SNAPP Call for Proposals 2016

Request for Working Group Proposals


Science for Nature and People Partnership


Request for Proposals Due Date: CLOSED

Website:       For inquiries email proposal [at] ( )


Download the PDF of the full RFP here



The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) was founded by The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The SNAP Partnership delivers evidence-based, scalable solutions for problems at the collective interface of economic development, nature conservation, and human well-being. SNAPP funds and convenes multidisciplinary and cross-sector collaborations to catalyze innovative solutions with a clear pathway to implementation. We are pleased to announce the fourth annual Request for Proposals (RFP) for working groups to fill important knowledge gaps and advance solutions for people and nature. In this RFP, we are especially interested in receiving proposals from the development and humanitarian sectors as well as academia, governmental agencies, and conservation organizations.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted a new sustainable development agenda to end poverty, protect the environment, and provide prosperity for all people. To advance the sustainable development agenda, professionals from conservation and development fields must collaborate in inclusive, flexible, and innovative ways. With 23 SNAPP working groups that collectively include over 400 participants, representing 200 institutions from more than 30 countries, SNAPP is providing an opportunity for such engagements. SNAPP is rapidly converting research into action by generating the type of applied science that today’s complex problems demand. The SNAP Partnership is inviting applicants to submit working group proposals to help realize the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Interested applicants should carefully review the information in this RFP including Appendix A: Proposal Table. Proposals most likely to succeed are developed in collaboration with a member of the SNAP Partnership (see page 5). To apply, proposals should be uploaded as a PDF at by 9:00 am PDT on Monday, 25 April 2016.

Late or incomplete submissions will be returned without review.


SNAPP Overview


SNAPP working groups convene individuals from a broad variety of disciplines, sectors, and institutions – including academics, field practitioners, policy makers and members of the private sector. SNAPP advances qualitative and quantitative synthesis science to address the triple mandates of inclusive and equitable economic development, improving human well-being and conserving nature. In this RFP, SNAPP working groups will address two core questions:

  • How can programs advancing human well-being and economic development be designed to also maintain or enhance biodiversity and restore or protect ecosystems?
  • How can nature conservation contribute broadly to benefit human well-being and economic development?


Successful working group proposals will demonstrate how their results will be:

Collaborative: Iterative working meetings convene around research questions larger than the interest of any one sector (e.g., academic, government, non-governmental, and/or private). Working groups should include expertise from both inside and outside of academia.

Trans-disciplinary: Participants include individuals across a spectrum of specialties, job functions and institutions related to nature conservation, economic development, and/or human well-being.

Innovative:Working groups deliver evidence-based and unique insights, models, tools, policy recommendations, and/or collaborations that catalyze decisions and actions that would not have been possible through the efforts of any single organization, sector or discipline.

Directly Linked to Implementation: SNAPP working groups are able to navigate their way from science to actions by ensuring the results generated have intended audiences that are invested in using the outputs of the working group (e.g., natural resource managers, humanitarian staff, policymakers, field practitioners, etc.). There is a clear pathway to specific and well-articulated actions.

Rapid, High-impact: Within 18-24 months, working group results are novel and rigorous enough for publishing in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and these results are disseminated in other wide-reaching forums.

Other expectations of SNAPP working groups:

  • Effective Leadership (Principal Investigators - PIs): The challenge of guiding a trans-disciplinary group through two years of working group meetings to generate scientifically meaningful and practically applicable results takes strong, inclusive and experienced leadership.
  • Matching Funds: SNAPP is managing its investments in part as a “catalyst fund” for innovative conservation and sustainable development science. We encourage applicants to identify funds to match their SNAPP budget requests. Prospective applicants should work closely with a member of the SNAP Partnership Team (p. 5) to develop a proposal that has prospects for attracting additional funding. We may judiciously circulate your proposal to funders other than SNAPP. If you do not want your proposal circulated, please indicate so when you submit.
  • Co-production of Knowledge: Engaging stakeholders who are positioned to use working group outcomes in policy and/or practice helps maximize adoption of working group products. Key decisions makers that are involved in the co-production of research ensure that the solutions meet their needs and are practically useful. For example, if WCS and/or TNC staff members are expected to advance implementation of key findings and products, then they should be collaborators in proposal creation and engaged in working group activities throughout the project. The same holds true for other organizations that might implement the findings and recommendations of SNAPP working groups.
  • Actionable and Scalable: SNAPP working groups should actively create linkages between science and practice while generating knowledge on societal problems and solutions. SNAPP working group results and products will be most useful when they are developed and/or field tested at pilot or demonstration sites, and then subsequently refined to be applicable to a broader set of places or policy situations (the scaling up of results for broader use).
  • Location and Services: NCEAS in Santa Barbara, CA is generally the preferred location for convening working group meetings to fully leverage the well-equipped conference rooms, cyberinfrastructure, virtual collaboration tools, and technology and scientific programmer support. Other locations are possible if warranted.
  • Open Science: Data, metadata, and analyses used by and/or resulting from a SNAPP working group’s efforts are made publicly available within six months of completion and publication according to the SNAPP Data Principles and Policy.
  • Reporting: Principal Investigators are committed to biannual written and oral programmatic reports and a final project report.
  • Acknowledgement: Working groups acknowledge SNAPP funding in all publications, presentations, and other products, and include the use of the SNAPP logo in media where other institutional logos are used.




Researchers and practitioners of any nationality affiliated with an academic, governmental agency, multilateral, or not-for-profit institution may submit a SNAPP proposal. Individuals operating independently are also eligible to apply. Representatives from corporations, industry consortiums, and other private sector entities may submit a SNAPP proposal if they are willing to fully fund the working group if selected. Individuals from private sector institutions are fully eligible to be a participant of a SNAPP working group. Individuals and organizations from the humanitarian and development sectors are encouraged to submit SNAPP proposals. Proposals from low- and middle-income countries are especially welcomed.




Working group budget requests should clearly justify all expenses. Total budgets may not exceed US$200,000 for up to a 2-year period, unless the proposers can bring additional funds from non-SNAPP sources. In general, any demonstration of external matching funds, while not required, will be looked upon favorably.

SNAPP funds may be used to defray the costs associated with convening working groups, engaging a facilitator, acquisition and integration of existing data, and publication of results. In general, we do not fund collection of new primary data. A research assistant or postdoctoral-level researcher may be requested in the budget if his/her essential responsibilities are justified; such individuals are also typically located at NCEAS. If these positions will not be located at NCEAS, applicants must provide a written explanation of how professional development and other support will be provided.

SNAPP funds may not be used to pay salaries of working group leads or participants (other than postdoctoral fellows or data/research analyst-technician positions) or cover any capital or overhead expenses. We encourage proposals to identify matching funds. Budgets should be submitted using the SNAPP budget worksheet template.


Proposal Development and Decision Process


Proposals are most likely to succeed if developed in collaboration with members of the SNAP Partnership identified below. Interested PIs should contact one of the following for help with shaping proposals, identifying appropriate collaborators and additional funding sources:

For PIs from Conservation, Industry and Development: SNAPP Executive Director, Craig Groves (Craig.Groves [at]

For PIs from Academia: SNAPP Board Member and NCEAS Director: Frank Davis (Frank.davis [at]

For PIs from Development or Humanitarian sectors: SNAPP Science Advisory Council members Carter Ingram (jane.ingram [at] or Bhaskar Vira (bv101 [at]

For PIs from WCS: James Watson (jwatson [at]

For PIs from TNC: Jensen Montambault (jmontambault [at]  

Applicants must submit complete proposal information embedded within the Proposal Table template (Appendix A). The Management Team staff will review all proposals to make sure they are complete and align with priorities described in the Request for Proposals. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU DOWNLOAD AND USE THE PROPOSAL TABLE TEMPLATE WHEN YOU DEVELOP YOUR PROPOSAL.

The SNAPP Science Advisory Council will review all complete and relevant proposals for scientific merit and actionable links to nature conservation, inclusive economic development and human well-being outcomes. Where necessary, we may confidentially seek additional peer review of proposals by external reviewer(s) who are not members of the Science Advisory Council.

The SNAPP Executive Director, Craig Groves, and the SNAPP Governing Board will consider final recommendations of the Science Advisory Council and make final decisions on which working group proposals are accepted for funding.

Applicants will be notified of the final decisions by 10 September 2016.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What does SNAPP mean by nature conservation, economic development and human well-being?

Economic development refers to the policy and investments that create the conditions for equitable and inclusive economic growth and improved quality of life by expanding economic opportunities for all segments of society including individuals, business interests, and communities while advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector.

Human well-being, in the broadest terms, is about the objective and subjective factors that make up a person's health and quality of life. It is context specific. Human well-being can be affected by material and non-material components, such as basic material needs (e.g., adequate income, housing), physical and mental health, social relations (e.g., cohesion, strong social support networks), freedom and choice, governance, and equity and equality.

Nature conservation can refer to either broad issues of conservation that are problem-oriented (e.g., climate change, land-use change, sustainable fisheries, biodiversity offsets, illegal trade in wildlife) or biodiversity conservation efforts directly (e.g., matters related to composition, structure, and function of ecosystems). Nature conservation can also include efforts focused on conserving ecological processes that form the foundation for ecosystem services (e.g., natural flow regimes, fire regimes, nutrient cycling).

How does SNAPP relate to sustainable development or the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Sustainable Development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development aims to harmonize three interconnected elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. SNAPP similarly has a triple mandate to develop evidence-based, scalable solutions that address nature conservation, inclusive economic development, and human well-being together. While we recognize that for many audiences sustainable development implicitly incorporates human well-being and nature conservation, we have explicitly identified all three components (economy, well-being, conservation) in this RFP to avoid confusion. SNAPP seeks to contribute to the UN SDG’s including those focused on environmental protection (e.g., SDG #14 Life below Water, #15 Life on Land) as well as others in which clear connections between the environment, economic, and human well-being goals can be established (e.g., #1 Ending Poverty, #2 Ending Hunger, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation).

What is the model of a good working group?

Based on 20 years of experience with NCEAS working groups and the first three rounds of SNAPP proposals, effective working groups should expect to include:

  • A trans-disciplinary team of 12-18 individuals from a broad suite of sectors, institutions, and specialties who would not otherwise convene around a science and conservation challenge. Working group members come from conservation, humanitarian, sustainable development, cultural and spiritual organizations, universities, governments, multilateral institutions, and/or the private sector.
  • A diversity of participants including a substantial proportion of women and members of under-represented communities such as professionals from developing nations or in the early stages of their career.
  • A trained facilitator who can be helpful in planning and managing working group meetings, especially for PIs new to collaborative and trans-disciplinary working groups.
  • The inclusion of working group members from TNC and/or WCS; a humanitarian or development organization or agency; and other organizations or agencies in a position to implement the findings, recommendations, and products of the working group.
  • Three to four working group meetings spread over a 2-year period. Each meeting is 4-5 days in duration focused on data analysis (qualitative and quantitative) and synthesis of existing data and information. Most meetings are held at NCEAS in Santa Barbara, CA. Collaboration and analysis often continues between meetings.
  • One designated technical liaison to work with NCEAS IT staff and scientific programmer on the computing services the working group may require including collaboration capabilities (project management capabilities and email alias), data entry and organization, database development, statistical analyses, modeling, and metadata development and distribution.  This could be one of the PIs, a post-doc or research assistant, or an identified working group member who has agreed to play this role.

Am I required to include individuals from WCS and/or TNC in my working group?

No. However, most funded SNAPP proposals contain scientists or conservation practitioners from TNC or WCS because the global breadth and depth of their field teams enable them to implement results, recommendations, and other products that arise from SNAPP working groups. Staff members from these organizations are well positioned to help link the working group results to action in the field or policy arenas. Members of SNAPP will help to identify appropriate contacts within the partner organizations (p. 5). Although all proposals must clearly identify how their working group results will be implemented, it will be especially important to do so for any proposal that does not involve TNC or WCS. All proposals should have some working group members whose organizations (e.g., government agencies, NGOs, corporations) are in a position to implement the findings of the working groups.

What is a clear pathway to implementation and how can it be demonstrated?

SNAPP aims to deliver innovative science in a practical form that is rapidly adopted by its intended audience(s) or partner(s) (e.g., field programs of WCS working on linkages of wildlife and human health, national governments in southern Africa focused on sustainable agriculture intensification, or state governments in western US addressing drought issues). Successful proposals will clearly articulate the likely series of actions and intended outcomes that will ensue as a result of the new knowledge, methods, strategies or tools produced by the working group. To describe your pathway to implementation please consider: a) proposed outputs or products, b) identified audience or implementation partner(s), how they are involved, and what you expect them to do with your outputs, and c) the projected short and long-term outcomes (long-term will extend beyond the 2-year life of SNAPP working groups).

Successful working group proposals will include a letter or email endorsement from one or more implementation organizations, agencies, or corporations (whose staff are participating in the working group) stating why the working group’s efforts are important and what they intend to do with the results.

Are multiple sources of funding required for a successful application?

No, multiple sources are not required for a SNAPP proposal. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to identify cash and in-kind matching funds. Preferences may be given to proposals that have secured outside funding in addition to SNAPP funding (e.g., grants secured for a co-funded postdoc, related research, pilot site, or implementation).

We welcome proposers (e.g., foundations, agencies, others) with their own funding who want to use the SNAPP intellectual infrastructure and NCEAS informatics and convening support to tackle synthesis projects at the intersection of human well-being, economic development and nature conservation. These proposals can be flexible in format, but will still be reviewed and must be approved by the SNAPP Governing Board and Executive Director.

How do I prepare a SNAPP budget?

Proposals should include an estimated budget, which can be prepared using the budget worksheet template provided. Participant costs for meetings will default to NCEAS as the meeting location and will automatically calculate on the provided “Domestic” worksheet tab including standard estimates for participant’s travel, lodging, and food. For meetings to be scheduled outside of the US, please use the “International” worksheet tab and provide estimates for approximate travel, lodging, and food costs (not to exceed US$55 per day) in that location. Use the “Other Expenses” worksheet tab to estimate additional services (e.g., postdoc salary and benefits, facilitator support) and any other expenses unique to your proposal.

Please remember that no salary support from SNAPP is provided for working group participants and that no overhead charges should be included as part of the budget.


Submission Information


Proposals are due no later than 9:00 am PDT on Monday, 25 April 2016. Proposals and budgets should be saved and uploaded as separate PDF files at: Information required in the cover sheet and body of the proposal is outlined in the Appendix A: Proposal Table below. Please download the editable Microsoft Word Proposal Table template and MS Excel budget worksheet template to prepare your proposal submission. Proposals should be formatted to standard letter size (8.5” W by 11” L) with graphics embedded directly in the document. Do not submit compressed collections of files, such as .ZIP files. Receipt of proposals will be confirmed in email.


Contact Information


For any challenges submitting your proposal, extenuating circumstances that prevent you from meeting the deadline, or other questions not addressed in this RFP, please contact SNAPP at: proposal [at] Tel: (805)-893-2500


Appendix A - Proposal Table

Download Proposal Template document to prepare your submission HERE



Please embed your answers within the Proposal Template

Date of Submission
Descriptive Title
Short Title-Two or three words for use as a project name (25 characters max)
Working Group PI and Co-Lead(s) Names and Complete Contact Information
Implementation partner(s) (TNC, WCS, other) and Complete Contact Information
Proposed Working Group Start Date (month/year)
Proposed Working Group End Dates (duration not to exceed 24 month) – (month/year)
Total Funding Requested from SNAPP – Amount (in US$) you are requesting from SNAPP
Total Funding from Sources other than SNAPP – Amount (in US$) you have or expect to raise from other sources, the sources of funding, and whether the funds are secured.
How You Heard - Indicate how you heard about the SNAPP Request for Proposals
SNAP Partnership Team Contact – James Watson, Jensen Montambault, Craig Groves, Frank Davis, Carter Ingram, Bhaskar Vira, and others on the SNAPP Team you collaborated with as you developed this proposal.
Under Consideration Elsewhere? – Is this proposal (or a closely aligned proposal) under consideration elsewhere? If so, please briefly describe the circumstances.
Project Summary – A brief scientific abstract of your project. (350 words or less)


The body of the proposal as outlined below should not exceed 2,500 words (excluding cover sheet, references, figures, tables, and budgets); proposals in excess of the word limit may not be reviewed. Include literature citation references as appropriate.

Project statement– What do you propose to do? State clearly the problems you are addressing and the nature of your research (quantitative or qualitative).
Objectives & indicators of success – Clearly articulate the specific working group objectives and respective indicators for success for each of the following.
  • Equitable and inclusive economic development
  • Improved human well-being
  • Nature conservation
Intellectual merit of the proposed project
  • Clearly identify the scientific gaps where broad collaboration and data synthesis can help.
  • Identify other work underway in this area and how the work you proposed to do will be different and/or add value to the current state of knowledge.
  • Include a brief description of the analyses that will be conducted including identifying the data sources and methods to be used and why they are appropriate.
Qualifications of the proposer (individual or team) to conduct working group
  • How does the proposed composition of the working group equip the group to successfully accomplish its objectives?
  • Please provide names of participants and their respective institutions. Please use a table to list participant names, affiliations, expertise, and whether participants are confirmed.
  • Identify your Technical Liaison.
Plan for up-take and building momentum for pathway to implementation
  • Please describe anticipated outputs or products of your working group (e.g., policy recommendations, new guidelines, peer review articles, decision support tools, new strategies and actions, new methods, etc.)
  • Who are the target audiences or implementation partners for your work (please be as specific as possible). What indications do you have that these audiences need or are looking for this information? How will your results be tailored to meet the needs of these implementing organizations or agencies?
  • Describe how your results will be used to influence policy or practice. What outcomes do you anticipate in the short-, intermediate- and long-term (recognizing that the long-term will likely be several years beyond the duration of the SNAPP working group)?
Letter of Support
  • Provide a brief letter of support (in the form of an electronic document or email) from one or more of your implementing partners indicating how the anticipated results will be implemented, and/or how products of the working group will be field-tested by TNC, WCS, or other conservation, development or humanitarian organizations.
Timetable of Activities
  • Outline the timing for your working group meetings and describe what you plan to accomplish at each meeting. While we appreciate these plans may change, please try to ensure that your project is feasible in terms of the resources available and the amount of time allocated to various activities. Please put this timeline of events in tabular format.
Working Group Budget
Project Cost Sharing
  • Provide information about other funding sources that are available to support your proposed work, the dollar amount(s) of those sources, and whether they are confirmed or a date in the future when you will know whether the funds are secured.
Literature Cited

1We follow Reyers et al. (2010, Conservation Biology Vol 24) in our usage of trans-disciplinary. Trans-disciplinary implies linkages between scientific disciplines and other knowledge “spheres”. Trans-disciplinary working groups attempt to breakdown the boundaries between science and society, acknowledge complexity, operate within local, regional or international contexts, and rely on close collaboration in all aspects of work.