Jigme Khesar Environmental Research Fund (JKERF)

Background

The Jigme Khesar Environmental Research Fund (JKERF) is an initiative of Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, Queen of Bhutan as the Royal Patron of Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN). The JKERF is committed to funding research in the field of environmental conservation including emerging issues in Bhutan.

Launched in August 2013, the JKERF aims to strengthen science based research capacity of Bhutanese individuals through its research grant program. For this, JKERF will follow two-track approach. Track one approach seeks to secure annual or multi year funding to support research work of upcoming Bhutanese researchers. Under track two approach, RSPN will establish an endowment that will sustain the proposed research grants program. An initial target of US $ 1 million has been set. It will embark on the next target upon achievement of initial target.

Purpose of the Grant

The purpose of the grant is to build research capacity of Bhutanese individuals while generating scientific information in the process. The grant will be applied to support original research in the field of environmental conservation, biodiversity and emerging environmental issues that will result in a research paper, a dissertation, or an academic publication. Individuals in academic or research institutions within Bhutan are eligible to apply. The applicant shall have a mentor who will guide him/ her through the research work. Eligibility requirements can be found under related documents.

Grant amount

The amount of the grant varies according to the particular proposal and research costs but should not exceed Nu.50, 000 per proposal. Half of the money will be paid upon approval of the proposal, while the rest will be provided upon completion of the research project. The funds are intended to be used to support research carried out after the grant is approved.

Grant period

The grant shall be executed and reported within one-year period. (Fiscal Year: July – June)

Track One

For each fiscal year, RSPN will support a maximum of ten small-scale research grants (up to a maximum of Nu.50,000 each) to Bhutanese individual researchers selected on a competitive basis. The area of research shall be in the field of environmental conservation, biodiversity, and emerging issues related to environment-development nexus.

RSPN shall secure similar annual funding to support the research. Such an approach shall be on-going process till the target endowment is achieved under track two and returns are available for grant making.

Track Two

In establishing the initial target of US $ One million, RSPN will use the following strategies to raise funds.

1. Matching fund commitment: RSPN will seek the commitment of donors to match every amount of money raised from other entities (individuals, businesses, funding agencies etc.)

2. Funding proposals to governments and donors: RSPN will explore direct contributions to the research endowment.

3. Innovative funding mechanism with partners: RSPN will identify corporate partners that subscribe the importance of research in national development and willing to implement innovative funding mechanisms relevant to their business. Potentials partners include:

i. Voluntary Payment for Ecosystem Services by DHI and Druk Green Power Corporation: Such a support is proposed as an annual contribution to compensate for the environmental services essential in the sustainability of the businesses. Potential contributors are individual hydropower authorities, Druk Green Power Corporation and DHI companies.

ii. Voluntary Carbon offset mechanism with Druk Air: Many visitors to Bhutan are environmentally conscious and wary of their carbon footprint. RSPN proposes Druk Air support to RSPN that encourages passengers to voluntarily declare their carbon footprint pertaining to their travel. The mechanism could be introduced in the in-flight magazine wherein passengers have the option to go online and assess their carbon footprint that they may choose to compensate. This will be facilitated through a software program that will automatically calculate the carbon emission based on point of origin and destinations. Any desire to contribute could be done through an online payment mechanism.

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive the JKERF grant, applicant must:

  • be a Bhutanese citizen
  • must hold a minimum qualification of class twelve passed and currently pursuing degree courses.
  • not hold or have held the JKERF Grant in the preceding year, at the time of application.
  • should have a strong academic background in the field of environmental conservation or related fields and plan to undertake original research in environment and environmental issues.
  • Agree that the research study will be completed and reported before end of June of succeeding year.

Application Process and Deadline

Application Deadlines: The complete application should be submitted on or before the deadline as per the following schedule:

Application opening: 1 July

Application closing: 31 July (1700 hrs BST)

Selection result: 30 August (Only selected applicants will be informed through email). The list of selected applicants will also be posted on the website: www.rspnbhutan.org

 How to Apply?

1. Online:  Go to  our “Application Form” tab in this section. You need to answer some questions to establish your eligibility. You can then proceed with the application process.

2. Mail: If you are unable to submit your application online, you can apply by mail. Please send your complete application with supporting documents to [email protected]

You need to submit your application after checking that all the supporting documents are in place. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed.

We strongly advise applicants to apply well before the closing date. 


What to include?

The application must include:

A cover sheet with name, title, academic institution, e-mail address and telephone number of the applicant. If a research team is involved, the above information for each team member should be included.

Research grant proposal must include:

     1. Summary (1 page)

     2. Introduction (maximum 250 words)

     3. Rational (maximum 250 words)

     4. Research objectives/ research questions (maximum 100 words)

     5. Description of the proposed study area (maximum 150 words)

     6. Methodology (maximum 250 words)

     7. Research schedule (work plan):

     8. Budget breakdown in Ngultrums.

              8.1  Mention co-financing where applicable

              8.2  Monthly remuneration of the researcher will not be paid through

                     the grant.

     9. Transport cost

    10.    Name of the Research Adviser/Mentor/Supervisor

              10.1  Reference letter indicating availability to supervise the research from Research Adviser/Mentor/Supervisor

              10.2  CV of the Research Adviser/Mentor/Supervisor

Q. Who is eligible to receive the JKERF grant?
A.   Applicants must be affiliated with an academic institution and currently pursuing undergrad studies.
Q. Must a grant applicant, whether individually or as part of a research team, be a Bhutanese citizen?

A.   Yes, the grant is exclusively for Bhutanese only.

Q. Can a academic institution be the applicant for a grant?

A.   No.

Q. Can I write on any topic?

A.   No. Proposals must address one of the research areas in the field of environmental conservation, biodiversity, and emerging environmental issues in the country.

Q. Does the JKERF Program provide grants larger than Nu.50,000?

A.   No.

Q. How will the final product be released?

A.   The JKERF Program will post the report on its website and make best efforts to encourage authors to publish in a scholarly journal, and distribute it both to the academic and public policy community interested in issues related to environmental science and conservation.

Q. Can grant recipients publish their research in other publications?

A.   Yes. Recipients retain all rights to the research and are encouraged to publish findings anywhere they wish.

For any additional queries, please contact [email protected].

We will update with the Application Form when we announce JKERF Grant.