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DFID research: Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation announces new opportunities for 2013

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

On December 7th, 2012, the ESPA Programme announced a new call for projects in 2013.

Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation(ESPA) is a DFID funded programme which aims to deliver effective research into structures of ecosystems management which impact positively on poverty alleviation and inclusive growth. Lead by the Natural Environment Research Council, the programme is developed around two key structures in order to effectively harness the potential impact of their research:

  1. A knowledge strategy, designed to identify and address existing gaps in research;
  2. An impact strategy, designed to enhance the integration of research into sustainable development in poor communities.

On December 7th, 2012, the ESPA Programme announced a new call for projects in 2013. Proposals are invited for projects which address one of three core themes: 

  1. Sustainable, ecosystem-based pathways out of poverty/routes out of poverty 
  2. Ecosystem services and the urban environment 
  3. Building on ESPA Success 

The ESPA 2013 call has been designed to enhance the academic and development impact of the ESPA programme by filling significant gaps in the ESPA portfolio and, where possible, capturing emerging opportunities.

This call provides an opportunity for the world’s best researchers to add significant value to the ESPA programme, filling important research, knowledge and evidence gaps that have been identified. 

Applications are invited for funding in the range of between £200,000 and £500,000 GBP Full Economic Cost (FEC). This call has been allocated a total available budget of up to £4M GBP, which may be revised subject to the discretion of the Programme Executive Board (PEB). 

Projects will be funded for a maximum duration of between 24 and 30 months, with an expected start date between 1 September 2013 and 1 November 2013. 

The ESPA Programme held a Town Meeting on November 21st, 2012, to assist ESPA’s Programme Executive Board in the development of the call and two of the three research themes.  Feedback from the workshop and comments from participants may be useful for potential applicants and is available from the Town Meeting Report.

Projects will be selected through a two-stage process, firstly with submission of an outline bid proposal, after which a subset will be invited to submit full proposals.  Outline proposals must be submitted via email to by 16:00 GMT/UCT on 23rd January 2013.

Full proposals must be submitted via Je-S by 16:00 GMT+1/UCT+1 on 3rd April 2013. 

Further information about the call is available from the Natural Environment Research Council website. Other opportunities within ESPA are listed here.