Call for Proposals on Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability

Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action

Event Type: Funding Deadlines

When: 31 July 2014

Where: Online

More information:


Planning for a sustainable environment, in which human needs are met equitably without harm to the environment, and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs requires a robust understanding of the integrated system of society, the natural world, and the alterations humans bring to the environment. Developing this robust understanding of the integrated system is a common interest among Belmont Forum members and is the focus of this Collaborative Research Action Call for proposals. The ultimate goal of the call is to utilize existing Arctic observing systems, datasets and models to evaluate key sustainability challenges and opportunities in the Arctic region, to innovate new sustainability science theory and approaches to these challenges and opportunities, and support decision-making towards a sustainable Arctic environment.

The Belmont Forum is a group of the world’s major and emerging funders of global environmental change research and international science councils. It aims to accelerate delivery of the environmental research needed to remove critical barriers to sustainability by aligning and mobilizing international resources. Belmont Forum funding is intended to add value to existing national investments and support international partnership in interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary scientific endeavors.

Through this Call, the Belmont Forum seeks to bring together integrated teams of natural scientists, social scientists, and stakeholders to develop projects that utilize existing Arctic observing systems, datasets and models to evaluate key sustainability challenges and opportunities in the Arctic region across one or more of four possible themes. This Collaborative Research Action Call seeks to advance research within one or more of the following themes, utilizing and developing both the relevant information streams and the sustainability science necessary to assess, predict, inform, and communicate resilient pathways.

  • The natural and living environment – focusing on in-depth understanding of the nonlinear physical and biological interactions within the Arctic.
  • The built environment and infrastructures – including but not limited to housing and transportation structures, energy, and communications technologies, climate-resilient materials, and sustainable observing designs.
  • Natural resource management and development – comprising drivers and impacts both in natural and human systems, within the Arctic and interaction with the rest of the world, including food and water security.
  • Governance – addressing the interactions between actors and organizations that govern the future of the Arctic, from local and tribal to international scale, and their impacts on the natural environment.

While these four themes are universal, they are given a particular urgency in the Arctic where environmental changes have created new and immediate challenges, dilemmas, trade-offs, and opportunities. These themes are related to risks and opportunities, associated with changes in the environment and ecosystem services, for the various competing actors, with specificities associated to geographical areas (i.e. coastal, mountain, etc.) or to most vulnerable societies.

All calls require eligible participants from three or more countries (please see participation requirements and national annex documents for more details). Clear added value of the international consortium should be demonstrated and, if relevant, the added value for national investments.

All proposals must integrate across the natural sciences and social sciences and should include an interdisciplinary, multinational approach, demonstrate strong relevance for user needs, and examine a variety of coupled interactions and feedbacks among relevant systems.

Proposals should also include end-users, policy-makers or other relevant stakeholders and should include science products, which are directly applicable, available and usable to relevant stakeholders. Engagement of community participants or other stakeholders in the planning, design, and completion of the research is necessary.

Proposers should also describe how information generated in the course of the project will be captured, stored and managed. Plans for longer-term archiving of data should be detailed, as should the communication plans to make the scientific and stakeholder communities aware of available data, products, and relevant findings.

Closing Date for Submission of Proposals: 31st July 2014, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Communication of Final Decisions: expected by 31 January 2015

All call documents and submission portal can be found on the Belmont Forum Grant Operations site (