Announcement of Opportunity: Understanding the Impact of Plastic Pollution on Marine Ecosystems in South East Asia (South East Asia Plastics (SEAP))

Update: UK Research and Innovation has recently announced changes to requirements on ‘Pathways to Impact’. As a result of this change, you will no longer be required to provide a ‘Pathways to Impact’ plan or complete an ‘Impact Summary’ within your grant proposal.

These requirements will be removed for all UKRI opportunities by 1 March 2020, so the section and attachment type will disappear from any proposal “under preparation” by applicants or research offices by 1 March. 

Applicants for this call should follow this guidance: A separate Pathways to Impact statement is no longer required, but applicants must still consider how they will or might achieve impact throughout their projects and include this as part of their Case for Support. Activities to realize impact do not have to be cost-incurring, but relevant costs can be included and must be fully justified within the Justification of Resources statement. The Case for Support page limit will not be increased as a result of this change.

Closing date for notification of intent to submit: 16:00 (UK time) on 5 March 2020

Closing date for full proposals: 16:00 (UK time) on 19 May 2020

Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invite proposals for collaborative research projects under the Understanding the Impact of Plastic Pollution on Marine Ecosystems in South East Asia (South East Asia Plastics (SEAP)) programme.

The UK funding for this programme is supported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the International Climate Finance (ICF) programme, a UK government commitment to support developing countries to respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change. ICF forms part of the UK’s Official Development (ODA) commitment, and funding under this call will be awarded in a manner consistent with ODA guidelines.

The aim of the programme is to support collaborations between researchers in the UK, Singapore and the wider South East Asian region to increase understanding of the impacts and risks of plastics in marine ecosystems (including mangroves, coral reefs and beaches) and the essential services these ecosystems provide, in order to support the development of mitigation measures.

Where appropriate, projects funded through this call will be considered part of a joint UK–Singapore contribution to the Commonwealth Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Framework, which aims to provide a platform and overarching structure for bringing together governments, industry, researchers and practitioners from across the Commonwealth to work together to tackle this global issue.

This call aims to support at least four collaborative projects. Applicants may request up to $1.25m SGD from NRF (inclusive of indirect costs) and up to £700k GBP from NERC. UK institutions are eligible for 80% full economic costs (FEC) and organisations from LMICs in South East Asia are eligible for 100% direct project costs. It is expected that projects will start in October 2020 and have a maximum duration of 36 months.

Applications are sought from teams comprising researchers from Singapore, the UK and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in South East Asia. NRF will fund the Singaporean component of the successful grants and UK and South East Asian LMIC researchers will receive funding from NERC.

All projects are required to include both a UK and Singaporean Principal Investigator (PI). The UK PI must be based in a UK research organisation eligible to hold UKRI grants, and the Singaporean PI must be from a publicly funded Institute of Higher Learning, Research Institution or Medical Institution in Singapore. To enable development of a regional understanding of the impacts of plastic pollution across South East Asia, it is also expected that researchers from LMICs in South East Asia will be included in the project teams, and they will receive funding via the lead UK research organisation.

This call has a Notification of Intent to Submit stage and a Full Proposal application stage. A Notification of Intent to Submit should be submitted using the online form no later than 16:00 (UK time) on 5 March 2020. Only one Notification of Intent to Submit needs to be submitted per joint project.

Submission of a Notification of Intent to Submit is a requirement of this call and Full Proposals will only be accepted from those teams who submit a completed Notification of Intent to Submit online form prior to the deadline. The lead UK and Singaporean PIs should not change between submission of a Notification of Intent to Submit and submission of a Full Proposal.

Full proposals must be submitted before 16:00 (UK time) on 19 May 2020. The same joint application should be submitted to both the UK’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system and Singapore’s Integrated Grant Management System (IGMS) before this deadline.

Please see the Announcement of Opportunity (PDF, 217KB) for full details of the call.