Call for Proposals: Transformations to Sustainability in the Field of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Belmont Forum and NORFACE have launched the Programme ”Transformations to Sustainability” (T2S), which will contribute to re-structuring the broad field of sustainability research by placing social science and humanities at the heart of interdisciplinary research. Co-production of knowledge and research problem formulation is considered to be critical to the process of societal transformation.


This programme has two major objectives:

  • To develop understanding of and promote research on transformations to sustainability which are of significant social, economic and policy concern throughout the world and of great relevance to both academics and stakeholders.
  • To build capacity, overcome fragmentation and have a lasting impact on both society and the research landscape by cultivating durable research collaboration across multiple borders, disciplinary boundaries, and with practitioners and societal partners. This includes facilitating the development of new research collaborations with parts of the world which are not often involved in large-scale international research efforts, notably low- and middle-income countries.


The programme is structured around three themes, every research project should focus on at least one of these themes:

  • Governance and institutional dimensions of transformations to sustainability
  • Economy and finance of transformations to sustainability 
  • Well-being, quality of life, identity, and social and cultural values in relation to transformations to sustainability


The total funding available for this T2S programme over a period of three years has been set at a minimum of 13 M€ across the international funding partners. Small and large projects are equally welcome. The total funding requested from the T2S partners must not exceed € 1,500,000 across all participating partners for each project. Projects can last up to 36 months.


Each consortium should be led by a Main Applicant from social sciences/humanities (SSH) and bring into
being integrated teams of scientists from relevant other academic disciplines ( e.g. natural sciences,
technical and engineering sciences) as appropriate, and engage with societal stakeholders to produce new
knowledge and perspectives that can contribute to finding equitable and durable solutions to the
challenges of sustainability in specific contexts. 

Consortia may consist of partners active across several positions within the research and
development system (i.e. innovation, applied research, fundamental research) and across disciplines (e.g.
natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and engineering).

Depending on the national/ISSC eligibility rules, eligible applicants may come from organisations such as:

  • Research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities with research undertakings)
  • NGOs, citizens’ representatives 
  • Cities, municipalities, regions 
  • Companies (from industry/large companies to SMEs) 
  • Consumers (e.g. business enterprises, test households)

Eligibility rules in the UK

UK applicants (principal investigators) requesting funding from T2S must be associated with an eligible research organisation. The call is open to principal investigators based in recognised higher education institutions, research organisations or organisations with a credible research capacity to undertake highquality research. This refers to institutions which possess an existing in-house capacity to host a grant and to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the national or international research base, and is able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research projects.

Business, third sector or government body co-investigators based in the UK can also be included in UK-led projects under this call, in accordance with ESRC policy. Please refer to ESRC’s guidance available at:

How to apply

Proposals to the T2S research programme will be processed in two stages. In the first stage, Outline Proposals are invited with a deadline of 5 April 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal, with a deadline of 26 September 2017.

For more information, please visit T2S Call for Proposals.