Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call: Aquatic Ecosystem Services

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Research and innovation projects on “Ecosystem Services”, with aquatic ecosystems as the focus, including inland surface water, groundwater, transitional and coastal water, and having water security on top of the objectives.

WHO CAN APPLY?

The main applicant must be affiliated to a higher education institution, research institute, or government agency with a research assignment. The main applicant must also have obtained a Ph.D. by the call's closing date.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Maximum funding from is 300,000 € per proposal, or a maximum of 500,000 € per proposal if the Swedish applicant is also the project coordinator (regardless of how many Swedish partners participate in the project).

Closed: Decision is made: 2024-11-12 15:00.

Research and innovation projects on “Ecosystem Services”, with aquatic ecosystems as the focus, including inland surface water, groundwater, transitional and coastal water, and having water security on top of the objectives. Maximum funding from is 300,000 € per proposal, or a maximum of 500,000 € per proposal if the Swedish applicant is also the project coordinator.

European Commission and 36 Funding Organizations from 30 countries all over Europe and beyond are contributing with approximately 34 million Euros to the call. Formas announces 20 million SEK to the Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call. Researchers with a PhD, who are connected to a Swedish higher education institution, a research institute, or a government agency with a research assignment, can apply to the call.

The general theme of the Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call is “Ecosystem Services”. The Call aims to deliver knowledge, models, approaches, tools, and methodologies to better achieve:

  • The integration of ecosystem services into the governance and management of water resources in the context of changes, from local to global.
  • Mitigation, adaptation and resilience of aquatic ecosystems and the corresponding ecosystem services.
  • Support to the implementation of EU and international water and biodiversity policies and strategies, such as the European Commission ‘Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’, the United Nations Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU proposal for a Nature Restoration Law, and the establishment of an international natural capital accounting initiative.
  • Enhancement of the participation of stakeholders, communities, and society at large in the co-design of water governance and management systems related to ecosystem services. This includes activities in the field of communication, public awareness and education, and involvement of stakeholders, indigenous communities, and citizen scientists in research.
  • More comprehensive approaches for the valuation of ecosystem services, with mapping and assessment as a crucial step in the achievement of policy objectives.

In addition, this call will include 2 additional modalities aiming at:

  • Early Career Researchers holding a PhD for less than 10 years: With the aim of developing the capacities of the talented young researchers and giving them the opportunity to act as leaders of the project consortia, Water4All also integrates an independent modality of the Early Career Researcher (ECR) in this JTC. The thematic focus of the Early Career Researcher modality is aligned with the JTC topics. The applicants can choose whether to apply under the regular JTC or under the modality of ECR, provided they comply with the requirements.
  • Expression of interest to participate in a Knowledge Hub: This Call also foresees a modality to support the activities of the Knowledge Hub (KH) for the researchers from projects funded in the JTC and the ECR modality. The KH will function as a networking platform for the researchers with the aim to synthesize and disseminate the JTC and ECR projects’ outcomes in various formats to support evidence-based decision-making processes for targeted stakeholders. The thematic scope of KH is bounded by the JTC topics. The applicants submitting their proposals under the regular JTC and the ECR modality can choose if they wish to include the KH activities in their proposal, provided they comply with the requirements.

More information about the call content, consortium composition and eligibility criteria are published in the call-announcement on Water4All Partnership’s website External link..

In line with the strategic objectives of Water4All, the results should contribute to the implementation of evidence-based, global, EU and national water management policies and strategies, including the Green Deal, the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Just Transition and the Water Action Agenda for UN Sustainable Development Goals. Proposals should show cognizance of appropriate legislation and policy frameworks at national and international levels that are meant to alleviate global change impacts on aquatic ecosystem services.

  • Topic 1. Mapping, monitoring, and assessment for a better understanding of ecosystem services in a context of changes, from local to global change.
  • Topic 2. Understanding and predicting multiple pressures (including anthropogenic pressures) - impact – response relationships in ecosystem services through advanced methods and techniques.
  • Topic 3. New tools and solutions for a better integration of ecosystem services into the management of water resources.

Call Topics are specified in the call text External link..

Applicants from all research disciplines are welcome to apply. The applicant applying funding from Formas must be a part of a consortium with at least three partners from three countries applying funding from Funding Agencies participating in the call. Read more about the rules for the consortium in the call text.

Formas and other Swedish Funding Agencies have during the last years invited researchers and other organisations to calls that are in line with this transnational Water4All Call. By participating in this call, Formas wants to contribute with funding to knowledge development for strengthening the resilience of aquatic ecosystems. There are clear links between the national research programme for sea and water (Nationella programmet för hav och vatten External link.) and the focus areas of the transnational call, such as understanding the complex and dynamic structure of aquatic ecosystems and their services. Effective environmental monitoring can help understanding the multiple pressures of climate change and enabling evidence-based decision making. The new tools and solutions that are expected under the call can further increase the capacities of practitioners and decision makers. Formas believes that there is great potential for researchers and participating actors from different disciplines in Sweden to contribute to international knowledge building with knowledge and experience from ongoing national research and innovation projects. At the same time, Formas sees great opportunities to also bring the international perspectives into national research and the development of new methods in the water area.

Before you apply

When writing the proposal, you need to read the call text and the national requirements that will be published on the call text. External link.

Below the requirements when applying funding from Formas.

With regards to this call for research projects, grants can only be administered by a Swedish university, institution of higher education, research institute, government agency with a research mandate, or other primarily research focused organisations.

Who can become an administrating organisation

To apply for a grant in this call, the following criteria must be met:

  • The principal applicant has obtained a PhD by the call's closing date.
  • Participating researchers have obtained a PhD by the call's closing date. Other staff involved in the project do not need to have a PhD degree.
  • The proposed grant recipient is identified as project manager on the application for the Swedish applicants.
  • There is no upper age limit for the principal applicant and participating researchers. However, full-time retired researchers are not eligible to receive funding for salaries.

When applying for project funding, you can seek to have both direct and indirect expenses covered. Direct expenses include salaries, equipment and travel. Indirect expenses are those shared with others in your organisation, such as administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are sometimes referred to as overhead.

Project costs that qualify for funding

The projects must run over 36 months. Maximum funding from Formas is 300,000 € per proposal, or a maximum of 500,000 € per proposal if the Swedish applicant is also the project coordinator (regardless of how many Swedish partners participate in the project). The budget for the consortium depends on the available funding from other participating Funding Agencies.

The application is written in English since the review panel is international. Read more about the review process and the evaluation of the proposals in the call text External link..

Your application (including attachments) submitted via Prisma is considered a public document under Swedish law when it has been received by us. According to Swedish law, your application and its appendices are considered public upon receipt. This means that anyone can request and read your application. Information can only be concealed if it is confidential as defined in the Public Access to Information and Confidentiality Act (2009:400).

Formas has limited capacity to keep personal data confidential. Therefore, your application should not contain the personal data of anyone who is not a participating applicant.

If the project is granted funding, the popular science description and project abstracts, written in both Swedish and English, will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these sections should not contain sensitive information.

This is a recommendation: It is of great importance to Formas that the projects we finance are carried out in a way that maximises positive impacts and minimises negative impacts on the environment and climate. Therefore, we encourage grant applicants to design their projects to prioritise collaboration that takes place primarily through online meetings and ensure any necessary travel is as climate-smart as possible. We also suggest that measures for minimising energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste are included in your project planning. However, this will not be a part of the application assessment at this time.

Sustainability at Formas

How to apply

You apply first to the transnational call’s submission platform and then for to Prisma for your national proposal, only if you are invited to submit a full proposal in the second stage.

The coordinator of the consortium submits the application to the transnational call’s submission platform. The applicant applying funding from Formas must be a part of a consortium with at least three partners from three countries applying funding from Funding Agencies participating in the call. You find the information regarding the transnational call’s submission platform in the call text External link..

After the submission of the application to the transnational call’s submission platform, you as PI in the consortium, (both as the coordinator or a Swedish partner) will be invited to send in your application to Prisma, if your proposal is selected to go for submitting a full-proposal in the second stage. To do this, you need to create an account.

Apply for a personal account in Prisma External link..

You will receive an e-mail from Formas with information of the content of the application to that you will submit in Prisma if you are invited to the full-proposal stage.

After submitting your application

First, Formas verifies that the application meets the procedural requirements set out in the call for the Swedish appliants. If it does not meet these requirements, it is rejected.

The following requirements will be verified in this call by Formas:

  • The requirements for project managers, project participants and organisations under “Applicant and organisation requirements” are met.
  • The principal applicant who is responsible for other projects or activities funded by Formas has submitted any requested reports by the stated deadline.

The following requirements will be verified by the call secretariat:

  • The focus of the application falls within the calls area of responsibility
  • The focus of the application falls within the call’s topics. areas.
  • The application is complete and contains all mandatory information.
  • That the requirements of the consortium are fulfilled.

Read more about the application verification in the call text External link..

All applications are assessed by an external review panel based on the contents of the application. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.

The applications are assessed based on the evaluation criteria described in the call text.

A decision on which projects are granted funding is expected to be taken in September 2023. The decisions will be published on the Formas website the following day, at the latest, and you will get later an email saying that the decision is available in Prisma.

All approved projects must report financial and project findings to Formas within three months of the end of the disposition period. An annual financial statement must be submitted to Formas for projects that are longer than 18 months. All reports are submitted in Prisma.

How to report expenses and results

Formas may impose requirements on how projects must be reported in terms of content and findings to enable distribution and utilisation. In such cases, more information will be presented with the approval decision. Formas may also require you to participate in conferences and similar events in order to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.

Results of research funded by Formas must be published using open access.

You must also have a management plan for the data produced in the project. If you receive funding from us, you must develop such a plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to Formas but should be presented on request. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be available before the research begins and that it will be maintained.

Open access to research results and data

Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS External link., a national database of grant-funded research instituted by request of the government.

Webinar about the call

Thursday 5 October 13.30–15.30 (CEST)

The webinar is arranged by Water4All JTC 2023 Call Secretariat.

Register for the webinar External link.

Important dates

  • Call opening: 12 September 2023
  • International info day webinar: 5 October, 13:30-15:30 CEST
  • Submission deadline of preproposals: 13 November 2023, 15:00 CET
  • Selection of preproposals: End of February 2024
  • Submission deadline of full proposals: 29 April 2024, 15:00 CEST
  • National submission to Formas: 15 April-13 May 2024
  • Selection of funded proposals: End of September 2024
  • Projects start: End of 2024 / Beginning of 2025
  • Kick off meeting of the funded projects: Spring 2025

Contact information

For questions regarding the content of the call

For questions regarding Prisma

Updated:8 February 2024