Green Education - Grants Require Sustainability Reporting

Personal Note From The Editor

Hi Reader!

The feedback from last time was pretty uniform – keeping the current lengths of my personal notes.

It shall be kept then :D

Today, we will dive into grants & funding. Lately, some funding bodies took the first step to take sustainability more seriously.

From personal experience, I can tell you that the members of these funding bodies understand the urgency of sustainability in science but they struggle with 2 challenges:

A) how to communicate that research should remain the main priority B) limited or no knowledge about sustainability in research.

Let’s see how they dealt with these two challenges so far:

Today's Lesson: Sustainability Reporting

How funding bodies ask for green practices

Number Of The Day

The International Science Council wants to liquidate $1 billion in annual investments to address complex global issues like climate change, malnutrition, water security, and clean energy. This is because in their opinion, prevailing science design, funding and practice fail to serve science at the speed and scale required.

1 Billion

Sustainability Reporting For Grants

Two major national funding bodies in Europe now request reporting on sustainability measures taken when applying for grants.

We are talking about Wellcome (UK) and the DFG (Germany).

Will funding now be distributed differently?

The main mission of these funding bodies remains, thus, the statement of the DFG includes this line:

“Striving for high quality research remains the top priority when planning and designing a project.”

This is not a shortcoming for sustainability – as we at ReAdvance have been arguing for a long time that sustainability can only be sustainably introduced to science if it doesn’t impair research.

Thus, funds will still go to the best proposals as long as they implement a sensible amount of sustainable practices.

What does that mean for you?

Wellcome expect scientists now to “Design their research using the most sustainable approach they can access and to tell us how they have done this in their grant application.” Here are the major categories both funding bodies request reporting on:

Wellcome: Energy, Equipment, Recycling, Travel, Research outputs (e.g., open access publishing), Measuring and Monitoring (e.g., certifications for laboratories)

DfG: Travel, Methodology, Computations, Procurement.

To provide some examples what they list as potential actions:

A) limiting the time freezer doors are open, for example by effective labelling of tray contents

B) participate in organization initiatives to pass items on to others when they are no longer needed

C) taking into consideration the uniqueness of the planned research, i.e., could available existing data be used to progress the project under more sustainable conditions?

Time to act?

Yes! Wellcome requests its lab to either be My Green Lab or LEAF certified by 2025. And we know that becoming sustainable takes time.

When will other funding bodies move? That of course is uncertain but given that the DFG is relatively general in their requests, other funding bodies could act similarly soon.

Applying The Knowledge

Spread the message among your colleagues and friends.

Again, even if you do not need to report yet, being prepared will make your life much easier in the future. Also, your (younger) colleagues might see it as an encouraging move!

Then, you decide in how far you can take action already to get ahead of the curve!

Upcoming Lesson:

How To Report On Sustainable Practices For Grants

Asking You

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation, what is it’s budged to support sustainability related research?

How We Feel Today

If you have a wish or a question, feel free to reply to this Email.
Otherwise, wish you a beatiful week!
See you again the 13th: )

Find the previous lesson click - here -

Edited by Patrick Penndorf
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