Transformations to Sustainability


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730211

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures have created unprecedented situations for societies worldwide. Consequently, there is growing attention to the need for fundamental transformations in the way societies interact with each other and with the natural environment as the basis of sustainability. It is for this reason that NORFACE and the Belmont Forum have launched a joint transnational research programme on ”Transformations to Sustainability”. This programme will contribute to re-structuring the broad field of sustainability research by placing social science and humanities at the heart of interdisciplinary research in a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic.

“Transformations to Sustainability” (acronym: T2S) encourages both inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that enable researchers to address the interconnections and interdependencies between natural and human systems, as well as between science and society. The European Commission is providing top-up funding via an ERA-NET Cofund grant to this joint research programme.

The T2S programme (2017-2022) has two major objectives:

  • To develop understanding of and promote research on transformations to sustainability which are of significant social, economic and policy concern throughout the world and of great relevance to both academics and stakeholders;
  • To build capacity, overcome fragmentation and have a lasting impact on both society and the research landscape by cultivating durable research collaboration across multiple borders, disciplinary boundaries, and with practitioners and societal partners. This includes facilitating the development of new research collaborations with parts of the world which are not often involved in large-scale international research efforts, notably low- and middle-income countries.

Joint Call

NORFACE and the Belmont Forum launched the T2S research programme in January 2017. The programme is structured around three themes and each research project should focus on at least one of these themes:

  1. Governance and institutional dimensions of transformations to sustainability
  2. Economy and finance of transformations to sustainability
  3. Well-being, quality of life, identity, and social and cultural values in relation to transformations to sustainability

Applications to the joint Call are processed in two stages. In the first stage, Outline Proposals were invited with a deadline of 5 April 2017. The 154 submitted eligible proposals were assessed by an international Panel of Experts. Based on the panel’s recommendations, the T2S Board decided to invite 40 teams to the Full Proposal stage. In the second stage, the invited team submitted their Full Proposal with a deadline of 26 September 2017. The eligible Full Proposals are first assessed by external reviewers, before being evaluated by an international panel. The funding decisions will be taken by the T2S Board in April 2018. Soon after, information on the funded projects will be published on this website.