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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Frequently asked questions

The information provided is for formulating a proposal to APN for funding in 2021. If you cannot find the answer from the questions outlined, please contact the APN Secretariat at online.advisory@apn-gcr.org. We will do our best to answer your question within six weeks.

  1. When is the APN Call(s) for Proposals launched?
  2. Who is eligible to submit proposals to APN for funding?
  3. Which countries in the Asia-Pacific Region are member or approved Countries?
  4. How calls for proposals does APN launch each year?
  5. What activities can I propose under CRRP?
  6. What activities can I propose under the CAPaBLE programme?
  7. What is the procedure for submitting a proposal to APN?
  8. When is the deadline for submitting a proposal to APN?
  9. If I miss the deadline will APN still accept my proposal?
  10. What is the online advisory service?
  11. How do I submit the proposal?
  12. I am not sure whether to submit a proposal under CRRP or CAPaBLE, how can APN assist me?
  13. How much funding is available for individual projects?
  14. What is the duration of projects?
  15. Does APN have any priority areas for funding this year?
  16. Can I submit a proposal to cover my PhD studentship?
  17. Can I submit a proposal for travel support to a workshop?
  18. Can I charge overhead costs in my proposal budget?
  19. How can I find suitable collaborators for my project?
  20. How can I ensure that I am not duplicating research efforts?
  21. If my proposal is successful, when can I receive funding?
  22. Can I submit more than one proposal?
  23. Can I submit a proposal if I am currently a project leader of an APN-funded project?
  24. How will my proposal be evaluated?
  25. What are the criteria for proposal selection?
  26. Who reviews my proposal?
  27. Will I have an opportunity to provide feedback to experts who review my proposal?
  28. When is the decision on project funding made?
  29. Who makes the final decision on project funding?
  30. Is APN able to provide salary support for project implementation?
  31. Does APN allow for consultants or consultant firms to be engaged in the project at APN’s expense?
  32. Must proposals have co-funding from other sources?
  33. Can members of developed countries submit proposals or only in conjunction with developing countries?
  34. If my proposal fails can I submit it to APN again in the next round of proposals?
  35. Can non-APN member countries participate in the proposed project and receive funding from it?

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

A call under Opportunities is launched in November every year, depending on funding availability. Specifically, two calls for proposals are launched:

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

2. Who is eligible to submit proposals to APN for funding?

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

Specifically, proposals may only be submitted by proponents that fall under the following categories:

  • Researchers or academics from universities, colleges or other academic institutions based in APN member/approved countries.
  • Researchers, practitioners from non-profit, government institutions, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations associated with research, education, policy analysis related to global change or sustainable development activities, based in APN member/approved countries.
  • Project leaders who have successfully completed or are due to complete a project before the summary proposal deadline are eligible to apply for funding with the caveat that their project reporting is completed in full by the deadline for full proposal stage, and on the quality and impact of their previous APN-project outcomes.

Proposals cannot be accepted from:

  • Project leaders of APN ongoing projects. Independent researchers.
  • A proponent who is a former project leader that has received cumulative APN funding greater than or equal to USD135,000 within the last five years.

One-country Summary Proposals are accepted only from developing countries and only if the activity is for CAPaBLE.

APN does not fund one-country research activities under CRRP.

3. 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.

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

APN generally launches two calls for proposals for CRRP and CAPaBLE. Sometimes, APN will have special calls for focused activities. Refer to the Opportunities section on the APN website for more information.

5. What activities can I propose under the Call for Proposals for CRRP?

If the core activity of your proposal relates to any of the below, a proposal is permissible 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 progress towards global change and sustainable development and develop adaptation strategies.
  3. Collaborative place-based integrative research particularly from developing countries.
  4. Collaborative research that is co-designed with stakeholders (non-academic) and has actionable outcomes

Collaborative research that contributes to the evolving science-policy arena, including the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, IPCC, IPBES, post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Decade of Ocean Science as well as ongoing and new global change and sustainability research programmes.

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

If the core activity of your proposal relates to any of the below, a proposal is permissible under the CAPaBLE programme.

  1. Capacity development activities that promote the following approaches related to one or more of the five thematic areas of APN:
    • Utilizing and strengthening existing capacity
    • Creating opportunities to use/instil capacity
    • Developing new capacity through innovative approaches
  2. Awareness-raising and dissemination activities for policy- and decision-making communities, civil society and/or the general public.
  3. Science-policy interfacing in the context of the five thematic areas and priority topics.
  4. Capacity development partnership activities that contribute to the capacity development components of the evolving global change arena, including including the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, IPCC, IPBES, post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Decade of Ocean Science as well as ongoing and new global change and sustainability research programmes.
  5. Activities geared towards using science communication as a way to disseminate knowledge generated from projects, particularly to non-science audiences.

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

All proponents interested in submitting a proposal under CRRP or CAPaBLE must submit a Summary Proposal at Stage 1 through online submission (URL: https://www.apn-gcr.org/apnis). The Summary Proposal will be reviewed by APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG) and Capacity Development Committee (CDC) 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.

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

The deadline for submitting a proposal is around three to four weeks after the Call for Proposals is launched. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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

10. What is the online advisory service?

The online advisory service is an assistance service offered by APN for proponents who would like to seek further information regarding Calls for Proposals. The APN Secretariat will provide feedback to the proponent as appropriate. Proponents can check the extensive information available online and submit additional queries  to online.advisory@apn-gcr.org.

11. How do I submit the proposal?

Summary Proposals must be submitted to the APN Secretariat via online submission (URL: https://www.apn-gcr.org/apnis) at Stage 1 of the call. Faxed copies and proposals sent by e-mail are not accepted. The Secretariat will notify successful proponents to submit a full proposal at Stage 2.

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

Refer to the Q&As on this page and, if you still have a query, submit it to online.advisory@apn-gcr.org. APN will attempt to provide feedback within six weeks of submission.

13. How much funding is available for individual projects?

APN awards a yearly-average USD 45,000 for CRRP/regional research projects and USD 40,000 for CAPaBLE/scientific capacity development projects.

14. What is the duration of projects?

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

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

In its 5th Strategic Phase (2020-2024) and moving forward, APN increasingly emphasizes codesigned projects with researchers and stakeholders  that are holistic, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary in nature, and that are policy-relevant and have actionable outputs in addressing regional issues. APN will also continue to support regional research that is specific to sub-regional priority thematic issues and that are policy-relevant.

APN promotes activities 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
  2. Biodiversity and ecosystems
  3. Air, land, coasts and oceans
  4. Food, water and energy
  5. Risk and resilience
  6. Human dimensions

At the time of writing, APN established high priority themes based on inputs from member countries in each of the APN’s subregions. Following the decision, APN invites trans- and multidisciplinary research and capacity development proposals focusing on the following themes for South Asia, Southeast Asia, Temperate East Asia and the Pacific as indicated below:

South Asia

  • Climate downscaling in relation to IPCC AR6 Working Group I Assessment
  • Food security in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Nitrogen management for nutrient and food security
  • Future GHG emission scenarios
  • Monsoon and the impacts of extreme events

Southeast Asia

  • COVID-19 pandemic in the perspective of its impacts on the environment
  • Nature-based solutions for food security
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • Water security and water resources
  • Transboundary issues (air pollution, waste management, electronic waste, microplastics)
  • Bio-Circular-Green Economy

Temperate East Asia

  • Carbon neutral societies, zero carbon cities
  • Climate change and economic analysis
  • Climate-related disaster risk reduction
  • Climate adaptation in the context of nature-based solutions
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Transboundary issues (especially marine plastics)

Pacific

  • Climate downscaling in relation to IPCC AR6 Working Group I Assessment in the Pacific
  • Global knowledge and indigenous knowledge in the context of displacement, relocation, food security and water security
  • Global knowledge and indigenous knowledge in the context of adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • Microplastics and marine plastic debris

16. Can I submit a proposal to cover my PhD studentship?

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

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

Currently, APN does not have a mechanism to support applications for travel support of individuals. However, travel support proposals from workshop organizers whose objectives are relevant to the goals and objectives of 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-recognized Global Change Research Programme.

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

APN does not allow administrative overhead costs.

19. 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 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.

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

APN suggests that all proponents perform an extensive literature review using the APN Publications library BEFORE submitting a proposal to APN. A review of projects on the APN website may provide the proponent with information.

21. 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 early March of the following. Extensive information on the full proposal stage will be available on APNIS (URLs: https://www.apn-gcr.org/apnis/public/calls/23 for CRRP and https://www.apn-gcr.org/apnis/public/calls/24 for CAPaBLE). All important dates related to submission, review and awards are indicated in the guidelines.

22. 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.

23. 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 with APN cannot submit a proposal, as proponent, to APN. Current Project Leaders should refer to the Contract Documentation (which provides all regulations and supplementary information) attached to their Contract. Nevertheless, Project Leaders may be among the collaborators of a new proposal for funding consideration by 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.

24. How will my proposal be evaluated?

Your proposal will be reviewed by APN’s Scientific Planning Group (SPG), Capacity Development Committee (CDC) 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 succeeds to Stage 2, they will be invited to submit a Full Proposal and this will be reviewed by the same reviewers indicated above. Stage 2 involves a two-step process, and the proponent will have an opportunity to respond to specific questions from reviewers.

25. What are the criteria for proposal selection?

The criteria are available in the Guide for Proponents for CRRP and Guide for Proponents for CAPaBLE.

26. Who reviews my proposal?

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

27. Will I be given an opportunity to provide responses to feedback received from experts who review my proposal?

Yes, you will have an opportunity to receive and respond to feedback at both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Responses to reviewers’ feedback at both stages is compulsory and all proponents must respond to reviewers’ comments and questions, otherwise their proposal will not be considered further.

28. When is the decision on project funding made?

The decision on project funding will be made at APN’s Steering Committee in June/July the following year.

29. 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 (CDC); the governing body of APN, the Steering Committee (SC), makes the final decision on project funding.

30. 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.

31. Does 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 expects  expertise to be drawn from APN and the international global change community, any payment  would have to be agreed with APN in advance. Consultancy fees are NOT accepted and  leaders and collaborators should have the expertise to conduct project activities.

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

Co-funding is strongly desired and will strengthen your proposal; however, it is not compulsory. In-kind contributions are expected.

33. Can members of developed countries submit proposals?

For scientific capacity development under CAPaBLE, 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. Members of developed countries can submit a proposal under the research programme CRRP, but a minimum of two developing country institutions must collaborate in the proposal.

34. If my proposal fails, can I submit it to 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 APN as regards areas requiring improvement in your proposal before resubmission, or whether you should refrain from submitting the same proposal to APN for funding.

35. Can non-APN countries participate in the proposed project and receive funding?

Yes, non-APN member countries can participate/collaborate in a proposed project. However, with regards to funding, APN funds are reserved for APN member/approved country collaborators. 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. Additional sources of funding for collaborators outside APN countries should be available as a direct financial contribution and/or in-kind contribution.