BID call for proposals: Pacific 2020

The Biodiversity Information for Development programme aims to enhance capacity for effective data mobilization and use for sustainable development: DEADLINE: 26 NOVEMBER 2020

Samla rubropurpurata
Samla rubropurpurata observed near Ra, Fiji by Douglas Klug. Photo via iNaturalist (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Application timelineGeneral recommendationsGeneral eligibilityApplication process

GBIF invites the submission of concept notes for project funding from the Pacific through Biodiversity Information for Development (BID), a programme funded by the Directorate-General for International Partnerships of the European Union.

The BID programme aims to enhance capacity for effective mobilization and use of biodiversity data in support of decision- and policymaking for sustainable development. The total funding assigned to this call is approximately €350,000.

This call seeks to support projects from the Pacific that:

  • Mobilize biodiversity data relevant to decisions supporting sustainable development
  • Use and extend best practices for digitizing natural history collections and mobilizing other biodiversity data
  • Apply biodiversity data in support of decision-making and research
  • Develop lasting national, regional or thematic networks to support ongoing data sharing and reuse

The call offers support for four grant types:

  • Regional biodiversity data mobilization grants that establish or strengthen international collaborations to increase biodiversity data mobilization for research and policy addressing regional sustainable development needs (maximum funding: 60,000 euros for projects involving two countries; €120,000 for projects involving three or more countries)
  • National biodiversity data mobilization grants that establish or strengthen national biodiversity information facilities and increase biodiversity data mobilization to respond to national priorities (maximum funding: €40,000 per project)
  • Institution-level biodiversity data mobilization grants that mobilize biodiversity data relevant for sustainable development (maximum funding: €20,000 per project)
  • Data-use grants that build on existing relationships between biodiversity data-holding institutions and decision-makers to provide data solutions that respond to a specific policy need (maximum funding: €60,000 per project)

These grants are open to institutions based in eligible countries in the Pacific. Concept notes must be submitted by 26 November 2020 through the GBIF Grants Portal. Following evaluation of the concept notes, GBIF will invite applicants successful in this round to submit a full proposal.

This call aims to build on the impact of BID’s first phase, in which 63 BID-funded projects mobilized 535 biodiversity datasets containing more than 1.3 million records relevant to the regions’ priority policy needs. The programme's rigorous training and e-learning curricula have also helped improve biodiversity data skills and establish regional communities of practice for hundreds of professionals across sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific.

Application timeline

Initial concept notes must be submitted by 26 November 2020 through the GBIF Grants Portal.

Selected applicants will be invited in the first quarter of 2021 to submit full proposals.

Following a final review and selection, funded projects are expected to start in June 2021 with a project implementation period of maximum 24 months (01 July 2021–30 June 2023).

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 during the third quarter of 2021, and the cost of participation will be met separately from GBIF/BID funds (applicants need NOT include this in the project budget).

General recommendations for preparing concept notes

  • Ensure that your project meets the eligibility criteria and aligns well with the overall objectives for the programme. Consider the evaluation criteria mentioned in the application process, as these will decide whether you will be invited to submit a full proposal.
  • Be brief. Try to provide the shortest responses possible and only add background information if really needed, using links to external resources rather than long explanations.
  • Review the FAQs. The FAQ page will be updated throughout the project application period. Send any unanswered questions to BID@gbif.org.
  • Submit on time. The deadline for submissions is a hard deadline, and projects received late or incomplete will not be reviewed.

General eligibility requirements

  1. Concept notes and full proposals must be submitted in English through the GBIF Grants Portal by the stated deadlines.
  2. Applicants must be legal entities located in an eligible Pacific country. Such entities include national government agencies, GBIF Participant nodes and their host institutions, natural history museums and collections, research institutes, universities, and NGOs.
  3. Applications involving partners from countries within the target region that already participate in GBIF must request a statement of endorsement from the GBIF Head of Delegation or Node Manager at the concept note stage. Contact information for representatives of GBIF Participant countries and organizations can be found on the Participant tab of the country pages, from the Participant list.
  4. All BID funded activities must be not-for-profit. BID programme funds may be used to support staff time, travel and costs associated with the organization of meetings and workshops, and limited costs for IT services and equipment.
  5. Data mobilized by BID-funded projects should be principally within the target countries.
  6. Field work and/or the collection of new field data, or laboratory research to capture new data are not eligible for funding under the BID programme – although such activities may be included in a project plan if funded by alternative sources.
  7. Overhead costs may not be charged to BID grants.
  8. Applicants must commit some co-funding (in-kind or cash) to their projects. Co-funding 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 BID activities from other funding sources. The level of co-funding will be taken into account when evaluating cost-effectiveness.
  9. Activities and deliverables must not be dependent on co-funding from unconfirmed additional grant applications.
  10. All proposed project activities must fall within the stated implementation periods for each grant type.
  11. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants must prepare a detailed budget. Note that BID funds cannot be used to pay for bank transfer fees, exchange rate fees and courier costs for delivering the contract and project reports to GBIF.
  12. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants must provide plans to ensure sustainability of activities after project support from BID concludes.
  13. If invited to submit a full project proposal, written confirmation from all project partners, stating their involvement in the project, must be provided with the submission.
  14. Letters of support from confirmed project partners should be submitted through the GBIF Grants Portal.
  15. All data mobilized through the BID grants, as well as any other products of the projects, such as training material, must be made available under either a CC0 1.0 waiver or CC-BY 4.0 licence.

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 two (2) working days. Any requests/enquiries sent to BID@gbif.org will be responded within three (3) working days.

Application process

The project lead submits a concept note through the GBIF Grants Portal, which will be screened to ensure that it meets general eligibility criteria 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 objective and recommended activities of the selected BID grant type and to the specific needs of the geographic area(s) targeted
  • Expected value of the project’s deliverables to both the national and regional context and the broader community of biodiversity information holders and users
  • Likelihood of the project achieving sustainable results
  • Likelihood of the project providing examples of best practice in the application of biodiversity information in decision-making
  • Likelihood of projects submitted by GBIF non-participating countries to result in formal GBIF participation or to develop a pathway leading towards participation in GBIF as a result of their project
  • Demonstration of how existing GBIF nodes and institutions applying for a follow-up of a BID project plan to build on their ongoing activities as a GBIF node or the results from their previous BID grant
  • Cost-effectiveness (including factors such as the number of partners benefiting from the project, matching funds leveraged, etc.)
  • Choice and diversity of project partners
  • Level of support demonstrated by confirmation letters from at least some project partners

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
  • An appropriate balance between regional, national, institutional and data use grants

Candidates recommended by the Selection 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 Selection 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, balance between grant types, as well as the balance between experienced and new project teams, to ensure the best overall impact of the annual funding round.


 This programme is funded by the European Union.