GlobalSeaweedSTAR Research & Innovation Fund
Call deadline extended until

30 June 2020

Please note that this is the final call for proposals of 12-month duration. Proposals of 9 months or less duration are strongly encouraged.

Deadline Clock

GCRF GlobalSeaweedSTAR (GS-STAR) is a four year, multidisciplinary programme. Our key objective is to build the research and innovation capacity of DAC-list countries engaged in seaweed farming and strengthen the industry globally. This programme is supported by UK Research and Innovation – Global Challenge Research Fund and directly addresses key UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The programme is led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). We work in partnership with institutions in the UK, the Philippines, Malaysia and Tanzania and want to expand our network to as many other DAC-list countries as possible.

GlobalSeaweedSTAR Research & Innovation Grants

The Research and Innovation Fund will provide up to a total of £700,000 in grants, each with a value of £5,000 – £50,000.

These grants can be used to support research, innovation or other capacity-building activities that address the key GlobalSeaweedSTAR objectives (stated above), including:

• Promoting challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research

• Strengthening capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange between the UK and/or DAC-list countries

• Providing an agile response to emergencies faced by the seaweed industry

• Any other capacity-building activities that would strengthen the seaweed industry in DAC-list countries, especially those in line with priority areas identified in the UNU-INWEH/SAMS Policy Brief.

The GS-STAR Fund is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the global seaweed industry, allowing applicants to establish collaborations and to bring in relevant private and third sector partners. This may include small and medium enterprises (SMEs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other not-for-profit organisations.



Who can apply?

To be eligible to receive funding, applicants must be:

  • Professionals (either academics or practitioners) or registered postgraduate students resident in either the UK or a DAC-list country.


  • Actively involved in, or planning to enter, a seaweed-related professional activity, which addresses the key objectives of GlobalSeaweedSTAR and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Lead Applicant can be of any nationality but must reside in either the UK or a DAC-list country. The Lead Applicant may only lead one application to the Research & Innovation Fund per call.

Co-applicants who do not reside in the UK or a DAC-listed country may be included in the proposal but will not be eligible to receive GlobalSeaweedSTAR funding (e.g. their contribution must be made in kind).

Applicants that have previously received a GlobalSeaweedSTAR grant are eligible to apply, provided all reporting requirements have been fulfilled.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please contact us at

Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance

All applications must clearly show ODA compliance. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate how the proposal meets ODA criteria.

For full details on ODA compliance please see the Applicant Guidelines.

Project Duration

The maximum duration of a Research & Innovation Fund project is 12 months.

A decision regarding funding may take up to 12 weeks. Please bear this in mind when considering the project start date, as funding will not be backdated. Expenditure incurred before the announcement date of the award will not be reimbursed.

Eligible costs

Bespoke training to develop capacity at all career levels (e.g., technicians, technologists, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, early and mid-career researchers etc.)

  • Development of professional, technical and transferable skills
  • Hiring and retention of key staff in the UK and overseas (including research leaders in DAC-list countries as co-investigators)

Research funding to address development challenges, supporting:

  • Research staff residing in the UK and overseas for collaborative research projects
  • Feasibility, scoping, exploratory, proof of concept studies
  • Workshops and idea-creation events

Partnership-building funding, supporting:

  • Seminars and workshops to enhance and build partnerships and collaborations
  • Secondment/movement of people between UK and overseas research organisations or between research organisations and industry/third sector/government.

Operational funding, supporting:

  • Support costs, including programme/research managers and administrative support
  • Communications and public engagement
  • Monitoring and impact evaluation costs

Please note that funding for new PhD studentships is not an eligible cost, although funding may be used to cover research and travel costs for students funded through other routes. PhD students may apply for equipment and consumables where appropriate as long as individual items are below £10,000.

For full details on eligible and ineligible costs, please see the Applicant Guidelines.

Please contact us at if you require further information.

Ethics and research governance

It is essential that all legal and professional codes of practice are followed in conducting work supported by the GlobalSeaweedSTAR Fund. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed activity will be carried out to the highest standards of ethics and research integrity.

In the online application form, applicants must clearly state how any potential ethical and health and safety issues will be addressed. All necessary measures must be in place before the project commences.

Please refer to the Research Councils UK ‘Policy and Guidelines on Governance of good Research Conduct’ for further information.


GlobalSeaweedSTAR is committed to ensuring equal opportunities and diversity in all our activities. This includes avoidance of bias due to gender, disability, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or religious belief.

Applicants are encouraged to include participation by researchers from under-represented groups in their proposed research team.

Without prejudice to excellence, the Fund will seek to achieve a balanced gender and geographical diversity among successful applicants.

Selection process and due diligence

Selection begins with an eligibility check against the criteria given in the applicant guidelines (see link below).

Eligible proposals will be assessed by independent reviewers on the basis of quality, fit to UNU-INWEH/SAMS policy brief, UN SDGs and ODA compliance, value for money and pathway to impact (see Appendix 1 of Applicant Guidelines for further details on these criteria).

Proposals will be given a score between 0 and 20. Applications with a final score of less than 10, or that score 0 in any one of the four evaluation criteria, will not be funded. Applications receiving a score above the threshold will not automatically be funded, but will be assessed by a moderating panel with regards to country and project-specific priorities, challenge areas and perceived risks.

On advice from the moderating panel, top-scoring proposals will be reviewed for due diligence. Applicants (and their institutions) must comply with the terms set out in the GlobalSeaweedSTAR due diligence guidelines provided below.

GlobalSeaweedSTAR reserves the right to reject any proposal that does not meet due diligence standards.

Data Protection

How we use your information

The GlobalSeaweedSTAR Fund will use information that you provide only for the purposes of processing your application, making awards, and monitoring and reviewing awards.

We will share any necessary data from your application with our funders (UKRI), the GlobalSeaweedSTAR Executive & Advisory Board and the external review panel, to facilitate the management of the application process.

Details of applicant and/or affiliated institutions will be held by the GlobalSeaweedSTAR Fund for monitoring, evaluation, reporting and statistical purposes throughout the reporting period of the programme. In line with European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) no personal information will be stored beyond this period.

How to apply

The next deadline for submission is 31 May 2020.

Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

Applicants must submit:

• A completed application form

Current CV of principal investigator and all co-applicants (maximum 2 A4 pages each)

• Detailed project budget, using the budget template provided

• Letters of support. These must be written in English on headed paper. A letter signed by the head of each affiliated institution must be included, expressing a commitment to support and facilitate the proposed project for its entire duration. These letters must also certify that the applicant has the necessary expertise to complete the proposed work.

All applications must be completed in English.

By submitting an application, the applicants agree to comply with all reporting procedures set out in the applicant guidelines.

Completed applications should be submitted to