Call for Proposals: Pathways Communication Grants

Call for Proposals: Pathways Communication Grants


The Pathways Communication Grants Program seeks to ensure that scientific contributions supporting the development of pathways for sustainability reach relevant audiences beyond the scientific community.

To promote wider uptake and understanding of pathways for sustainability, the grant supports the dissemination of scientific findings of place-based research projects via innovative formats and practices.


Researchers, including PhD students, who are affiliated with universities and/or research institutions are invited to submit proposals for communication products that aim to disseminate scientific outcomes developed within inter- and/or transdisciplinary place-based research projects on pathways for sustainability, and are addressed to the broader public.

Scope of Proposals

Proposals must be based on completed outcomes of inter-/transdisciplinary place-based research projects that advance the understanding of at least one of the following three aspects of pathways for sustainability:

  • How to navigate competing development agendas and claims on resources in order to foster transformative change in complex human-environment systems,

  • How transformations can be mobilized through processes of knowledge co-production in order to enable expansion of integrated pathways to sustainability in a specific context,

  • How pathways and processes of transformation, which are highly context specific, interact across locations and scales with other processes of transformation to produce knock-on tensions and/or synergies.

  • Research outcomes must contribute to the development of pathways for sustainability in practice. They must not be limited to disseminating knowledge on the state of the problem.

    Award Information

    The call for proposals is now open for 2023. Two calls are planned per year.

  • Funding amount for each project in 2023: 2,500 € to 10,000 €

  • Estimated number of awards per call: 3-10

  • The total funding available in 2023 is 60,000 €

    Priority Groups: One third of the funding will be allocated to support proposals led by researchers from and working in low and middle income countries. Another third will be allocated to support proposals led by early career researchers, as another priority group. Early career researchers are defined here as PhD students or researchers who have received their PhD within the last ten years.

    Supported Communication Products

    The grant supports partial and/or full costs of developing a communication product.

    Supported communication products include but are not limited to: printed or digital publications (policy briefs, factsheets, brochures, white papers, short reports, etc.), videos, audios, digital interactive learning tools, and data visualisations.

    Products not supported: website design and maintenance, scientific posters, publications in scientific journals and books.

    The supported communication products must be based on completed research outcomes or synthesis, and be ready to be turned into a communication piece. Communications products in any language relevant to the target audience (aligned with the needs of the target audience) ​​can be supported. Proposals and all supplementary application materials, however, must be submitted in English.

    The communication products should be launched and publicly available within 8 months from the date of the funding transfer.

    Please note that the grant does not make any retrospective awards for communication products already published.

    Eligible Costs

  • Only the costs of the development of the communication product are covered by the grant. The following costs may be claimed: layout, graphic design, video design and production (including equipment rental or travel and subsistence for video shooting), writing
    and editorial support, communication consultancy to help shape narratives and translate complex knowledge into clear and targeted material for non-expert audiences.

  • The following costs cannot be claimed: publication and open access costs, salary in connection with the development of the research outcomes highlighted in the communication products, translation and linguistic revision, costs of printing copies.

  • Beneficiaries are allowed to include up to 12% indirect cost recovery on total direct costs per contract (overheads).

  • Applicants can work with the service providers of their choice. If you require assistance in finding appropriate providers, please contact the Future Earth Secretariat ahead of submission.

    Proposal Preparation and Submission Information

  • Proposals must provide the following elements, consolidated into a single PDF document. Please ensure that all links to supplementary material are active and accessible from the PDF file provided.

  • Title of the communication product and type of product.

  • The name, affiliation and contact details of the Scientific Leader of the proposal. Applicants who are members of a Future Earth entity, such as a Global Research Project, a Knowledge Action Network, a National Committee, etc. are asked to indicate so in their application.

  • Proposal narrative (1000 – 2000 words) explaining the content to be communicated, the target audience(s) and how they will be reached. Proposals must clearly describe the pathways being developed within the research project, explain which of the three aspects of pathways for sustainability are being addressed (refer to Scope of Proposals section), and outline how the communication product will contribute to greater impact of these pathways in terms of uptake, understanding, and reach beyond the scientific community.

  • Detailed development and dissemination plans (including timeline, milestones, targeted audience(s) and how they will be reached).

  • Budget and budget narrative detailing how the grant funding will be spent. Please provide the contact details of the communication service providers and their quotes if known and list any other funding support or grants for which the applicant has applied, including amounts and the results, if known. Budget must be calculated in €. If ineligible costs are included in the proposal budget, please indicate whether these costs are covered elsewhere and specify that they are not being requested from this grant.

  • Short CV for the Scientific Leader and proposal partners, no longer than 2 pages for each. Previous experience in communication with a broad audience should be highlighted.

  • Letter of Intent duly signed by the Beneficiary (i.e. the legal entity receiving funding for a Project selected as a result of the Call for Proposals) certifying the Beneficiary’s agreement with (1) receiving the funds in case of proposal success and; (2) the Rules of Participation defined in the document here (which includes the template for the Letter of Intent).

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Call for Proposals: Pathways Communication Grants

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