Announcement of Opportunity : Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in Thailand
Closing date (Notification of Intent): 16:00 GMT on 4 Dec 2017
Closing date (Full Proposals): 16:00 GMT on 21 Feb 2018
The Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) invite applications to the Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in Thailand programme. The programme has a budget of £1.5m for the UK component and THB 10-15m for the Thai component.
The aim of the programme is to improve understanding of the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards, such as floods, droughts, landslides and storm surges, in Thailand. The focus is on identifying, characterising and predicting the environmental and social variables that influence the occurrence, impact, severity and duration of hydrometeorological hazards in Thailand to enable increased preparedness and resilience to future events.
Applications are sought from teams comprising researchers from Thailand and the UK eligible to hold TRF and UK Research Council grants respectively. TRF will fund the Thai component of the successful projects and UK researchers will receive funding from NERC. Applicants may request up to 5 Million THB per project from TRF and up to £375k (at 80% FEC) from NERC. Projects can be maximum 36 months duration and are expected to start in October 2018.
A Notification of Intent to Submit should be submitted on the online form no later than 16:00 GMT/23:00 ICT on 4 December. The notifications will not be assessed and will be used to plan the assessment process, however the eligibility of applicants for NERC, ESRC and TRF funding will be checked and ineligible applicants informed. Applicants should be note that submission of a Notification of Intent is a requirement of this call and full bids will only be accepted from those teams who submit a completed Notification of Intent to submit form prior to the deadline. The lead UK and Thai PI should not change following approval to submit a full bid.
A joint application should be submitted to the UK’s Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S). The closing date for applications is 16:00 GMT/23:00 ICT on 21 February 2018. Applications not submitted before the deadline will not be received or considered.
2.1 Scientific Background
Hydrometeorological hazards, including floods, droughts, landslides and storm surges, can pose a direct threat to lives and impact livelihoods by damaging and destroying transport links, power supplies, businesses and agricultural land. Climate change, population growth, land-use change and urbanisation are increasing the number of people in Thailand at risk from these hazards, for example flooding in 2011-2012 led to 65 provinces in Thailand being declared disaster zones with more than 13.6 million people directly affected.
To increase resilience to hydrometeorological hazards better understanding of the likely impacts are needed to enable appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures, such as new flood defences or the restoration of natural defences like mangroves, to be developed and implemented. The aim of this programme is to support the research needed to improve environmental and social understanding of the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards, such as floods, droughts, landslides and storm surges, in Thailand.
2.2 Non-Scientific background
NERC is the UK’s main public funder of environmental research, innovation and training. Its aim is to fund excellent, peer reviewed science that helps us understand and predict how our planet works and enables the responsible management of the environment.
ESRC is the UK’s main funder of social and economic research, innovation and training. Its aim is to support independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society.
The Thailand Research Fund (TRF) is a major research funding agency in Thailand under office of the Prime Minister. Its mission is to support funding for research, researchers, research network, and community empowerment with the vision to become one of the best research funding agencies in Asia, in terms of funding management and good governance. TRF support all disciplines, all areas, and all dimensions of research including upstream, midstream and downstream. TRF’s strategic plans aim to create innovations in research management, strategic research issues, research utilization and social communication, international research networks, digital.
This programme is supported by the Newton Fund in Thailand, an initiative established by the governments of the UK and Thailand. The Fund provides a framework for promoting increased research and innovation collaboration, developing long-term, sustainable partnerships and contributing to economic growth. As a requirement of funding, all applications under this call must demonstrate how they will contribute towards the delivery of the Newton Fund goals.
In the UK the Newton 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 a sub-set of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee list and is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective. As a result UK-based researchers will be required to input to specific ODA reporting requirements.
3. Programme Scope
3.1 Programme objectives
The aim of the programme is to improve understanding of the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards, such as floods, droughts, landslides and storm surges, in Thailand.
The focus will be on identifying, characterising and predicting the variables that influence the occurrence, impact, severity and duration of hydrometeorological hazards and the research challenges that the programme will address could include, but are not limited to:
Understanding the susceptibility of catchments or coastal regions to hydrometeorological hazards by:
Exploring how hydrological, sedimentary, geomorphological and subsurface processes within a catchment control the movement of water during periods of high or low flow; and
Determining how different land-use, urbanisation and water resource management practices are mitigating or exacerbating hydrometeorological hazards; and
Developing hydrological models to improve understanding and prediction of the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards.
Exploring how different environmental variables interact and combine to determine the risks from hydrometeorological hazards
Understanding how governance and institutional arrangements contribute to the risks from hydrometeorological hazards:
Determining how local, regional and national governance processes, and the interactions between them, influence the management of hydrometeorological hazards;
Exploring the impact of non-water related policies and regulatory regimes, e.g. energy or agriculture, on the management of hydrometeorological hazards; and
Studying the effectiveness of policy interventions and incentives, and barriers to uptake, e.g. willingness to pay, regulation, subsidies and enforcement.
Exploring whether adapting the way water resources are managed, including reviewing current practices can mitigate the risks from hydrometeorological hazards, the risks to people, property and environmental quality.
Projects will also be expected to work closely with end-users both at the design stage and throughout the lifetime of the project to ensure that the outputs can be used by government, local authorities, civil agencies, businesses and local communities to make decisions about the management and mitigation of hydrometeorological hazards.
Projects can be based in any part of Thailand, and proposals that explore the combined impacts from surface, fluvial and coastal flooding and/or how the risk from floods and droughts is changing are encouraged. Similarly, projects that include reviews of water management policies and practices and/or the development of new management strategies are encouraged.
The expected outputs of the programme include high impact journal papers, presentations at international conferences, and information and tools that policymakers and water managers can use to increase preparedness and resilience to hydrometeorological hazards.
3.2 Proposal requirements
Proposals should be from joint Thai-UK research teams and should clearly justify how the proposed research aligns with the scope of this call and will contribute to the delivery of the programme goals. In particular, applicants should set-out how the proposed research will deliver a better understanding of the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards in Thailand, and how they will work with users to ensure that the outputs of research support increased preparedness and resilience to floods and droughts, and hence contribute to societal well-being and economic growth in Thailand.
It is envisaged that proposed research will include fieldwork, process studies and model development and encompass a range of environmental research disciplines, such as hydrological processes, hydrogeology, sedimentary processes, geomorphology, and coastal processes.
Applicants are encouraged to consider including a social science element in their project, although this is not a requirement for this call. If including social research on the role of governance and institutional arrangements in determining the impact of hydrometeorological hazards, applicants should clearly explain why the research is novel and how it will be integrated into the project.
4. Programme requirements
NERC is managing the proposal submission on behalf of the NERC, ESRC and TRF partnership.
Applications to the Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in Thailand programme must be from UK-Thai partnerships – i.e. include at least one Thailand-based Principal Investigator and one UK-based Principal Investigator. Only proposals that involve scientific collaboration between the UK and Thailand will be considered. All proposals must have equal or proportionate participation from UK and Thai researchers.
Up to £1.5m (80% FEC) is available from the UK for this call and up to THB 10-15m is available from TRF. Applicants can request up to £375k (80% FEC) for the UK component of a project, and up to THB 5m for the Thai component. Projects can have a maximum duration of 36 months.
The funds available through this call are intended to support focused, coordinated and collaborative research between Thailand and the UK that address the scope of the call as outlined above. These grants should promote inter-institutional collaborations, both between and within Thailand and the UK, and are also expected to enhance opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Partnerships should be genuine and reciprocal, and working together must add value to that which could be achieved by individual partners working on their own. Proposals must demonstrate that research activities will either achieve more than the partners would have achieved if tackling an issue by working alone, or achieve outcomes at less cost or faster than if working alone.
For each grant application a lead Principal Investigator should be nominated from both the UK and Thailand, and they will act as focal points for contact with the funding agency in their respective countries.
4.1 Newton Fund requirements
All applications should clearly outline how the proposed research will address the objecti