The Future Earth Pathways Communication Grants programme seeks to ensure that scientific contributions enhancing the understanding of pathways for sustainability reach relevant audiences beyond the scientific community. To promote wider uptake and understanding, the grant supports the dissemination of findings via innovative dissemination formats and practices.

Deadline 31 January 2022.


Researchers, incl. PhD students, at universities or research institutions are invited to submit proposals for communication products that aim to disseminate outcomes developed in inter- and/or transdisciplinary research projects, and that are addressed to the broader public.

Scope of proposals

Proposals should refer to outcomes of projects that advance the understanding of at least one of the following three aspects of pathways for sustainability:

  1. How interactions at various scales in complex human-environment systems produce trade-offs or synergies within a context of competing development agendas and claims on resources,
  2. How transformations can be mobilized to enable expansion of integrated pathways to sustainability in diverse concrete contexts,
  3. How pathways and processes of transformation, which are likely to differ between places given differences in histories, contexts and values, interact across locations and scales, creating both tensions and synergies, and ‘add up’ to outcomes at the regional and global levels.

Award Information

The call for proposals is open for a 1-year period with a selection of awardees every 4 months. Grants will be awarded until the available funds are used up.

Funding amount: 2,500 € to 10,000 €.

Estimated number of awards: 5-20

The total funding available in 2022 is 60,000 €.

One third will be allocated to support proposals from researchers from and working in low and middle income countries as a priority group, and another third will be allocated to support proposals from early career researchers, as another priority group. Early career researchers are defined here as PhD students or researchers who have received their PhD within the last six years.

Supported communication products

The grant supports a part or the entirety of the costs of a communication product. Supported communication products include printed or digital publications (policy briefs, factsheets, brochures, white papers, short reports, etc.), videos, audios, and data visualisations.

The supported communication products must be based on research outcomes or synthesis, and be ready to be turned into a communication piece. Communications products in any language relevant to the target audience (aligned with the needs of the target audience) ​​can be supported. Proposals and all supplementary application materials, however, must be submitted in English.

Supported communication products should be launched and publicly available within 8 months from the date of the funding transfer.

Products not supported: Website design and maintenance, scientific posters, publications in scientific journals and books are not supported through this grant.

The grant does not make any retrospective awards for communication products already published.

Eligible costs

Only the costs of the development of the communication product are covered by the grant. The following costs may be claimed: layout, graphic design, video design and production, writing and editorial support, communication consultancy to help shape narratives and translate complex knowledge into clear and targeted material for non-expert audiences.

The following costs cannot be claimed: fee for publication and open access costs; salary in connection with the development of the research outcomes highlighted in the communication products; translation and linguistic revision; costs of printing copies.

Organisations are allowed to include up to 12% indirect cost recovery on total direct costs per contract.

Applicants can work with the service providers of their choice. However, we recognise that researchers may not necessarily know communication service providers. In this case, the Future Earth Secretariat offers to help the applicant find appropriate providers.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Information

Successful proposals must provide the following pieces of information, which needs to be consolidated into a single PDF document.

  • Title of the communication product and type of product.
  • Proposal narrative (1000 – 2000 words) explaining the content to be communicated through the product, to whom (the target audience) and how.
  • Detailed development and dissemination plans (including timeline, targeted audience and how it will be reached).
  • Budget and budget narrative detailing how grant funding will be spent. In addition, please provide the contact details of the communication service providers and their quotes if known and list any other funding support or grants for which the applicant has applied, including amounts and the results, if known. Budget must be calculated in €.
  • Short CV for all participant(s), no longer than 2 pages for each participant. Previous experience in communication with a broad audience should be highlighted.

Applicants should send the above materials as a single PDF to the Future Earth Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All submission materials should be written in English. Applicants who are members of a Future Earth entity, such as a Global Research Project, a Knowledge Action Network, a National Committee, etc. are asked to indicate it in their application.

Deadline: The selection committee will proceed to the first round of project evaluation in February and will evaluate proposals received at the latest by 31 January 2022.

Review Criteria

  • Projects will be evaluated based on:
  • The clarity of the proposal,
  • The importance of and potential impact of the communication products,
  • The quality and originality of the research outputs forming the basis for the communication product,
  • The overall communication and dissemination approach.

Administrative Information and Post-Award Requirements

Selection committee: Each application will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of members of the Steering Group of the Future Earth Science-based Pathways for Sustainability initiative and communication professionals.

A financial report and a copy of the published work must be sent to the Future Earth Secretariat on completion and within 8 months from the date of the funding transfer. Future Earth must be acknowledged within the published work, guidelines on this will be provided to all successful applicants.


If you have any questions about the application procedure or the processing of applications please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cover image by Kanenori.

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