Transformations to Sustainability


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The ISSC is pleased to announce the launch of a new global research funding programme, Transformations to Sustainability.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, water and food security, energy production and consumption, poverty, growing inequalities — just some of the global problems the world is facing today. But how can we find solutions that will work, that will last, and that are equitable?

Transformations to Sustainability is a new ISSC programme that will promote research on innovative processes of social transformation needed to secure equitable and durable solutions to some of these urgent global problems. Research with a difference — rather than the traditional approach where academics work by discipline and do not, on the whole, collaborate with non-academics or natural scientists.

Transformations to Sustainability aims to support social scientists to develop Transformative Knowledge Networks. These will include scientists from different social science disciplines, from the human, natural, engineering, and medical sciences as well as non-academic partners — decision-makers, practitioners, the private sector, civil society and activist groups.

The Transformative Knowledge Networks will include partners from different countries (including at least one low or middle-income country) and across different regions. They will conduct international comparative research on processes of social transformation with a view to producing new knowledge as well as drawing on existing knowledge on social transformation and change. They will address global sustainability problems such as climate change, water security, biodiversity loss, energy production and consumption, and migration, in specific social-ecological settings.

These networks will be led by social science researchers from academic or other organisations with a strong focus on research. They will support interdisciplinarity within the social sciences and between the social sciences and researchers from other field — including the human, natural, engineering, and medical sciences. It will be important to focus on connecting global environmental change, poverty, and development research communities.

Transformative Knowledge Networks should pursue the co-design, co-production and co-dissemination of knowledge and involve academic and non-academic knowledge partners. Ongoing recording and analysis of knowledge processes and outcomes will be essential for reflexive learning within and across these networks. They will also need to demonstrate direct benefits to early career social scientists.

The Transformations to Sustainability Programme will issue two calls for proposals in 2014. The first was issued on 31 March 2014. The second will be issued in October 2014. The first call is for proposals for seed funding – a possible 30 grants of €30,000 each. The second call in October 2014 will be for full proposals for Transformative Knowledge Networks of which a possible 3 grants of €300,000/year will be made over 3 years. 

This programme is intended as a major contribution to the work of Future Earth, a global research platform that provides knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Future Earth is co-sponsored by the members of the international Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability.

For more information about the Transformations to Sustainability see programme and call for proposals.

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