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Launch fourth call Global Challenges Programme

GCP call 4 - Climate Smart Agriculture
January 20, 2017 By: F&BKP Office Image: CCAFS (by: M. Tall)

NWO-WOTRO has launched the fourth call for proposals for the Food & Business Global Challenges Programme (GCP) on Scaling Climate Smart Agriculture. GCP aims to generate research-based advanced understanding of 1) emerging key issues in food security and their impact on regional and local food security and 2) the role of private sector development. This fourth GCP call specifically focuses on contributing to business models, incentives and innovative finance for scaling Climate Smart Agriculture. The call is developed in close collaboration with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) and the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Transdisciplinary proposals can be submitted by teams of researchers and other (public/private) partners from both the Netherlands and from at least one Low- and Middle-Income Country (LMIC).


The Food & Business GCP aims to encourage scientific research and innovation projects (covering technological, organizational, policy, and social innovations) on food security and related private sector development that contribute to long-term access to affordable, safe and nutritious food for vulnerable and resource-poor populations in LMICs.

The focus of this call has been identified by the Steering Committee of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform in consultation with experts, including those from CCAFS. To facilitate outcomes, proposed activities should be complementary to and reinforce existing (field) research initiatives of CCAFS. The aim of this call is to contribute to business models, incentives and innovative finance for scaling Climate Smart Agriculture.

Who can apply

Proposals should be submitted by consortia of research organisations, a public and/or private organisation from an LMIC and CCAFS.

The consortium coordinator (who is the main applicant) should be a senior researcher with a PhD degree employed by a Dutch research institute (partner 1). Other consortium members should be at least one senior researcher from an LMIC research organisation (partner 2), a representative of another (non-academic) public or private organisation from the LMIC involved (partner 3) and a CCAFS Project Leader  (partner 4). Partner 3 can be from any public or private organisation that can be seen as an actor or stakeholder in food security. Partner 4 can be identified in consultation with CCAFS.

Additional partners from (other) LMIC or high income countries are welcomed and encouraged.

What to apply for

A maximum of 250,000 euro can be applied for per Fast Track Research project (FTR), with a duration of two to three years. FTR projects focus on short-term research and may consist of exploratory research, policy oriented research or research with a more applied focus, but should remain of an analytical nature. Each consortium can apply for one FTR project. This call invites full proposals for FTR projects to be submitted, preceded by a Letter of Intent.

In-kind co-funding of CCAFS to cover the personnel costs of partner 4 is a prerequisite.

Reimbursable costs in general include:

  • Personnel costs of PhD, post-doc, junior and/or senior researchers and other staff (not-for profit);
  • Knowledge, research and innovation costs;
  • Knowledge sharing and research uptake costs;
  • Overhead

When to apply

Full FTR applications may be submitted until 18 April 2017, 14:00 hours  CET and need to be preceded by a Letter of Intent that may be submitted until 28 March 2017, 14:00 hours CET

Assessment Criteria

I Scientific quality

  • Potential to generate new knowledge and insights and complementarity to CCAFS and other research programmes;
  • Adequacy of the research approach including the robustness of the conceptual framework or experimental set-up, and the coherence of the hypotheses, research questions and methods;
  • Quality and adequacy of integrating the food system perspective;
  • Feasibility of the research design;
  • Complementarity, range and level of integration of the interdisciplinary approach.

II Relevance for innovation in development

  • Extent to which the research questions and the intended research results are expected to contribute to the scaling of Climate Smart Agriculture;
  • Potential for contribution to the demand of end-users, such as farmers, service providers (e.g. civil society organisations, extension staff), private sector parties and/or government officials;
  • Extent to which the proposal is rooted in a transdisciplinary approach: adequacy and complementarity of the various partners involved in relation to the issue at stake;
  • Potential for long-term knowledge relations;
  • Quality and feasibility of the Theory of Change and research impact pathway with indicators.

III Quality of collaboration and capacity building

  • Strength of partnership: experience of partners with the issue at stake and embeddedness of CCAFS partner in consortium;
  • Extent to which the division of labour is clearly described and adequate;
  • Potential for improving the capabilities of individuals and institutes to learn and innovate, the ability to share knowledge and create a supportive learning environment;
  • Value for Money: adequacy of the budget.


An information meeting on CCAFS projects is organised on February 10, 2017. After composing a consortium, including identification of a CCAFS Project Leader, applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent, preceding the full application. Full applications are assessed by the International Advisory Committee (IAC) and are prioritised accordingly, based upon comments of independent reviewers and the response of the consortia to these. The Programme Committee takes the final decision on funding, based on the recommendations received from the IAC.


Please visit the NWO-WOTRO website to download the full text of the fourth GCP call for proposals; the application form for Fast Track Research; and the link to apply electronically.


Source: NWO


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