General Information on APN and its 2016 Calls for Proposals under:
1. Collaborative Regional Research Programme for Global Change Research &
2. CAPaBLE Programme for Capacity Development

Introduction & Rationale

The Asia-Pacific Region is home to more than half the world’s population with development aspirations that challenge the sustainability of natural resources, communities and their cultural heritage. Achieving these aspirations is further complicated by the impacts of natural and anthropogenic changes in the Earth’s bio-geophysical systems.

Recent research and supporting observations have provided new insights into these changes and their impacts but have, at the same time, raised a number of new and challenging issues and questions. The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) seeks to identify and address these issues through scientific research, capacity building, science-policy dialogue and awareness raising.

APN defines Global Change as “the set of natural and human-induced processes in the Earth's physical, biological, and social systems that, when aggregated, are significant at a global scale”. These changes manifest themselves differently at regional and local scales and require place-based solutions.  


The mission of APN is to enable investigations of changes in the Earth’s life support systems and their implications for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region through support for research and science-based response strategies and measures, effective linkages between science and policy, and scientific capacity development. APN, therefore, supports investigations that will:

  • Identify, explain, project and predict changes in the context of natural and anthropogenic forcing;
  • Assess potential regional and global vulnerability of natural and human systems; and
  • Contribute, from the science perspective, to the development of policy options for appropriate responses to global change and sustainable development.

Implementation Strategy

In order to achieve its mission, APN fosters the understanding of global environmental change by conducting regional research through collaboration and capacity building in accordance with the four goals outlined below. Each goal may be achieved primarily through support of competitively selected activities in research, capacity building and science-policy dialogue, in particular, according to the scientific themes identified under its action agenda, which are climate change & climate variability; biodiversity & ecosystems; changes in atmospheric, terrestrial and marine domains; resources utilisation & pathways for sustainable development; and risk reduction and resilience.  Specifically, APN goals, in order of priority, are: 

  • Supporting regional and international cooperation in research on global change and sustainability issues particularly relevant to the region.
  • Enhancing capabilities to participate in research on global change and sustainability and to support science-based decision-making.
  • Strengthening appropriate interactions among scientists and policy makers, and providing scientific input to policy decision-making and scientific knowledge to civil society and the public.
  • Cooperating with other global change and sustainability networks and organisations.

More details on the APN and its specific strategies for 2015-2020 can be found in the APN’s Fourth Strategic Plan (2015-2020).

The 2016 Calls for Proposals

The APN invites proposals under two separate programmes, the Collaborative Regional Research Programme (CRRP) and the CAPaBLE Programme, for funding FROM JULY 2017, and is able to provide a limited amount of financial support for regional collaborative research and capacity development activities that fall within its areas of interest.

APN Action Agenda

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:

  • Climate Change and Climate Variability;
  • Biodiversity and Ecosystems;
  • Changes in the Atmospheric, Terrestrial and Marine Domains;
  • Resources Utilisation and Pathways for Sustainable Development; and
  • 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.

2. 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, organisation, network-based capacity development
  • Societies, governance, system level capacity development

Activities of Interest to APN for Funding from 2017

APN is prepared to support activities in the area of global change and sustainability relevant to APN’s thematic areas outlined above and relating to:

Collaborative Regional Research Programme (CRRP) under the thematic science areas

  • Collaborative research on global change and sustainability that, particularly, addresses GAPS, ANALYSIS, SYNTHESIS and ASSESSMENT work.
  • Collaborative research that develops PATHWAYS and MECHANISMS to achieve sustainable development and develop adaptation strategies.
  • Collaborative PLACE-BASED INTEGRATIVE RESEARCH particularly from developing countries.
  • 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.


CAPaBLE Programme  under the thematic science areas

  • CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITES that promote  the following approaches related to one or more the five  thematic areas of APN:
    • Utilising and strengthening existing capacity
    • Creating opportunities to use/instil capacity
    • Developing new capacity through innovative approaches
  • AWARENESS-RAISING AND DISSEMINATION activities for policy- and decision-making communities, civil society and/or the general public.
  • SCIENCE-POLICY interfacing in the context of the five thematic areas.
  • CAPACITY DEVELOPMENET 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.


APN does not support:
  1. The running costs of institutions;
  2. The salaries of administration staff; the salaries of researchers who receive or are to receive full-time salary support;
  3. The salaries of consultants (project leaders and collaborators should have the expertise to conduct the activities); and
  4. The maintenance of long-term observation and monitoring systems.
  5. General purpose equipment such as personal computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets or fixed office structure (desks, chairs, etc).

Eligibility Information

Applicants from all APN member countries and approved countries

Researchers, academics, practitioners working in institutions based in APN member countries and approved countries are eligible to apply for APN grant. Details of eligibility criteria are outlined in the Guides for proponents (links provided under “Formats of Summary Proposals” below).

To proponents working in their respective home countries of Cambodia or Japan (based at University of Tokyo)

From time to time, one or more of APN’s member countries are able to provide direct financial support to researchers engaged in an APN project. Presently, APN has established a mutual understanding with the Government of Cambodia in supporting Cambodian researchers to submit proposals to APN. In addition, APN has received an expression of interest from Japan, through the University of Tokyo to support researchers wishing to engage in collaborative regional research in the Asia-Pacific region. Should such proposals be successful, opportunities may become available for direct financial support from Government of Cambodia or the University of Tokyo, Japan. With this in mind:

Applicants from Cambodia or Japan (based at the University of Tokyo) may apply to either CRRP or CAPaBLE. Applicants seeking support from the University of Tokyo should focus their activities on sustainability issues.
While all applications received under this invitation would be subject to the same standard review process as all applications, any applications from the two countries that meets the criteria laid out by APN will be shared with the interested government and/or institution of Cambodia and Japan, respectively, to determine whether their proposals are of interest and, therefore, eligible to qualify for direct support under this invitation. 

Should the Calls for Proposals be of interest to you, please proceed to Procedures for Application.


Procedures for Application

A potential proponent can consult with the APN Secretariat via the APN’s online advisory service system (URL: This web-based advisory service, which is available 365 days and updated regularly, contains a comprehensive set of information that you may need to be able to apply to the APN for funding. Should you also choose to submit a query via our online service, the Secretariat will aim to provide a response within six weeks of the submission date.

The submission and review process consists of 3 main stages:

  • Stage 1 – Online submission and review of a Summary Proposal for CRRP or CAPaBLE. Proponents can only submit an application to ONE call (not both).
  • Stage 2 – Submission and 3-step review process of a Full Proposal (this is by invitation only if you pass stage 1)
  • Stage 3 – Final Decision-Making

Stage 1: Submission and Review (compulsory)
A proponent submits a Summary Proposal for CRRP or CAPaBLE through an online submission process (URL: by Wednesday, 3rd August 2016. Applications will undergo a screening process performed by the APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG) and Capacity Development Committee (for a CAPaBLE Proposal) who will select successful proponents that will proceed to the next stage. All proponents are notified of the results of the preliminary screening by mid-September 2016.

Proponents who pass this stage will be invited to submit a Full Proposal for further consideration by the SPG, external reviewers and APN stakeholders, as appropriate.

Stage 2: Submission and Review of Full Proposal (compulsory and by invitation)
This stage is by invitation only. Successful proponents from Stage 1 are invited to submit their Full Proposal to the APN Secretariat by Wednesday, 2nd November 2016.

Three-Step Review process
Review by APN internal reviewers (SPG members) and external reviewers. Proponents above the set cut-off line respond to the questions and comments of the APN internal reviewers, and unsuccessful proponents are informed of the results of the first review (Step 1 Review: November-December 2016). Proponents respond to reviewer questions (Step 2: deadline January 2017) and SPG members submit their ratings based on the final proposal which incorporates all the responses submitted by the proponents at Step 2 (Step 3 Review: February 2017).

Stage 3: Final Decision-Making
The APN’s 22nd Inter-governmental Meeting (IGM) approves which proposals to fund following recommendations from the SPG (April 2017). The Secretariat informs proponents of the final decision by May 2017 and activities can commence usually starting from July 2017.

Formats of Summary Proposals
Guidance on the format of applications for the separate CRRP and CAPaBLE calls are set out in separate guidelines (see links below) providing detailed information of the two independent calls and the criteria used in the review.  Proponents should also read APN’s Fourth Strategic Plan that reflects the APN’s Action Agenda (which includes its research, capacity development and science-policy agendas) in its 4th Strategic Phase from 2015-2020.

2016 CRRP Programme – Guide for Proponents

2016 CAPaBLE Programme – Guide for Proponents


The following deadlines must be observed:

  • Advisory Service – year round (no deadline)
  • Stage 2. Submission of Full Proposal (template for CRRP; for CAPaBLE) by the Successful Stage 1 Proponents (Compulsory and by Invitation Only): Wednesday 2nd November 2016, midnight (24:00) – Japanese Standard Time.

Additional Information

Any additional information needed can be found on the APN’s extensive Online Advisory Service. If you cannot find the information you are looking, you can submit a query through the web-based service. Do not contact the Secretariat directly.  APN aims to provide a response to any queries received through its service within six weeks.