NWO-FAPESP joint Call for Proposals Versão em português

Disclaimer: Please note the deadline for submitting proposals is at 2PM CET on 13 September at NWO (through ISAAC) and at 11:59PM on 15 September FAPESP (through SAGe).

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Available budget
1.3 Validity of the call for proposals

2 Aim

3 Guidelines for applicants
3.1 Who can apply
3.2 What can be applied for
3.3 When can applications be submitted
3.4 Preparing an application
3.5 Submitting an application
3.6 Conditions on granting

4 Assessment procedure
4.1 Procedure
4.2 Criteria

5 Contact details
5.1 Contact

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

In this brochure you will find information about the submission of research proposals for the Sixth call of Joint Research Projects under the Scientific Cooperation Agreement between the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), São Paulo, Brazil, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The theme for this Call for Proposals is “Restoration and use of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil”. 

This call for proposals is announced simultaneously by FAPESP and NWO. 

1.2 Available budget

NWO and FAPESP will provide budgets to fund 4 proposals.

For the 2018 call, the available budget at NWO is ca. 1.5 million euros and FAPESP will match in terms of research efforts. It is envisaged that applications will display a balanced partnership, not specifically in monetary terms but with equivalent research commitment and efforts from both sides. 

The budget request must follow the norms of both FAPESP and NWO and their respective funding regulations. The budget to be approved for each selected proposal will be subject to the rules and restrictions of each funding agency, as specified in this call for proposals.

1.3 Validity of the call for proposals

This call for proposals is valid until the closing date September 13, 2018, 14:00 hours CE(S)T.

2. Aim

The aim of this call is to strengthen research cooperation between researchers in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and researchers in the Netherlands by funding joint research projects. The funded projects combined will focus on ecosystem services, multi-functional landscape use and biodiversity, with the ultimate aim to contribute to effective restoration and sustainable use of the Atlantic Forest. Project proposals must be jointly written by researchers formally associated with public or private Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil and universities or NWO-acknowledged research institutions in the Netherlands and must reflect unison and close cooperation. It is expected that research activities be conducted on both sides, including the exchange of researchers, and that the project and the intellectual contribution is evenly balanced between São Paulo and the Netherlands.


We depend on the ecosystems we live in for many basic requirements, our food, clean water and regulation of our climate  among others. Biodiversity is a basic requirement for a stable ecosystem, more diverse systems are less susceptible to environmental fluctuation. Consequently, our own wellbeing depends on how we treat nature and its vital processes and how we integrate it in our activities. That is a serious challenge, as the increasing world population and its need for food, water, energy and prosperity puts mounting pressures on the planet’s natural resources. Where human needs increase, biodiversity declines and consequently the  essential ecosystem services are strongly decreased. Sustainable solutions need to be found, on a global, regional and local scale. 

At the global level, the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide direction, with specific goals on Climate Change (13), Life below the Water (14), and Life on Land (15). This encourages the quest for long-term sustainable solutions in which nature and biodiversity play a central role. 

Of particular concern are areas where land is already degraded and nature has become fragmented. The Bonn challenge calls for the restoration of 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 million by 2030. Restoration involves the transition to multifunctional landscapes providing ecological integrity. 

It is a scientific challenge to provide knowledge-based guidelines for lasting restoration of ecosystems and the services they provide. We have to look for new ways to stop the further exploitation and destruction of forested land and pristine aquatic systems, to increase the quality of these lands, and promote and facilitate alternative uses (e.g. agroforestry systems). 

This challenge is not limited to a specific country or region; it is a worldwide issue that should be tackled in cooperation, bringing together different countries, research institutes, public and private organizations and research disciplines. 

The Brazil-Netherlands cooperation

Brazil is one of seventeen megadiverse countries in the world, home to 13-18% of the planet’s species, and home to unique terrestrial and marine biomes. At the same time a growing population and growth in consumption with increased prosperity lead to more and more pressure on the environment. Consequently, Brazil has large areas that are degraded or disturbed and basic knowledge is required to reverse this.

All of this makes Brazil the perfect living lab to study the major knowledge gaps concerning biodiversity and ecosystem restoration in combination with sustainable socio-economic solutions.  

The Netherlands is a perfect partner for Brazil in tackling biodiversity issues. The Netherlands are densely populated, resulting in high pressure on ecosystems and a lot of fragmentation of natural areas. This has led to constant compromises on land use for nature vs other uses and a lot of knowledge on restoring disturbed ecosystems. 

The Dutch Biodiversity Research Agenda “Nature4life” addresses the most important societal challenges and the crucial role of biodiversity research in addressing them, with links to the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA; Nature4life participates in many routes) and infrastructure projects (NIEBAfw on Dutch Roadmap; LifeWatch and DiSSCo on EU ESFRI Roadmap). 

Aim of this joint NWO-FAPESP call is not only to allow Dutch and Brazilian scientists to intensify their existing collaborations but also forge new alliances. Therefore, while expertise of reforestation/ecosystem restoration is required for Dutch researchers, familiarity with the Atlantic Forest is not a prerequisite.

A joint program will also increase relevance in the tropical and international research agenda’s. Finally, it will contribute to the Dutch Nature4life agenda, and consolidate the efforts of the ecology research community in the Netherlands to act as a unified front in addressing scientific and societal questions on biodiversity and ecology.

The mission: A functional analysis of the Atlantic Forest for successful reforestation and use

The main goal of this call for proposals is summarized as: 'To understand the diversity, functioning, interrelationships, and social environment of the Atlantic Forest in order to protect and restore the functionality of its forests, and to preserve biodiversity and provide important ecological services’.

The Atlantic Forest (AF) is one of the most impacted rainforest areas in the world (Fig. 1). Once spreading more than 1.5 million km2, over five centuries of deforestation resulted in a loss of ~84% (1). While only 1% of the original AF area is protected, deforestation is still ongoing at a rate of 20,000 ha per year (2). The AF is considered the fourth global hotspot of biodiversity, sheltering about 1-8% of all species worldwide and with high rates of plant, insect and mammal endemism (3,4). The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (AFRP) aims to restore 15 million ha (150.000 km2) of degraded land by 2050, while increasing forest cover from 17 to 30%.  

The structure of the AF has been studied for almost 70 years, but existing knowledge is spread over hundreds of documents, many of them unpublished and/or difficult to access. A recent study reviewed and compiled all published tree community surveys of the AF until 2013 and described where and how these surveys were conducted (5). This study found more than 2400 forest surveys, corresponding to 2.24 million trees and 1817 ha of forests sampled. And these are only the surveys focussed on trees, not counting all the surveys focussed on the other biota. Clearly, efficient use of existing knowledge is key for any functional analysis of the Atlantic Forest.

Despite the large research effort in the AF, many questions fundamental for successful restoration remain and seven research gaps that need to be addressed in a large-scale restoration project have been identified:

1) Study of the existing knowledge on (large-scale) restoration and reforestation (world-wide) and learn from the past towards the future: What are the pressures leading to deforestation? What actions have been taken to halt deforestation and start restoration? What are the results of such act

2) Study of diversity and community structure of the Atlantic Forest;

NB for this call this topic is not an aim per se, only if required within other topics!

3) Study of ecosystem services in the Atlantic Forest;

4) Study of species interactions in the Atlantic Forest;

5) Study of the socioeconomic aspects of forest use, reforestation and conservation;

6) Study of the research infrastructure required to link the existing and generated data in order to answer the research questions identified;

7) Translation of the research results towards landowners, land-users, government, nature organisations, general society including indigenous groups, etc. – Study of the outreach needs and the potential of citizen science.

Based on the seven research gaps described above, three priority themes have been identified, which would harness the collaboration and also provide fundamental topical knowledge:

1) Linking regeneration (both passive -natural regeneration- and active -human induced restoration through, for instance, tree planting-) to ecosystem services and the traits expected to be expressed (for instance nutrient cycles, seed dispersal, pollination, etc.);

2) Upscaling restoration towards the goals set (inter)nationally (using a landscape, map-based approach);

3) Highlighting how Nature benefits People (multi-functional landscape, political trends, economic, social and ecological costs-and-benefits).

At least two out of three above listed priority themes must be addressed in every research proposal, in order to stimulate both coherence of the programme and interdisciplinary research.  

Both FAPESP and NWO explicitly encourage applicants to combine approaches from different fields of knowledge  in order to arrive at comprehensive solutions. 

1. M.C. Ribeiro, J.P. Metzger, A.C. Martensen, F.J. Ponzoni, M.M. Hirota. (2009) The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: How much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 142, 1141–1153.
2. SOS Mata Atlântica & INPE. (2014) “Atlas dos remanescentes florestais da Mata Atlântica: período 2012-2013”.
3. N. Myers, R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. Fonseca, J. Kent. (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403, 858–863.
4 M. Calmon et al. (2011). Emerging Threats and Opportunities for Large-Scale Ecological Restoration in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Restoration ecology 19 (2), 154-158.
5. R.A.F. Lima et al. (2015). How much do we know about the endangered Atlantic Forest? Reviewing nearly 70 years of information on tree community surveys. Biodiversity and Conservation 24, 2135–2148. 

3. Guidelines for applicant

3.1 Who can apply

Eligible research teams are composed of researchers from the Netherlands and the state of São Paulo, with active involvement in the project of a Principal Investigator on both the Dutch and the Brazilian side. Proposals that do not comply with the terms of this Call will not qualify for analysis. Applicants must note that the funding agencies retain the right to reject applications where they fail to comply with the procedures set out in the guidelines. If an application is ineligible for one of the agencies, the complete project will be rejected.

Researchers regarded as eligible to submit proposals within the scope of this call are the following. 


a - Researchers from the following knowledge institutions can submit proposals:

- Dutch universities;

- NWO and KNAW institutes;

- the Netherlands Cancer Institute;

- The biodiversity centre NCB Naturalis

- the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen;

- researchers from the DUBBLE Beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble;

- Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL);

- Prinses Maxima Centrum.

b - Researchers from the following knowledge institutions can submit a proposal provided that the institution cooperates with a Dutch university in the project for which a grant is being applied for, apparent from a contribution to the project by the university in terms of personnel or material:

- Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute;

- UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.

c - Applicants must hold a doctorate and/or be professor.

d- Applicants must have a paid appointment for at least the duration of the application process and the research for which the grant is requested.

e - Applicants with a temporary position which ends before the end of the proposed research project, can only apply in case the knowledge institution guarantees the position of the applicant for the entire research period. The form for this statement can be requested via

f - Employees who have a ‘zero-hours’ contract (0-aanstelling) or a contract as an unpaid guest researcher cannot apply.

g - Applicants may not apply for a position for themselves.

h - Researchers can only submit one proposal in this call.


Researchers eligible for FAPESP funding must be formally associated with public or private Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo and must meet the FAPESP eligibility requirements for either Regular Research Projects (, Thematic Research Projects (en/6659)  or Young Investigator Awards (yia);

3.1.1 Eligibility Consultation

a. Researchers from the State of São Paulo must consult FAPESP about their eligibility to this Call before starting the preparation of their proposals. FAPESP will issue and send to applicants a declaration concerning their eligibility within this Call. If positive, this Declaration of Eligibility must be included in the proposal as a PDF file by the time of the submission;

b. Applicants will have their eligibility evaluated within 20 days of the receiving of this request. The consultation for eligibility must be sent up to August, 1st. Consultations sent after this date will not be considered;

c. The eligibility consultation must be sent exclusively to the e-mail with the following information in one PDF file:

1) Name and affiliation of the applicant

2) Tentative title and a 5-line abstract of the project

3) FAPESP Modality desired (Regular Research Project, Thematic Research project, or Young Investigator Awards)

4) Estimated amount of budget to be requested to FAPESP and to NWO

5) Summary CV (FAPESP model) of the applicant

6) Information about whether the applicant is currently PI of a FAPESP ongoing project (indicate project number)

7) Estimated time devoted to the project (hours/week) 

3.2 What can be applied for

Available funding and eligible costs for NWO

The maximum amount of funding that can be applied for per project on the Dutch side is € 350.000, resulting in, most likely, granting of 4 projects. From the budget, € 100.000 will be reserved for networking, matchmaking, workshops and travel arrangements.

The funding can be used for:

This call for proposals covers projects for PhD students (AIOs) and postdocs. Appointment as part of the project is 2-3 years for postdocs and 4 years for PhD students (based on a full time appointment; full PhD projects only). Researchers must be appointed to the project for a minimum of two years, working at least 50% part time. The total duration of the overall project, with one or two PhD students and/or postdocs, must be at least three years and be no more than five years.

The grant can only be used for: 

• Temporary scientific personnel (PhD student (AIO), postdoc) employed by a university or research institute recognised by NWO. Personnel costs for PhDs and postdocs in the Netherlands are fundable in accordance with the most recent version of “Agreement for Funding Scientific Research”, which has been signed by NWO, VSNU, NFU, ZonMw, KNAW and VFI. The agreement and the maximum payments for personnel costs can be found at: For each PhD and/or postdoc a personal bench fee of € 5,000 is available to partly cover the costs such as travel costs, visiting congresses and the costs of printing a thesis.

• Material costs required in order to perform the research: 

Small equipment specifically intended for the project clearly described in the proposal. The relationship with the project and the need for the equipment should be clearly justified;

travel and exchange costs for the purpose of the requested research positions in so far as these are not covered by the bench fee, for instance fieldwork. The need for the amount of travel for the project should be clearly justified; consumables, for which the need should be clearly justified.

Costs associated with knowledge transfer, internationalisation, valorisation or instruments for the research may to a limited extent be included in the budget to be financed by the grant. Material costs can never be more than € 100,000. 

Funding may not be requested for tenured staff, student assistants, overheads, general laboratory equipment (this also includes general software and hardware such as computers and laptops for which it may be expected that these belong to the standard equipment for a scientific position), maintenance and insurance costs, publication costs and the costs of management, supervision, coordination and consultancy.

Available funding and eligible costs for FAPESP

Funding and costs must be in accordance with FAPESP norms for (i) Regular or (ii) Thematic research project or (iii) Young Investigator Award. Research projects can have a duration between three and five years, respecting norms of each modality as exposed in mentioned types of funding by FAPESP.

I) Regular Research Project: This modality can fund projects for 48 months, with amount equivalent to up to R$100.000,00 per year. Request can include equipment, services, travel allowances and technical training fellowships, in all cases according to the FAPESP rules (

II) Thematic Research Project: This modality can fund projects for 48 months. Request can include equipment, services, travel allowances and the following academic Scholarships: Postdoctoral, Honour PhD (Doutorado Direto), Scientific Initiation, Technical Training, Scientific Journalism (JC) and Educational Improvement (Aperfeiçoamento Pedagógico/Ensino Público), in all cases according to the FAPESP rules (thematic). 

III) Young Investigator Awards: This modality can fund 48 months. Request can include equipment, services, travel allowances and the following academic Scholarships: Master degree, Honour PhD (Doutorado Direto), Scientific Initiation, Technical Training, Scientific Journalism (JC) and Educational Improvement (Aperfeiçoamento Pedagógico/Ensino Público), in all cases according to the FAPESP rules (

In all three cases, proposals with excessive request for equipment (over 40%)  will be returned without merit review. 

3.3 When can applications be submitted

The closing date for the submission of proposals is at 2PM CET on 13 September at NWO (through ISAAC) and at 11:59PM on 15 September FAPESP (through SAGe). Proposals will not be accepted after the closing date for submission, nor will any addendum or explanation be accepted, unless those explicitly and formally requested by FAPESP or NWO. Proposals submitted only in one country and/or received after the deadline will be declared ineligible. 

Please note that researchers from the state of São Paulo must consult FAPESP about their eligibility no later than August, 1st 2018, according to item 3.1 above.

When you submit your application to ISAAC you will also need to enter additional details online. You should therefore start submitting your application at least one day before the deadline of this call for proposals. 

After the deadline, NWO and FAPESP will check whether the proposals have been submitted before the deadline in both the Netherlands and Brazil (State of São Paulo). They will inform each other of the results. 

Applicants must note that the funding agencies retain the right to reject applications that fail to comply with the procedures set out in these guidelines.

3.4 Preparing an application

Brazilian-Dutch research teams must prepare a joint research proposal, which will be submitted to NWO by the Dutch partner and to FAPESP by the SP PI. 

All proposals must be completed in English and follow the proposal structure as indicated in the research application form available on the websites of FAPESP and NWO. 

The proposals should be submitted in PDF format. 

The proposal should be clearly integrated and contain one central issue to be investigated, as well as a methodology and an implementation plan. The project description in the proposal submitted by the Dutch and the Brazilian (State of São Paulo) research team  should be identical and describe the members of the bilateral consortium, the envisioned research, a description of activities carried out in Brazil and The Netherlands and additional relevant information. The proposal also describes how this grant builds upon the own line of research in Brazil or the Netherlands and the added value of this joint research proposal. Exchange of researchers within the joint project is envisioned, e.g. working a couple of months in at the research institution of the collaborative researcher abroad. These topics can all be addressed in the research application form.

The budget should be specified clearly and separately in the proposal for respectively the Dutch and Brazilian part (State of São Paulo) of the project.  At FAPESP it is necessary to add the Dutch budget in a separate spreadsheet as a mandatory document (Section Other documents);

Please note that the funding will be administered to the successful main applicants via the national funding agency. 

3.5 Submitting an application

Submitting an application to NWO 

An application can only be submitted to NWO via the online application system ISAAC. Applications not submitted via ISAAC will not be taken into consideration. 

A principal applicant must submit his/her application via his/her own ISAAC account. If the principal applicant does not have an ISAAC account yet, then this should be created at least one day before the application is submitted to ensure that any registration problems can be resolved on time. If the principal applicant already has an NWO-account, then he/she does not need to create a new account to submit an application. 

A full application consists of completing the required information in ISAAC, the electronic application and reporting system of NWO (, and uploading a research proposal in pdf format. Please take the following steps to prepare an application for a joint research project:

- Download the research application form from the electronic application system ISAAC or from NWO’s website (on the grant page for this programme).

- Complete the application form.

- Save the application form as a pdf file and upload it in ISAAC

When you submit your application to ISAAC you will also need to enter additional details online. You should therefore start submitting your application at least one day before the deadline of this call for proposals. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be taken into consideration.

For technical questions please contact the ISAAC helpdesk, see Section 5.2.1.

Submitting an application to FAPESP

Besides the submission to ISAAC (website hosted by NWO), the PI in the State of São Paulo must submit to FAPESP, via the SAGe platform (instructions will be available soon). All the documents required by SAGe platform must be attached to the online submission. Proposals lacking mandatory documents will be returned without merit review. Please find complete guidelines for SP researchers at

3.6 Conditions on granting

The selected proposals will be the subject of a research agreement in writing to be signed by FAPESP and the Principal Investigator (PI) in São Paulo. FAPESP may cancel funding if, during the grant timeframe, there appears a fact of sufficient gravity to justify cancellation, at the discretion of the Scientific Director, without prejudice of any other appropriate actions. 

When funding is cancelled in one country, the funding is also cancelled in the other country. 

General guidelines and conditions

The ‘NWO regulation on granting’ and the ‘Agreement on Payment of Costs for Scientific Research’ apply to all applications. NWO may cancel funding according to the NWO Regulation on Granting.

NWO Code of Conduct regarding Conflict of Interests

The  ‘NWO Code of Conduct regarding Conflict of Interests’ applies to all persons and NWO personnel involved in the assessment and decision-making procedure for this call for proposals.

Open Access

All scientific publications resulting from research that is funded by grants derived from this call for proposals are to be immediately (at the time of publication) freely accessible worldwide (Open Access). There are several ways for researchers to publish Open Access. A detailed explanation regarding Open Access can be found on

Data management

Responsible data management is part of good research. NWO wants research data that emerge from publicly funded research to become freely and sustainably available, as much as possible, for reuse by other researchers. Furthermore NWO wants to raise awareness among researchers about the importance of responsible data management. Proposals should therefore satisfy the data management protocol of NWO. This protocol consists of two steps: 

1. Data management section
The data management section is part of the research proposal. Researchers should answer four questions about data management within their intended research project. Therefore before the research starts the researcher will be asked to think about how the data collected must be ordered and categorised so that it can be made freely available. Measures will often need to be taken during the production and analysis of the data to make their later storage and dissemination possible. Researchers can state which research data they consider to be relevant for storage and reuse.

2. Data management plan
After a proposal has been awarded funding the researcher should elaborate the data management section into a data management plan. The data management plan is a concrete elaboration of the data management section. In the plan the researcher describes whether use will be made of existing data or a new data collection and how the data collection will be made FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. The plan should be submitted to NWO via ISAAC within a maximum of 4 months after the proposal has been awarded funding. NWO will approve the plan as quickly as possible. Approval of the data management plan by NWO is a condition for disbursement of the funding. The plan can be adjusted during the research. 

Further information about the data management protocol of NWO can be found at  

Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol became effective on 12 October 2014 and ensures an honest and reasonable distribution of benefits emerging from the use of genetic resources (Access and Benefit Sharing; ABS). Researchers who make use of genetic sources from the Netherlands or abroad for their research should familiarise themselves with the Nagoya Protocol ( NWO assumes that researchers will take all necessary actions with respect to the Nagoya Protocol.

Intellectual Property rights  

In case of approval, a Letter of Agreement has to be formulated between the Partner Host Institution in the Netherlands and the Host Institution to which the PI from São Paulo is affiliated, establishing how Intellectual Property rights, confidentiality, and publications will be treated jointly, in observance of the policies of each funding Party. The Letter of Agreement is not mandatory for the submission of proposals, but no approved project will be contracted before the presentation of a copy of the signed Agreement. Ownership of IP generated during the project and rights to exploitation, as well as any costs regarding management of IP, are expected to be agreed between the collaborating research organizations before the research begins. The presentation of this Letter of Agreement is mandatory before the signature of the grant award in case of FAPESP funding.

4. Assessment procedure

4.1. Procedure

The assessment process will be led by NWO. Reviewers will be appointed by NWO and FAPESP. The NWO Code of Conduct on Conflicts of Interest applies to all persons and NWO staff involved in the assessment and/or decision-making process. For further information see: 

The NWO Regulation on Granting includes a clause that states that all research funded by NWO must be realised in accordance with the nationally and internationally accepted standards for scientific conduct as stated in the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice 2012 (VSNU). Further information about the NWO policy on scientific integrity can be found on the website:  

NWO gives all full proposals a qualification (see also paragraph 4.2). The qualification will be made known to the two Principal Investigators (main applicants) in the same letter in which they are also informed about the decision whether or not to award funding. Only proposals that are assessed as excellent or very good will be eligible for funding. For further information about the qualifications please see:

Eligibility of the proposal

In the assessment procedure, the eligibility of the individual projects will be determined using the conditions stated in Chapters 2 and 3 of this call for proposals. Eligibility of the proposals will be assessed by NWO and FAPESP at the start of the procedure. Mark that researchers from the state of São Paulo must consult FAPESP about their eligibility no later than August 1st, 2018. Proposals that do not comply with the terms, or with the aim of this call for proposals (see Chapter 2) will be considered ‘not eligible’ and will not qualify for analysis. Proposals will only be considered eligible if approved by all councils.

Please be aware of the strict eligibility criteria for FAPESP researchers, also described in Chapter 3.2. For this reason Brazilian PI’s should check their eligibility with FAPESP prior to submitting the proposal. 

Peer review

All eligible proposals will be submitted to international referees for assessment. Referees are experts in the discipline of the applicant and/or have expertise in applied sciences and /or practice. They will write a referee's report in which they state the strong and weak aspects of the proposal, according to the assessment criteria specified in Chapter 4.2. The anonymised referees' reports will be sent to the two Principal Investigators (main applicants) who then subsequently write a joint written response (the rebuttal). Referees will be appointed by NWO and FAPESP. 


Main applicants with proposals considered eligible and received for review will have the right to jointly formulate a two page rebuttal to the peer review reports. The anonymized reviews will be sent by NWO and FAPESP to the respective Principal Investigators. The joint rebuttal needs to be submitted to NWO and FAPESP by email and will be requested within a short time frame of maximum two weeks. 

Assessment Committee

A joint international assessment committee will be composed by NWO and FAPESP. The committee's task is to make an independent evaluation based on the application, the referees’ reports and the rebuttal. Although the referees’ reports have a strong bearing on the final assessment they will not be unquestioningly adopted by the assessment committee. The assessment committee will consider the arguments of the referees (also between referees) and will examine whether a good response to the critical comments from the referees' reports has been formulated in the rebuttal. Furthermore, unlike the referees, the selection committee oversees the quality of the other proposals submitted and the rebuttals. It will rate and rank the proposals, and formulate a funding recommendation to NWO and FAPESP. 

Decision making

Representatives from NWO and FAPESP will jointly formulate a final decision based on the advice provided by the Assessment Committee. 


15 june 2018

Opening of the call

01 August 2018

Deadline eligibility check PI FAPESP

13 September 2018

Deadline submission of proposals at NWO

15 September 2018

Deadline submission of proposals at FAPESP

October-December 2018

Consultation referees

End of January 2019 

Obtaining rebuttals from applicants
On average researchers are given a maximum of 2 weeks to respond

February 2019

Meeting evaluation committee

March 2019

Final decision NWO/FAPESP

April 2019 onwards

Start of the projects

4.2. Criteria

All eligible proposals will be assessed based on five equally weighted criteria: 

a. Relevance to the theme of the Call

- Whether the proposal fits within the thematic focus of the call;

- Timeliness, importance and urgency of the proposed project.

b. Scientific quality of the research proposal

- Quality of the project, including originality, innovative elements and interdisciplinarity;

- Potential to make an important contribution to the advancement of science or technology;

- Suitability of the proposed methods, technical feasibility and adequacy of the budget 

c. Quality of the research groups

- Competence and expertise of the team;

- Synergy, complementarity and added value of the bilateral research team. 

d. International co-operation

- Added value of the cooperation to the project, and beyond the duration of the project;

- The degree and balance of inter-institutional co-operation between the project partners; 

e. Knowledge utilization

- The potential impact of the research results in scientific, societal and/or economic terms.

All five criteria will be taken into consideration. In addition, the assessment committee will be asked to take possible collaboration between projects and coverage of all the different themes in this call into account when formulating a funding recommendation to NWO  and FAPESP. 

Proposals of insufficient quality will not be eligible for funding even if there is sufficient budget to fund them. The results will be announced by both FAPESP and NWO via a letter to the main applicant. 

5. Contact details

5.1. Contact

5.1.1. Specific questions

For specific questions about the NWO-FAPESP joint Call for Proposals 'Ecosystem restoration: the Brazilian Atlantic Forest as a case study’ please contact:

NWO: Dr. R. (Ron) Winkler, tel. +31703440508, e-mail:

FAPESP: Dra. B (Bruna) Musa, e-mail:

5.1.2. Technical questions about the electronic application system ISAAC

For technical questions about the use of ISAAC please contact the ISAAC helpdesk. Please read the manual first before consulting the helpdesk. The ISAAC helpdesk can be contacted from Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 17:00 hours CE(S)T on +31 (0)20 346 71 79. However, you can also submit your question by e-mail to You will then receive an answer within two working days.



Page updated on 09/11/2018 - Published on 06/18/2018