2017 RFP: Biodiversity Informatics for African Freshwater and Pollinator Biodiversity ($180,000)

Butterflies sucking nectar from some brightly coloured flowers

2017 RFP: Biodiversity Informatics for African Freshwater and Pollinator Biodiversity ($180,000)

Deadline: February 22, 2017 (11:59 PM Pacific Time).

 

Dear Prospective Grant Applicant:

The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for multi-year projects focused upon biodiversity data, knowledge and information services related to freshwater biodiversity and pollinator biodiversity in eastern and southern Africa. The foundation will award about $1,300,000 among qualifying proposals by July 2017 [see footnote]. Please write to jrsrfp2017@jrsbiodiversity.org with any questions. The latest update of this call for proposals is available below, as is an up-to-date list of Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Download this RFP Announcement

 

JRS Biodiversity Foundation

Our foundation’s vision is a world in which greater access to knowledge substantially contributes to conserving the Earth’s biodiversity for the benefit of society.  Our mission is to increase the access to and the use of information for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2007, the foundation has invested more than $15M in biodiversity informatics projects that focus on: (1) collecting and enhancing data, (2) aggregating, synthesizing, and publishing data, (3) making data more widely available to potential end users, and (4) interpreting and gaining insights from biodiversity data to inform policy and conservation of biodiversity.

 

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The JRS strategy to advance biodiversity informatics in sub-Saharan Africa is to connect data to knowledge use in critical domains of conservation and sustainable development where the demand for information can sustain investment in knowledge, technology, people, and institutions. Our goal is to expand biodiversity informatics capacity in sub-Saharan Africa as evidenced by increases in access to and use of biodiversity data, investment in biodiversity information resources, and human and institutional capacity to generate and use biodiversity data and information services. This call for proposals supports our grantmaking programs in Freshwater Biodiversity and Resources and in Pollinator Biodiversity and Services. Please see http://jrsbiodiversity.org to learn more about our work.

 

Types of Proposals

JRS will accept two types of proposal: 1) proposals for multi-year projects, and 2) proposals for planning grants for multi-year projects. Project proposals deemed to need additional time for technical planning and partnership development may be offered the opportunity to receive a planning grant.

Project ideas outside of the scope of this RFP as defined below should use the foundation’s Funding Inquiry Form and upload utility at http://jrsbiodiversity.org/how-to-apply/funding-inquiries/.

 

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Freshwater Biodiversity Scope: Project Proposals

JRS seeks projects that increase the access to and use of biodiversity information relating to freshwater biodiversity assessment and the conservation of freshwater ecosystem services in eastern and southern Africa. Freshwater ecosystems are under threat from expanding agriculture, human settlement, extractive industries, and from climate change.  The biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems is critical for the ecosystem services for human wellbeing and livelihoods.  Please see our program description at Freshwater Biodiversity and Resources.

 

Meeting Demand for Knowledge: Approaches to ensuring the value and use of data and information may include, but are not limited to: partnerships that include data providers and users, data use for the development and implementation of national policies or international agreements, data use for conservation planning and management, and partnerships to mobilize environmental impact assessment data. Users may be in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in roles that involve decision-making that influences biodiversity.

 

Problem Scope: Successful proposals will address challenges that face freshwater biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Challenges (focusing on the biodiversity component) may include assessment of species and ecosystem conservation status, designation of protected areas, regulation of fisheries, siting of water and other infrastructure, mitigating impacts of energy and extractive industry development, protection of watersheds for freshwater supply, implementation of safeguard policies, and trans-boundary management of catchment basins.

 

Technical Scope: Successful proposals will increase the access to biodiversity data and knowledge about freshwater systems that is valuable and relevant for decision-making for conservation and sustainable development.  Technical approaches may include, but are not limited to: mobilizing and enhancing existing data and new or improved information platforms and services, technologies for data collection and enhancement, and data visualization tools and platforms.

 

Out of Scope: Out of the scope of this call for proposals are projects in marine ecosystems, projects focused upon species that do not have critical life stages that are dependent upon freshwater ecosystems, projects that are primarily aimed at taxonomy or collection digitization, and projects on biodiversity outside of the specified African regions. Projects that focus on conservation and monitoring without development of an informatics component and capacity are out of scope.

 

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Requirements: The following requirements will ensure that your proposal aligns with JRS strategy and will be considered for funding.

  • There is a well-defined use of and value to the data or tool and the end-users (decision makers and policy influencers regarding resource use or management) are directly involved in proposal development and project implementation.
  • The hardware, software, data standards and related technical tools are specifically described.
  • All primary data generated by the project will be available per the Open Data Access Policy and its terms for license, timeliness, standards, access, and compliance.
  • The grant applicants are African or African principals and institutions play major and long-term roles in project implementation and sustainability.
  • Training and capacity development is an explicit aim of the project through long-term engagement, network building, and sharing of training resources.
  • Projects are in Eastern Africa or in the southern Great Lakes Region, Botswana, or South Africa.
  • Budgets are justified in significant detail in terms of cost assumptions, timing, and rationale.

Pollinator Biodiversity Scope: Project Proposals

JRS seeks projects that increase the access to and use of biodiversity information relating to pollinator biodiversity assessment and the conservation of pollinator services in sub-Saharan Africa. Pollination is one of the most important ecosystem services supporting human life and livelihoods as well as natural biodiversity and primary productivity. Challenges facing pollinator conservation in Africa are many and include inadequate expertise, insufficient data on pollinator status, few risk mitigation options, lack of information on pollinator-plant interactions, lack of standard field methods and data standards, and lack of economic evaluations of pollinator services.

 

Though applications for pollinator data are limited, we are seeking projects related to these three areas for which pollinator information may be relevant to conservation and development policy and practice:

  1. Data sets for monitoring landscape level climate change impacts;
  2. Biodiversity assessments and monitoring in agricultural landscapes; and
  3. Monitoring the impacts of land use management and agricultural productivity strategies.

 

Technical Scope: We are seeking proposals that solely or predominantly feature Hymenoptera (Bees & Wasps) or Butterflies. Our technical priorities as can be found on our Pollinators Program Website are:

  1. Methods: (1) Approaches for large scale/low cost pollinator data collection; (2) Methods for pollinator identification; and (3) Methodology, standards, and database design for plant-pollinator data.
  2. Platforms: (1) Develop transferrable database and website models; (2) Develop pollinator knowledge platforms; and (3) Online access to field guides and checklists.
  3. Capacity Development: (1) Baseline datasets; (2) High quality pollinator biodiversity data components of agricultural studies; and (3) Network formation and capacity building.

 

Out of Scope: Out of the scope of this call are projects that seek to develop new agricultural practices, projects that study the use of and the impact of pesticides, projects aimed at beekeeping and honey production, projects that are primarily aimed at taxonomic revision and determination, mass digitization of collections, and pollinator biodiversity outside of the specified African geographies.  U.S. law governing foundations requires that projects seeking to influence legislation through advocacy or lobbying or public campaigns will not be considered. For additional information please see JRS Grantmaking on our website.

 

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Requirements: The following requirements will ensure that your proposal aligns with JRS strategy and will be considered for funding.

  • There is a well-defined potential use of and future value to the data or tool and the end-users are well-defined and they are directly involved in proposal development and project implementation.
  • The hardware, software, data standards and related technical tools are specifically described.
  • All primary data generated by the project will be available per the Open Access data policy and its terms for license, timeliness, standards, access, and compliance.
  • The grant applicants are African or African principals and African institutions play major and long-term roles in project implementation and sustainability.
  • Training and capacity development is an explicit aim of the project through long-term engagement, network building, and sharing of training resources.
  • Projects are in Eastern Africa or in the southern Great Lakes Region, Botswana, or South Africa.
  • Budgets are justified in significant detail in terms of cost assumptions, timing, and rationale.

 

Please Ask Us Questions

The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is grateful for the creative efforts of our grantee partners and we are very respectful of the time devoted to seeking funds.  We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions regarding the degree to which you project fits this RFP scope.

 

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General Qualifications

Preference will be given to projects that can grow to larger scale or can be transferred across geographic regions or across organizational and institutional contexts. Partnerships and collaborations will be preferred over standalone projects. Projects that hold potential to engage with, reinforce, or benefit our current projects will be preferred. All projects must conform to the foundation’s Open Data Policy.

The total multi-year requested grant may range from about $50,000 to about $250,000.  The foundation is likely to prioritize those proposals that demonstrate the following criteria:

 

  • Close adherence to the scope of this call;
  • Prior success of the project director, partnership, or grantee organization;
  • Potential to generate transformative change;
  • Linkages to specific conservation and sustainable development outcomes;
  • Capacity-development within the project and the broader community;
  • Leadership by, or strong partnership with, institutions in Africa;
  • Specific methodologies, milestones and indicators to evaluate progress and success; and
  • Evidence of current or future interest by other funders.

 

Application Process:  All proposals will be evaluated on their own merits and only those that comply with the application guidelines posted on the foundation website will be considered.  You may begin the application process immediately; all proposals must be submitted using the online system. No proposals will be accepted after February 22, 2017.

 

Apply Here.
 

2017 Timetable for Applications

  • Wednesday, January 11: Announcement of call for proposals.
  • Wednesday, February 22: Deadline for submission of proposals
  • Friday, April 21: Invitation to finalists to revise proposals
  • Tuesday, May 9: Deadline for submission of revised proposals
  • Friday, June 2: Final funding decision communicated by the Foundation
  • Tuesday, August 1: Approximate date of first payment to approved grantees

 

Thank you in advance for your interest. Please write to JRSRFP2017@jrsbiodiversity.org with any questions regarding this request for proposals.

 

Don S. Doering, Executive Director

[1] This is an estimate only and is subject to change. JRS awards for multi-year implementation projects have ranged from $70,000 to $350,000 and averaged $180,000.

 


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Kunlere is an environment and sustainable development strategist with years of active experience in environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement. You may follow him on Twitter via @kunlere_idowu

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