Land Use, Climate Change, and Food Systems through the Belmont Forum

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter announcing a funding opportunity from the Belmont Forum and the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI). The Belmont Forum is supported by the G8 and emerging economies’ heads of research councils with the purpose of bringing together major funders of research on global environmental change;NSF is the U.S. representative to the Belmont Forum.

For this solicitation, the focus is on the issues of “food security and land use change that are best addressed through a coupled interdisciplinary and multinational approach.” The Dear Colleague Letter stresses that teams should include social/economic scientists as part of their interdisciplinary makeup. Proposals from institutions within the United States must collaborate with scientists from two other participating countries (a list of participating countries is available at

This solicitation concentrates on three topics; proposals may address at least one topic or up to all three:

  1. “Land use change impacts on food systems;
  2. Food systems dynamics as driver of land use changes; and
  3. Feedback loop interactions between land use change and food security dynamics.”

Furthermore, this particular solicitation offers two types of projects:

  • Community Building
    Projects (Type 1)
    – Projects should be short-term, exploratory projects that focus on “networking, capacity building, co-design of research questions and co-building methodologies.”
  • Medium-to-long-term Integrated Projects (Type 2)
    Projects should aim to enhance the understanding of natural and human systems as they relate to food security and land use. Not only is stakeholder involvement essential, the solicitation states “a clear plan for how the results would be used” is also required.

The Belmont Forum last released solicitations in spring 2012 on the topics of freshwater security and coastal vulnerability. From those solicitations, which required pre-proposals, 25 were invited to submit full proposals for coastal vulnerability and 30 were invited for freshwater security. In October 2012 at NSF’s Geosciences Advisory Committee meeting, it was noted that potential future topics for Belmont Forum solicitations could include food security and urban megacities.

Letters of Intent: Not applicable.

Due Dates:Type 1 proposals are due September 30. Type 2 pre-proposals are due September 30, with invited full proposals due February 28, 2014.

Total Funding and Award Size:NSF expects eight to ten proposals will be awarded for Type 1 and one to three proposals will be awarded for Type 2. Type 1 proposals will be funded for 12-18 months for up to $300,000 total, whereas Type 2 proposals will be awarded for three to five years with up to $3 million total. There is a total of €10 million ($13.3 million) available for the competition.

Eligibility and Limitations: Researchers may only be part of one proposal, whether it be Type 1 or Type 2.

Sources and Additional Background:

This post originally appeared on the ASPB website in August 2013 and was authored by Lewis Burke & Associates, LLC.

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