UK-China Urban Flooding Research Impact Programme

Under its remit as a Delivery Partner in the UK-China Newton Fund, the Academy is partnering with the Chinese Academy of Engineering to implement the UK-China Urban Flooding Research Impact Programme. This Programme aims to support impactful research and enhance the impact of existing research in Urban Flooding in both countries by encouraging bilateral collaboration between academics and government as well as wider industry. 

Request for proposals

Our overall objective for the programme is to strengthen the impact of Chinese and UK researchers to contribute to better, evidence-based policymaking on Urban Flooding issues in China and globally, through deeper collaboration and strategic partnership with governments and industry.
Through this Programme the Academy aims to support impactful research and enhance the impact of existing research in Urban Flooding in both countries by encouraging bilateral collaboration between academics and government as well as wider industry. The Programme is based upon the premise that more strategic linkages between academics, policymakers and industry can boost the impact of existing flood systems research, inform future research priorities, and strengthen evidence-based policymaking to enhance urban resilience to extreme weather and flooding events.
A call for proposals for the programme is now open.

 Types of activities supported

This call offers financial support for travel, subsistence and salary support costs related to visits and exchanges that support collaborative activities amongst academic and government partners in China and the UK. Under this call we will support proposals that fit with one or more of the following identified outcome areas:
  1. Build strategic linkages between researchers, public sector and industry in China and UK to research the intersection amongst - and combination of - weather systems and pluvial, fluvial and coastal factors to urban flooding and enhance the impact and uptake of its applications in China and in developing countries globally.
  2. Promote sharing of inter-disciplinary knowledge/ best practice between academia, government and industry to improve decision making under uncertainty, promote co-definition of urban flooding problems to inform future research, innovation and policy collaborations in China and in developing countries globally.
  3. Improve research-policy-industry interface to help systemically foster deeper engagement amongst actors in the innovation eco-systems of both countries and create different models of cross-sector engagement on pressing policy issues on urban flooding prevention for wider sharing and adoption in China and in developing countries globally.
The lead applicant will be an individual at a Chinese or UK university which must propose a means of collaboration with co-applicants that meet the above-identified Programme outcome areas. The application must have at least the following partnerships:
  • One Chinese university or research institute (either as lead or as co-applicant)
  • One UK university or research institute (either as lead or as co-applicant)
  • at least one Chinese business (Spin out or SME encouraged); 
  • at least one UK business (Spin out or SME encouraged); 
  • Applications must also have strong support from a Chinese regional or local government affected by urban flooding who will be actively engaged through the course of the project. The strength of this engagement will be a key criteria for assessment
Additionally, support from a UK governmental agency is not required but is encouraged. Further partners are welcome.
As a result of the call, a series of grants up to £70,000 each will be issued. The project duration will not exceed 24 months, including all project activities and final reporting. The proposed start date for the project must be within April 2018 and all projects, including submission of reports, must be completed by end of April 30th 2020.

How to apply

Applications can only be submitted by the lead institution and must be submitted via the Academy's online grants system. Applicants should ensure they read the Requests for Proposals so they gain full understanding of the overall Programme objectives and the guidance notes which detail the different materials needed for the application before submitting their application.

All applicants are invited to submit their proposals via the Academy's online grant system before 9am (GMT) on 8th February, 2018.

A link to the system can be found below as well as Guidance Notes for completing your application online. 

UK-China Urban Flooding Research Impact Programme Guidance Notes

Application form (via online grant system - you must first register with the system and create a profile)

Applicants are requested to fill in and upload the Academy’s standard project budget template available for download here

For any questions concerning the application or the online applications system, please contact  Shaarad Sharma or a member of the International Team


China-UK Urban Flooding Symposium

This programme has been informed by presentations and discussions held within the China-UK Urban Flooding Symposium on 16-17th October 2017. The deliberations exposed a clear need to increase flood resilience in both the UK and China and in both cases this needs to be a cross disciplinary effort and with a need for collaborative learning across research, municipalities and governments at national, regional and local scales. The following key messages have been synthesised from the meeting:
  • It was recognised that the principles of an integrated urban flood management system must cover the intersections of the four domains 1. systems for data collection and assimilation; 2. systems modelling; 3. decision-making and planning, and; 4. evaluation of interventions and learning. 
  • Value was seen in an interdisciplinary research effort and adopting systems thinking approaches on how to engage and include urban planners, authorities and emergency responders to ensure that quality evidence reaches and improves decision-making at both urban planning and design; and flood preparedness and response stages. 
  • Ongoing work is required to develop integrated systems for sensing and measurement across the wider catchment area, including use of crowd-sourced data, and the assimilation of this into increasingly sophisticated and precise modelling. A key part of this work needs to be on linking up the meteorological system with the hydrological systems.
  • There is great potential in the use of models and simulated environments to rehearse decisions, better understand behaviours and explore their consequences – in both the short and longer term – in terms of health, epidemiology and property with all public services (police, local officials, etc.). Both UK and the Chinese meteorological services produce enough outputs that would allow this type of ‘gaming’ activity. 
  • The UK has key competencies in design standards and insurance which may be useful starting points in terms of knowledge sharing, comparative research and collaborative development.
This list is not exhaustive and further information on the Symposium deliberations may be found in the China-UK Urban Flooding Symposium Report