2015 Calls for Research Grants (Calls closed)

Call closed.

For detailed information visit: http://www.nrf.ac.za/division/funding/foundational-biodiversity-information-programme



There are two funding approaches in the Programme:

(1) Large integrated team grants

(2) Small grants and strategic biodiversity surveys


(1) Large, integrated and collaborative team projects

  • 3 year projects, up to R2 million / year
  • 2 new projects can be selected for funding in 2015.


Call process

The call is a two- step process:

    1. Concept document call, evaluation and selection of successful concepts for full development;
    2. Development of full proposals for selected concept documents, evaluation, selection of 1 to 2 full proposals for funding for a three-year period.


Projects falling within the following focus areas have been identified for support in 2015/16:

  1. Resolution of taxonomic problems, and documenting distribution and abundance of plant and animal species used for medicinal purposes in South Africa.
  2. Biological control: identification of potential biocontrol agents through being able to identify the pest / pathogen / alien and its origin, the identification of natural predators / pathogens of it, and close relatives of the host and potential agents.
  3. Coordinated surveys for soil organisms and identification of functional roles in agri-ecosystems and natural areas and the co-ordination of existing information on soil organisms in South Africa.
  4. Biodiversity functionality. Better understanding of key functional attributes of different species in ecosystems, and the key interactions between them, focusing on terrestrial regulatory services systems. Regulatory services include invasion resistance, pollination, climate regulation, carbon sequestration, pest and disease control in agricultural systems.
  5. Multi-taxa surveys of strategic geographic areas, e.g. new or proposed protected areas, areas targeted for development, areas with high levels of dependence on biodiversity for livelihoods, areas of importance for providing ecological infrastructure.


 (2) Small projects and strategic biodiversity surveys

Small grants have to address key strategic gaps in information and knowledge.


  1. Small projects
  • 1 year projects, from R 50,000 to R 200,000
  • The data / knowledge should be clearly and directly linked to the main focus of the Programme (bio-economy and global change) as detailed in the FBIP Framework document, but may fall outside of the five focus areas for the large projects.
  • Grants can be used for taxonomic research, mobilisation of primary data (specimen records), generation of DNA barcodes, compiling species information or for data management / dissemination innovations.


  1. Strategic biodiversity surveys

This year (2015), strategic biodiversity surveys that contribute to more than one of the outputs for the small grants and with a more limited scope than those covered in the large, integrated team project grants will also be funded.

  • 2 year projects, up to R1 million over 2 years
  • Strategic biodiversity surveys should contribute to more than one of the following required outputs: taxonomic research; mobilisation of primary data; generation of DNA barcodes; compiling species information or for data management / dissemination innovations.
  • The surveys should cover a clearly defined geographic area or taxon for which diversity, distribution and / or abundance data are required for conservation / sustainable use / management activities.
  • Biodiversity surveys must align with the global change or bioeconomy focus of the FBIP as detailed in the FBIP Framework document.


FBIP Photo Small Grants