Since 2004, START has promoted place-based integrated research through its program of START Grants for Global Environmental Change Research in Africa. START’s GEC grants program seeks to (1) strengthen both individual and institutional capacity for interdisciplinary research; (2) contribute to enhancing knowledge of global change science; (3) create long-term, international collaborative research partnerships among African scientists and scientists in the US and Europe; and (4) provide outreach to policymakers and the public.
During 2011-2012, the START Grants for GEC Research in Africa program supported 16 research projects in 14 African countries. The projects, all concerning the theme of climate change, agriculture, and food security, were topically and geographically diverse. They addressed food production and livelihoods in estuaries, river deltas, and lagoons in northern, western, and southern Africa; agriculture and conservation at the forest fringe in humid areas; and livelihoods derived from agriculture and tourism in semi-arid areas. In addition to the principal investigator for each project, 48 co-investigators provided unique skills from varied disciplines within the natural sciences and social sciences. Many projects included graduate students and junior scientists who received hands-on training in research methodologies; several projects incorporated local stakeholders in research design and implementation. Such stakeholders included subsistence farmers, women leaders, local youth, tribal chiefs, and other community members whose homes, villages, and livelihoods are being affected by changing conditions and pressures.
START grantees consistently indicate that participation in the GEC grants program strengthens international collaborative partnerships and expands their African research networks. High-quality outputs of GEC grants-supported projects also inform follow-on actions at local, national, and regional levels.
Funding for the 2011-2012 grants was provided by: the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), administered by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
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Last Updated on April 8th, 2015