In answer to the global urbanisation challenge, NSFC and JPI Urban Europe have agreed to a long-term cooperation under the strategic theme Sustainable Urbanisation in the Context of Economic Transformation and Climate Change. The pilot call is a joint initiative of nine European funding agencies participating in JPI Urban Europe and NSFC in China.

Proposals are invited for joint projects under the identified priority themes, addressing key issues where true added value can be gained from collaboration. 

Projects to this call should address one or more of the following topics: 

  • Climate change and new urban economies 
  • Transformation of energy systems and strengthen urban circular economies 
  • Urban public administration and services innovation
  • Urban data management.

Application process

Registration and submission of a full proposal must be done by means of the FFG electronic submission system. Electronic registration is obligatory for participants from Europe and China. This step presents an indication of intent to submit a proposal, not a commitment.

The call will be administered via the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) Electronic Submissions System. However, the UK component of the proposals that are successful at the full application stage will be administered by the ESRC, via the Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S). 

The UK component of any consortium will be funded by the ESRC. It is therefore essential that the UK component is substantially social science lead.


The total funding available in this programme is approximately M€9.35 on the European side, across the participating European funding agencies. NSFC will fund the Chinese part of all projects to be funded under this programme. 

The ESRC budget for this call is £1,875,000 (approximately €2,150,000), and it is anticipated that 5-6 projects will be funded with UK components. Please note that the maximum amount available for the UK component on a proposal is £375,000 (approximately €435,000) at 100% full Economic Cost.

Key dates

  • Registration deadline - 14.00 CET (Europe) / 16.00 CST (China) on 12 April 2018
  • Submission deadline full proposals - 14.00 CET (Europe) / 20.00 CST (China) on 20 June 2018
  • Eligibility check - July 2018
  • Assessment of full proposals - August-October 2018
  • Funding recommendations - November 2018
  • National decisions - November 2018
  • Grant negotiations completed - December 2018
  • Successful proposals announced - December 2018

Call documents

Full call details can be found on the Urban Europe website.