Announcement: COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH ACTION – Transdisciplinary Research for Pathways to Sustainability

The Belmont Forum is pleased to announce the launch of the joint Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on the theme of Pathways to Sustainability. The call launches on 23 July 2020 with a closing date 31 October 2020 [indicative schedule].

To help provide a science base for achieving sustainability goals, the Belmont Forum and partners are supporting 1-2 years of collaborative research networking that focuses on integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches to develop Earth-system-based transformation pathways for sustainable development. The initiative invites its participants to consider all important interactions among the sustainable development goals, and address cross-cutting issues among at a minimum three or more explicitly identified Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Projects are free to prioritize the interactions to be explored, based on their own local, national, regional, or global context as long as they address the Belmont Challenge providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating, and adapting to global environmental change. Participants are required to use a transdisciplinary approach to engage society at large.  This approach will ensure ownership of science outcomes as well as relevance to both policy-makers and decision-makers.  Additionally, this approach should lead to social acceptance and empowerment.

The CRA will support inclusive collaboration across different sectors and across expertise, including, but not limited to natural and social sciences, humanities, engineering, traditional and local knowledge.  In recognition of limited mobility, we advise projects to utilize or innovate virtual collaborations using good practices for inclusion in recognition of the digital divide.  Awards will foster continued relationships and build novel networks with stakeholders for this CRA. The definition of stakeholder here is exceptionally diverse and is not limited to academics, government agencies, funder and development partners, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), traditional authorities (royalty/chiefs), district assemblies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), religious organizations, think tanks, the media, or parliamentary committees.

The first cycle of funding for this CRA will be directed towards designing cross-cutting networks and competitive activities to build the community, mobilize capacity, bring together existing focused projects, develop networks focused on stakeholder mapping, engagement of new stakeholders, and evaluation of existing efforts. The aim is to build communities to be in a position of developing integrative sustainability pathways responding to society’s needs. In the coming years, future funding opportunities could expand research on sustainability pathways and SDG interlinkages.

Eligibility criteria

The development of research networking consortia supported financially by at least three participating partner agencies established in three different countries is a key criterion. Researchers from countries not represented by any of the partner agencies can participate in the research project at their own expense.

Transdisciplinarity of the research consortia and the active engagement of involved stakeholders in the research and innovation contents is a key criterion and should be clearly demonstrated in the application. Given the complexity and scope of the challenges, research consortia must be truly transdisciplinary, including academic researchers from: a) social sciences/humanities and b) natural sciences/technology and c) stakeholders using a co-design, co-development and co-implementation approach.

This call aims to support activities spanning no more than 2 years.

All call documents and the submission portal are posted on the Belmont Forum Grant Operations website: