Adaptation Research Funding


Governments, industry and communities need research into climate adaptation to help further prepare for the impacts of climate change. In 2011, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) produced a report for the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), assessing barriers to climate change adaptation research funding. Three major recommendations arose from this report:

  • NCCARF and DCCEE should explore opportunities to promote the benefit of research to support adaptation decision making.
  • NCCARF and DCCEE should explore, with all relevant stakeholders, the value of the mechanism for the coordination of adaptation investment planning
  • NCCARF should work with other research funders and investors to develop a communication program that encourages researcher success in obtaining climate change adaptation research funding.

Program to address barriers to adaptation research funding

To build the capacity of the Australian research community to gather essential information to minimise the risks of climate change, NCCARF has developed a program to address barriers to research funding. Our initial assessment showed the three main impediments to adaptation funding are social and political, economic and scientific barriers.

We have approached each barrier through a coordinated program of promotion, demonstration and support.

  • Social and Political- Promoting the benefit of research to support adaptation decision-making;
  • Economic- Demonstrating the value of coordinated adaptation investment planning; and
  • Scientific- Supporting researchers in sourcing adaptation research funding.

Benefits of adaptation research to society

  • All research projects funded under the Adaptation Research Grants Program and Synthesis and Integrative Research program address the NCCARF Research Impact model to demonstrate their benefits.
  • NCCARF publishes on the web, case studies that highlight evidence based adaptation in which are publicised through newsletters and national Networks.
  • All research project teams engage end-users from the beginning of research planning.
  • NCCARF National Seminar Series and focused workshops lead by experts, convey research outcomes to researchers, practitioners, decision makers and the funding community.
  • NCCARF has selected Adaptation Champions who demonstrate the value of climate adaptation through their activities as publicise their accomplishments through the NCCARF website, media, and Networks.

Coordinated adaptation research investment

  •  Senior NCCARF staff discuss opportunities for synergies and coordination in planning adaptation research with funding agencies.
  • NCCARF developed National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plans (NARPs) across nine key areas to identify and explain the priority questions that require research investment to address climate change in Australia. These are being reviewed, and updated as needed to remain current.
  • NCCARF works with other programs and partners to ensure that climate adaptation is included in research strategies from primary industries (CCRSPI- Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries) to human health (Partnerships for Better Health Program). 

Supporting adaptation research resourcing 

  • NCCARF has conducted workshops across Australia addressing audiences to improve their capacity to improve funding success.
  •  NCCARF conducted Information sessions in strategic regions during open calls, to support researchers in preparing targeted proposals.
  • The eight NCCARF Adaptation Research Networks fund research and travel to increase the capability of early career researchers and run events to build research capacity.
  •  All NARPs include an implementation plan available online and Networks list funding agencies with the potential to fund adaptation research.
  • NCCARF promotes funding opportunities through Network mailing lists as opportunities become available.