FAPESP-ESRC-NWO Joint Call for Transnational Collaborative Research Projects Sustainable Urban Development

May 2014 

1 Introduction

This is a call for proposals for Joint Research Projects under the Scientific Cooperation Agreement between the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), São Paulo, Brazil, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom, and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands. NWO is administering the call in close collaboration with ESRC and FAPESP. The technical aspects of the call are described in this document. 

1.1 Background

The aim of this call is to strengthen research cooperation between researchers in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands by funding joint research projects in the field of Sustainable Urban Development. The research projects must be collaborative including researcher(s) from São Paulo, Brazil, as well as researcher(s) from the United Kingdom and/or the Netherlands.

The remit of this call is to explore the Sustainable Urban Development in a global context and therefore the research focus is not limited to the participating countries.

Co-investigators from other countries may be included but must demonstrate adequate funding, or need to be eligible for funding under one of the subscribing agencies' rules (for more detail see section 4).

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

1.2 Available budget

A total budget of approximately €5.4 million is jointly made available. The ESRC’s contribution is up to €2.4 million, NWO’s contribution is up to €1.5 million considering the limit of €75.000 per project to payment of material costs, and FAPESP will contribute up to € 1.5 million. 

The budget to be approved for each selected proposal will be subject to the rules and restrictions of each funding agency. 

The provided budget will enable 6-12 projects to be granted funding. Research projects can be between two and four years in duration. 

1.3 Deadline of the call for proposals 

This call for proposals is valid until the closing date on Tuesday 23 September 2014 11.59 C.E.T.

2 Aim

The aim of this call is to strengthen research cooperation between the State of São Paulo, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands by funding joint research projects in the field of Sustainable Urban Development. Brazil, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have a strong history in this research field. This highly topical theme asks for an approach from a variety of perspectives and social science disciplines, and enables and encourages multidisciplinary research. By bringing together excellent scholars from Brazil, the United Kingdom and/or the Netherlands, the joint research projects will stimulate innovative research in transnational cooperation and promote international collaboration in the research field of Sustainable Urban Development. The outputs of this research programme will seek to enhance sustainable development in urban regions aiming to provide sustainable solutions for challenges faced in our current and future society.

3 Thematic focus: Sustainable Urban Development 

3.1 Introduction

As the world population keeps growing and becomes more concentrated in urban areas [1], the challenge of achieving sustainable development is ever more urgent. Important steps have been made, both in urban practice, politics and in research, in the more than 25 years since the publication of the report by the UN Commission on Environment and Development. More recently there has been a growth in research on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in urban areas. Overall, while in some areas research on sustainable development in urban regions has taken place (environment and resources, urban planning), there are other areas that are much less covered.

Based on consultation with the research community in the participating countries, a number of research themes were identified which are

  • Resilience
  • Social justice, and
  • Governance and democracy

In addition to these research themes, a number of cross-cutting policy areas has been identified which include

  • Infrastructure and the built environment
  • Economies and livelihoods, and
  • Poverty, inequality and vulnerability

Much research on sustainable development in urban centres has been focussed on one city, one city-region or has been comparative within Europe. However, there is now a recognition that there is value in thinking and working across the distinctions of North and South, or of the developed and developing world/nations/regions, due to the scale and nature of global processes.

For this reason, the research funding agencies are inviting proposals from research consortia that address one or more of the themes in the context of one or more of the cross-cutting policy areas. For example, a research proposal may address social justice and housing in the context of climate change.

The remit of this call is to explore Sustainable Urban Development in a global context. Therefore, applicants are encourged, where appropriate, to consider the following within their research projects:

  • Spatial scale and temporality. From dwelling and street to neighbourhood, district, municipality, region, state and global. In essence, cities and other urban areas are nodes in networks of cities and urban conurbations which may span the globe or sub-regions. It is never self-evident at which spatial scale the city should be the object of research, but we expect proposals to be sensitive to this. Similar for the notion of time, if only because the very concept of sustainable development includes the notion of intergenerational equity. 
  • Formal and informal. In the social realm, the economic realm and the realm of governance the importance of informal processes and networks is often overlooked. This is understandable, since the informal economy and social networks of neighbourhoods, towns and cities as well as informal types of governance and decision making are much harder to observe than the formal ones. The link between formal and informal domains and activity is seen, however, as an important one. 
  • Public and private. The impact of collaboration between actors in the public and private sector, and civil society organisations on achieving a sustainable development in urban areas. 
  • Interesting problematics where tensions emerge, such as. on systems/resilience/stability/ruptures; recovery/adaptability vs transformation; structural/static or dynamic (sustainable urban regions vs sustainable urbanisation). 
  • Comparative and where appropriate, longitudinal work is encouraged but not required. 
  • Participative research, stakeholder involvement, knowledge in co-creation are encouraged, but not required.

3.2 Research Themes & Cross-Cutting Policy Areas

3.2.1 Resilience

Resilience [2] is linked to the question of absorbing shocks, both external and internal, of systems as a whole or of ecosystems. The shocks that urban areas may experience can be of social, economic or environmental nature and these can be short term or of long duration, such as climate change.

Resilience of urban areas therefore refers to the ability of a city to recover from catastrophes, whether these are of a social, environmental or economic nature. However, resilience may not be sufficient for a city to become a more liveable place for people. The goal to attain a high quality of life for people and at the same time reduce the impact of humans on the available resources must be governed within a context of sustainable development. In some countries this implies a socio-technical transition for winding back consumption while maintaining liveability. In other countries this goal must include the development of infrastructures and services, for instance with better housing, water supply, energy distribution, sanitation (domestic sewage and solid waste) and transportation to increase the quality of life of a large proportion of its population at present living at risk. For both cases, a liveability-environmental sustainability nexus must be found.

Research proposals on urban areas, improved resilience to shocks, and efforts towards sustainable development and eradication of poverty, inequality and vulnerability are invited. While comparative studies between Europe and Brazil are also welcomed. However, this is not a specific requirement of the call.

Potential areas for research include the following aspects:

Infrastructure and the built environment

  • Functions, needs and the morphology of sustainable urban areas. Urban metabolisms towards sustainability. 
  • Diversity and affordability and their manifestations in built form through varying urban densities and intervention by the public or private sectors and their interests. 
  • Flexibility of urban areas to absorb change, taking into account past, present and future issues.

Economies and livelihoods

  • Formal, informal, cash and non-cash economies and their manifestations in a sustainable urban area. 
  • Green economies and their impact on informal and non-cash economies. 
  • Trends in growth of informal economies worldwide.

Poverty, inequality and vulnerability

  • Manifestations (social, economic and environmental) of poverty, inequality and vulnerability in a time of urban change. 
  • Urbanisation and urban design for sustainable urban areas. 
  • Security, safety, vulnerability and risk with urban sustainability in mind. 
  • Urban resilience through social tranfers and innovation.

3.2.2 Social Justice

Achieving just, equitable and fair cities and urban areas is a key policy goal. There are multiple costs to injustice including social conflict and violence. Injustice can mean that individuals are unable to maximise their potential social contribution and develop productive and meaningful lives. As exisiting research suggests living in a just and fair society matters to citizens and therefore it is an important component of future urban prosperity and well-being.

Different types of justice (social, legal, economic and environmental) have to be considered if justice as a goal is to be achieved. It is important that overlaps and interaction between different injustices are recognised. While formal legal justice is needed, weaknesses in legal systems plus discrimination and disadvantage mean that on its own it is not sufficient. To realise the goal of socially just urban areas, a number of research questions can be addressed.

Potential areas for research include the following aspects:

Infrastructure and the built environment

  • How social justice is considered and achieved in the context of urban development plans and activities including the expansion of infrastructure networks. 
  • Whether spatial inequalities are exacerbated by infrastructure inequalities and the commodification of urban land and how such exclusions affect society and self perceptions of citizens. 
  • The links between tenure security and social justice. 
  • The politics of urban mobility, and how socially just public transport is defined and realised.

Economies and livelihoods

  • The influence of global, national, and local forces on the development of labour markets (both in respect of the structure of labour markets, and the rewards offered to workers). 
  • How households secure their livelihoods from a mix of income sources (i.e. formal employment, informal employment, enterpreneurship, self-provisioning, state transfers). Also whether the mix of income is changing, and whether households becoming more or less vulnerable. 
  • How the rights to work and the need for social protection are addressed, particularly given the current scale of informality in labour markets. 
  • The nature and scale of the social economy and how it is able to negotiate a place within a broadly neoliberal economy.

Poverty, inequality and vulnerability

  • Whether and what new sources of vulnerability are emerging and how new and existing forms of vulnerability might be best addressed. 
  • The social justice implications of specific sources of vulnerabilityand what can be done to reduce adverse impacts. 
  • Processes of form, extent and scale of welfare provision including what the implications for equity and vulnerability amongst different groups including the urban middle class. Also whether and how changes in welfare regimes change perceptions about social justice and (policy) measures to address vulnerability. 
  • Whether and how trends in urban labour markets, including the frequently observed increase in informality, are affecting and being affected by changes in weflare regimes. 
  • How sources of political support and socio-economic class affiliation enable and support more equitable access to basic goods and services, and investment in public goods.

3.2.3 Governance and Democracy

The activity and the process of governing is a crucial subject in urban regions. Governance, has a strong influence on the balance between urban development and environment, the social and economic outcomes and the balance between the present and the future.

Different practices of governance involve a wide range of patterns and actors, including the role of civil society and communities in informal governance, or in formal decisions about large scale infrastructural projects, programmes to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods, and other aspects for a sustainable social and environmental urban life. The main aim of this theme is to understand the impact of different governance arrangements on the development of equitable, sustainable and liveable urban areas; to comprehend the role, capacity, and limits of urban governments and other actors in responding to and shaping urban change; and to define (and understand) the models of democracy that are being promoted by diverse groups.

In terms of more formal governance, Brazil’s and other developing countries political experience including shifts from dictatorships to democratic governments, gives an enormous field for research about those patterns. Despite the existence of legal statements proposing participative decisions on public policies, large scale infrastructural projects and their implications for surrounding areas and the hinterland are rarely on the agenda. The neoliberal planning tools for cities and urban areas are still clashing with the democratic efforts in developing countries to include non-governmental participants in crucial decisions for environmental and social policies. The nature of urban planning processes have been questioned in that they fail to take adequate account of public goods and the broader issues of inclusion.

Therefore, an important goal for coming years is how to connect social needs for mobility, housing, sanitation, and liveliehood programs in medium and large urban areas, as identified by local community actors and participants within urban governance, planning and decision making .

Potential areas for research include the following aspects:

Infrastructure and the built environment

  • How governance decisions are taken on small to large-scale infrastructural and built environment projects and how these projects shape and limit the possibility of democratic (participatory) decision making. Also, how these effects change over time on social, ecological, economic and spatial aspects in urban areas, and how they affect and are limited by the resources in the hinterland and ecosystems elsewhere.

Economies and livelihoods

  • The impact of different governance arrangements on the development of equitable, sustainable and liveable urban areas. Also, the roles, capacities and limits of urban governments and different governance actors in responding to and shaping politcal change in urban areas. 
  • How cities and urban areas use resources and externalise impacts and the potential and limits of democratic governance at a local level for dealing with any resultant vulnerabilities.

Poverty, inequality and vulnerability

  • The nature, role and mechanism of civil society and local collective action in shaping governance for social, environmental and economic sustainability, and the models of democracy that are promoted by various groups. 
  • The opportunities and conflicts that differences and interactions amongst different groupings generate. 
  • How governance decisions on the urban environment interact with land, property markets, rights, and the private sector. And the extent to which planning tools take account of these interactions. 

4 Guidelines for applicants

4.1 Who can apply

The scheme will be open to applications from eligible research organisations from two or more of the subscribing countries, and must include Sao Paulo researchers.

Co-investigators from countries other than those co-funding, may be included but must demonstrate adequate funding, or need to be eligible for funding under one of the subscribing agencies' rules.

If research is proposed in a fourth country, applicants are encouraged to include researchers from/ located within that country within the research team.

Each individual applicant (the person who acts as Main Applicant and/or Co-applicant) may participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as Main Applicant.

4.1.1 Eligible applicants

The applicants must meet the specific eligibility criteria set by their respective funding agencies. Researchers regarded as eligible to submit proposals within the scope of this call are: 


By FAPESP: Principal Investigators (PI) affiliated with Higher Education and Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo and considered by FAPESP to be eligible to lead FAPESP’s Thematic Grants. (Please consult FAPESP using the e-mail address provided in item 6, Contact Details, before preparing a proposal, to make sure you are eligible as a PI in a Thematic Grant). 

Proposals should adhere to the norms of Thematic Research Grants of FAPESP (, except when explicitly mentioned in this Call for Proposals. 

Researchers who are presently PIs in Thematic Grants can apply, as long as they present compelling evidence that they can successfully manage the second grant, academically, managerially, and administratively. Proposals that may result in an over-commitment of time for any applicant across all their projects (whether or not those projects are funded) will not be accepted.


All UK applicants (whether Main or Co-applicants) must be associated with an eligible Research Organisation. Applicants are encouraged to consult the ESRC Research Funding Guide for eligibility information:

All UK applicants (whether Main or Co-Applicants) must be able to meet the time commitment to the project as stated in the proposal. Proposals which may result in an over-commitment of time for any applicant across all their projects (whether or not those projects are funded) will not be accepted. Any applicant employed as a member of staff for more than 20 per cent of their time in an ESRC Research Centre, Group or Network must obtain a supporting statement from the Director to accompany their proposal. 

According to the ESRC’s International Co-Investigator Policy, the costs associated with an International Co-Investigator’s contribution to a project must not exceed 30% of the overall UK cost of the grant. However, Co-Investigators from the Netherlands and Brazil are not eligible for funding.

c. NWO

For Dutch scientists the NWO eligibility criteria are applied, i.e., the Dutch Principal Investigator should be affiliated to:

- a Dutch university or University Medical Centre; or
- an institute affiliated to NWO; or
- an institute affiliated to KNAW; or
- the Netherlands Cancer Institute NKI; or
- the Max Planck Institute Nijmegen;


Have an employment contract for at least the duration of the proposal procedure and the duration of the research the grant is applied for;


Have at least a PhD or an equivalent qualification.

4.2 What can be applied for

4.2.1 Available funding

ESRC will provide funding of up to €363,000 per proposal.

NWO will provide funding of up to €250,000 per proposal.

FAPESP will provide funding of up to €250,000 per proposal (this limit applies to the total cost of the proposal to FAPESP, and includes the “Reserva Técnica” awarded by FAPESP in Thematic Grants).

The projects must constitute substantive integrated work. This may include both research and resource and infrastructure projects – for example to establish surveys, datasets or corpora – but networking or other projects without a substantive focus will not be eligible.

Exchange of researchers within the joint project is possible. Working a couple of months in the lab of the collaborative researcher abroad and the realization of annual project meetings are good examples of how the exchange of researchers might take place.

4.2.2 Eligible costs

All applicants and their institutions must fulfill national eligibility rules for research proposals as set by the relevant funding agency. Applicants must note that the national 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 with one national agency the complete project will be rejected by all the agencies concerned.

All budget items must conform to the national rules relevant for each applicant. The total value of applications in each country must not exceed funding levels for applications which apply in that country. Participants of other countries must demonstrate adequate funding. The following funding limits will apply:


For the part of the proposals to be funded by FAPESP, the eligible costs will be those allowed in a FAPESP Thematic Grant (please see These include small equipment, consumables and services directly associated to the research work, fellowships for undergraduates (Scientific Initiation) and for Doctoral Students (“Doutorado Direto”), and scholarships for Post-doctoral fellows). All costs must be explicitly justified and all norms for FAPESP Thematic grants apply, except when explicitly mentioned in this call.


The ESRC is the UK’s leading research and training funding agency addressing economic and social concerns. The ESRC will fund the UK partner(s) of any successful applications that fall within its remit. A full list of acceptable ESRC research areas is available at:

All costs requested from the ESRC must be eligible and justified as set out in our Research Funding Guide:

As per standard funding rules, the ESRC will contribute 80 per cent of the total UK budget, the remaining balance must be guaranteed by the Research Organisation (see the ESRC Research Funding Guide for further details - ).

The ESRC mission places emphasis on ensuring researchers engage as fully with the users of research outcomes. These may be other academics, government departments. Public bodies, business, voluntary organisations or other interested partners. Applicants requesting ESRC funds may therefore also include costs associated with knowledge exchange, co-production and collaboration between researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. For further guidance on costing, please see:

c. NWO

For the Dutch part of the project (hereafter: the Dutch project), the proposed research must fall within the remit of NWO’s Division of Social Sciences (MaGW). MaGW has four main groups of disciplines: Economics and business administration, Behaviour and education, Law and administration, Social Sciences. These main groups comprise more than 20 scientific disciplines (

Proposals may be for projects with a minimum duration of two years and a maximum duration of four years. Applicants for the Dutch project can apply for the costs of temporary personnel to be employed by a Dutch host institution:

- one or more PhD(s): maximum eligible costs per full time PhD in accordance with the latest version of the VSNU-contract.
- one or more Postdoc(s): maximum eligible costs per full time Postdoc in accordance with the most recent VSNU-contract.

The research time of other senior research staff cannot be applied for in this subsidy. Please see for the appropriate salary scales.

The total budget requested for the Dutch project may not be higher than € 250,000 (incl. bench fee). Material costs up to the sum of € 75,000 can be applied for.

  • Eligible material costs are e.g.:
  • Travel & accommodation & meeting costs
  • Costs for knowledge transfer
  • All joint publication costs (incl. editing and translation costs)
  • Other material costs (contact NWO to check eligibility of proposed material costs)
  • The costs of student-assistants

To PhD and post-doctorate researchers a personalised bench fee is assigned for an appointment of a minimum of one year and 0,5FTE. This is a fixed sum of € 5.000 in order to cover costs related to the researcher, for example conference visits and publication costs of the dissertation. No additional funding can be requested for activities covered by the bench fee.

In accordance with the NWO-VSNU agreement, the non-staff costs exclude infrastructure costs (accommodation, office automation, books, i.e. costs of facilities which can be regarded as part of the normal infrastructure for the discipline concerned) and overheads. As a consequence, the subsidy will not cover the costs of data processing time at computer centers or the acquisition of personal computers or laptops; costs for accommodation / housing, overhead, maintenance or depreciation.

4.2.3 Project duration

Applications may be for projects with a period of two to four years.

4.3 Preparing an application

All proposals must be completed in English and follow the proposal structure as indicated in the application template available on the websites of FAPESP (as available at   ), ESRC and NWO. The proposals should be in PDF format. If the stated maximum number of words and/or pages is exceeded, or if the necessary documents are not included, the application may be automatically disqualified. 

Important note: when writing your proposal, take into account that it will be read by both experts and a broadly composed evaluation panel.

4.4 Submission of proposals

The closing date for the submission of proposals is Tuesday 23 September 2014 11.59 C.E.T. No proposal will be accepted after the closing date for submission, nor will any addendum or explanation be accepted, unless those explicitly and formally requested by FAPESP, ESRC or NWO.

All applications will be submitted initially solely to NWO. NWO will share copies with FAPESP and ESRC. Later on ESRC and FAPESP might require submission of selected proposals.

An application can only be submitted via NWO’s electronic application system Iris. The operating procedure and instruction manual for Iris can be found at Guidance on how to submit the proposal will be available on the NWO website. Applications not submitted via Iris will not be admitted to the selection procedure.

The application has three parts: a fact sheet, the application form and the annexes.

1) The fact sheet can be completed directly in NWO’s electronic application system Iris.

2) The application form will be available on the grant page for this programme on the NWO website. As soon as the application form is completed, the form can be added to the Iris fact sheet as a PDF file, together with the annexes.

3) For every country a national annex should be added to the application form with information on the national budget. The templates for the national annexes will be available on the grant page for this programme on the NWO website. A CV of the Main Applicant, the Co-Applicant, other project team members and possible Co-operation Partners should also be added as an annex. The Main Applicant’s and Co-Applicant’s CV may cite a maximum of ten relevant publications. Other project team members and Co-operation Partners CV may cite a maximum of five relevant publications. The CV of the Main Applicant should include the information on his/her experience leading national or international collaboration research projects. Each CV should have a maximum of two pages. In a project where a Co-operation partner is participating, a letter of commitment must be included as an annex to the proposal summarising the commitment of the Co-operation partner to the project and detailing the source of funding.

The Main Applicant (the Principal Investigator) has to submit the application form and the annexes on behalf of the research consortia.

Applications must be drafted in English. The intrinsic section of the application (excluding references but including footnotes) may not exceed 2,500 words. The application form and the annexes should be merged into one PDF file.

A Main Applicant is obliged to submit his/her application via his/her own Iris account. If the Main Applicant does not have an Iris account yet then this should be created at least one day before the submission. Then any possible registration problems can still be solved on time. If the Main Applicant already has an Iris account then he/she does not need to create a new account to submit a new application.

For technical questions, please contact the Iris helpdesk.

IMPORTANT: When applying from outside the Netherlands, please choose as your organisation 'NWO-WSF' (Acronym=NWO-WSF) and select as Town or city 'The Hague'. As soon as you have done this you can open an account and submit the proposal.

4.5 Specific conditions

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

All successful UK applicants will need to submit an application via Je-S, therefore all UK applicants and co-investigators will need to be Je-S registered. Once the funding decisions have been announced, successful UK applicants will receive guidance in regard to submitting an application via Je-S. 

For researchers from the Netherlands this Call for Proposals is subject to NWO’s general terms and conditions General Terms and Conditions of NWO Grants.

NWO may cancel funding according to the NWO Regulation on Granting. 

Successful applicants in São Paulo, Brazil will need to submit their proposals, when notified by FAPESP, using the SAGe system and will need to register all participating researchers, from São Paulo and from abroad. 

During the selection process FAPESP may request additional information to the Principal Investigator from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The selected proposals will be the subject of a research agreement in writing to be signed by FAPESP, the Principal Investigator in São Paulo, Brazil, and the representative from his/her institution. FAPESP may cancel funding if, during grant implementation a fact is of sufficient gravity to justify cancellation, at the Scientific Board of Directors’ discretion, without prejudice of any other appropriate actions. 

5 Assessment procedure

5.1 Evaluation of the proposals

Proposals must be analysed according to eligibility and adherence to the norms of this Call for Proposals by the three Agencies. Eligible proposals are submitted for assessment to external, independent referees for peer review. The process of analysis, qualification, rebuttal and selection of the received proposals will be led by NWO, being carried out by reviewers from in- and outside the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Brazil who will be appointed by NWO, ESRC and FAPESP. Each proposal will be evaluated by a minimum of three referees. 

The reviews by the referees, without their identification, will be sent to the Principal Investigators, for comments before the evaluation panel assesses the applications. All PIs will have the right to jointly formulate a two page rebuttal per proposal after receiving the reviewers’ comments. The joint rebuttal needs to be sent to NWO by email and will be requested within a short time frame of a maximum of two weeks.

A joint commissioning panel will be composed. The proposal, the reviews received from the external referees and the comments received from the applicant will form the starting point for a joint review carried out by the evaluation panel, consisting of experts in the field. The panel will prepare a consensus evaluation report on each proposal based on the application, the external reviews, the comments by the Principal Investigators, and the assessment report of the panel. The panel will rank the proposals and make a funding recommendation to the funding agencies.

The funding recommendations of the joint panel will be subject to approval by the each of the funding agencies. Please note that proposals will only be funded if all relevant funding agencies agree. Funding decisions will be made by March 2015. The final results will be communicated to the applicants and announced on the websites of FAPESP, ESRC and NWO.

5.2 Evaluation criteria

All eligible proposals will be assessed against five sets of criteria: 1) relevance to the theme of the Call, 2) scientific quality of the research proposal, 3) quality of the research groups, 4) international co-operation, 5) expected results. All five of the sets of criteria will be taken into consideration.

1) Relevance to the theme of the Call

  • Whether the proposal addresses an important issue as described in the thematic focus

2) Scientific quality of the research proposal

  • Challenging content;
  • Originality of the topic;
  • Innovative elements;
  • Potential to make an important contribution to the advancement of science or technology;
  • Suitability of proposed method.

3) Quality of the research groups

  • Competence and expertise of the team and complementarities of consortium;
  • Project Plans that include early career/junior researchers in the project activities;
  • Equitable gender balance sought in the composition of the project team.

4) International co-operation

  • Added value of international co-operation to the research project, including the complementary of the research teams;
  • Work plan;
  • The degree of inter-institutional co-operation between the project partners, and the prospects for scientific collaboration lasting beyond the duration of the research project.

5) Potential impact

  • The expected outcomes and impact of the research project;
  • The extent to which research is likely to be of value to stakeholder communities;
  • The extent to which potential knowledge users are involved in the research project;
  • Activities that will be deployed to communicate the research activities and outcomes to potential users;
  • Appropriateness of management of intellectual property.

5.3 Tentative timeline

26 May 2014

Call announced on FAPESP, ESRC and NWO websites

23 September 2014

Closing date for submission of proposals

September 2014 – January 2015

Eligibility check, review and rebuttal procedure

February 2015

Selection procedure

March 2015

Funding decisions, applicants will be notified

May 2015

Projects commence

6 Contact details 

6.1 Contact

All questions related to this call for research proposals must be directed to:

Diego Muñoz
Scientific Directorate
São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP

Manija Kamal
E-mail address:
Tel: +44 (0)1793413084
Economic and Social Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
United Kingdom 

Wieske Bressers
E-mail address:
Tel: +31 (0)70 344 09 79
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
P.O. Box 93425
2509 AK The Hague
The Netherlands


[1] In this text the words cities, urban areas, urban regions and city-regions are used as synonyms. It is up to applicants to choose and define their object of research.  

[2] Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. (Source: Walker, B., C. S. Holling, S. R. Carpenter, and A. Kinzig. 2004. Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2): 5. [online] URL: