Monday, January 16, 2012


cc:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Peter Challenor <>,,,,, C Gommenginger <>, Meric Srokosz <>,
date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 20:58:43 +0100
from: Simon Tett <>
subject: Re: RAPID: Dutch & Norwegian Collaboration
to: Philip Newton <>

I think there is some merit in what you suggest though to be honest it depends on what
you mean by "RAPID" science. My concerns are:
1) It will change the focus of the 2nd AO. This could damage our integrative work and
reduce our ability to pull together a RAPID community
2) It could delay the AO -- the impact of this is that less Science will be done as more
will need to be spent on the admin of the program as the program lifetime will increase
3) The 2nd AO is the last change that the SC have to steer the program -- by trying to
integrate with Norway & Holland we make it more difficult.
4) Isn't FP6 the right place to get trans-euro funding?
Perhaps we could have a 2.5 AO which has �3/4 Million funding (3 projects) that could be
joint with Norway/Holland or other European funding agencies. .
Philip Newton wrote:

Thanks Eric,

We could adopt the model you suggest, and I would welcome the views
of others. The driver for going for more explicitly collaborative
proposals is the chance of getting access to matching money from
CREST, which could be up to several million pounds. The feeling is
that we are more likely to succeed with that if the national
commitment to a collaborative programme is more explicitly strong (ie
genuine joint proposals). Moreover, it seems to me that collaborative
work is likely to be stronger if there is an initial constraint to
write a single proposal (despite the 'success' of the NSF venture,
even with a strongly focused AO, the US principal investigators had to
have arms strongly twisted to write their 'synergistic' proposals, as
they were deeply sceptical that anything could get funded through a
joint process).

Why these countries and not, for example, France, Germany.....? Well,
we have tried to get other countries with strong profiles in the RAPID
science area involved, but without success to date. But if we can pull
the CREST matching money out of the hat, it may be that we could use
some of the matching funds to lever in one or two more countries in
some way. And then there is always FP6: even though WATCHER will not
fly, there are two likely RAPID-relevant bids in the offing that we
know of.

I acknowledge that the science that RAPID would end up funding in the
second round would be different (at about 25% level if we commit about
25% of second round funds to the joint call). Presumably, this means
that we will not fund the lowest quartile of proposals that we would
otherwise have funded. But instead, we will fund other projects, and
with an additional 1.8M pounds (even w/o CREST monies), all addressing
RAPID second AO objectives. The trick is to get the focus of the joint
call right, and then to follow that up to ensure that researchers from
the three countries have an opportunity to write some high-quality
focused proposals that enable us to fund some excellent and
RAPID-relevant research. It is on this issue that it would be helpful
in particular to have the SC feedback I am requesting, on the
strengths of communities in these countries.

Best Wishes,


"Eric W Wolff" [1]<> 07/21/03 06:16pm >>>

Dear Phil,

This sounds like a good attempt to get some coordination but perhaps
adds a level of complication that might not be in the best interests
of RAPID. My concern is that the effect in the UK will be that we
restrict a fair proportion of the second call budget to proposals that
have a Norwegian or Dutch collaborator. I am wondering why we would
end up making one of our main drivers the need to collaborate with
these particular nationalities (there are several other countries that
make at least as obvious a connection scientifically).

I'd like to hear the views of others, as this idea is new on me. And
I don't want to dampen the excellent opportunities for synergy that
having a matched call could bring. But I do wonder if the end result
might be merely to exclude some excellent proposals, or alternatively
to spawn some artificial and unnecessary quasi-collaborations. Can we
not find a model more like the one with NSF, where synergistic
proposals scored well, and could be coordinated, but were not a
prerequisite for the funding from each nation.

Best wishes

Eric Wolff
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross
Madingley Road
Cambridge CB3 0ET
United Kingdom

E-mail: [2]
Phone: +44 1223 221491
Fax: +44 1223 221279
Alternate fax: +44 1223 362616

"Philip Newton" [3]<> 21/07/03 15:06:13 >>>

Dear Steering Committee,
The following information is not in the public domain, and out of
respect for the concerned research councils should remain
until further notice.
For those of you present at the 2 June 2003 Steering Committee
meeting, you will recall that I was due to meet with representatives
from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) on 20 June, to build on the
interest in RAPID they have shown throughout our programme
(e.g. NWO attended RAPID launch Town Meeting; Hendrik van Aken
attended PIs kick-off meeting).

The meeting was a positive one, culminating in a proposal for the
to put up about 1.5M Euros for investment in RAPID-oriented science.
The proposal is to identify a subset of NERC's second AO that is of
strategic interest to NWO (probably thermohaline-related), and hold
joint call and evaluation for proposals jointly proposed between UK
and Dutch researchers. The call would be part of RAPID's autumn 2003
call (the Dutch delaying their plans by 4 months to fit in). The
principle agreed would be that we would be aiming to do jointly what
neither single nation would or could otherwise do, and that the
national programmes of both countries must benefit from the
collaborative work.

This proposal then gave me leverage to go to the Norwegian Research
Council - whose funding rounds for NoClim have unfortunately never
coincided with ours, despite Peter's great efforts - to offer them a
time-limited opportunity, with a carrot of a chance (20%?) of
matching money from the EU (through a marine-CREST initiative...).
Happily, the Norwegian RC have made a strategic decision to find
1MEuros to allow them to participate in an autumn call with us and
Dutch, on the same conditions I outlined above for the projected
bi-lateral with the Dutch.

Clearly there is a lot of detail to sort out; it will be more
than the NSF joint venture (though the fact that we have done the
exercise undoubtedly enticed). The joint call will need to be part
RAPID's second AO. I envisage that we'd put about 1-1.5m pounds of
second call money up against theirs, and the idea is that proposals
it would have to have investigators (PIs/co-Is) from at least two of
the three countries. Each RC could fund only its own researchers
(which will complicate...). It seems that both countries would
effectively be happy to use the NERC mechanisms, adding 1 or 2
to our SC for decision meetings (not necessarily as full members).

You may wonder why you have not yet been consulted on the joint
venture, beyond being aware that we have continually been searching
for joint opportunities at the RC level with Norway and Holland, to
enhance the delivery of RAPID's science objectives. This is because
events have been rapid (this has all come together in the last 5
weeks), and I felt we needed to get to a certain point of 'solidity'
about what could happen first.

However, Meric and I would now welcome your views on how best to
this forward, especially in terms of using your knowledge of
activities in Holland and Norway to help identify the most
subsets of RAPID's science objectives for the joint part of the
For example, in what areas do these countries have especial
(e.g. intellectual, infrastructure, ongoing programmes/activities)
that would help us deliver certain RAPID science objectives? In
you identify, are you aware whether those areas are also (related
strategic objectives in that nation's programmes?

I realise that entering into this joint venture with Norway and
Holland will cause some complications, but if it is set up in the
right way, then I am sure that the benefits to the programme, to the
science-area, and to those involved, will dwarf such inconveniences.
If the attempt to secure 'matching' money through the CREST
succeeds, then our flexibility and scope will be further enhanced.
Please be assured that we do not underestimate the complexities
and acknowledge that we need to plan the joint component of the AO
very carefully, provide support to allow joint proposals to be
developed, avoid the pitfalls of EUROCORES.... But with your help
advice, I'm sure we can considerably enhance the RAPID programme and
this science area through this venture.

Best Wishes,


Dr Philip Newton
Marine Sciences Manager
Science Programmes Directorate
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
SN2 1EU, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 1793 411636
Fax: +44 (0) 1793 411545
E-mail: [4]

Dr Philip Newton
Marine Sciences Manager
Science Programmes Directorate
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
SN2 1EU, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 1793 411636
Fax: +44 (0) 1793 411545
E-mail: [5]

Dr Simon Tett Managing Scientist, Data development and applications.
Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Prediction and Research
London Road Bracknell Berkshire RG12 2SY United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1344 856886 Fax: +44 (0)1344 854898
E-mail: [6] [7]

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