Online Advisory Service

FAQ: Core Programmes



2015 Funding Opportunities (for funding after July 2017)


Call for Proposals under the CRRP and CAPaBLE Programme

The information provided below is intended to guide you when formulating a proposal for submission to the APN for funding in 2017. If you cannot find the answer from the 37 questions outlined, please submit your question using the form provided in the APN Online Advisory Service (current page) to the APN Secretariat. We will do our best to answer your question within six weeks.

FAQ1. When is the APN Call(s) for Proposals launched?

In 2016, the launch for calls for Opportunities for Funding will be on the 10 June 2016 for funding from July 2017.  This year, under Core programmes, the APN will launch two Calls for Proposals:

  1. Call for Proposals under Collaborative Regional Research Programme (CRRP)
  2. Call for Proposals for Capacity Development (CAPaBLE) Programme.

FAQ2. Who is eligible to submit proposals to the APN for funding?

Members of non-profit making institutions based in APN member and/or approved countries can submit proposals to the APN. See FAQ3.

FAQ3. Which countries in the Asia-Pacific Region are Member or Approved Countries?

Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States of America and Viet Nam.

Approved Countries are: Maldives, Myanmar, Pacific Island Countries and Singapore.

Those countries underlined are considered developed countries.


  • One-country Summary Proposals are acceptable ONLY from developing countries and ONLY if the activity is capacity building-related.
  • The APN does NOT fund one-country research activities under the present call

FAQ4. How many calls for proposals does the APN launch each year?

The APN generally launches two calls for proposals – the CRRP and CAPaBLE programme. Sometimes, the APN also launches calls for focussed activities. Please refer to the Opportunities section on the APN website for more information.

FAQ5. What Activities can I propose under the Call for Proposals for CRRP?

If the core activity of your proposal is related to the list below, you can submit a proposal under CRRP:

  1. Collaborative research on global change and sustainability that, particularly, addresses GAPS, ANALYSIS, SYNTHESIS and ASSESSMENT
  2. Collaborative research that develops PATHWAYS and MECHANISMS to achieve sustainable development and develop adaptation strategies.
  3. Collaborative PLACE-BASED INTEGRATIVE RESEARCH particularly from developing countries.
  4. Collaborative research that CONTRIBUTES TO THE EVOLVING SCIENCE-POLICY ARENA, including IPCC, IPBES, post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as ongoing and new global change and sustainability research programmes.

FAQ6. What activities can I propose under the Call for Proposals for CAPaBLE programme?

If the core activity of your proposal is related to the list below, you can submit a proposal under the CAPaBLE programme.

  1. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITES that promote the following approaches related to one or more the five  thematic areas of APN:
    – Utilizing and strengthening existing capacity
    – Creating opportunities to use/instil capacity
    – Developing new capacity through innovative approaches
  1. AWARENESS-RAISING AND DISSEMINATION activities for policy- and decision-making communities, civil society and/or the general public.
  2. SCIENCE-POLICY interfacing in the context of the five thematic areas.
  3. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP ACTIVITIES that contribute to the capacity development components of the evolving global change arena, including IPCC, IPBES, post-2015 Sustainable Development goals, and ongoing and new global change and sustainability research programmes.

FAQ7. What is the procedure for submitting a proposal to APN?

All proponents interested in submitting a proposal under the CRRP or CAPaBLE Programme must submit a Stage 1 Summary Proposal through online submission (URL: The Summary Proposal will be reviewed by the Scientific Planning Group and Capacity Development Committee to shortlist proposals that will proceed to Stage 2. All proponents will be notified of the results of the review and successful proponents will be requested to submit a full proposal for further consideration for APN funding.

FAQ8. When is the deadline for submitting a proposal to the APN?

The deadline for submitting a proposal is as follows:

  1. Stage 1 Summary Proposal: Wednesday, 3 August 2016 (mandatory)
  2. Stage 2 Full Proposal: Wednesday, 2 November 2016 (This is by invitation only and successful proponents proceeding to Stage 2 will be asked to submit full proposal)

The deadlines presented above must be strictly adhered to. Summary proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

FAQ9. If I miss the deadline will the APN still accept my proposal?

No. The APN has a rigorous review process, which is performed over a tight timeline, and deadline compliance is essential.

FAQ9. What is the Online Advisory Service?

The Advisory Service is an assistance service offered by the APN for proponents who would like to seek further information regarding the Calls for Proposals. The APN Secretariat will provide feedback to the proponent as appropriate. Proponents can check the extensive information available online and, if they still have a question, submit their query through our online advisory service form.

FAQ11. Is the Advisory Service compulsory?

No. The Advisory Service is VOLUNTARY.

FAQ12. Where and to whom do I submit the proposal?

Summary Proposals must be submitted to the APN Secretariat electronically via online submission (URL: Faxed copies and proposals sent by e-mail are not accepted. Successful proponents who will be invited to submit a Full Proposal will be notified in due course.

FAQ13. I am not sure whether to submit a proposal under CRRP or CAPaBLE, how can the APN assist me?

Use the online advisory service ( and, if you still have a query, submit an online form via the service.  The APN will attempt to provide feedback within six weeks of submission.

FAQ14. How much funding is available for individual projects?

The APN awards a yearly-average US$ 45,000 for CRRP/regional research project and US$40,000 for CAPaBLE/scientific capacity development projects

FAQ15. What is the duration of projects?

Durations are typically 1 to 2 years for regional research projects and 1 year for CAPaBLE/scientific capacity development projects. The maximum number of years the APN allows for one project is 3 years (although few 3-year projects are funded due to financial limitations).

FAQ16. Does the APN have any priority areas for funding this year?

Under the 2015-2020 Strategic Phase, APN has set its action agenda as follow:

  1. Research Agenda

APN fosters the understanding of global environmental change by conducting regional research through collaboration and capacity development. APN’s activities promote research that improves understanding of the physical, biological and human dimensions of change in the Earth system and advances science that informs decision-making regarding adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development in the following specific areas:

  1. Climate Change and Climate Variability;
  2. Biodiversity and Ecosystems;
  3. Changes in the Atmospheric, Terrestrial and Marine Domains;
  4. Resources Utilisation and Pathways for Sustainable Development; and
  5. Risk Reduction and Resilience.

The above themes are interrelated and involve the interface of natural, social, behavioural, economic and political sciences. In the 4th Strategic Phase (2015-2020), APN will increasingly emphasise this interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach in addressing regional issues.  APN will also continue to support research on thematic issues, such as climate adaptation, low carbon approaches, and biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  1. Capacity Development Agenda

In addition to supporting capacity development under its research agenda, APN also has a focus Capacity Development Agenda (CAPaBLE). The aim of the CAPaBLE programme is to enhance the capacities of scientists, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders in Asia and Pacific region to identify and assess global change issues at local, national and regional levels and further identify appropriate solutions to resolve the issues and achieve sustainability.  APN supports capacity development activities that enhance existing capacities of developing countries at three levels;

  • Individual-based capacity development
  • Group, organization, network-based capacity development
  • Societies, governance, system level capacity development

At the APN’s 21st Intergovernmental Meeting (held in April 2016), topics of interest for the Action Agenda under the 2016 Calls  for Proposals that are relevant to Global Change and Sustainability in a regional context include the following holistic topics that encompass multidisciplinary approaches (these are not in any particular order of priority):

  • Community resilience to climate impacts in vulnerable areas
  • Energy and ecosystems in a changing climate; Low carbon societies
  • Increased occurrence of extreme weather and its impacts
  • Health and climate change
  • Water availability, agricultural productivity and nutrient management
  • Global change data policy and access (open access to data on GC)
  • Climate change and biodiversity
  • Disaster risk reduction and resilience to climate change
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Food security; Salinity intrusion; Water security (ground water)
  • Security and Climate Change (Water, Energy and Food)
  • Urban air quality
  • Interdisciplinary research, particularly on linkages to the sustainable development goals

The APN makes decisions on priority global change-related topics based on information it receives from its own member countries, its Scientific Planning Group (SPG) and other information available. At the 20th Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM)/Scientific Planning Group (SPG) Meeting held in March 2015, the APN’s Fourth Strategic Plan was officially endorsed and the following topics, which are not in any order of priority and are not exhaustive, were identified as the range of topics under its Science Agenda that APN supports to help achieve its objectives. Furthermore, while themes or topics have been discussed extensively by the SPG, some of the topics listed are not necessarily new or emerging. The additional information provided below is, essentially, to facilitate in‐country discussions and to assist those interested in working with the APN. Please refer to the APN website and the APN’s Fourth Strategic Plan for accurate and extensive information of projects that APN is currently funding or has funded in the past.

  1. Climate Change and Climate Variability
  • Regional scenarios for climate change including climate extremes
  • Implications of global change for predictability and stability of the Asian Monsoon, and societal consequences
  • Synergies between adapting to current natural climate variability and that of future human-induced climate change
  • Adaptation measures in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Aerosols, clouds, climate and human health
  • Mitigation options and their implications for sustainable development
  • Climate change and climate variability in cryosphere and water and food security
  • Integrated assessment techniques
  • Interactions between global change and regional change
  • Climate change and water, food and health management
  • Climate change and food systems
  • Regional climate model downscaling for adaptation, risk, resilience that could be transferred to the local level (including remote communities, districts, cities, etc.)
  • Risk reduction and resilience in the context of climate change
  1. Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • Changes in the carbon cycle and the water cycle
  • Global change and mountain systems
  • Coastal marine ecosystems
  • Freshwater ecosystems, lakes and rivers
  • Agriculture ecosystems, forests, rangelands, watersheds
  • Water quality and quantity, water reuse
  • Applied agricultural technology
  • Natural resources and environmental management
  • Fish-stock/live-stock assessments, natural and cultured
  • Interactions between global change and regional change
  • Invasive species
  • Integrated assessment techniques
  • Climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Global change and water, food and health management
  • Holistic assessment involving several issues in the same ecosystem
  1. Changes in the Atmospheric, Marine and Terrestrial Domains

Atmospheric Change:

  • Air quality changes at various spatial and temporal scales and their impacts
  • Source and sink fluxes of greenhouse gases
  • Impacts of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and air pollutants on agricultural and natural ecosystems in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Downscaled climate change scenarios
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Impacts of pollution on climate systems
  • Air resource management

Changes in the Oceans and Coastal Systems:

  • Aspects of physical and biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems in oxygen minimum zones (OMZ)
  • Ocean acidification
  • Decline and degradation of marine biodiversity, e.g., mangroves and coral reef ecosystems
  • Impacts of developmental activities on the ecology and socio-economic systems of the Asia-Pacific region
  • Understanding regional ocean climate variability and implications for fisheries and aquaculture
  • Impacts of increasing sea surface temperature fluctuations

Terrestrial changes

  • Structure and composition of the marine food web and its response to physical forcing and chemical regimes in coastal up-welling systems
  • Research and information networks for land system change
  • Assessment and enhancement of land use sustainability
  • Nature, extent, causes and impacts of land use and land cover change
  • Urban land use change
  • Global change implications of urban sprawl/urban development
  1. Resources Utilisation and Pathways for Sustainable Development
  • Environmental implications of regional policy aimed at energy security and carbon limited society
  • Renewable energy systems and sources
  • Sustainable energy as it relates to greenhouse gases
  • Economic impacts of global change on the Asia-Pacific region through the food trade chain
  • Transfer of environmental burden (external cost) associated with enhancing regional material/products flow
  • Environmental implications of trans-boundary trade of resources and waste
  • Regional strategies and initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle materials
  • Regional water resource issues related to international river flows
  • Biofuels and bioenergy technology to offset fossil fuel consumption
  • Global environment change and land use planning
  • Global change impacts and sustainable development
  • Technology or equipment that are environmentally friendly (recyclables, biodegradable materials, life cycle analysis of materials, etc.)
  • Globalisation (lifestyle, consumption patterns, transport systems, etc.) and global change
  • Global change impacts of multilateral financial institutions
  • Governance and institutional dimensions of global change
  • Sustainable management of urban areas, coastal zones, etc.
  • Technology development and knowledge transfer in waste management systems
  • Sustainable consumption and production, and public green procurement
  • Satellite/environmental accounting
  1. Risk Reduction and Resilience
  • Health
  • Extreme weather events, mountain and coastal hazards
  • Food and water security
  • Information to address climate-related disaster risks
  • Vulnerability assessment for ecosystems, communities, businesses and natural resources
  • Climate change and hydrology and water resources at regional/provincial levels
  • Risks assessment of coastal ecosystems
  • Integrated modelling that reduces vulnerability and improves resilience by looking at a combination of: climate vulnerability, impacts and adaptation; economics; social and human dimensions
  • Regional downscaling for adaptation, risk, resilience that could be transferred to the local level (including remote communities, districts, cities, etc.)
  • Inter-trans disciplinary research and assessment of: Impacts of extreme weather events and slow onset events at regional, sub-regional and local levels (what are the gaps; what is the status quo?)
  • Reducing loss by revisiting current aspects of Disaster Risk Management strategies across local, national and regional (including transboundary) scales.
  • Non-economic/non-insurable losses due to climate–extreme and slow-onset events (cultural, health, psychological, social, etc.)
  • Integrating the risks identified through climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into regional planning: What is the present scientific understanding on adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and loss & damage?

APN recognises the importance of linkages between science and policy, i.e., two way commu­nications between the communities that use scientific information (policy makers and decision makers in society) and scientific communities. These are:

  • Research of best practices in science-policy interface options potentially appropriate for APN (e.g., IPCC, science briefings, publications)
  • Development of additional science-policy interface approaches potentially appropriate for APN
  • Publication of guidelines for APN scientists based on APN’s knowledge/experience
  • Training and capacity development for science-policy interfacing
  • Science-policy interfacing relating to global change
  • Transforming scientific knowledge to policy (e.g., communicating science, translating scientific knowledge into decision making processes, knowledge brokers, stakeholder involvement)

FAQ17. Can I submit a proposal to cover my PhD studentship, Masters studentship, etc?

No. Currently the APN does not have a mechanism to fund PhD studentships or any other undergraduate or postgraduate scholarships.

FAQ18. Can I submit a proposal for travel support to a workshop?

Currently the APN does not have a mechanism to support applications for travel support of individuals. However, travel support proposals from workshop organisers whose objectives are relevant to the goals and objectives of the APN, may be submitted provided the target  participants are Asia-Pacific based developing-country scientists (Note: These scientists MUST be working in an institution in the Asia-Pacific region). The proponent must be working in an institution in the Asia-Pacific region and/or hold a key position in an International APN-recognised Global Change Research Programme.

FAQ19. Can I charge overhead costs in my proposal budget?

APN does not allow administrative overhead costs. Please refer to the for more information.

FAQ20. How can I find suitable collaborators for my project?

APN suggests that you do an extensive literature review BEFORE submitting a proposal. A review of projects on the APN website (APN E-Lib Metadata Site) may provide the proponent with information on suitable collaborators from the region.

Please also note the collaborators’ eligibility criteria:

  • A collaborator cannot be involved in more than 2 ongoing APN projects in each fiscal year
  • Collaborators should be working in an institution that is based in an APN member or approved country.
  • Collaborators from non-APN member or approved countries may be involved as resource person(s)/expert(s), but strictly cannot seek funds from APN for his/her participation in the project, even though the activity is conducted in any APN member or approved country.
  • Collaborators must be affiliated to an institution; i.e., independent researchers are not eligible to participate in an APN-funded activity.

FAQ21. How can I ensure that I am not duplicating research efforts?

APN suggests that all proponents perform an extensive literature review BEFORE submitting a proposal to APN. A review of projects on the APN website (APN E-Lib Metadata Site) may provide the proponent with information.

FAQ22. If my proposal is successful, when can I receive funding?

If your summary proposal is successful, you will be invited to submit a full proposal by mid-September. Deadline for receiving full proposals is 2nd November 2016, midnight JST. Extensive information on the full proposal stage is available in the APN Online Advisory Service. Successful proponents will be notified in May 2017. As such, the APN suggests that proponent start their project activities no earlier than July 2017 as procedures for drawing contracts and remitting funds can be time-consuming. Proponents should also note that grants are remitted subject to funds becoming available from the APN’s stakeholders. Full proposal templates and other guidelines are available on the APN Online Advisory Service.

FAQ23. Can I submit more than one proposal?

A proponent can only submit one proposal at any one time. An institution can submit more than one proposal provided that the proponents do not reside in the same department.

FAQ24. Can I submit a proposal if I am currently a project leader of an APN-funded project?

Project Leaders who are under a current Contract drawn with the APN CANNOT submit a proposal, as proponent, to the APN. Current Project Leaders should refer to the Contract Documentation (which provides all regulations and supplementary information) attached to their Contract. Nevertheless, the same Project Leaders may be among the collaborators of a new proposal for funding consideration by the APN. However, they are not eligible to be collaborators of a new proposal if they are involved in more than one APN project at the time of proposal submission.

FAQ25: How will my proposal be evaluated?

Your proposal will be reviewed by the APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG), Capacity Development Committee and external reviewers from the international global change community. There are 2 main stages of review: the Review of Stage 1 Summary Proposals and the Review of Stage 2 Full Proposals. If the proponent proceeds to Stage 2, he/she will be invited to submit a full proposal and this will be reviewed by the same reviewers indicated above. Stage 2 involves a three-step process, and the proponent will have an opportunity to respond to specific questions from reviewers.

FAQ26: I can’t find the Full Proposal Template.

Examples of Full Proposal templates are available in the Online Advisory Service and will also be forwarded to successful proponents who pass the summary proposal stage. As the full proposal stage is by invitation only, notification to submit full proposals are only sent by e-mail to successful proponents. As a first step, please submit the Summary Proposal through the online submission (URL:

FAQ27. What are the criteria for proposal selection?

An extensive list of criteria is available in the Guide for Proponents for CRRP and Guide for Proponents for CAPaBLE and is available for download on the APN website. You may also check the Online Advisory Service for more information.

FAQ28. Who reviews my proposal?

Members from the APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG), the Capacity Development Committee and external reviewers drawn from the global change community provide expert reviews on proposals. The APN, however, maintains the confidentiality of the reviewers of each proposal for the sake of fair appraisal.

FAQ29. Will I be given an opportunity to provide feedback to experts who review my proposal?

Yes, if your proposal succeeds to Stage 2 of the proposals process (i.e. if you are invited to submit a Full Proposal). Note that this stage is COMPULSORY and all proponents MUST respond to reviewer feedback, otherwise their proposal will not be considered further.

FAQ30. When is the decision on project funding made?

The decision on project funding will be made at the APN’s 22nd Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM) in April 2017.

FAQ31. Who makes the final decision on project funding?

Following the advice and recommendations from APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG) and/or Capacity Development Committee; the governing body of the APN, the Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM), makes the final decision on project funding.

FAQ32. Is APN able to provide salary support for project implementation?

APN may be able to provide some salary support for time spent on a project, assuming that a full-time salary is not already being paid. More precise details can be found in APN Financial Regulations available in the Online Advisory Service.

FAQ33. Does the APN allow for consultants and/or consultant firms to be engaged in the project, at APN’s expense?

APN will not pay salaries of consultants. As APN usually relies on expertise drawn from the APN global change community, any consultant fee or honorarium would have to be agreed with the APN in advance. Project leaders and collaborators should have the expertise to conduct project activities.

FAQ34. Is it necessary that proposals submitted for APN funding has co-funding from other sources?

Co-funding is strongly desired and will strengthen your proposal; however, it is not compulsory.

FAQ35. Can members of developed countries submit proposals or only in conjunction with developing countries?

For scientific capacity development under the CAPaBLE programme, a developed country proponent must demonstrate that the capacity development activities outlined in the proposal are for one or more developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The funds cannot be used for capacity building of developed countries.

FAQ36. If my proposal fails, can I submit it to the APN again in the next round of proposals?

If your proposal fails, you will receive timely feedback from the APN Secretariat. This feedback will also have a recommendation from the APN as regards areas requiring improvement in your proposal before resubmission, or whether you should refrain from submitting the same proposal to the APN for funding.

FAQ37. Can non-APN countries participate in the proposed project and receive funding from it?

Yes, non-APN member/approved countries are eligible to participate/collaborate in a proposed project. However, with regards to funding, APN funds are generally reserved for APN member/approved country collaborators and additional sources of funding for collaborators outside the APN countries is strongly recommended to improve rate of success.



Timetable Timetable for the 2016 Calls for Proposals
Regulations and Policies APN Fourth Strategic Plan
Financial Regulations (2016)
Data Sharing and Data Management Policy
Proposal Templates Summary Proposal: See online submission
Full Proposal Template will be made available in due course to successful proponents of Stage 1

Guidelines and documents related to the 2015 Calls are also available on the calls page at

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