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UK-Southeast Asia Networking Workshop 2016 - Expression of Interest

Date of Workshop: Wednesday 15 June 2016 – Thursday 16 June 2016
Location: Bangkok
Closing date: Sunday, 22 May 2016

Research Councils UK (RCUK) jointly with the Indonesia Science Fund (DIPI), the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development of Vietnam (NAFOSTED) expect to hold a joint call for research proposals in May 2016. In preparation for the call, RCUK is inviting expressions of interest for eligible UK researchers to attend a two-day workshop on Wednesday 15 June –Thursday 16 June 2016 to explore UK-Southeast Asian opportunities for collaboration.

The aim of the workshop is to initiate new collaborative working relationships between UK and Southeast Asian researchers in the below three focus themes.

  • Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health
  • Water Resources
  • Tropical Peatlands and Mangroves

It is hoped that these collaborations will work together to apply for the UK-Southeast Asia call for proposals which is expected to launch at the end of May 2016. Through this call, RCUK is intending to provide approximately £4.9 million to support the UK side of joint research projects in these topic areas. It is not a requirement to attend the workshop to be able to apply to the call for funding.  

Please note different Southeast Asian partners are participating in the topics, and the appropriate funder must be participating in that area for you to be able to express an interest in working with researchers in that country or area. Southeast Asian partners will each choose their respective representatives to attend the networking workshop. Please see the chart below for clarification of which country is involved in each focus theme.

Country  Partner  Atmospheric Pollution & Human Health   Water Resources  Tropical Peatlands and Mangroves 
Thailand   TRF  X X  
Vietnam  NAFOSTED  X X X
Indonesia  DIPI  X   X

Focus Theme Areas

Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health

Atmospheric pollution and human health is of vital importance in SE Asia. Not only are the urban air pollution and industrial emissions an issue but the so called annual ‘haze’ events resulting from forest and peat fires in SE Asia contribute significantly to the atmospheric pollution and impact on human health in this area. Additional to the effects on human health the atmospheric pollution is impacting on the economy, including air travel. Consequently there is a need to understand:

  1. The sources, atmospheric transformations and meteorological transport of air pollutants from urban, industrial and the forest/peat fires both on a regional and national/international scale. 
  2. Providing predictive capability for the impact, mitigation measures and spread of the pollution.
  3. Create sustainable environmental monitoring and compliance tools.
  4. Enhancing understanding of the impact of environmental exposures on human health, capitalising on novel (including personal) measurement technologies and advanced research approaches in environmental epidemiology and internal signatures of exposure.
  5. Exploring causal relationships between exposure and health / disease of individuals in the population setting.
  6. Developing improved personal measures of exposure (e.g. personal monitoring; metabolomic, proteomic, epigenetic, etc.; biomarkers)

Participating Countries/funders: UK RCUK, Thailand TRF, Vietnam NAFOSTED, Indonesia DIPI

Water Resources

Water resources in Southeast Asia are under increasing stress as a result of changes in climate, land-use, population, urbanisation and industrialisation. The aim of this call will be to:

  1. Understand the impact of different stressors (and multiple stressors) on rivers (including deltas), lakes, and aquifers in Southeast Asia. This includes, but is not limited to, the impact on flows, water levels, sediment fluxes, water quality and freshwater ecology.
  2. Recommend forecast tools and solutions to enable sustainable management of water resources and to improve water security.

Participating Countries/funders: UK RCUK, Thailand TRF, Vietnam NAFOSTED

Tropical Peatlands and Mangroves

Tropical peatlands and Mangroves are often home to unique and an important biodiversity and provide important ecosystems services including carbon storage, flood control, timber and non-timber forest products.  Peatlands and Mangroves are being degraded as a result of land use/ management changes and climate change.  Apart from deliberate burning, degraded peatland and mangroves are at risk of spontaneous fires which causes further damage and is a risk to human health.

Research could include:

  1. Understanding peat/forest/mangrove ecosystems –including its biodiversity, processes and functions (such as hydrology, sedimentation, biogeochemical cycling, carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics) and the services provided (Carbon storage, flood control, timber, habitat for species, etc);
  2. ecosystem resilience to threats and perturbations like land use and climate change/extreme weather events (deforestation, drainage/drying, fires);
  3. Understanding the tipping points of the ecosystems to such threats as a means to gauge the impact of degradation (e.g. from drainage and/or fire) on functions and services;
  4. Restoration and management – understanding how ecosystem processes/functions and services can be restored and managed to deliver multiple benefits and services.

Participating Countries/funders: UK RCUK, Vietnam NAFOSTED, Indonesia DIPI

Background of the Newton Fund

The planned UK-Southeast Asia call for proposals which is expected to launch at the end of May 2016 is funded through the Newton Fund. The Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of £75 million each year for 5 years. In the 2015 UK Spending Review it was agreed to extend and expand the Fund. The Newton Fund was extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the Fund. The Newton Fund requires that the UK funding is awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines. All applications under this call must therefore be compliant with these guidelines and demonstrate this compliance within the written proposal.

Who Should Attend?

We would like to see expressions of interest from UK researchers who are eligible for funding from the Research Councils and are interested in applying for the research grant funding call.  DIPI, NAFOSTED, and TRF will be responsible for the selection process of researchers from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand respectively. The event will provide an opportunity to hear more about the call and to network with potential collaborators.  It is not a requirement to attend the workshop to be able to apply to the call for funding. Reasonable costs for travel, accommodation and subsistence would be covered by RCUK.

Applying to Attend

Those who wish to attend should register their interest by completing the electronic Expression of Interest (EOI) form available here: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ATR0L/

Selection of the participants will be made by the respective funding agencies, RCUK, DIPI, TRF and NAFOSTED. The deadline for UK researchers to submit an Expression of Interest Form is 16:00BST on Sunday 22 May 2016.

Due to a limited number of spaces, the numbers of attendees from a given organisation may have to be restricted in the event of multiple applications. Therefore, attendees will be expected to represent the wider interests of their institution as well as their individual interests. We will not be able to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants. If you are not selected for the workshop you can still apply to the call.  

An application will be considered as confirming availability for the workshop and as a commitment to attend if selected.

Key dates

  • EOI closes - 16:00 on 22 May 2016
  • Confirmation to attendees - 27 May 2016
  • Workshop - 15 June 2016–16 June 2016

Contacts

For further information, advice or queries regarding the format of the event or application procedure please contactRCUKNewtonFundEnquiries@rcuk.ac.uk

 


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