Belmont Forum

Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of transdisciplinary science. Forum operations are guided by the Belmont Challenge, a vision document that encourages: International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

Forum members and partner organizations work collaboratively to meet this Challenge by issuing international calls for proposals, committing to best practices for open data access, and providing transdisciplinary training.  To that end, the Belmont Forum is also working to enhance the broader capacity to conduct transnational environmental change research through its e-Infrastructure and Data Management initiative.

Since its establishment, the Forum has successfully led 17 calls for proposals, supporting 134 projects and more than 1,000 scientists and stakeholders, representing over 90 countries.  Themes addressed by CRAs have included Freshwater Security, Coastal Vulnerability, Food Security and Land Use Change, Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Arctic Observing and Science for Sustainability, and Mountains as Sentinels of Change.  New themes are developed through a scoping process and made available for proposals through the Belmont Forum website and its BF Grant Operations site.

How the Belmont Forum Works 

Scientist and stakeholder support is made possible through Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs),which are the Forum equivalent of a call for proposals.

Each proposal submitted to a CRA theme in the Belmont Forum Grant Operations (BFgo) must consist of a project co-developed by natural scientists, social scientists, and stakeholders that hail from at least three countries.  Stakeholder is used in its broadest sense in CRAs, representing the potential to co-develop and co-implement projects with communities, policymakers, business and industry, unionized bodies, tribal organizations, non-governmental organizations, and many others not listed here.  Similarly, the Forum’s definition of social science includes the full breadth of social disciplines, including economics and the humanities.  The research itself can take place within one or more countries anywhere in the world, but the team itself must be eligible for support from three funding organizations participating in the CRA.

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Projects are merit reviewed and awards are made through coordinated funding from individual organizations.  For example, a successful project team with participants from the U.S., South Africa, and Japan would be funded so that U.S. project members would receive funding from U.S. institutions at the same time that South African participants and Japanese participants would receive support from their respective institutions.  We also partner with funders whose support can cross national boundaries.  Details about eligibility and available support for interested applicants can be found in the organizational annexes for each call for proposals.

The Forum is open to a breadth of possible funding and support partnerships in its Collaborative Research Actions.  Investment in a CRA is not limited only to Forum member organizations, nor is it constrained to only national fundamental research funding agencies and ministries.   The Forum strives to make opportunities for interested supporting organizations to connect with the scoping process as early as possible to allow joint discussion and development of the Collaborative Research Action.  However, it is possible for any organization providing either in-kind or monetary support to a CRA to join at any time in the development process.  An organizational annex details each organization’s investment in the CRA, its particular interest in the theme, who is eligible for support, and the name of a program contact.

Note: not all Belmont Forum members participate in every CRA.

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Source: Belmont Forum - About

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The Belmont Forum: An Introduction to the Structure of the Belmont Forum