Frequently Asked Questions: Transformations to Sustainability Programme

Why is there a preparatory call for seed funding?
The seed funding is intended to help researchers from all parts of the world to respond meaningfully to the call for Transformative Knowledge Network proposals to be launched in late 2014. The seed funding will allow social scientists to build necessary partnerships with colleagues in other disciplines and fields and other countries, to identify and establish contact with relevant stakeholders, and to engage them as knowledge partners in the co-design of proposals to develop Transformative Knowledge Networks.

Who is eligible to apply for the seed funding?
Anyone from any part of the world with a social science PhD or at least five years full-time equivalent research experience.

What is the grant period for the seed funding?
1 July 2014 to 15 January 2015

How much is the seed funding for?
Successful applications will each receive up to €30,000

What is the deadline for seed funding proposals?
Proposals for seed funding must be submitted by 31 May 2014 at 18:00 central European time


Timeline T2S



When will the decision be made on the seed funding proposals?
30 June 2014 give or take a few days

Where and when is the first Transformations Knowledge Workshop (for accepted proposals)?
Potsdam, Germany, 9-11 September 2014

Can an application for seed funding be submitted by more than one applicant?
No, the preparatory seed funding proposals must be submitted by one social scientist who meets the eligibility criteria. He/she will be the lead researcher and responsible for building partnerships with colleagues and stakeholders in other disciplines and fields. The lead researcher would be expected to attend the Transformative Knowledge Workshop in Potsdam, Germany in September 2014.

What is a Transformative Knowledge Network?
These networks 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. They will include partners from different countries (including at least one low or middle-income country) and across different regions. They should demonstrate direct benefits to early career social scientists who obtained their PhD no more than ten years ago. The seed funding is intended to explore and build these networks to the point where they will be able to carry out transdisciplinary research at the point of the full call.




How many countries should be represented in a Transformative Knowledge Network?
In order to achieve the programme’s aim of transnational collaboration, Transformative Knowledge Networks should involve research teams from at least three countries, covering at least two regions of the world and including at least one low- to middle-income country (see Annex 2 for list of countries included in this category). Please note that the lead researcher (primary applicant) does not necessarily need to come from a low- to middle-income country.

Does my proposal need to address all of the cornerstones listed in Annex 1 of the programme description?
The Transformative Cornerstones outlined under Annex 1 provides a framework for social science contributions to interdisciplinary research on global change; therefore, there is no obligation for your proposal to address them all.

What does social transformation mean?
For an introduction to the topic, applicants are strongly advised to read Annex 1, which outlines the aim of the programme.

Is it possible to apply directly to the call for full proposals (by-passing the seed funding stage)?
Yes. Please consult our website regularly for updates regarding the full call.

How much is the funding for the full call for proposals for Transformative Knowledge Networks?
A minimum of 3 successful applications will each receive up to €300,000 per year over a 3-year period.

Can funds be transferred into a personal account?
No. Funds must be received and administered by the institution employing the applicant.

Are references/bibliography included in the 5-page limit?
No. The references may be appended to the five pages.

Can the budget be presented in the currency of the applicant’s country?
The budget may be prepared in the currency of the applicant’s country, but an equivalent budget should be presented in Euros. It is recognised that there may be fluctuations in the exchange rate between the date of submission of the proposal and the date of eventual award.

How do I apply for seed funding and what should the application include?
Applications must be written in English and emailed, in PDF format, to: transformations@worldsocialscience.org. Please refer to page 5 of the programme description for information regarding the format of the proposal. Applicants are strongly advised to read the entire programme description, Section 4 in particular, which outlines the principles for the Transformative Knowledge Networks that the programme is intended to support.

How will the proposals be selected and against which criteria will they be evaluated?
All seed funding proposals will be submitted for international scientific peer review and will be evaluated according to the criteria listed here. The final selection of proposals will be undertaken by the international Steering Committee appointed by the ISSC.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?
The Transformations to Sustainability Programme Management Team can be contacted via:

Email: transformations@worldsocialscience.org
Telephone: +33 (0)1 45 68 48 60