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ICIMOD Travel Grant to August 2019 Cryosphere Forum
  • published datePublish Date: 2019-05-20
  • submission dateForm Submission Final Date: 2019-06-06
  • Grant TypeGrant Type: Conference Grant


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge-sharing centre serving eight regional member countries in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. It aims to serve the region through information and knowledge generation and sharing to find innovative solutions to critical mountain problems. It facilitates knowledge exchange in its thematic areas of Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air, and Geospatial Solutions to address common issues in regional member countries as well as from transboundary perspectives.

Mountains are of immense ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic importance. They cover 24% of the world’s land surface, host 12% of the world’s population, harbour vast biological and cultural diversity, and provide essential ecosystem goods and services. However, the combination of increasing global demographic and economic pressure and high biodiversity and ecosystems service value also makes them particularly vulnerable. Accordingly, ecologically sustainable socioeconomic development in the mountains has become a priority, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been adopted as a useful tool to guide this progress. 



This Travel Grant call is for attendees to ICIMOD’s upcoming International Forum on Cryosphere and Society: The Voice of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, to be held from 28 to 30 August 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal. It will serve as a platform for discussions on the emerging and evolving topic of the cryosphere’s contributions, its relevance in the HKH context, the research developing in the space, and pathways towards increasing the resilience of HKH communities.

Following the very positive reception of The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, published in February 2019, media coverage revealed widespread international interest in the state and fate of the cryosphere in the HKH region. In this forum, we intend to build on the key findings and recommendations of the Cryosphere Chapter (Chapter 7) of the HKH Assessment, address how they are related to the cryosphere's contributions, and assess their sustainability in the region.



ICIMOD is looking for emerging youth (≤35 years of age) and early career (≤5 years of experience in the field) researchers to present findings from exceptional and groundbreaking completed research projects. We aim to accept two applicants from each of the member countries of ICIMOD – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Each applicant will be expected to present a poster of relevant findings from a completed research project. Projects will only be considered if they are of outstanding scientific quality and advance knowledge within the area of the cryosphere’s contributions. Relevant research must, therefore, include considerations of the contributions (positive and/or negative) of the cryosphere – including glaciers, snow, permafrost, and glacial lakes – to societies, economies, and ecosystems. Priority will be given to studies that advance knowledge at the intersection of the cryosphere and the following:

  • Supply/provisioning (e.g., potable water, agriculture, hydropower)
  • Social/cultural spheres (e.g., tourism, religion, sport)
  • Regulation (e.g., climate, runoff, albedo, groundwater recharge)
  • Habitat/ecosystems (e.g., liveable habitats for flora, fauna, and micro-organisms)
  • Hazards (e.g., mass movements, storms, sedimentation, thawing permafrost, and glacial lake outburst floods)
  • Policymaking relating to any of the above

Selected candidates may also have the opportunity to deliver an oral presentation. This will be confirmed individually at a date closer to the event.



  • ICIMOD will manage the Travel Grant in close collaboration with partners from HKH countries.
    • Successful applicants will enter into an agreement with ICIMOD.
    • Successful applicants should have completed a relevant and groundbreaking project as part of a postgraduate degree (PhD/MSc/MA/MPhil/etc.) programme.
  • An ICIMOD scientist will officially serve in a supervisory/guiding role to each successful applicant.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to act as rapporteurs at numerous sessions during the forum, support ICIMOD staff in compiling conference briefs and other relevant documents, and may also be expected to collaborate in translating completed documents into their native language.



Applicants should meet the following mandatory requirements:

  • Completed postgraduate research in cryosphere sciences, environmental sciences, biological sciences, socioeconomics, public policy, or other relevant sciences
  • Body of work on topics related to the cryosphere and other related areas (as indicated above)
  • Strong command of both written and spoken English as well as a native/first language
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Motivated, communicative, and proactive
  • Independent work attitude and positive team spirit



For the first round of the selection process, applicants are invited to apply via the HUC Online Portal with the following documents:

  • A motivation letter (500–1,000 words)
  • A curriculum vitae, including contact details of two referees
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A short research abstract (less than 1,000 words) in line with the requirements outlined above

During the second round (in June), shortlisted applicants will be invited for a Skype interview.

Women and members of socioeconomically disadvantaged communities are strongly encouraged to apply.



Please observe the following instructions:

In your ‘Letter of Motivation’ include mentions of your personal interest and motivation to participate in the International Forum on  Cryosphere and Society and how can you contribute into forming the “voice of HKH” and why is that important (max. 500 words).

In the section ‘Other Attachments’, please insert your scientific abstract including an overview of your findings and a description of the impact and importance of your research. You can also explain how your findings can be applied or operationalised (if applicable) and clarify how your research advances knowledge in the ‘cryosphere contributions’ (max. 300 words).



  • The application deadline is 12:00 Kathmandu Time, 6 June 2019.
  • The awarded grantee is expected to be available throughout the week of the International Forum on Cryosphere and Society, beginning on 26 August 2019, and to remain open for some follow-up work.
  • Grantees will need to spare up to one month after the event to assist ICIMOD staff in compiling briefing and other related documents, potentially including translation support.



  • The grant will cover travel expenses and accommodation. Upon confirmation, ICIMOD personnel will make the appropriate arrangements in coordination with the grantee.
  • Per diem allowances of NPR 2,000 will be provided to grantees based within Kathmandu. For international grantees and grantees from elsewhere in Nepal (outside of the Kathmandu Valley), a per diem of USD 40 will be provided.

For more information, please send an email to huc@icimod.org or CryoForum@icimod.org