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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. Please also refer to the supplementary documentation provided in the Call for Proposals announcement and the APNIS online submissions system for more information.

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

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

A Call for Proposals is launched in November every year, depending on funding availability. Specifically, two Calls are launched:

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

APN may also have special calls for focused activities. Please refer to the Opportunities section for more information.

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 ongoing APN projects.
  • Project collaborators in two or more ongoing APN countries.
  • Independent researchers, consultants, or employees in the private sector.
  • 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?

Member 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: Maldives, Myanmar, Pacific Island Countries and Singapore.

Those countries underlined are considered developed countries.

4. 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
  5. Collaborative research that contributes to the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, UN Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030), as well as the accumulation of scientific knowledge at IPCC, IPBES, etc.

5. 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.

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

Using our online submission system “APNIS“, all proponents interested in obtaining funding under the CRRP or CAPaBLE programmes must submit a Summary Proposal at Stage 1. 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 to Stage 2 will be requested to submit a full proposal on the APNIS system for further consideration for APN funding.

Proponents with the intention of submitting a proposal may create an account and profile on APNIS at any point, before or during an active Call for Proposals. Faxed copies and proposals sent by email are not accepted.

For further instructions, please see the Call for Proposals announcement when live.

7. 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.

8. 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. Therefore, deadline compliance is essential.

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

Please refer to the guidance indicated on this page, and specifically in FAQ 4, 5, and 12. For further assistance, please submit your questions to online.advisory@apn-gcr.org. The APN Secretariat will endeavour to return feedback within six weeks.

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

In its 5th Strategic Phase (2020-2026) and moving forward, APN increasingly emphasizes co-designed projects with researchers and stakeholders that are holistic, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary in nature, that are policy-relevant, and that have actionable outputs in addressing regional issues. As such, high priority topics reflecting sub-regional thematic issues are established by member countries in each of APN’s sub-regions and are used to guide the selection of Proposals for annual funding. Proposal submissions that do not address the priority topics in the corresponding sub-region will not be accepted or selected in the Call for Proposals.

Please refer to the selected sub-regional priority topics for the year’s Call for Proposals on the announcement page.

More broadly, APN strives to address global change and sustainability in a holistic approach that involves the active participation of all member countries across a broad spectrum of challenges in the following areas, of which proposals should fall under:

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

13. What does it mean to “co-design” a project proposal?

Co-designing a project proposal involves the participatory engagement of multiple institutional stakeholders to develop a project eligible for the APN Call for Proposals, in alignment with the project proponents and the proponent’s institution. 

A proposal that shows strong links to global change and scientific agendas, and considers a co-design approach with stakeholders, will be highly encouraged and favoured as meeting the ultimate mission of APN.

14. 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.

15. 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 project proposals from workshop organizers whose objectives are relevant to the goals and objectives of APN, may be submitted provided that:

  1. The project 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;
  2. The target workshop participants are Asia-Pacific-based early career professionals, and are working in an institution based in an APN member/approved country in the Asia-Pacific region.

Please be advised that trainees or event participants from developed countries may receive funding support, depending on the proposed activity and if they are eligible as early career professionals. Experts from developed countries cannot receive APN funds (under the CAPaBLE programme), but can be engaged in an APN activity as a self-funded participant.

Find out which APN member countries are considered as developed or developing here.

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

APN does not allow administrative overhead costs.

17. What are the eligibility requirements for an “Early Career Professional”?

Early career professionals must be 40 years of age or under. The professional should one of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree holder with five years of related work experience;
  • A postgraduate working towards a PhD or a Master’s;
  • A Master’s degree holder with two years of related work experience;
  • A PhD holder; or,
  • A postdoctoral student.

Early career professionals are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal under the Call for Proposals.

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

APN suggests that you do an extensive literature review prior to 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.

19. 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 prior to submitting a proposal to APN. A review of projects on the APN website may provide the proponent with information regarding research duplication.

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

If your proposal is successful after Stages 1 and 2 of the Call for Proposals (FAQ 6), project commencement and funding is expected by the following October from the initial submission. All important dates related to submission, review and awards may also be accessed in the Guide for Proponents for CRRP and CAPaBLE, located in the APNIS supporting documentation for each Call for Proposals.

21. 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.

22. 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 two APN projects, in the capacity of either Project Leader or Collaborator, at the time of proposal submission and per fiscal year.

23. 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 advances 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 evaluation process, and the proponent will have an opportunity to respond to specific questions from reviewers.

24. What are the criteria for proposal selection?

Please refer to the Guide for Proponents for CRRP and CAPaBLE in the APNIS supporting documentation.

25. 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 on the basis of fair appraisal.

26. 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.

27. When is the decision on project funding made?

The decision on project funding will be made at APN’s Steering Committee in the following June-July from the initial submission.

28. 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.

29. 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. For more information, please consult the APN Financial Regulations (Section II) attached in the supplementary documentation in the APNIS Call for Proposals.

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

Consultancy fees and salary payments are not accepted by APN, at APN’s expense. Project leaders and collaborators are expected to have the necessary expertise to conduct project activities, and supplementary expertise should be drawn from APN and the international global change community. Any proposed remuneration for additional technical expertise would have to be agreed with APN in advance of the project commencement.

31. 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.

32. Can members of developed countries submit proposals?

For the scientific capacity development programme 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.

Find out which APN member countries are considered as developed or developing here.

33. If my proposal fails, can I submit it to APN again in the next Call for 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 in the next Call for Proposals, or whether you should refrain from submitting the same proposal to APN for funding.

34. Can collaborators from approved countries/Non-APN member countries receive funding?

Approved countries (Singapore, Maldives, Myanmar and Pacific Island Countries):

  • Developed country collaborators from Singapore cannot receive funding
  • Developing country collaborators from Myanmar, Maldives and Pacific Island Countries can receive funding
  • Project leaders from all approved countries can received funding

Other countries: Collaborators cannot utilise APN funds. Additional sources of APN funding for collaborators outside APN member countries (specifically, from APN approved countries or who reside in non-member countries) should be available as a direct financial contribution and/or in-kind contribution. Please see the list of APN member countries here.

35. Further questions

If your question was not addressed in the above answers, please refer to the supplementary documentation provided in the Call for Proposals announcement and the APNIS online submissions system for more information. If your question is still unanswered, please contact online.advisory@apn-gcr.org. The APN Secretariat will endeavour to return feedback within six weeks.