Governing Board


These questions regard submitting a pre-proposal to the Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative – Food-Water-Energy Nexus, SUGI-FWE Nexus for short. A FAQ page regarding the full-proposal stage will follow in a later phase.

Elements of the proposal

Is it necessary to include a Form C to the pre-proposal?
No. Submitting a Form C is only necessary in the full-proposal stage. More information regarding requirements of the Form C will be published on the SUGI-FWE Nexus website in due time.

Are Letters of intent a requirement to the pre-proposal?
No, including a Letter of Intent is only necessary in the full-proposal stage. If in your consortium there are stakeholders, implementation partners or co-operation partners not eligible for funding, we recommend they express their interest in a Letter of Intent already in the pre-proposal, but this is not mandatory. If in your consortium there are stakeholders or implementation partners eligible for funding, we recommend to include them as eligible partners in the consortium (see pp. 13/14 in the call text).

The Consortium

What are the minimum requirements to a consortium?
A consortium must consist out of at least three different and eligible applicants from at least three different participating countries. While not mandatory to satisfy the 3-partner minimum, it is strongly encouraged that consortia contain at least two independent applicants eligible for funding from two different EU member states or associated countries and at least one applicant from another country participating in this call in order to be able to take advantage of the funds provided by the European Commission. Please refer to Annex A of the Call for Proposals for specific national eligibility criteria. Clear added value of the international consortium should be demonstrated and, if relevant, the added value for national investments.

All proposals must integrate across the natural sciences (including engineering), arts and humanities, and social sciences and should include an interdisciplinary, multinational approach. They should identify and address clear user needs, and examine a variety of coupled interactions and feedbacks among relevant systems. Where relevant and applicable to funding agency guidelines, it is strongly recommended that consortia develop applied innovations as well as research solutions.

Proposals should also include end-users, policy-makers or other relevant stakeholders and should include science products, which are directly applicable, available and usable to relevant stakeholders.  Engagement of community participants or other stakeholders in the planning, designing, and completing of the research is necessary.

The Call Secretariat will verify the eligibility of the proposals according to the transnational eligibility criteria, while the participating funding agencies will verify the suitability for national funding according to their respective eligibility criteria. If either the Main Applicant or the proposal does not meet the eligibility requirements, the proposal will not be admitted to the evaluation procedure. Both transnational and funding agencies’ eligibility criteria must be met.

There is no limit to the total number of partners who may be involved in each project. However, proposals for medium-sized projects submitted by consortia comprising applicants from approximately 3-5 funding agencies are expected. Consortia need to be balanced between countries both in terms of number of partners and distribution of budget. No one partner may represent more than 70% of the activity in the project (some countries may also impose lower participation levels for their funding, so please check regional/national eligibility guidelines in Annex A of the call text).

Are applicants allowed to participate in more than one proposal?
Yes. If funding is granted to a person, each person may only participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as Main Applicant (see page 13 in the call text).

Can a partner from a country/region not participating as funder in this call participate in a consortium?
Yes, a partner from a country/region not participating in this call can join a consortium as a co-operation partner. In this case, the activities of the co-operation partner must be financed by own sources, since these cannot be funded by the SUGI-FWE Nexus action. See also page 14 of the Call for Proposals.

Should a city from each country participating in a consortium be involved in the project?
No, this is not a requirement.


Call topics

Is it possible to relate a proposal to multiple call themes?
Yes. It is mandatory to relate the proposal to at least one of the three call themes, but possible to relate the proposal to multiple call themes.


How should Table 1 in Annex A of the call text be interpreted?
In this call, there are different types of research distinguished (“fundamental research”, “applied research”, and “innovation and implementation”). Not all countries/regions are able to fund the same type of organisations/research. In Table 1: „Participating Funding Agencies: Budgets and research foci“ on page 25/26 of the call text the type of organisations/research a country/region can fund is shown:

XX = The funding agency is primarily focused on funding research in this stage.

X = The funding agency has the mandate to fund projects in this stage.

An empty box means that the country/region is not able to fund this type of organisation/research. Each potential applicant is advised to contact his/her responsible funding agency in order to clarify the possibilities of national/regional funding available. For the definitions of “fundamental research”, “applied research” and “innovation and implementation” used in this call text, please see Annex B of the Call for Proposals.

When a proposal is granted funding, will the funding for each partner go through each national funding organisation, or is the main applicant expected to distribute the funding received?
Each national/regional funding organisation will fund successful applicants from their country/region. Thus, each applicant (or national/regional sub-consortium) will receive the funding separately and will have an own funding contract.


Pre-proposal form / electronic submission system eCALL

What do the different cost categories/columns in section 11 (“Approximate Projected Costs and Efforts”) of the pre-proposal form and in the eCall cost overview mean?
Costs for “R&D infrastructure use” usually are depreciation costs for more expensive R&D investments (machines, equipment, etc.), however these costs can be covered only by some of the participating agencies.

“Costs of materials” are costs of investments of little value.

“Third-party costs” refer to subcontracting.

If you have uncertainties about the eligibilty of the above mentioned cost categories, please contact your NCP.

“Cost share per partner (in %)” is the fraction: total costs of a certain partner divided by total project costs in %.

“Partner contribution in EUR”: If not 100% of the total partner costs are covered by your national/regional funding agency, then the own contribution/in-kind contribution of this respective partner shall be entered in this field.

Which data is needed from a project partner in eCall?
After having got an invitation to register in eCall from the main applicant, a project partner has to register his/her organisation in eCall (completion of the “Organisation” / “Master data” section in eCall). In the “Projects” / “Project data” section, also a contact person for the project (“Contact technology”) and one contact person responsible for financial issues (“Contact commercial”) have to be named by each project partner. Each project partner also has to finalize his/her partner application by clicking on the “Finalization” button. Then for the main applicant the status of this partner application will change from “Short proposal in progress” to “Short proposal submitted”.

Do I have to enter a staff pool in eCall and do I need a master account (“Organisation” / “User Management” section in eCall)?
It is not necessary to enter a staff pool in eCall. Generally, a master account is not needed for the submission of a pre-proposal.

Further information and Secretariat contacts

Where can I find more information?
You can find more information at, in the SUGI-FWE Nexus LinkedIn and Future Earth groups, via the Call Secretariat for general questions or via your national contact point for specific national questions. See Annex A of the Call Text for the contact details of your national contact point or in the PDF below.

Belmont Forum

Belmont Forum

Susanna Ehlers   
National Science Foundation (USA)
Telephone: +1 703 292 7583

Maria Uhle
National Science Foundation (USA)
Telephone: +1 703 292 2250



JPI Urban Europe

Johannes Bockstefl
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Telephone: +43 5 7755 5042

Hanna Scheck
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Telephone: +43 5 7755 5068

Marcus van Leeuwen
NWO – Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Telephone: +31 70 344 0931

Relevant documents and links


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