Funding Opportunity News
Umeed Mistry

BID call for proposals: Sub-Saharan Africa 2020

Umeed Mistry

GBIF invites the submission of concept notes for project funding from sub-Saharan Africa 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 €600,000.

This call seeks to support projects from sub-Saharan Africa 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 sub-Saharan Africa. Concept notes must be submitted by 27 August 2020 through the GBIF Grant 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.

GBIF plans to invite simultaneous calls for submission of concept notes for the wider Caribbean (see eligible countries) and the Pacific (see eligible countries) in September 2020. To keep up to date with the programme, including upcoming information webinars and other information resources, sign up to the BID mailing lists.

Application timeline

Initial concept notes must be submitted by 27 August 2020 through the GBIF Grants Portal.

Selected applicants will be invited in the last quarter of 2020 to submit full proposals.

Following a final review and selection, funded projects are expected to start in April 2021 with a project implementation period of maximum 24 months (01 April 2021– 31 March 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 second 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 African 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 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 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 all be within the target countries.
  6. Fieldwork 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. All proposed project activities must fall within the stated implementation periods for each grant type.
  10. 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.
  11. If invited to submit a full proposal, applicants must provide plans to ensure sustainability of activities after project support from BID concludes.
  12. 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.
  13. Letters of support from confirmed project partners should be submitted through the GBIF Grants Portal.
  14. 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.

Source: BID website 

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