Announcement cofund call 2021 ‘Supporting the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems across land and sea’

On the 1st of October 2021 a first joint transnational cofunded call for research projects has been launched within the framework of the new Horizon Europe partnership. This partnership is the ‘natural’ successor of the BiodivERsA network and one of the building blocks of the  ‘European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030’. It will initiate a range of activities the coming years (e.g. developing new knowledge, monitoring activities, science-policy/society interface, etc.), of which calls for research projects form an integral part. The FWO, in its capacity of research funder, will try to engage itself the coming years within the research calls of this partnership.

The subject of this first transnational call is the following one: “Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem protection across land and sea”, by addressing the following, non-exhaustive research area’s/themes:

  • THEME 1 – Knowledge for identifying priority conservation areas, establishing effective and resilient ecological networks, enhancing species-based protection and preserving genetic diversity
  • THEME 2 – Multiple benefits and costs of biodiversity and ecosystem protection: synergies and trade-offs
  • THEME 3 – Effective management and equitable governance to deliver bold conservation outcome


More elaborate information in view of the above-mentioned themes can be consulted on the BiodivERsA-website, and in the call documents (from p. 5 onwards).

Deadline for pre-proposal submission: 30 November 2021, 15h CET (local Brussels time)

Al relevant call information can be consulted in the call documents, also when it comes to the general rules for participation, as mentioned within ‘Document 1: Announcement of Opportunity’ ( from p. 2 onwards). In addition the ‘national’ FWO eligibility criteria have to be respected, which are taken up in the ‘funding organisations rules’ document, and which are of importance when it comes to the eligibility of the Flemish (FWO) subproject.


FWO modalities

Both the FWO fundamental (FO) and Strategic Basic Research (SBO) funding channels are integrated within this call. The type and scope of the proposed research project will determine the choice of funding channel for the research performed within Flanders. Non-compliance with the specific requirements per funding channel will inevitably lead to non-eligibility.

Please note, this is only an FWO requirement: European and/or international partners within the project consortium can choose their type of research freely. Only the more ‘fundamental’ or ‘strategic’ nature of the Flemish partners subproject has to be guaranteed.

Project proposals have to be submitted at the Biodiversity+ call secretariat by European and international consortia, respecting the general eligibility criteria, as taken up in the call documents. No separate national project submission is required for the FWO. The FWO is able to support 3 projects for a 3 years duration, with an available maximum applicable budget of 250.000 EUR (overhead included) per project/consortium. The FWO budgetary rules, which differ per funding channel, are also clarified in the ‘funding organisations rules’ document.

For the fundamental funding channel the respective regulation applies. For the SBO channel the SBO regulation has to be taken into account: these imply projects with a primarily economic and/or societal finality, of which ‘valorisation’ is a key - and mandatory - aspect.

Some key points to take into account

  • Participation within the framework of the European co-funded partnerships does not interfere with the ‘regular’ project submission framework, and is consequently not taken into account for calculating the max. available number of new applications and running projects combined. However, researchers can only participate within 2 different international consortia per call, if it implies different subjects.
  • When the Flemish (FWO) subproject implies an SBO project the researchers are asked to provide proactively, and before the pre-proposal submission deadline, a concise – but to the point – valorisation plan (no fixed format, max. 2 A4-pages), which clarifies the valorisation context within Flanders and internationally. This document can be sent towards the email address.
  • Projects aiming at the development of a spin-off are not eligible in this context.
  • Projects have a max. 36 months runtime and have to be budgeted accordingly. Automatic no-cost prolongations are not accepted in this framework.
  • The PI, for each of the participating institutions from Flanders, must hold an appointment that fully covers the duration of the research project.
  • FWO and BELSPO funding cannot be combined within the same consortium, even if it implies different research institutions.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the FWO before submission in view of the eligibility criteria, in order to avoid the ineligibility of a researcher, and the project consortium as a whole.

Information about FWO participation can also be obtained by contacting the following FWO colleagues:

Toon Monbaliu (FO)
+32 (0)2 550 15 70


Kristien Peeters (SBO)

+32 (0)2 550 15 95