Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health In An Indian Megacity : Call for Initial Proposals


Organisation: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Apply By:  No Deadline


Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health In An Indian Megacity : Call for Initial Proposals 

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK and the Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-MoES) and Department for Biotechnology (DBT) in India are investing in a strategic research programme on urban air pollution in the megacity Delhi and impacts on health. This will be delivered by research partnership between UK scientists and Indian scientists. Pollution in Indian cities is a rapidly increasingly problem, with significant impacts on the economy and health of the population. The vision of this programme is to initiate efforts on air pollution hazards and impacts on health in a rapidly urbanising society and the evidence to support costeffective measures for air quality improvements related to anthropogenic pollutants in a mega city of India (Delhi). NERC and MRC have a budget of £6.5m (£4m of which is from the Newton Fund) for the overall programme. ESSO-MoES and DBT will provide matching funds. NERC/MRC funds will specifically be used to support UK researchers, while ESSO-MoES/DBT funds will fund Indian researchers. The delivery of this programme is a two stage process. The first stage is a call for initial proposals for which this is the Announcement of Opportunity. The second stage for full proposals will enable development of an integrated programme. Grants will start in December 2016 and will be three to four years long. The closing date for initial proposals in JeS is 16:00 UK time 10 December 2015. 

Grant and Science Requirements: 

Grants The total UK budget for this programme is £6.5m and matching fund will be available from the Indian side. Some of these funds will be held back for programme management activities. It is expected that approximately five to eight UK-India collaborative proposals will be funded. Grants will be three to four years in duration and begin in December 2016. This AO is for initial proposals which address the programme scope and themes as laid out below.

Programme Scope: 

Applicants should take care to ensure that their proposals fall within the scope and remit of the programme:  

Proposals should focus on the Indian megacity Delhi but using information and making comparisons with existing studies/data outside of Delhi would be within scope. Any elements of the work from outside of Delhi should be based on extending existing work and not investing in new infrastructure. The focus of this programme is the impacts of urban atmospheric pollution on health. While impacts on other issues such as agriculture and climate can be cited and explored if deemed necessary in order to set the work in a broader context, these should not be the main considerations, and they should not be investigated at the expense of looking at impacts on health. – The focus of this programme is outdoor urban atmospheric pollution. However, in order to understand the full picture of individual exposure, indoor measurements can be taken, but only as part of a study involving measurement of outdoor air pollution. Considering beyond the immediate boundary of Delhi and understanding regional and long distance processes will be relevant and important in this programme. However, this should always be related back to the need to understand individual exposure and impacts on health.  Observations at all levels are relevant to the programme, from the surface through to Earth observation. Pollutants of interest in this call are those of relevance to health, and their precursors. Above and beyond the focus of the programme, as laid out above, applicants will need to ensure that their proposals are within the remit of the funders, i.e. environmental science and medical science. Proposals can include the development of new technologies or the adaptation of existing technologies, as long as these are then applied to address the science themes of the programme outlined below. Proposals which focus on social/economic research are beyond the remit of the funders and will not be accepted. – Using existing infrastructure and facilities will be important to add value to this programme. Applicants are encouraged to make use of existing Indian and UK capabilities, some examples are listed in annex A.

Programme platform

The programme aims to have a ‘platform’ which will consist of shared observations, modelling and integration activities which is utilised by the programme as a whole. Proposals should lay out, in addition to the novel science that they plan to undertake, what element of their proposals they would see being embedded as part of the programme platform. The integration activities can include both sharing of research activity for different purposes (e.g. observations, measurements and other data) and coordination of activity (e.g. QA/QC between labs, agreed spatial and temporal resolution, same range of chemicals, common timetable, use of the same models, etc.). It is anticipated that the programme will utilise existing and develop new instruments to undertake long term measurements. It may also undertake intense observational campaigns during the lifetime of the programme.

Themes

The programme has been defined in terms of four science themes. Proposals can cut across multiple themes and are not expected to cover every element of each theme. The themes are embedded within the overall programme platform, as mentioned above. The programme will support a number of projects which will undertake scientific research on different aspects of pollution in Delhi relating to one or more of the themes outlined below. 

1) Emission Validation and Sources

2) Processes Physical and Chemical 

3) Exposure validation and Helath Outcomes

4) Mitigations and Interventions 

Application Process For Initial Proposals: 

Eligibility

The closing date for initial proposals is 16:00 UK time 10 December 2015. No proposals can be


submitted after this time. Proposals will need to be submitted through the Joint Electronic
Submission (JeS) system (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk). The JeS call name is “Atmospheric Pollution and
Human Health in an Indian Megacity DEC15”.There will be a single joint UK-Indian application
through JeS which will be shared with ESSO-MoES and DBT.
Applications must be completed in English.
UK grants are funded at 80% Full Economic Costing (FEC).
It is very important to note that from January 2015, NERC has updated its position on adherence to
grant rules10. Applicants should ensure that their proposal conforms to all eligibility and submission
rules, otherwise their proposal may be rejected without peer review. More details on NERC’s
submission rules can be found in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook and in the
submission rules on the NERC website.

The closing date for initial proposals is 16:00 UK time 10 December 2015. No proposals can besubmitted after this time. Proposals will need to be submitted through the Joint Electronic Submission (JeS) system. The JeS call name is “Atmospheric Pollution andHuman Health in an Indian Megacity DEC15”.There will be a single joint UK-Indian applicationthrough JeS which will be shared with ESSO-MoES and DBT.Applications must be completed in English.UK grants are funded at 80% Full Economic Costing (FEC).It is very important to note that from January 2015, NERC has updated its position on adherence togrant rules10. Applicants should ensure that their proposal conforms to all eligibility and submissionrules, otherwise their proposal may be rejected without peer review. More details on NERC’s submission rules can be found in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook and in thesubmission rules on the NERC website.

UK/Indian researchers may be named on a maximum of two different proposals, but on only one as the lead Principal Investigator. This is across the call as a whole, and not restricted to individual themes. Proposals with individuals listed on more than two will be rejected. An Indian researcher can participate only in one funded proposal and thus in the event of a researcher being awarded two proposals, he/she will have to withdraw from one. For UK researcher eligibility, please refer to section C of the NERC Research Grants Handbook11. Indian researchers from the Government institutes including Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Sciences, Government laboratories, Universities, Academic institutions, and other related institutes are eligible to apply.

Important Dates:

  • Call for initial proposals released September 2015
  • Call for initial proposals closes 16:00 10 December 2015
  • External peer review December 2015 – March 2016
  • Moderating Panel March 2016
  • Integration Meeting May 2016
  • Full proposal deadline July 2016
  • Panel August 2016
  • Award grants August 2016
  • Grants start December 2016

 

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