Twelve transnational research projects starting in 2018 have been awarded €11.5 million from the Belmont Forum and NORFACE joint programme Transformations to Sustainability (T2S). The 12 teams with 56 principal investigators will undertake research in transformations to sustainability areas ranging from groundwater, mining and urban areas, to the role of migration and intellectual property rights in sustainability transitions. ESRC is contributing more than €2 million supporting UK researchers within eight of the 12 funded proposals. 

Innovative research with an impact

The Belmont Forum, a global partnership that mobilises funding of environmental change research, and NORFACE, a European research network for the social sciences, jointly developed the research programme Transformations to Sustainability (T2S). The programme aims to restructure the broad field of sustainability research by placing social science, as well as the humanities, at the heart of interdisciplinary research in a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic. 

The 12 three-year projects will conduct theoretically and methodologically innovative research on transformations to sustainability in different locations experiencing pressing socio-ecological challenges. The knowledge produced by the projects will be of relevance to researchers, practitioners and policymakers across a multitude of sectors and will contribute to advancing transformative change around the globe. The project teams will integrate stakeholder and community-based partners in the research process.

The following Belmont Forum and NORFACE member countries provide funding to the twelve projects: Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the International Social Science Council (ISSC), with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), funds the participation of researchers from six low and lower-middle income countries – namely Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Tanzania. The European Commission provides top-up funding to T2S.  

Research programme Transformations to Sustainability

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures have created unprecedented situations for societies worldwide. Consequently, there is growing attention to the need for fundamental transformations in the way societies interact with each other and with the natural environment as the basis of sustainability. The objectives of the Transformations to Sustainability research programme are 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, and 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. The programme builds on and expands the Transformations to Sustainability programme of the ISSC launched in 2014.

More information on these projects can be found on the Transformations to Sustainability web page (NORFACE website).

Project no: 730211

This press release was first published on the NORFACE website.