Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Amazon +10 initiative: research expeditions to the Amazon

Collaborate with Brazilian partners on research expeditions to increase knowledge of biodiversity and socio-cultural diversity of the Amazon.

You must be eligible for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding.

This funding opportunity is led by Brazilian funders (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development(CNPq) and National Council of State Funding Agencies (CONFAP)). We will fund UK researchers in joint projects.

Full economic cost (FEC) of the UKRI component can be up to £1,000,000. We will fund 80% FEC.

Projects can be up to three years.

Who can apply

You must be based at a UK organisation eligible for UKRI funding. Before applying for funding, check the following:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on UKRI’s new Funding Service.

For full details, visit eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

This funding opportunity is open to research groups and individuals. We encourage multidisciplinary research and collaborations but it is not a requirement of this funding opportunity.

The UKRI component of collaborative UK-Brazil projects are required to have a project lead (previously principal investigator) based in a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding. The project may also include project co-leads (previously co-investigators).

In addition, for this funding opportunity researchers who are not based in the UK or Brazil may participate in the project as international project co-leads, where there is a clear rationale for doing so and should follow AHRC’s international co-lead policy (and see eligible costs section). International researchers who are eligible for funding from other funders participating in this Amazon+10 funding opportunity may not request funding from UKRI under AHRC’s international co-lead policy.

To be considered eligible, an international co-lead needs to have suitable academic experience and be based at a non-UK established research organisation with significant research capacity. This organisation should be of comparable status and standing to a UK organisation which is eligible for UKRI funding, for example, a publicly funded university or a ‘not-for-profit’ research institution with a track record and distinctive research capacity and capability in areas relevant to the proposed research.

Other collaborators that do not meet the criteria to be project co-leads but would be an integral part of the project can be named as project partners. Non-academic partners (for example, business, civil society sector and industries) may participate as project partners only. Project partners fund their own involvement. We will only fund minor incidental expenses, such as some travel costs, if needed for project partners.

Who is not eligible to apply

You may be involved in no more than two UKRI applications submitted to this funding opportunity and only one of these may be as the project lead.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI, NERC’s diversity and inclusion action plan, and AHRC’s diversity and inclusion action plan.

What we're looking for

Scope

This funding opportunity is led by the Brazilian agencies, National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and National Council for the State Funding Agencies (CONFAP) and forms a part of the wider Amazon+10 initiative. The funding opportunity aims to support research and technological development in Legal Amazonia, focusing on a deeper understanding of nature-society interactions for sustainable and inclusive development in the region.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are acting as an international funding agency in this Brazil-led funding opportunity, and we will fund UK researchers to collaborate with Brazilian partners in joint projects. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) welcome joint projects that are within the scope of the main funding opportunity published by CNPq and CONFAP and are within the remit of NERC, AHRC or both.

We welcome multidisciplinary applications that span the remits of NERC and AHRC though it is not a requirement for funding. Details of the topics we cover can be found on the NERC and AHRC websites.

We invite applications that address the following funding opportunity objectives:

  • support the organisation of scientific expeditions aimed at expanding our knowledge about biodiversity or socio-cultural diversity in the Amazon
  • build institutional research partnerships between organisations in the Amazon and outside the region, and connect researchers with different affiliations
  • foster the strengthening of local research infrastructure and training of professionals in taxonomy, systematics, museology and ethnobiology, under the coordination of teams based in the Amazon
  • encourage scientific research in remote and understudied parts of the Amazon
  • encourage scientific research that proposes ways to surmount the challenges of studying less well-known and less studied taxonomic groups
  • encourage co-creation of applications with traditional knowledge holders from local indigenous peoples, quilombolas, and riparian communities
  • promote activities involving education, popularisation and scientific diffusion to different kinds of audience in all sectors of society, and involving specialists, groups and institutions engaged in formal and non-formal education (for example schools, extension units, museums, science centres, zoos, botanic gardens, aquariums, conservation unit visitor centres and non-governmental organisations)

As listed in the funding opportunity, teams must propose data collection, biological and mineral specimens, and objects belonging to past and present Indigenous native and popular culture, always in connection with one or more of the priority themes as follows:

  • understanding habitats and their species
  • study of biodiversity as a source of livelihood and potential for bioeconomy
  • conservation and restoration of natural capital
  • studies of the tangible and intangible heritage of ancestral, indigenous and traditional peoples of the Amazon and their associated knowledge systems
  • documentation and conservation of Amazonian indigenous languages and associated knowledge systems
  • studies on sustainable use of natural resources, institutional arrangements for conservation, and territorial dynamics of indigenous and traditional communities
  • integration of field data with emerging technologies

The UK component of all applications must be compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines. For more information, see the ODA section in the annex of the main funding opportunity.

Duration

The duration of this award is up to three years.

Projects must start by 1 November 2024.

Funding available

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £1 million for the UKRI component of collaborative projects with Brazilian partners. We will fund 80% of the full economic cost for UK organisation costs. We encourage applications of different sizes.

You should include all relevant UK costs in the application, taking particular care to include sufficient costs to support an international project such as travel and subsistence in addition to salary (project leads, project co-leads, researcher co-leads and research and innovation associates), consumables, Estates and Indirect costs.

Costs for international co-leads from other countries (excluding Brazil) can be included in accordance with AHRC’s international co-lead policy where it can be demonstrated that they will add value to the project. International researchers who are eligible for funding from other funders participating in this Amazon+10 funding opportunity may not request funding from UKRI under AHRC’s international co-lead policy. All costs incurred by the international co-lead will need to be listed as ‘Exceptions’ and paid at 100% of direct costs only (no Estates and Indirects costs are permitted). We would not normally expect to see salary costs for international co-leads applied for; however, we would allow it in some circumstances, for example:

  • where a co-lead is paid term-time only and is expected to supplement their income for the rest of the year
  • where a co-lead is required to secure external funding in order to conduct research
  • where the co-lead university agrees to free up teaching time for them, provided they can secure funding for replacement teaching

Refer to section 3 of the AHRC research funding guide for full details.

You can request inclusion costs in line with UKRI’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and to continuing to attract and nurture talented people from the widest pool to remain internationally competitive in research and innovation.

You may apply for funding to cover extra costs for such participation, for example, for people with disabilities who may otherwise not be able to participate, or for additional childcare beyond that required to meet the normal contracted requirements of the job and which are directly related to the project.

See the UKRI grants terms and conditions guidance for details of cost headings.

The British Council are also supporting UK participation in the Amazon+10 initiative including providing funding for UK researchers to participate in this funding opportunity. While a joint Brazil-UK project could apply to both UKRI and British Council to fund the UK components, we would not expect individual UK researchers to request funding from both UKRI and British Council in the same joint project.

Applications for funds to UKRI and British Council must be complementary rather than duplicative. For example, you could request costs for a project lead from UKRI and a co- Lead from British Council but could not request costs for the project lead from both UKRI and British Council. Applications involving both UKRI and British Council must ensure they meet all relevant eligibility criteria.

What we will not fund

  • PhD studentship costs (but funds may be requested for exchanges of students supported from other sources)
  • requests for equipment of £10,000 and over are not part of this funding opportunity. You should request smaller items of equipment (under £10,000 individually) under ‘Consumables (other directly incurred costs)’ in your application
  • NERC aircraft, ship time or use of NERC marine equipment

Services and facilities

You can apply to use a facility or resource in your funding application.

You should discuss your application with the facility or service at least two months before the funding opportunity’s closing date to:

  • discuss the proposed work in detail
  • receive confirmation that they can provide the services required within the timeframe of the funding

The facility will provide a technical assessment that includes the calculated cost of providing the service. NERC services and facilities must be costed within the limits of the funding.

You should not submit the technical assessment with the application, but you must confirm you have received it.

For more information, see the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.

Read the full list of NERC facilities that require a technical assessment.

High Performance Computing (HPC), and the large research facilities at Harwell have their own policies for access and costing.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance

You must ensure that your application is written with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as the main objective to be considered ODA compliant. Your application must also meet the scope of the funding opportunity.

The Official Economic Development committee (OECD) definition of ODA can be seen on the OECD website. The development assistance committee (DAC) list of ODA recipients shows all countries and territories eligible to receive ODA.

In order to be eligible for this funding opportunity, you must make it clear that your primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of Brazil, which is a DAC list country.

You should:

  • seek to investigate a specific problem or seek a specific outcome which will have an impact on Brazil
  • clearly articulate Brazil is the primary beneficiary of their research activities
  • provide evidence as to why this is a problem for Brazil
  • address the issue identified effectively and efficiently
  • demonstrate that the research is of an internationally excellent standard
  • identify appropriate pathways to impact to ensure that Brazil directly benefits from the research

UKRI also expects that any research being conducted in a developing country will be conducted through equitable partnerships and involve thought leadership and expertise from that country.

In the Amazon+10 funding opportunity, it is a requirement to collaborate with researchers in Brazilian Amazon and for the team to include at least one member who has traditional knowledge related to the chosen territory, referred to as PIQCT, the Portuguese-language acronym for Indigenous Peoples, Quilombolas, and Traditional Communities.

Insufficient evidence of how the research meets this requirement may lead to rejection from the scheme. However, we also encourage you to articulate any secondary benefits, whether that is in the UK or another developed country.

Gender equality

ODA funding provided by UKRI must comply with the requirements of the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014, which states, the ’desirability of providing development assistance that is likely to contribute to reducing poverty in a way which is likely to contribute to reducing inequalities between persons of different gender.’

All applications have to address this requirement and detail how meaningful, yet proportionate consideration has been taken as to how the project will contribute to reducing gender inequalities. A statement of how these requirements will be met must be included as part of applications.

It is expected that some projects will have less impact on gender and gender relations and your professional judgement should be exercised to ensure appropriate consideration of the context and intended aims of the project. You can reference other parts of your application within this statement, if relevant.

For more information, see the UKRI guidance on gender equality compliance.

Data management

You must adhere to the UKRI open research policy and NERC data policy.

For details of NERC data centres, see the NERC Environmental Data Service.

We will pay the NERC data centre directly for archival and curation services, but you should ensure that you request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by your research team. Additional services from the data centres, such as database development or a specialist in project data management during your project, must be discussed with the relevant data centre prior to submission and the costs included in your application.

Where other specific types of data are also collected, you must refer to relevant council guidance for archiving such specific data.

Reporting requirements

If you are successful, you will be required to report your research outcomes on ResearchFish in line with the standard UKRI terms and conditions. This is required annually and continues for up to five years after the end of funding.

As part of a UKRI-Brazil collaboration, UKRI grant holders will also be expected to contribute as appropriate, to reporting by the Brazilian investigators to meet reporting requirements of CONFAP and CNPq.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning will be a key component of the programme. Project teams will be required to comply with all reporting requirements on research outcomes and ODA compliance from UKRI or Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), which will be detailed in the terms and conditions of UKRI awards.

Safeguarding and ethical research

Full consideration should be given to the relevant collaborating country’s context and ethical issues in the planning and conduct of research, implementing a ‘do no harm’ duty of care approach. This includes languages, cultures, faiths, public engagement, legal frameworks, political and regulatory systems.

Applications must fully address ethical and safeguarding issues, referring to local guidance and regulations where applicable. Ethical considerations are amplified in spaces of fragility and violence, requiring additional reflection and safeguarding when planning research.

A toolkit (PDF, 335KB) for those involved in planning research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts has been developed via UKRI and UNICEF. You are strongly encouraged to consult this document when planning your research.

UKRI’s preventing harm in research page outlines our key principles for safeguarding and preventing harm in research.

UKRI also has wider guidance on safeguarding, ethics and expectations around due diligence. See research in a global setting for further guidance.

As this funding opportunity is aimed at international development research, we expect researchers to consider and act on this guidance.

Transfer and use of biological and genetic materials

Any collection and exchange of biological and genetic materials between collaborating institutions must be undertaken in strict compliance with the relevant access and benefits sharing legislation in effect in the UK and Brazil. The Nagoya Protocol provides a framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. UK researchers can find further UK national guidance on the UK government website.

Responsible research

Through our funding processes, we seek to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. This is not just through research outputs and outcomes but through the way in which research is conducted and facilities managed.

All NERC grant holders are to adopt responsible research practices as set out in the NERC responsible business statement.

Responsible research is defined as reducing harm or enhancing benefit on the environment and society through effective management of research activities and facilities. Specifically, this covers:

  • the natural environment
  • the local community
  • equality, diversity and inclusion

You should consider the responsible research context of your project, not the host institution as a whole. You should take action to enhance your responsible research approach where practical and reasonable.

How to apply

All joint UK-Brazil collaborative applications should be submitted through to CNPq via the Carlos Chagas Integrated Platform.

The joint application should be submitted by a principal investigator formally affiliated with an institution located in one of the states of Legal Amazonia in Brazil (Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, Roraima, Pará, Maranhão, Amapá, Tocantins, and Mato Grosso) on behalf of all institutions and researchers collaborating on the joint project as described in the section seven of the main funding opportunity.

UKRI are acting as an international funding agency in this Brazil-led funding opportunity, and we will fund the UKRI component of joint UK-Brazil projects. No documents should be submitted to UKRI or NERC at the submission for assessment stage.

Following the completion of the assessment process, UK applicants of successful joint projects will be invited to submit details of the UKRI component to NERC through the UKRI Funding Service.

You should clearly indicate your application is jointly prepared with Brazil by including ‘Brazil-UKRI’ as a prefix in your project title when the application is submitted to the CNPq’s platform.

UK applicants should ensure their institutions are registered with CNPq’s directory of institutions to allow their applications to be processed by CNPq’s platform. You can check if your institutions are already registered on the CNPq website and if your institution is not listed you could register a new institution.

In addition to the jointly prepared research application form and detailed budget for each Brazilian state Research Funding Agency (FAP) and CNPq as requested in the main funding opportunity, as UK applicants you must submit the following mandatory additional information as a single document in your joint application to CNPq. Applications submitted without the following information will be office rejected:

  1. English translation of the completed Research Proposal template (Annex IV in the main funding opportunity)
  2. ODA compliance statement
  3. Gender equality statement
  4. Safeguarding and ethical research
  5. UK budget form and justification

ODA compliance

The ODA compliance statement can be up to one side of A4. This should describe how the proposed project meets the ODA requirements of this funding opportunity. The statement should:

  • seek to investigate a specific problem or seek a specific outcome which will have an impact on Brazil
  • clearly articulate Brazil is the primary beneficiary of their research activities
  • provide evidence as to why this is a problem for Brazil
  • address the issue identified effectively and efficiently
  • demonstrate that the research is of an internationally excellent standard
  • identify appropriate pathways to impact to ensure that Brazil directly benefits from the research

Gender equality statement

The gender equality statement can be up to one side of A4. The statement should describe how the proposed project contributes to reducing inequality between people of different genders. Further, the statement should explain:

  • what measures have been put in place to ensure equal and meaningful opportunities for people of different genders to be involved throughout the project; this includes the development of the project, the participants of the research and the beneficiaries of the research
  • the expected impact of the project (benefits and losses) on people of different genders, both throughout the project and beyond
  • the impact on the relations between people of different genders and people of the same gender; for example, changing roles and responsibilities in households, society, economy, politics, power
  • how any risks and unintended negative consequences on gender equality will be avoided or mitigated against, and monitored
  • whether there are any relevant outcomes and outputs being measured, with data disaggregated by age and gender (where disclosed)

Resources and cost justification

The UKRI budget and justification of resources can be up to two sides of A4 in the application to CNPq’s platform. You should use the UKRI budget form provided in annex two of the main funding opportunity.

A common justification of resources covering all UK research organisations requesting funding from UKRI should cover the following:

  • directly incurred costs
  • estates
  • investigator effort
  • use of pool staff resources
  • any access to shared facilities and equipment

For any joint applications involving both UKRI and British Council, you should only include costs associated with the UKRI component.

Detailed costs or line-by-line breakdowns of all project resources are not required. You should, however, demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work cover the following:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Costings should be justified on the basis of full economic costs (FEC) of the project, not just on the costs expected from UKRI. For some items we do not expect you to justify the monetary value, rather the type of resource, such as amount of time or type of staff requested.

Where you do not provide adequate justification for a resource, we may deduct it from any funding awarded.

UKRI budget form (DOCX, 26KB)

Safeguarding and ethical research

You should provide a written statement addressing the following (up to one page A4).

What are the ethical or responsible research and innovation (RRI) implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why. You need to demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations, and how you will manage them. This should include how your project will manage the following:

  • the safeguarding of participants and researchers
  • risks and sensitivities relating to the context in which research is being undertaken
  • prevention of harm
  • inequalities in power

Deadline

CNPq must receive your application by 29 April 2024 11:59 Brasilia time (3:59pm UK time).

If your application is awarded following the assessment process, you will be informed of the deadline to submit to the Funding Service.

Personal data

CNPq and CONFAP will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with UKRI so that UKRI can participate in the assessment process.

UKRI will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

NERC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on What NERC has funded.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the assessment process described in the main funding opportunity text.

The funders will check the eligibility of applications. For UKRI components this means the ODA compliance, the gender equality statement, safeguarding and ethical research, the organisation and individual eligibility and the amount of funding requested. For CNPq and other Brazilian funder requirements, see the main funding opportunity text.

Any applications found to be ineligible (UKRI or Brazilian components) will be office rejected.

Expert review

The funders will invite independent experts to review your application. There will be no opportunity for you to respond to the reviews.

Panel

Following expert review, the funders will invite a panel of experts to use your application and the evidence provided by reviewers to assess the quality of your application. Your application will then be ranked alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

All funders will jointly make the final funding decision. You will be notified and the UKRI component on successful applications will be invited to submit details to the UKRI Funding Service. This is an administrative step to enable the issue of awards and the research excellence of UKRI component will not be assessed again.

Assessment criteria (see Annex 6 of the main funding opportunity)

Criteria are as follows:

  • alignment with funding opportunity
  • scientific quality
  • quality and balance of project team

Timescale

We aim to complete the assessment process within three months of the funding opportunity closing date.

Feedback

Reviews will be provided as feedback after the panel.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment (DORA) and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Sharing data with co-funders

CNPq will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with UKRI so that UKRI can participate in the assessment process.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question relating to the UKRI component of your application, contact amazon@nerc.ukri.org

For help on costings and writing your application, contact your research office. Allow enough time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions relating to the main Brazil-led funding opportunity, and the Amazon+10 Initiative, email chamadaamazonia10@gmail.com

For questions relating to the FAP’s procedures, email the contacts listed in the main funding opportunity text, within Annex II.

For questions on the process of submitting your applications to the Carlos Chagas Integrated Platform, email atendimento@cnpq.br

Additional info

Information Webinar (optional): 21 February 2024

An information webinar will be held on 21 February 2024, 2:00pm to 3:15pm UK time to share information with potential UK applicants. Attendance is not necessary to apply to the funding opportunity and a recording of the webinar will be available online after the event.

Register for the webinar by 5:00pm UK time on 20 February.

Webinar agenda (PDF, 141KB)

Networking Workshop in Brazil (optional): 21 to 22 March 2024

A workshop in the Brazilian Amazon is being planned by the Brazilian funders to support networking and collaboration between researchers from the Legal Amazon and researchers from outside the region including international researchers. Attendance at the workshop is not necessary to apply to the funding opportunity.

Our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms which deprive a person of their liberty in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain, such as:

  • slavery
  • servitude
  • human trafficking
  • forced and compulsory labour

We are committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Supporting documents

UKRI budget form (DOCX, 26KB)

Updates

  • 22 February 2024
    UKRI budget form added to the 'How to apply' and 'Additional info' sections.
  • 19 February 2024
    Webinar agenda document updated in the 'Additional info' section.

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