Call for proposals promoting the mobilization and use of biodiversity data in Asia

Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) programme invites new round of proposals from the region

Bronchocela cristatella
Green crested lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) observed in Malaysia by Cyren Asteraceya. Photo via iNaturalist (CC BY-NC 4.0)

GBIF invites the submission of concept notes for projects that enhance knowledge of Asian biodiversity through access to data from biological collections and monitoring programmes in the region. The call is issued under the fifth phase of the Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) programme, funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan.

This call for proposals aims to address key challenges that GBIF nodes in Asia have identified in connection with the mobilization and use of biodiversity data in the region. The total potential funding assigned to this call is approximately €90,000, and applicants may request a maximum of €15,000 through BIFA for each project.

Two types of grants are included in the call:

These grants are open to institutions based in eligible countries in Asia. Concept notes must be submitted through the GBIF Grants Portal by 05 January 2020.

For any additional information or questions, please contact bifa@gbif.org.

Available grant types

BIFA collections data mobilization grants

These grants target Asia’s natural history collections to fill taxonomic and geographic gaps in freely accessible data relating to Asian biodiversity

Purpose

Projects funded by a BIFA collections data mobilization grant will target Asia’s natural history collections. They should address the priority challenge for GBIF in Asia of filling taxonomic and geographical gaps in the availability of accessible data on the occurrence of species in the region. The following activities are envisaged under this type of grant:

  • Digitizing and publishing georeferenced species occurrence data based on specimens held in Asian collections
  • Organizing workshops(s) aiming to enhance national or regional capacity within biodiversity data mobilization
  • Preparing data papers to improve the reusability of the mobilized biodiversity data

Learn more about the relevant data types and the process of publishing data through the GBIF network.

Eligibility

The GBIF Secretariat welcomes proposals from natural history collection institutions in any Asian country eligible for BIFA grants and complying with BIFA eligibility criteria.

Joint efforts between institutions targeting national, regional or thematic data mobilization are encouraged.

Funding

A maximum of €15,000 may be requested through a BIFA collections data mobilization grant. All proposals must include co-funding from other sources, either directly or in-kind including staff time. No overheads¹, field work and/or the collection of new field data, or laboratory research to capture new data may be charged to BIFA. As part of the grant request, up to a maximum of €3,000 may be requested for IT, electronic and laboratory equipment², covering up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of each item.

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BIFA ecological monitoring data mobilization grants

These ecological monitoring data mobilization grants target Asian biodiversity monitoring programmes and networks

Purpose

Projects funded by a BIFA ecological monitoring data mobilization grant will target the various institutions, projects and networks in Asia engaged in surveys and inventories of biodiversity using standardized methodologies and protocols. They should address the priority regional challenge for GBIF in Asia of filling taxonomic and geographical gaps in the availability of accessible data on the occurrence of species in the region, including relative abundance and changes over time. The following activities are envisaged under this type of grant:

  • Mobilizing species occurrence and sampling-event data from observation networks and monitoring systems
  • Preparing data papers to improve the reusability of the mobilized biodiversity data

Learn more about the relevant data types and the process of publishing data through the GBIF network.

Eligibility

The GBIF Secretariat welcomes proposals for mobilizing ecological monitoring data from any institution, NGO or network that is a legal entity in any Asian country eligible for BIFA grants and complying with BIFA eligibility criteria.

Funding

A maximum of €15,000 may be requested through a BIFA ecological monitoring data mobilization grant. All proposals must include co-funding from other sources, either directly or in-kind including staff time. No overheads¹, field work and/or the collection of new field data, or laboratory research to capture new data may be charged to BIFA. As part of the grant request, up to a maximum of €3,000 may be requested for IT, electronic and laboratory equipment², covering up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of each item.

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Application process and timeline

Applications for grants from BIFA follow a two-stage process:

1. A concept note is submitted through the GBIF Grants Portal for to initial screening to ensure the proposal meets general eligibility criteria (see below) and that it falls within the scope of the programme. If it passes these tests, the concept note is reviewed independently by three assessors and scored against the following selection criteria:

  • Relevance of the proposal to the purpose and recommended activities of the selected BIFA grant type and to the specific needs of the geographic area(s) targeted, including relevance of the taxonomic group(s) selected for data mobilization
  • Coherence and effectiveness of the proposal
  • Expected value of the project’s deliverables
  • Likelihood of the project achieving sustainable results
  • Cost-effectiveness (including factors such as the number of partners benefiting from the project, matching funds leveraged, etc.)

A panel convened by GBIF Secretariat, including external experts, then evaluates the concept notes based on scoring and comments provided by the assessors, before recommending which applicants should be invited to submit a full proposal. In addition to the guidance provided by the assessors, this panel may take the following criteria into account in its recommendations:

  • Geographic and thematic balance, to ensure that invited proposals meet broader objectives of encouraging data mobilization in under-represented countries and/or taxonomic groups
  • A suitable balance of projects that build on the activities of previous grantees and those that introduce new institutions to the GBIF community of practice
  • Potential for concept notes with similar objectives, focus and/or overlapping partners to combine into a single submission at full proposal stage

2. Candidates recommended by the evaluation panel are invited to submit a full proposal separately through the GBIF Grants Portal. The invitation may be accompanied by recommendations or specific conditions communicated by the evaluation panel. These may include feedback from assessors on the detail of the concept note, recommendations regarding the budget or suggestions relating to possible pairing of the project with another submitted concept note. The response to this feedback will be an additional criterion used to evaluate the full proposal.

Full proposals are submitted to the same process as the concept note, i.e. independent review and scoring by three assessors, and evaluation by the selection panel. As in the first stage, final recommendations for funding may take account of geographic and thematic balance, as well as the balance between experienced and new project teams, to ensure the best overall impact of the annual funding round.

Timeline

Initial concept notes, must be submitted by 05 January 2020 through the GBIF Grant Portal
Selected applicants will be invited in February 2020 to submit full proposals.

Following a final review and selection, funded projects are expected to start in July 2020 with a project implementation period of maximum 12 months (01 July 2020 – 30 June 2021).

Selected projects will be required to send a project team member to a capacity enhancement workshop and obtain certification for the skills acquired. This workshop is expected to take place in July/August 2020, and the cost of participation will be met separately from GBIF/BIFA funds (applicants need NOT include this in the project budget).

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General Eligibility Criteria

All activities funded under the BIFA programme must comply with the following general eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be in good standing with GBIF (i.e. the lead institution submitting the project proposal has no overdue or missing reports and/or deliverables from previous projects funded under a programme led by GBIF)
  • Applicants must be legal entities located in an Asian country eligible for BIFA grant
  • All BIFA funded activities must be not-for-profit
  • Complete concept notes and full proposals in English must be submitted through GBIF Grant Portal by the stated deadlines.
  • Field work and/or the collection of new field data, or laboratory research to capture new data are not eligible for funding under the BIFA programme – although such activities may be included in a project plan if funded by alternative sources.
  • Applicants must commit cofunding (in-kind or cash) to their projects and provide details of this cofunding in their concept notes and full proposals. Cofunding refers to real costs that are incurred by the applicants while executing the funded project’s activities. These could be in-kind contributions that directly contribute to the project activities (like staff salaries, travel costs etc.) or any in-cash contributions to BIFA activities from other funding sources. The level of this cofunding will be taken into account when evaluating the proposal’s value for money.
  • All data mobilized through the BIFA grants, as well as any other products of the projects, such as training material, must be made available under a CC BY license or CC0 waiver.
  • All proposed project activities must fall within the stated implementation periods for each grant type.
  • Applications involving partners from countries or organizations that already participate in GBIF must include a statement of endorsement from the GBIF Head of Delegation or Node Manager. Contact information for representatives of GBIF Participant countries and organizations can be found on the Participant pages linked from the Participant list
  • No applications for funding a third year of a continuing BIFA project will be considered eligible. Applicants from projects that have already received a second BIFA grant for a follow-up project may, however, submit new proposals that differ substantially from the scope and objectives of the original project and follow-up.

Eligible countries and economies

Institutions and legal entities located in the following countries/economies are eligible to apply for grant through this BIFA call:

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About the GBIF Grants Portal

It is highly recommended that applicants create an account in the GBIF Grants Portal as early as possible as the account verification process can take up to 2 working days. Any requests/enquiries sent to bifa@gbif.org will be responded within 3 working days.

Important links

GBIF Grants Portal
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


¹ Overheads include costs that cannot be directly attributed to the activities of the project, e.g. bank fees, exchange rate fees, Value Added Tax (VAT) and postal/courier service costs
² IT, electronic and laboratory equipment includes for example:
- Computer equipment, such as laptops, desktop computers, servers, hard drives and printers
- Software licences and subscriptions
- Digital cameras and scanners
- Other electrical equipment and electronics
- Lab equipment including microscopes, sequencing equipment, etc.

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