Home » RISA Directorates » Funding » Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) - Concept Notes for Large Integrated Team Projects
Opening Date: 
Thursday, 12 April, 2018
Closing Date: 
Monday, 4 June, 2018

The primary focus of the Programme is to generate, mobilize, co-ordinate and make accessible foundational biodiversity knowledge in line with the needs of society, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) Global Change Programme and the bio-economy. The main approach is to fund large, collaborative / integrated team projects which align with knowledge needs, or which involve participants along the entire value chain from knowledge generation to application for decision-making. These projects will also include postgraduate students and emerging researchers, and the up-skilling of researchers and practitioners who use the data generated. The projects will generate or mobilize species occurrence data, DNA barcode data, and descriptive information on species, and will ensure that the knowledge is co-ordinated, managed and disseminated through appropriate structures and systems. Monitoring of the uptake and impact of the knowledge generated will allow the development of an understanding of best practice for ensuring that research outputs do have an impact on global change understanding and decision-making relating to biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. More details of the programme and call are provided in the Programme Framework document.

Concept notes for large integrated team projects that address at least one of the research focus areas below are invited. Concept notes will be assessed by a panel and a limited number will be selected for further development into full proposals.

Research focus areas include:

  1. Resolution of taxonomic problems, and documenting distribution and abundance of plant and animal species used for medicinal purposes in South Africa.

  2. Biological control: identification of potential biocontrol agents through being able to identify the pest / pathogen / alien and its origin, the identification of natural predators / pathogens of it, and close relatives of the host and potential agents.

  3. Biodiversity functionality. Better understanding of key functional attributes of different species in ecosystems, and the key interactions between them, focusing on terrestrial regulatory services systems. Regulatory services include invasion resistance, pollination, climate regulation, carbon sequestration, soil fertility, and pest and disease control in agricultural systems.

  4. Multi-taxa surveys of strategic geographic areas (eg. new or proposed protected areas, areas targeted for development, areas with high levels of dependence on biodiversity for livelihoods, areas of importance for providing ecological infrastructure) that produce all of the FBIP target outputs - species pages, DNA barcodes, species occurrence and abundance data. Mobilization of existing records for the species recorded or for the area could also be included in the project.

Funding details and duration of project

  • Application for funding for the large, integrated team projects is a two-step process:
  1. Concept document call, evaluation and selection for full development (2-4 concepts selected);
  2. Development of full proposals for selected concept documents, evaluation, selection of 1 to 2 full proposals for funding for a three-year period.
  • No funding is available for the development of concept notes. Limited seed funding is available as a once off payment in order to assist successful applicants to develop full proposals (R20, 000 per team).
  • Two new projects will be selected in 2018 for funding in 2019-2021. For the full projects the range of funding available is R500, 000 to R2.1 million per annum for a three year period (R1, 500,000 - R6, 300,000 in total per project with a maximum of R2.1 million in any one year). Awards are subject on availability of funds and the quality of proposals.

Call application and assessment process

  • Detailed information about the application and assessment processes are provided in Section 4.3 of the Programme Framework document.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the NRF’s Online Submission System at https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za. All applications must be endorsed by the research office of the principal applicant before submission to the NRF. Institutions must set their own internal closing date for DAs to validate applications by the closing date. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted. 


Successful concept note applicants will be invited to submit full proposals by September 2018

Contact details

Programme Co-ordinator (for programme content related queries):
Name: Lita Pauw
Tel: 012 843 5113
Email: L.Pauw@sanbi.org.za

Professional Officer (for technical and granting queries): 
Name: Mmamokete Mabuela
Tel: 012 481 4088
Email: mmamokete.mabuela@nrf.ac.za