Open call

2021 GTI internal call for taxonomy-based research + training projects (GTI Capacity Development Grant; CLOSED)

The National Focal Point (NFP) to the GTI has launched its annual call for project proposals that combine taxonomy-based research with capacity building in partner countries of the CEBioS programme / the Belgian Development Cooperation. Taxonomists from RBINS and Meise Botanic Garden are welcome to respond to this call. The deadline for submission of applications is May 17, 2021. Feel free to contact the GTI NFP ( if you need any further information.

About the call


The Belgian National Focal Point (NFP) to the GTI, as part of the CEBioS programme, has long-standing experience in enhancing taxonomic and curatorial capacities of scientists from developing countries, thanks to financial support of the Belgian Development Cooperation.

Given that much of the Earth’s biodiversity remains unknown, especially in developing countries, it is crucial to further uncover this biodiversity so that appropriate measures can be taken for the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources and ecosystem services provided. The Belgian GTI NFP therefore continues to support taxonomic and curatorial capacity-building in the second phase (2019-2023) of the CEBioS programme, including by providing grants for combined research-training projects of Belgian taxonomists focusing on taxonomic groups relevant for ecosystem management and sustainable livelihoods in developing countries.

Eligibility criteria

All scientific staff of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) are welcome to respond to this call; priority will be given to researchers who have trained interns from partner countries in recent years under the GTI Internship Programme (Grant Type 1). In addition, scientists from Meise Botanic Garden can also apply, provided that they have actively contributed to GTI activities in the past (e.g., training of GTI interns in Belgium).

Important note: researchers who have yet to start their GTI research project from 2020 due to Corona restrictions cannot submit a new application under the 2021 call.

Scientific staff from other Belgian research institutes can take part as invited experts, not as promotors.

Synergies and complementarities with the thematic Joint Strategic Framework on Ecosystem Resilience (recently submitted by Bos+, Uni4Coop, Via Don Bosco, Join For Water, WWF and CEBioS (SECORES) for approval by the Minister of Development Cooperation), other Belgian non-governmental actors (see list in Annex 3 of the CEBioS annual plan 2019, page 113), and ENABEL are encouraged.

Projects must take place in one (or more) of the following countries:

Benin* – Burkina Faso* – Burundi* – Cabo Verde – Cambodia – Cote d’Ivoire – DR Congo* – Gambia – Ghana – Guinea* – Guinea Bissau – Kenya – Laos – Liberia – Mali* – Morocco* – Mozambique* – Niger* – Nigeria – Palestinian Territory* – Rwanda* – Senegal* – Sierra Leone – Tanzania* – Thailand – Togo – Uganda* – Vietnam.

Projects with activities planned in official partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation (indicated with an asterisk in the above list) will be given priority, even more so if these activities will be carried out in collaboration with a scientific institute with which CEBioS/the Belgian GTI NFP has a privileged relationship (institutional cooperation). These institutes are:

  • Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC, Benin);
  • Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin (IRHOB);
  • Office Burundais pour la Protection de l’Environnement (OBPE, Burundi);
  • Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité (CSB, DR Congo);
  • Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN, DR Congo) with implementation of activities by Congolese scientific institutes.

As far as the content of the projects is concerned, there are no limitations as to the taxonomic group(s) that can be studied. However, the targeted organisms should play an important role in ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecosystem services so that the project can contribute in the medium or long term to sustainable ecosystem management and sustainable livelihoods of local communities in support of the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the foreseen targets of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Sampling must respect local and national regulations, and sample exports must comply with ABS legislation and the Nagoya Protocol. The “Build your ABS Strategy” checklist of the German Nagoya Protocol HuB provides guidance on the topic.

Additionally, research activities must at all times be accompanied by several days of capacity building – either in the partner country itself or in Belgium – to enhance the taxonomic and curatorial knowledge and/or skills of the local students/researchers (e.g., a training in field sampling techniques, species identification, collection management, …).

Both the research and capacity-building component should respond to clearly identified taxonomic and/or curatorial needs of the partner country/institute. Therefore, an endorsement letter from the local partner(s) is requested along with the project proposal, clearly stating how the collaboration will benefit the local institute in terms of addressing gaps in its taxonomic/curatorial system and in the taxonomic knowledge, skills, etc. of its staff/students.

Moreover, projects with a multi-disciplinary approach are encouraged. They may, for example, complement initiatives or programmes that are already operational (even if carried out by other institutions or funded by other countries/organisations).

Finally, it is appreciated if women empowerment and gender equality are taken into account in the project proposal and execution.

Application documents and dates for the 2021 call

Make sure to use the official application form (EN / FR) when completing your project proposal. Projects can be submitted in English or in French; for proposals in French, a project summary in English is mandatory.

Application forms must be accompanied by:

(1) A detailed budget that shows how support of the Belgian GTI NFP/CEBioS will be spent.

  • Budget proposals must be prepared according to the obligatory Excel template (EN / FR) and should follow the CEBioS vademecum guidelines (EN / FR)
  • The maximum allocated budget per project is € 13,500, divided as follows:
    • A maximum of € 5000 that can be spent on “Missions”: plane tickets to the partner/project country, visas, medical costs, accommodation, costs related to export permits (Nagoya protocol), per diems, etc. of Belgian and other organising/supporting staff;
    • A maximum of € 8,500 that can be attributed to “Operations”: small equipment (for fieldwork, laboratory, lecture room), organisation of research & capacity-building activities (local transport, guides, permits/entrance fees, preparations for conferences/ceremonies, communication, travel expenses/accommodation/per diem of local researchers and students, etc.), and certain analyses (e.g., DNA sequencing).
  • Please note that this type of grant does not aim to finance infrastructure (buildings, cars, etc.); only support for training material and small equipment will be considered
  • It must further be noted that the Belgian researchers are subject to the normal rules of the RBINS accountancy (and mission procedures)

(2) A signed letter of endorsement by the partner institute(s) in the South. This letter must clearly state how the collaboration answers the needs of the partner institute and how it will contribute to capacity building of its staff/students.

(3) A proof of co-financing of the project (optional). Co-funding by Belgian, local or other organisations is encouraged but not mandatory.

Complete applications should be sent electronically to cbd-gti<at> no later than May 17, 2021. The Belgian GTI NFP will send an acknowledgment of receipt.

Selected projects will be contacted by May 31, 2021.

Project activities will be able to start as soon as the promoter has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CEBioS.


Projects must be fully completed before March 31, 2022.

The narrative and financial reports of the projects must be submitted to CEBioS accountancy (vpinton<at> and the Belgian GTI NFP (cbd-gti<at> at the latest two months after the last mission of the project and no later than April 15, 2022.

Please note that these dates may be subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the narrative report, please use the official template that will become available here after the closing date for proposal submission. If changes have been made to the originally planned activities, the project (co-)promotor(s) should explain why.

The financial report must be submitted by means of the provided Excel template (EN / FR) and must be accompanied by all supporting documents (copies of invoices, etc.).

Project (co-)promoters are requested to provide the Belgian GTI NFP with all outputs (articles, abstracts, press communications, posters, links to video footage, …) and photos resulting from the project activities, which the GTI NFP/CEBioS intends to use for outreach purposes. These outputs and photos should be made available through the partner country’s CHM website as well. Promoters and co-promoters are also asked to refer, whenever possible, to the financial support of the Belgian Development Cooperation, made available in the framework of the Belgian GTI under the CEBioS programme, in their communications and publications.


If you would still have unanswered questions, do not hesitate to contact the Belgian GTI NFP:

Dr. ing. Jolien Venneman
Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (CEBioS)
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: + 32 (0)2 627 45 90
Mail: cbd‑gti<at>

Associated files