Pretoria – The Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) invites interested parties to submit a proposal/s for organising and hosting training workshops in the foundational biodiversity field.

Workshops must cover a topic aligned to the FBIP mandate and organisers must provide justification that the workshop serves a need/gap in the community. Workshops can vary in length and should be held within the period May 2019 – February 2020.

Roles and responsibilities of workshop organisers/hosts include:

  • Developing all workshop materials, content and delivery.
  • Setting the workshop date and duration.
  • Advertising the event. A brief description of the workshop must also be provided to the FBIP to be advertised on the FBIP and SANBI websites.
  • Administration and co-ordination of the workshop, including preparing and issuing a call for workshop participants; coordinating workshop registration for participants; providing the location, venue; setup of venue and related equipment; organising catering (tea-breaks and lunch arrangements) and making travel arrangements for participants (i.e. trainees/students etc.), if applicable.
  • Providing a final report including a financial report to SANBI/FBIP as stipulated in the agreement.

About the FBIP

The Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) is funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The main aim of the Programme is to generate, manage and disseminate foundational biodiversity information and knowledge to improve decision-making, service delivery and create new economic opportunities. More information about the Programme can be found on the FBIP website (

The current call for proposals

Eligibility criteria and details of the grant:

  • Recipient(s) will be required to be based at institutions within South Africa. The organising/host institution cannot be a profit-making company and must be registered on the National Treasury Central Supplier Database to allow payment. If granted funding, Grantholders must be employed by the administrating organisation during the grant period.
  • Workshops must be offered in South Africa and may link with corresponding meetings/conferences.
  • Workshops can vary in length and are due to be held within the period May 2019 – February 2020
  • The grants offered are valued between R30 000 – R300 000. The grant must be used to cover all direct costs related to planning, organising and hosting the workshops (core funding), and may also cover honoraria and out of town presenters / participants’ travel and accommodation costs. Institutional overhead costs are covered up to a flat rate of 10%. The hosting institute should not charge registration fees to participants. We encourage organisers to provide assistance to students, early career researchers and individuals from Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs) to participate.

Workshop scope:

The format and content of each workshop will be determined by the organisers. However, workshops must cover a topic aligned to the FBIP mandate, and may include one of the areas/workshops identified by the FBIP Steering Committee (below) but it is not limited to one of these.

  • DNA barcoding, eDNA, BOLD and metabarcoding training workshop.
  • Training in multivariate data analysis for analyzing and interpreting different biotic (e.g., species, genes) and abiotic (e.g., pH, temperature) variables measured for samples.
  • Basic introduction to R as an analytical tool, R in taxonomy, new methods in ecological niche modelling.
  • Taxonomic procedures: (1) Understanding synonymies – what are the different types, how to list them and when to synonymise species (and what to do when a synonymy needs to be reversed); (2) Dealing with voucher specimens – depositing and then using them in taxonomic works; (3) How to write a taxonomic paper; (4) Developing identification keys; (5) Registering species with Zoobank/similar repository for plants.

Developing capacity in Biodiversity Data Curation (including observations and multi-media). Understanding basic biodiversity data management, as well as the different options for data curation, and the challenges and opportunities provided by the standardised international platforms and tools (e.g. Specify workbench / Darwin Core / GBIF). Could include a follow up on the basic course to include emerging technologies and standards for biodiversity data curation and management

How to apply:

Interested parties should complete and submit the application form with supporting documents to Information required includes:

  • Proposed title of the workshop and expected date and duration.
  • Name, the affiliation and e-mail address of the workshop organiser(s). Previous experience of the organiser(s) in organising workshops (if any).
  • Scope, description and topics of the workshop (including details such as the objectives, goals, background, relevance to FBIP, rationale and importance of holding a workshop on the proposed topic, description of target audience, expected outcomes, information about past repetitions of the workshops, if any).
  • List of proposed speakers/instructors (including name, affiliation, brief background, expertise and CV). Are they confirmed?
  • Details about proposed venue / location where the workshop will be held, structure of the workshop, estimated number of participants and selection criteria, tentative schedule, proposed date and location, proposed workshop duration.
  • A short description on how the workshop will be advertised.
  • A detailed breakdown of the budget.

Review process and scoring criteria for awarding of grants:

The selection process involves the following steps:

  • All incoming applications will be screened to ensure eligibility requirements are met.
  • A selection panel will evaluate all the eligible applications received (scoring criteria listed below).
  • The final decision on which proposals receive funding will be made in March 2019 and applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by email shortly after the panel meeting.

Workshop applications will be evaluated using the following scoring criteria:

  • Relevance of the workshop to the FBIP’s focus – 20%
  • Impact of the workshop in terms of breadth and depth – how many potential participants, how many disciplines, how will the workshop help participants?  – 30%
  • Expertise / experience of the trainers in terms of the content and capacity development – 20%
  • Return on investment (cost relative to number of participants, number of days of training) – 20%
  • Quality of the proposal – 10%

 Awarding and payment process:

  • The organising/host institution will be expected to sign a grant agreement with SANBI (FBIP co-ordinating institution).
  • Payment will be made to the applicant’s institution. Hosting institutions must be registered on the Government’s Central Supplier Database (CSD). SANBI will transfer 60% (sixty per cent) of the grant upon SANBI’s acceptance of the Grant Holder’s Milestone 1 achievements (see details below) and the remaining 40% (forty per cent) will be transferred to the Grant Holder Institution once the final project report has been received and accepted by SANBI. Should the proposed scale of the workshop and expenditure be less than the total amount allocated, then only part of the 40% will be paid.
  • Should any agreement signed not be complied with, the FBIP/SANBI reserves the right to withdraw the grant.
  • More specifics about the roles and responsibilities will be detailed in the agreement.

 Milestone 1 achievements for transfer of 60% of the grant:

  • Date and duration confirmed.
  • Letter/s of support by Head of Department.
  • Work schedule, including responsible persons and timeline for the workshop organisation.
    • Detailed structure of workshop provided (preliminary programme).
    • Workshop facilitators/presenters confirmed (email confirmation is sufficient).
    • Workshop content finalised.
    • Venue selected and cost estimates provided.
    • Estimated number of attendees narrowed down.
    • Details about travel support which will be provided to participants.
  • First announcement of workshop finalised, advertised to community and submitted to FBIP.

Closing date:

Applications must be submitted before 17h00 on 15 March 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications should be sent by email with the heading “FBIP 2019 Workshop Proposal” to