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Home News News & Announcements Newton Fund UK-China-Philippines-Thailand-Vietnam call for collaborative research proposals in rice research

Newton Fund UK-China-Philippines-Thailand-Vietnam call for collaborative research proposals in rice research

June 29, 2015


Call status: Open

Application deadline: 13 August 2015, 4pm GMT


The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), in collaboration with the:

  • UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
  • Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)
  • Thailand Agricultural Research and Development Agency (Public Organisation) (ARDA)
  • Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development and Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD DOST)
  • Philippine Rice Research Institute, Department of Agriculture Philippines (DA PhilRice)
  • International Cooperation Department Ministry of Science and Technology Vietnam (MOST)

are pleased to announce a call for collaborative proposals. The purpose of this call is to build on the combined strengths of academic research groups within China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK to work together on collaborative interdisciplinary research that will underpin the long-term sustainable production of rice.



Applicants are invited to submit bilateral or multilateral collaborative research proposals comprising eligible researchers from the UK, China, Thailand, the Philippines or Vietnam.


All proposals will be required to have a UK Principal Investigator, in addition to a Principal Investigator from one or more of the partner countries.


The funders aim to support innovative basic, strategic or applied research that will contribute to and underpin long-term sustainable production of rice, including an understanding that rice production sits alongside the provision of other ecosystem services. Proposals of up to three years in duration will be encouraged to address the following challenges in rice:

  • Greater resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses
  • Improved resource use efficiency (including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Water)
  • Improved quality of rice (including nutritional enhancement and grain quality)
  • Novel research tool and technology development supporting the above areas (including systems biology, bioinformatics, screening and characterisation of germplasm for gene and trait discovery)

In addition to the challenges listed above, proposals will also be welcomed in the following areas and countries:

  • Improved photosynthetic efficiency in rice (China, Thailand, UK)
  • Environmentally sustainable rice cultivation systems (Thailand, Philippines, UK)
  • Utilisation of rice by-products (Philippines, Vietnam, UK)
  • Sustainably increasing the genetic yield potential of rice (China, UK)

The participating agencies wish to develop and strengthen transnational collaborations across the countries involved and to support collaborations which will have a real impact in this field. Applicants must successfully demonstrate the sustainability of the collaboration and the potential impact of the activities proposed.


Before beginning to develop their proposal, applicants should ensure they read the guidance notes in the application downloads below.
*** The Thai applicants, please refer to "Additional guidance for Thai Applicants" in Annex. 4 of Guidance for Applicants document. ***



The budget requested, in support the Thai researcher(s), is flexible (no ceiling).
However, the proposal would be appraised by its quality, feasibility, reasonability (of the budget requested), and accordance to the guidelines.


Maximum duration of the project: up to 3 years.


For further information about the amount of funding available for each country see the country annexes section of the guidance notes in application downloads below.



Eligibility to apply is determined by national eligibility rules and the nature of the resources requested must also adhere to national guidelines. For further information and detailed eligibility see the guidance notes in application downloads below.


For UK academics, standard BBSRC and NERC eligibility criteria apply.


The Newton Fund

The UK contribution will be funded from the Newton Fund. The Newton Fund is an initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. It will deliver £375M of funding over the course of five years.


The Newton Fund requires that the funding be awarded to research projects that are of relevance to the partner countries. All applications under this call must be compliant with the RCUK Newton guidelines.


Assessment criteria

To be funded, proposals must be internationally competitive and at a standard equivalent to that normally expected to be supported by each funding organisation.

Key assessment criteria for the applications include:

  • Scientific rationale: novelty, importance and timeliness of the proposed research
  • Design and feasibility of the proposed methodology
  • Added value to existing research on the topic of the proposal
  • Significance and impact of the research
  • Research partnership development: including strength and clarity of the collaboration and opportunities provided
  • Appropriateness of the project structure proposed (including governance, arrangements for data management and sharing and management of intellectual property)
  • Added value of the joint research partnership
  • Potential for the collaboration to build capacity in partner countries
  • Value for money


How to apply

Full applications must be submitted by the UK Principal Investigator to BBSRC via the Je-S application system by Thursday 13 August 2015, 4pm (GMT). Applicants wishing to apply to the call must use the specific case for support template associated with this call (see application downloads below).


For further information about the Call and Guidance for Applicants, please go to the link below .



For Thai applicants:

Kunchana Dumrongchai (NSTDA)
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Veerasuda Theeradech (ARDA)
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