ESPA is a £40.5 million research programme that seeks to improve understanding of how to ensure that ecosystem services are better linked into poverty reduction and inclusive growth processes. These research projects will provide the evidence and innovative approaches needed to equip decision makers and end users in ecosystem management challenges, and at the same time contribute to poverty alleviation in Senegal and other target countries (Nigeria and Ghana). ESPA has identified 6 cross-cutting research themes: Water, Health, Forests, Biodiversity, Coastal, and Political Economy

ESPA is jointly funded by the Department of International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). DFID contribution is £27M, NERC £10M and ESRC £3.5M. It is a flagship programme of the LWEC (Living With Environmental Change) partnership (

ESPA invites proposals for two funding streams:

Programme Framework Grants – a one-off opportunity for shorter, innovative, conceptual development type projects (up to £250,000).

Partnership and Project Development Grants - catalyst funding (up to £50,000) in preparation for a submission opportunity for a larger Research Consortium Grant (£0.5-5M) to be launched in September 2010.

Promotional Workshops

A series of workshops will take place internationally to promote the ESPA fund:
  • Thursday 21st January 2010, National Agriculture Science Complex, Delhi, India
  • Friday 22nd January 2010, Bangalore
  • Friday 22nd January 2010, 14:00 - 17:00, Hotel De L'Annapurna, Kathmandu, Nepal. Please contact Moushumi Shrestha at: Moushumi.shrestha at for more information.
  • Wednesday 26th January 2010, Lima, Peru. Please contact Rebecca Clements at: Rebecca.clements at for more information.
  • Thursday 28th January 2010, ENDA, Dakar Plateau, Senegal. Please contact Touria Dafrallah at: dafrallah at for more information.

Important Deadlines:

Notice of Intention to submit a PF grant: 29th January 2010

Registration with Je-S: 8th February 2010

Applications both PF & PPD grants: 3rd March 2010, 16:00 UK local time

Further Information

Please read the information leaflet and the full Announcement of Opportunities for full details