Arctic research proposals sought

Photo: Andrea Taurisano/Norwegian Polar Institute via Flickr
The Belmont Forum, a group of international science funders, has released a call for proposals on Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability. Grants of between €200,000 and €1 million are available for interdisciplinary, multinational research projects.

In recent decades, the Arctic has undergone rapid and unbounded change – a dramatic decline in sea ice extent and volume, extensive erosion of entire sections of the Arctic coastline, permafrost thawing, shifting migration patterns of both people and animals, a growing demand for northern oil and development of energy infrastructure and increased interest in seasonally ice-free intercontinental transport routes. Stressors, whether natural or human-induced, have elements of potential benefit and also possible harm for the Arctic system and human well-being. These changes contribute directly and interactively to the cumulative effects on the natural systems, infrastructure, and human populations that inhabit the Arctic.  

A sustainable Arctic that can cope with the rapidity and severity of current environmental change, increased human activity and commerce will need to be informed by continuously improving scientific knowledge and proven mitigation strategies. While existing Arctic observations and observing networks have provided a basis for assessing the natural environment, there is a need to integrate observations and transdisciplinary research on coupled natural-human systems in the Arctic.

The Call 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. The ultimate aim of the Call is to innovate new sustainability science theory and approaches to these challenges and opportunities, and to support decision-making towards a sustainable Arctic environment.

The Belmont Forum will support three complementary types of proposals - small collaboration grants, small synthesis grants, and research grants.

All proposals require eligible participants from three or more countries, must integrate the natural and social sciences, and should also include engagement of community participants or other stakeholders in the planning, design and completion of the research.

For more information about research themes, national priorities and agency contacts, proposal submission documents, and to access the researcher matching tool, please visit the funding website. The closing date for submission of proposals is the 31st July 2014. Final decisions are expected to have been communicated by the 31st January 2015.