Scientific Research Plan - Call for Project Proposals

Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund

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Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 19, 2020

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Antarctica

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Overview:

The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund supports funding to Antarctic research based upon our scientific research plan.

The plan has been developed by the AWR's Science Advisory Group, represented by scientists connected to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The Principal Aims of the Scientific Research Plan are to:

    • Contribute to CCAMLR's work on the development of a feedback management system for the commercial fishery for Antarctic krill.
    • Design and implement a series of candidate scientific reference areas to monitor natural variability and long term change.
    • Design field and analytical methods for providing early warning signals about future ecological change.
    • Observe and evaluate signals of ecological change with a view to determining, to the extent possible, the causes of change, whether natural or anthropogenically induced.

      Research proposals submitted to this fund should focus on one or more of the research areas listed below, but they must clearly identify how the proposal will contribute towards the main objective of the AWR program and how the proposal will increase existing capacities for management.

      • Field-based krill fishery studies
      • Field-based krill ecology studies
      • Field-based predator studies
      • Desk-based modeling studies
      • Desk-based management studies

      You can find more details about the above listed research areas here.

      Strengthening the Ecosystem-based Management Approach

      Since the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was first agreed in May 1980, it has been incumbent upon Members to conserve Antarctic marine living resources, whilst also allowing rational use. Under this Convention, fishery management must therefore prevent any fishery-induced change to the marine ecosystem, or minimize the risk of any such change, that is not potentially reversible over two to three decades. Therefore, when making decisions about potential management actions, CCAMLR must take into account the state of available knowledge (see Convention text).

      The commercial fishery for Antarctic krill is currently managed under a series of measures that are aimed at being precautionary. CCAMLR has initiated a programme of work that it is hoped will develop a feedback management approach, using decision rules to adjust selected activities (including for example, the distribution and level of krill catch) in response to the state of monitored indicators, while maintaining a precautionary approach and taking into account spatial and temporal ecosystem structure.

      In undertaking such a programme of work, CCAMLR has recognised that there are many gaps in knowledge, but that monitored indicators might be used to: (i) provide advance warning about the potential risks of fishing and to advise on requirements for further precaution and/or focused future research and monitoring investments; (ii) adjust catch limits and the spatial distribution of catches; and (iii) characterise long-term changes in the ecosystem to facilitate strategic decision making.

      AWR and Research Projects

      The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (hereafter AWR) wishes to contribute to and support the work of CCAMLR so that the Antarctic krill fishery is managed in a manner consistent with the precautionary approach detailed in the Convention text. The aims of the AWR have therefore been developed to be consistent with the work of CCAMLR.

      It is envisaged that any research and monitoring work supported by the AWR will build, incrementally, towards a new management approach for the krill fishery. Funded work should therefore support, rather than replace, the work of CCAMLR. In developing research proposals for consideration by the AWR, it is hoped that projects will be collaborative in nature, including between scientists from different CCAMLR Members, between scientists and krill fishing companies and between government and non-governmental scientists.

      Each grant will be for a specific piece of work, and no long-term commitment to any individual or group should be assumed. The AWR is competitive and only proposals that are judged to provide excellent science and to fit the aims of the fund will be considered. Applicants should ensure that their proposals are cost effective, and cost-sharing is encouraged when possible. Where appropriate, the track record of project proponents will be taken into consideration. The inclusion of students or early career scientists is encouraged. All proposals should be presented on the official project application form.

      In supporting the development of a feedback management approach for the krill fishery, the AWR wishes to fund work that will increase understanding about how the Antarctic marine ecosystem operates and how it might be characterised as a set of indicators for use by managers. Such work might involve desk or field studies to fill critical knowledge gaps or provide early warning signals about future ecological change.

      For the current round of funding USD$150,000 is available. It is unlikely that all of this amount will be awarded to a single project, though this may be possible for a particularly compelling proposal. Successful proposals might generally expect to receive in the order of USD$25,000 to USD$100,000

      You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

      Eligibility:

      • Your research must fall under one of the research areas listed above.
      • Each grant should be for a specific piece of work.
      • Applicants should propose clear start and end dates and specific dates by which outputs and products from the research will be produced.
      • It is envisioned that any research and monitoring work supported by the AWR will build, incrementally, towards a new management approach for the krill fishery. Funded work should therefore support, rather than replace, the work of CCAMLR.