Newton Fund: building science and innovation capacity in developing countries

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance. Its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

The fund is £75 million each year from 2014 for 5 years. It will be administered by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Activities under the fund will be managed by a core group of Delivery Partners, including: the Royal Society, Royal Society of Engineering, The Royal Society of Chemistry, British Academy and The Academy of Medical Sciences, The British Council (in collaboration with the UK Higher Education International Unit), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Met Office.

The funding will be allocated in varying proportions across 15 partner countries, all of which are emerging economies. All programmes must be match funded so that partnerships are on an equal basis and must also assist with the economic development of the partner country.

Partner countries are:  Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

The fund will cover 3 broad categories of activity:

  • people: improving science and innovation expertise (ie: ‘capacity building’), student and researcher fellowships, mobility schemes and joint centres
  • programmes: research collaborations on development topics
  • translation: innovation partnerships and challenge funds to develop innovative solutions on development topics

The Newton Fund should promote the long term economic development and welfare of people in partner countries and unlock new opportunities for HEIs to contribute and build partnerships. Challenges such as the alleviation of poverty, improvement of energy and water quality, as well as innumerable other social, environmental and cultural benefits which could ultimately lead to increasing the economic growth of partner countries as well as the UK should be addressed.

Calls are likely to be opened at different times according to the country and the programme area. For all current research calls go to:

Multi-country calls  No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Brazil The joint Research Councils UK-CONFAP research partnerships call opened on 4 August. The application form and guidance for applicants will be available from 18 August 2014. The deadline for applications is 17 October at 16:00 UK time.

Calls for Chile Newton-Picarte fund No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund Ten calls now open with the Met Office as the delivery partner. Deadlines: 1 September 2014 & 27 February 2015.

Calls for Colombia Newton-Caldas Fund No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Egypt No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for India Two calls for India’s Newton-Bhabha fund are now open, with more expected shortly.

  • DBT-MRC Joint Centre Partnerships (Deadline: 29 September at 16:00)
  • Joint Global Research Programme: Women’s and children’s health (Deadline: 21 October at 16:00)

Calls for Indonesia No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Kazakhstan Newton-Al Farabi Partnership Programme No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Malaysia No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Mexico No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Philippines No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for South Africa No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Thailand No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Turkey No calls are open at the moment.

Calls for Vietnam No calls are open at the moment.

Newton Fund programme descriptions

For regular updates on the fund visit the HE International Unit website

Full details can be found on the UK government website

For further information, contact the External Projects Team.

New EU LIFE Programme funds launched

Funding for Europe’s new LIFE Programme has been launched.These projects address the needs of nature, biodiversity, environment and climate action.

Funding Body: European Environment Programme

Scheme: LIFE 2014-2020


The 2014 call under the new LIFE programme, will fund the following types of projects:

Traditional projects
These are projects focusing on development of best practice, demonstration, pilot or information activities, awareness and dissemination projects in the following key fields:

  • Nature and Biodiversity
  • Environment and Resource Efficiency
  • Environmental Governance and Information
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Climate Governance and Information

Preparatory projects
These address specific needs for the development and implementation of Union environmental or climate policy and legislation.

Integrated projects
These are projects implementing on a regional, national or trans-national scale environmental or climate plans or strategies required by specific EU environmental or climate legislation, which could be developed by EU Member States’ authorities. The focus areas are nature water, waste, air and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Technical Assistance projects
These provide, by way of action grants, financial support to help applicants prepare integrated projects.

Capacity Building projects
These provide financial support to activities required to build the capacity of EU Member States, including LIFE national or regional contact points, with a view to enabling these countries to participate more effectively in the LIFE Programme.

LIFE projects have an emphasis on demonstration, best practice and pilot projects rather than the research focus which you find in Horizon 2020. Some of the themes also allow dissemination and awareness projects to be carried out.

More details on the specifications for projects, and on these priority areas, can be found on the European Commission web page indicated below.

Projects do not have to be transnational, but they are encouraged.

Budget: The European commission with fund 60% of project costs. Except in cases where the project focuses on conservation of priority species or habitats, where the funding is 75%.

Capacity building projects for members States are co-financed at 100%

Deadlines: A variety of strands are open, the deadlines are in October 2014.

Further Information:


Sustainable Pathways to Low Carbon Energy (SPLiCE) Research Programme: Phase 1

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs invites tenders for its sustainable pathways to low carbon energy research programme.

The SPLiCE research programme will fill gaps in knowledge about the sustainability of different mixes of energy supply and demand options needed to deliver 2050 greenhouse gas emissions targets. It will look specifically at the effects of different energy options on the natural environment, society and the economy. This new research will be combined with existing information and synthesised into a comprehensive, accessible and holistic view of the data that will support decision making to build a sustainable future energy system.

Phase 1 will establish a foundation for this programme and will start a process of reviewing and synthesising existing research; prioritise new research for phase 2; produce a specification for a portal to access the synthesised information and assess options for evaluating and comparing impacts and engaging the public.

Listing Deadline: 03/04/2014 16:00
Contract Start Date: 28/04/2014
Contract Duration: 12 months


The Calouste Gulbenkian Open Fund



The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation invites grant applications under its programme for art research and development. Applications must address projects or ideas under the foundation’s three main strategic aims:

  • Cultural Understanding

To help improve people’s perceptions of each other by providing opportunities through culture and between cultures.

  • Fulfilling Potential

To assist the most disadvantaged in society to fulfil their potential by building connections and developing opportunities.

  • Environment

To help in the development of a society which benefits from a more sustainable relationship with the natural world and understands the value of its resources.

Not-for -profit organisations based in the UK or Republic of Ireland may apply for funding, and projects must take place in these countries. Projects may involve international partners, or emulate good practice in other countries.

Grants average between £10,000 and £30,000.

There is no closing date.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a charitable foundation established in Portugal in 1956 with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. The Foundation’s Headquarters are in Lisbon with offices in London (the UK Branch) and Paris

For further information go to:

Sustainable Society Network

This small fund targets Early Career Researchers. It can be applied to at anytime and is looking for cross disciplinary work around digital technologies and sustainability, which makes it a good fit to a number of research areas in the University.

Funding Body: Sustainable Society Network

Scheme: Small Grants open call

Overview: Small grants provide funding for projects, or other activities, that lead to, or support, cross-disciplinary collaboration in the use of digital technologies to promote and support a sustainable society. The applications should address the “three pillars” (UN, 2005) or “triple bottom line” (Elkington, 1994) of sustainability – social, economic, and environmental. These will be up to 3 months in duration and are designed to test new ideas or create novel linkages between research areas.

We encourage applications led by early career researchers (defined as within 5 years of their PhD submission).

  • resource consumption (e.g. water, waste, and energy)
  • environmental degredation and contamination (e.g. air, soil, noise, water)
  • local and national transport, water, waste, and energy, and ICT infrastructures
  • architecture, landscape architecture, town and country planning, building science
  • national and international supply chains
  • rural and urban enterprise infrastructures
  • support health and wellbeing (this call will NOT fund clinical trials)
  • social infrastructure support mechanisms
  • sustainable prosperity
  • safety and emergency services
  • environmental and engineering policy

Budget: Funding for 80% of a project costing up to £3,000 is available for applications led by staff from UK universities and research organisations

Deadlines: The fund closes on the first of every month (but will shut on the 15th for the January call)

Further Information:


Rapid evidence review on the health risks of bathing

Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs invites tenders for a rapid evidence review on the health risks of bathing. The aim is to carry out an evidence review on the evidence around bathing water standards and the impact on human health to highlight any significant new research and evidence gaps.

For further information go to:

Closing date 02 Oct 13

European Environment Agency report published

 “Towards Green Economy” is a recent report which gives a detailed overview of the key objectives and targets in EU environmental policy and legislation for the period 2010-…2050.  It may provide a good reference point for environmentally based research or business support activities colleagues are involved in.
The report covers the following policy areas:
  • Energy
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone-depleting substances
  • Air quality and air pollution
  • Transport sector emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SCP)
  • Chemicals
  • Biodiversity and land use

The report identifies over 130 targets, with binding targets in the areas of energy, air pollution, transport emissions and waste. 

Further information:

Environmental Audit Committee announce new inquiry into well-being

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is a Commons Select Committee Chaired by Joan Walley MP and examines sustainable development and environmental protection across all government departments.  Following the EAC’s recent report on Sustainable Development Indicators, the Committee agreed to undertake a further inquiry on the ‘Measuring Well-being’ initiative, building from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) well-being data analysis in November.

The ONS analysis compared people’s well-being according to gender, age, ethnic group, relationship status, health, disability, employment status and occupation, as well as by nation, region and local authority. This potentially opens up a raft of new data for social science and policy making that reflects well-being and sustainable development.

The EAC inquiry will examine a number of areas including:

  • The Government’s plans to utilise the results of the available well-being research and analysis in policy making, training and sustainable development 
  • How the ONS work might be further expanded or adjusted to reflect well-being research and metrics being developed elsewhere. 

The Committee is taking written evidence for this inquiry until 14 June. Guidance on how to submit evidence is available on the Committee’s website, further information at