Career Stage(s): Established Researcher, Leading Researcher,

Funding Type(s): Project Funding, Support for International Collaborations,

Deadline: 29-10-2021 14:00 CET (postponed from 15 October)

Call launch: 15 June 2021


Funded project

Principal Investigator: Kate Buckeridge 

Institution: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) 

Project partner: University of Aberdeen, UK 

Project title: Smart Cropping to Adapt Luxembourg Agriculture to Climate Change (ADAPT) 

Project duration: 48 months 

Project budget: 598,000 EUR 


Crops are necessary to feed people. However, growing crops causes soil to lose carbon and emit greenhouse gases. These emissions contribute to climate change and climate extremes — such as drought — and reduce crop yields. The EU and the Luxembourg governments have set strict climate legislation that requires farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, farmers need methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their fields and make their crops resilient to climate extremes. Policy makers need better accounting of greenhouse gas emissions to guide future legislation.

In ADAPT, we propose to support farmers and policy makers. We propose a smart-cropping management solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect soil carbon. It will use a practical and feasible combination of cover crops, under sown crops, reduced tillage, and reduced synthetic nitrogen. We will partner with farmers in the north and south of Luxembourg to test our management solution.

This partnership will involve comparing our smart cropping to conventional cropping, maintaining an experiment that diverts rainfall to mimic drought, and analysing soil and soil microorganisms in the lab to understand how our management solution keeps carbon in the soil. The data we collect will be used to calibrate and validate models that can simulate greenhouse gas emissions at the two sites. We will compare three popular models and select the best one, then collect national soil and climate data to scale up the model, to project emissions for all Luxembourg croplands. We will also incorporate regional climate projections to model the future greenhouse gas emissions for Luxembourg croplands.

ADAPT will transfer knowledge into Luxembourg: project partners from the University of Aberdeen are global experts in modelling agricultural soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. They will train staff at the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology in this valuable skill. Throughout the project, the ADAPT team will disseminate field and modelling results to the farm community.

Finally, improved greenhouse gas emissions maps for croplands will be delivered to policy makers at the end of the project, an important step-change towards reducing cropland greenhouse gas emissions in Luxembourg. 


The FNR and the Luxembourg Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development (MAVDR) have joined forces to put forward a call for proposals in these areas to support policy making and to help the decision-making process.

The joint FNR-MAVDR call aims to support applied multidisciplinary research on innovative resilient and sustainable farming practices and systems in three thematic research fields:

1. Adaptation of Luxemburg’s Agriculture to Climate Change

2. Adaptation of Local Farming Practices to improve their Impact on Water Resources

3. Adaptation of Local Farming Practices to improve their Impact on Biodiversity and Related Ecosystem Services in Agroecosystems

Call context

In 2018, the government’s national coalition agreement specified as a major political priority the move towards sustainable, resilient agriculture and food systems. This objective is in line with the environment and biodiversity protection and climate mitigation goals targeted by international agreements such as the Green Deal , the Common Agricultural Policy , the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy and the national action plans (PAN for the promotion of organic agriculture and PAN for the reduction of phytopharmaceutical products ).

New strategies and monitoring tools are needed to comply with these national and EU goals. Applied research aimed at capacity building and policy support is crucial in order to reach these goals.

The priority area “Sustainable and Responsible Development” defined by the Government as one of the national Research Priorities in December 2019, covers these fields under the priority topic “Climate change: energy efficiency and smart energy management; resilient eco- and agro-systems” with research on “Resilient Water Systems” and “Environmental Monitoring” as important focus areas.

Webinar presentation / Q&A

An info session was held in the framework of the FNR-MAVDR 2021 Call, in the form of a webinar on Thursday, 8 July 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (CET). The presentation and Q&A is available below.

Q&A *updated 26 October 2021*

Info session presentation


The budget for this Call is 2 MEUR.

FNR and the MAVDR will support projects for a minimum of 24 and maximum of 48 months periods. In case PhD candidates are involved, the minimum funding duration should be 36 months.


This call is targeting public research institutions as well as other institutions in Luxembourg and abroad which are eligible according to the call’s specifications. Project should focus on collaborative approaches with the goal to thereby strengthen as well as extend the expertise and scientific networks of the research teams in Luxembourg.

Applicants are encouraged to promote gender balance at all levels in their teams and to explore whether and how the gender dimension is relevant to the research proposal.

The Luxembourg-based Principal Investigator (PI) must submit the project via FNR’s Grant Management System.

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