FAPESP and 15 other funders launch joint call for research proposals in social sciences and humanities
May 26, 2021
By Maria Fernanda Ziegler | Agência FAPESP – The social problems aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic are multiple and solutions to them require studies in epidemiology, social science and humanities. This is the premise behind the latest call for proposals issued by the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) for Social Sciences and Humanities, a consortium of 16 research funding agencies and foundations in 12 countries in the Americas and Europe that aims to foster multilateral engagement among research funders on both sides of the Atlantic.
The call is the third issued by T-AP and is entitled Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World (RRR). It aims to advance our understanding of the complex interaction of medium- and long-term societal effects of the pandemic. This understanding in turn should advance knowledge of how to mitigate the negative societal effects of the pandemic and support recovery and renewal in a post-pandemic world.
“There are many issues relating to the pandemic that haven’t been completely understood and many opportunities to reshape the world in a different way. We hope the call will offer new perspectives and approaches to these problems through greater scientific collaboration among researchers on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Luiz Eugênio Mello, FAPESP’s Scientific Director, on opening the webinar hosted by FAPESP to announce the call on May 7.
FAPESP is the administrator of the call, in partnership with funders based in Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa.
“We’ve launched other calls in the past, but this one has a special meaning, given the critical importance of finding ways for us to deal with the impact of the pandemic and build a better place to live,” said Ted Hewitt, President of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), welcoming participants to the event.
Collaborations among countries
The call is strongly cross-border: proposals will not be approved unless the researchers come from at least three of the participating countries and represent both sides of the Atlantic. Funding will be provided by the lead country’s agency. Projects should last 24-36 months.
Proposals must be submitted by July 12, 2021. The lead researcher for each proposal has until June 14 to complete the online Intention to Submit form available from the country’s or region’s funding agency. All those who wish to participate are advised to register in advance with SAGe, FAPESP’s management support platform.
“Every organization has its own eligibility rules and restrictions, so it’s most important that applicants read the T-AP call documents and also the criteria adopted by their own country’s organization,” said Claudia Bauzer Medeiros, a member of the steering committee for the FAPESP Research Program on eScience and Data Science (eScience).
Applicants should check team eligibility with the respective funder. The lead principal investigator and associated researchers in each of the countries involved must be eligible. If all eligibility requirements are not met, the proposal will be disqualified.
Funding limits vary from one funder to another. In FAPESP’s case, the ceiling is BRL 450,000 per project. The upper limit is USD 200,000 for the US, GBP 310,000 for the UK, and EUR 300,000 for Germany.
Researchers from countries or regions other than T-AP partners may participate as collaborators, as may non-academic partners such as nonprofits or industrial firms, but will not be funded unless otherwise stated in the specific rules for this call issued by each funder.
The call lists five main challenges relating to post-pandemic reconstruction: (i) reducing inequalities and vulnerabilities; (ii) building a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable society; (iii) fostering democratic governance and political participation; (iv) advancing responsible and inclusive digital innovation; and (v) ensuring effective and accurate communication and media.
Applicants are required to submit novel and significant proposals for research in social sciences and humanities that address one or more of these challenges. Interdisciplinarity is strongly encouraged.
“COVID-19 and its societal implications raise enormous questions about the economy, governance, the future of work, the environment, education, communication and much more. We firmly believe that the humanities and social sciences have a vast amount to contribute to resolving the massive challenges arising out of the pandemic,” said Manija Kamal, Senior Manager for International Strategy at the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
According to the call document, research in social sciences and humanities that focuses on the five challenges will help the world understand and address the complex societal effects of the pandemic, inform mitigation efforts, and contribute to a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future.
Travel for research collaborations has been impossible between many countries during much of the pandemic, and there may be further disruptions as nations move toward the post-pandemic world. “It’s important to include alternative scenarios for continuing the collaboration in the event that part of a team or a researcher is unable to enter a country, and actually we require this,” said Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, representing the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
A complete recording of the webinar can be watched at: fapesp.br/14885/.
Agência FAPESP licenses news reports under Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC-ND so that they can be republished free of charge and in a straightforward manner by other digital media or by print media. The name of the author or reporter (when applied) must be cited, as must the source (Agência FAPESP). Using the button HTML below ensures compliance with the rules described in Agência FAPESP’s Digital Content Republication Policy.