish Energy Agency
Tekes
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)
Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)
State Education Development Agency (VIAA)
VINNOVA

Thematic Programme Office: NSF, with InnovateUK as Era-Net Coordinator

  1. Transformations to Sustainability (joint with NORFACE Era-Net)

Academy of Finland (AKA)
The French National Research Agency (ANR)
Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS)
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
European Commission (EC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)
National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS)
Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
Irish Research Council (IRC)
International Social Science Council (ISSC)
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
NordForsk
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Swedish Research Council (VR)

Thematic Programme Office: NSF and NWO, with NWO as Era-Net Coordinator

How to Become a Member or Partner

New organizations are elected to Belmont Forum membership each year at the Forum’s plenary meeting.  Members are funding organizations that can provide resources to Collaborative Research Actions.

There are three requirements to be considered for membership:

  • participation by the organization in a Collaborative Research Action
  • monetary or in-kind contribution to the Secretariat
  • identification of a principal representative from the organization to correspond on Forum business

Organizations who have met these criteria submit a letter of interest on organizational letterhead to the Secretariat from a lead person with authority over partnerships.  The Secretariat will respond and work with the organization to ensure it is in compliance with the three requirements and communicate membership interest to our existing members.  At the annual plenary meeting, existing members cast their votes to welcome new members to the Forum.

Once membership is approved and all requirements verified, the organization has full voting rights, is invited to all plenary meetings and closed sessions at those meetings, can lead and propose themes for Collaborative Research Actions, and can serve on the Steering Committee or as Co-Chair.

For organizations that are not principally funding institutions, another option is available to join the Forum.  Through a partnership mechanism, these organizations can work closely with the Forum as it develops its funding, training, and data agendas.  Partners do not have voting rights but are invited to all plenary meetings and may participate in closed plenary sessions.

Organizations interested in applying for partnership with the Forum submit a letter of interest on organizational letterhead to the Secretariat from a lead person with authority over partnerships.  In the letter the organization indicates areas of mutual benefit between the Forum and itself.   The letter is reviewed by the Steering Committee to ensure that the organization has interests aligned with the Forum and has identified how the organization can help the Forum attain its goals.  The application is then shared with the full membership for e-voting to decide on partnership with the interested institution.

Note: Partnership as described above is the process of being identified as a partner organization to the Forum.  In Collaborative Research Actions, organizations may partner to support research projects in a particular thematic area.  This is a different relationship in which an organization joins the Group of Program Coordinators for a call and follows the steps outlined in the CRA Handbook.

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