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UK –Philippines Call for Proposals 2016

RCUK-PCIEERD Research Partnerships Call

Objectives and Scope

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), are pleased to invite applications to the RCUK-PCIEERD Research Partnerships Call.

This initiative will provide funding for small high-quality collaborative research projects between UK and Philippine researchers which contribute to the economic development and welfare of the Philippines.  We invite proposals which address issues on the thematic area Energy-Food-Water-Environment Nexus.

The objective is to deliver significant 1-2 year research funding for internationally competitive and innovative collaborative projects between researchers from the Philippines and the UK that will allow the pursuit of shared research interests. 

Proposals within the thematic area above are welcomed from across the remits of the UK Research Councils.  Recognising the multidisciplinary nature of the thematic area, the development of interdisciplinary collaborations is particularly welcome.

Proponents should consider how their proposal makes the best use of available expertise in the UK and the Philippines, the added value of collaboration and how the proposal will meet the Official Development Assistance (ODA) requirements of this Newton Fund activity. 

For more information on the funders please refer to annex 1.

Background of the Newton Fund

The UK contribution will be channeled from the Newton Fund. The Newton Fund is an initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. It was launched by the Chancellor in April 2014, and will deliver £375 million of funding over the course of five years.

The Fund forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee list. Newton Fund countries represent a sub-set of this list. For more information, please visit the RCUK Newton Fund page; http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/international/newton/.

The Newton Fund requires that the funding be awarded in a manner that fits with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines. All applications under this call must therefore be compliant with these guidelines http://www.newtonfund.ac.uk/about/what-is-oda/.

Thematic Area on Energy-Food-Water-Environment Nexus

The ‘nexus’ is a way of thinking about the interdependencies, tensions and trade-offs between essential ecosystem services such as food, water and energy, in the wider context of land use, environmental change, health and wellbeing, and global supply chains. These different systems are inextricably linked, and improvements in one sector can have adverse impacts in another.

The nexus requires a deep understanding of multi-functional landscapes and ways to manage the environment sustainably for multiple ecosystem services. It is underpinned by a number of cross-cutting areas, for example: The key challenge areas include:

  • valuing nature and natural capital (including stocks and tipping points);
  • sustainable prosperity and the green economy;
  • sustainable behaviour across supply chains;
  • human health and nutrition;
  • farmed animal production including health and nutrition
  • resource efficiency, including resource use efficiency
  • sustainable intensification;
  • forecasting extreme weather; and
  • resilient agriculture and food systems.

For example, how can agriculture deliver a better food system: using less land, water and energy; reducing losses and wastes; addressing key nutritional needs; maintaining acceptable levels of safety; and maintaining other ecosystem services and the natural capital on which it and they depend? The nexus requires interconnected thinking across the natural and social sciences, and between researchers, policy, business and civil society. *

Areas of interest include:

  • Re-envisaging growth for a sustainable future with a particular social science focus on:
    • Consumption - responding to the issues of climate change in the region particularly how behaviours are shaped and mediated differently by various influences such as values and belief systems and how they operate at different locales and scales.
    • Governance of sustainable resource use -understanding what the issues are in the region around the governance of sustainable resource use such as learning how local, national and international organisations interact and drive societal responses to the nexus issues particularly from a comparative view point across political systems and traditions
  • Developing more sustainable, resilient and efficient food and non-food production systems while mitigating impacts on the environment and taking into account the need for multi-functional landscapes:
    • Taking an integrated approach across farming systems and the food supply chain in order to deliver sufficient, affordable, nutritious and safe food. This includes understanding the interactions between genotype, phenotype and the environment in order to enhance crop and livestock production, improve the nutritional profile of food, feed and additives/ingredients, and improving efficiencies in food supply chains through the reduction of food loses and wastes due to for example, a lack of control of crop biology or microbial contamination.
    • Better integration of the biology of crops and farmed animals with their management and the agri-environment, in multidisciplinary studies of farming systems. Development of new tools, technologies and data analytics is required to accelerate the breeding of crops and livestock better adapted to the future world, and to drive precision approaches to agriculture with more informed and timely decision-making; and
    • Alongside food production, there is also a huge opportunity for agriculture as a source of renewable industrial feedstocks for energy, chemicals, non-food products and materials in a new bio-based economy.
  • Understanding how the processes of natural variability and manmade change work – as a whole Earth system, from global to local scale, from millions of years past to the present and into the future; developing whole-system knowledge to inform responsible management of the environment for multiple benefits.
  • Understanding how environmental processes (physical, chemical and biological processes that interact in land, water and air) control resource** availability and how we can use resources responsibly; developing this knowledge to help use and recycle resources safely and efficiently, to live within the Earth’s limits, and to steward natural resources for future generations.
  • Understanding the relationships between ecosystem stocks and service flows, and benefits that are delivered as a result, such that the critical levels of the stocks are understood to allow the identification and so avoidance of the abrupt and damaging change in the delivery of benefits (i.e. tipping points).

* Please note that the research under this theme must focus on the interconnected nature of the nexus, and not any single sector in isolation. For example, projects focussing solely on energy technologies will not be considered.

**(food, water, energy, minerals and other essential services we get from nature such as ecosystem)

Areas of interest for research in the Philippines:

  1. Innovations on energy production from water systems and resources (e.g. irrigation, sewage, tidal, marine, etc.)
  2. Energy production from food waste materials (e.g. biomass, biogas, biofuel, waste-to-energy, etc.)
  3. Technologies for efficient utilization of energy-food-water resources (e.g. desalination, co-generation, etc.)
  4. Innovative technologies for extending food shelf-life (e.g. efficient dryers, etc.) 
  5. Water purification technologies (e.g.  reverse and forward osmosis, etc.)  

Funding Available

This call funds partnership working between UK and Philippines based researchers, and proposals must contribute to the economic development and welfare of the Philippines.

RCUK has allocated up to £2.7 million and PCIEERD has allocated approximately £43 thousand per project (approx. PhP3 million per project); we expect to fund around 5 to 7 research projects through this joint call.  The size of the grant will vary depending of the needs of each research project and must be fully justified.

RCUK funding will be used to support the UK component of the partnership and PCIEERD funding will support the Philippines component.

RCUK-funded costs of each grant will be issued and managed by the relevant Research Council according to the remit of the research proposal in accordance with their normal research funding guidelines and procedures.

PCIEERD-funded costs of each grant will be issued and managed by PCIEERD in accordance with its DOST Grants-In-Aid (GIA) guidelines.

Please liaise closely with prospective partners to ensure that both RCUK and PCIEERD – DOST supported elements of the proposal abide by all regulations for both funders.


UK eligible applicants

For support under this call, applicants must be eligible to apply for funding from their respective Research Councils and must abide by the RCUK and individual Research Councils terms and conditions

Please refer to the below links to the relevant councils for your eligibility and guidance:

Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC),MRC Units and Institutes are also eligible to apply to this call
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Philippine Eligible applicants

Any Filipino, public or private, entity with proven competence may apply for Grants-In-Aid (GIA) support of DOST and it grant-giving units, provided that projects are for the benefit of Filipinos. Preference will be given to public and private universities and colleges, Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), R&D Consortia, non-profit laboratories, other public or private non- profit S&T institutions located in the Philippines. Non-profit S&T organizations are those, which: (1) are operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, or similar purposes in the public interest; (2) are not organized primarily for profit; and (3) use its net proceeds to maintain, improve, and/or expand its operations. Non-profit organizations engaged in lobbying activities are not eligible to apply.

Please refer to the DOST GIA Guidelinesfor eligibility and guidelines.

How to apply

Intention to Submit

In order to identify peer reviewers and convene assessment panels in advance, researchers are asked to indicate their intention to submit a proposal to this call. Please note that this should be submitted by (23:00 PHT) 02 August 2016 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note:  This form is not intended to assess or comment on the eligibility of a proposal or research team and should not affect or delay the creation and completion of your proposal on the JeS system. After sending in your intention to submit, changes can be made to your full application (i.e. additional co-applicants can be added and strands of work can be amended). 

For Philippine Researchers:

Eligible Filipino researchers seeking funding can apply for Grants-in-Aid (GIA) from DOST through the PCIEERD. Filipino researcher applicants are advised to accomplish the DOST Form 2B-3 (LIB) which are all downloadable at the links DOST forms. The PCIEERD-DOST also requires submission of a formal letter of intent from the applicant with a statement that the proposal is for RCUK-Philippines Research Partnership and an endorsement from the authorized head of their organization. All these required information by PCIEERD should be submitted by the Filipino applicant as supplemental document together with their UK applicants via the Research Council JeS System.

The Grants-In-Aid award for the Philippine researcher shall be governed by the DOST GIA Guidelines.

Submitting your Proposal

This RCUK-PCIEERD-DOST call will be managed through RCUK systems and hosted by research council on behalf of all seven research councils and PCIEERD-DOST.

The full deadline is 16:00 BST/GMT (23:00 PHT) 02 August 2016. Any proposal received after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

Researchers will be responsible for developing their own collaborations. Once a research proposal is developed, UK and Philippines applicants must apply jointly for funding to the RCUK Newton – PCIEERD-DOST Research Partnership Call, via the Research Council Je-S online application system (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk).

Applications must be submitted by the UK Principal Investigator on behalf of the UK-Philippines research partnership. The application must be JOINTLY prepared and submitted in English. Once received, RCUK will share the applications with PCIEERD-DOST.

The following documents must be included in the joint application.

  • Joint Case for Support
  • Justification of Resources  (including both UK and Philippines justification)
  • Pathways to Impact
  • Data Management Plan
  • Philippines costs proforma, DOST Form 2B-3 (Line Item Budget)
  • CVs and publications 
  • Letters of support

Please Note: Research Council are hosting this call on behalf of the Research Councils and PCIEERD-DOST through the UK Research Councils’ grant submission system known as ‘Je-S’.  It is a requirement of this call that successful proposals will be withdrawn from the call on JeS after decisions have been made and re-submitted to the lead remit council of the proposal on JeS for awards to be finalised and made.  Research council remit grants will not need to be withdrawn and resubmitted.

Key dates

Announce call for proposals (Je-S system opens) 25 May 2016
Closing date for proposals 02 August 2016
UK-Southeast Asia   Joint Panels Early October 2016
Decisions announced End of October 2016
Successful proposals withdrawn from EPSRC Je-S system by research offices and submitted to lead council by remit (not necessary for Research Council -remit grants) Early November 2016
Grants commence

01 December 2016 (UK)

January 2017 (PH)


Grant Start Dates

Due to the tight timescales and funding restrictions of the Newton Fund, UK grants must start by 01 December 2016, and the grant must end by December 2018.

Please note that in order to start the grant the start confirmation must be submitted by 01 December 2016 (shorter than the standard 42 days for Research Council grants). Please refer to RCUK terms and conditions for information on what the starting procedure entails; please ensure that you inform the relevant support staff in your organisation of this requirement to ensure the project starts on time.

Assessment criteria and decision making process

Following submission, peer review will be undertaken by the funding agencies. To be funded, proposals must be internationally competitive and at a standard equivalent to that normally expected to be supported by each funding organisation.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Research merit of the proposal         
  • Relevance of the proposal to the strategic objectives of the Newton Fund – including potential benefits and impact     
  • Strength and appropriateness of proposed partnership and collaboration                         
  • Project management structure and resources, including value for for money
  • Ethical considerations and governance arrangements


For additional information regarding the RCUK – DOST-PCHRD Research Partnership 2016 please go to the RCUK website at  http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/international/newton/rcuk-dipi/ or on the main Newton Fund webpage at http://www.newtonfund.ac.uk/funding/funding-opportunities/. The following resources can also be downloaded in the website:

  1. Call Specification
  2. Application Guidelines
  3. UK-SEA Case for Support Template
  4. UK-SEA Justification of Resources Template
  5. DOST Cost Template LIB 2B-3
  6. DOST A.O. 005 Series 2013 – Grants-in-Aid (GIA) Guidelines
  7. DOST S.O. 242 Series 2013 – GIA Salary Rates
  8. DOST M.C. 001 Series 2009 – Honoraria Rates
  9. Official Develepment Assistance Guidance


Download All



Any enquiries related to this call should be directed to:


Amy Mayes

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 (0) 01793 444352


Raul C. Sabularse or Albert G. Mariño

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +632 837 7516


Annex 1

Background of the Funders


Research Councils UK are the main UK delivery partner for the Newton Fund and are working strategically with partner countries to develop a series of research activities to address challenges defined by the overarching ambitions of the Fund.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) are responsible for investing public money in research in the UK to advance knowledge and generate new ideas which lead to a productive economy, healthy society and contribute to a sustainable world. Each year the Research Councils invest around £3bn in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, environmental sciences and the arts and the humanities. RCUK supports over 50,000 researchers including 19,000 doctoral students, around 14,000 research staff, and 2,000 research fellows in UK universities and in their own Research Institutes.

There are seven Research Councils which make up RCUK. For more information about RCUK, please visit our website at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/areas/


The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is one of the sectoral planning councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It is mandated to serve as the central agency in the formulation of policies, plans and programs as well as the impelementation of strategies in the industry, energy and emerging technology sectors.   

PCIEERD undertakes an aggressive application of science and technology (S&T) in harnessing the country’s S&T capabilities by providing continuing support programs and directions to research and development (R&D), technology transfer and commercialization, S&T information dissemination and promotion, human resource development and institution building for its deleanated sectors.

For more information about PCIEERD, please visit PCIEERD website at http://pcieerd.dost.gov.ph/.