Call for Research Proposals on Family Planning, Fertility and Urban Development

Organisation:   International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP)

Apply By:  03 Sep . 2018

Call for Research Proposals on Family Planning, Fertility and Urban Development

The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) has announced a call for policy-relevant research proposals from early career researchers to:

contribute to the evidence base needed to better meet the family planning (FP) and related reproductive health (RH) needs of the most vulnerable in urban areas of countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and increase the attention paid to FP, fertility and population growth in urban development policy initiatives at local, national and international levels.


They invite proposals for projects that focus on aspects of FP and related RH issues in urban areas. Indicative examples of possible research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Barriers to FP uptake in urban areas
  • Consequences of urban population growth
  • Consequences of fertility for household welfare
  • Measurement
  • Implementation and policy

Features of the Programme

  • The programme aims to build the policy-relevant evidence base on family planning in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, as well as provide capacity building opportunities to early-career researchers to work on issues of urban family planning.
  • The programme will work closely with a select set of leading sub-Saharan African and South Asian institutions. Through early career fellow-mentor pairing and annual fellow workshops, the programme will build the capacity of the early-career scholars
  • to conduct research on key areas of interest in urban family planning in countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that demonstrates clearly the gap in evidence and the ways in which these gaps may be filled, and
  • to communicate the results of that research to appropriate audiences for increased policy relevance.
  • Where appropriate, early career fellows will be paired with a mentor working in the areas of family planning and/or urban studies. This fellow-mentor pairing arrangement will be formal. Selection of mentors will be done in collaboration with the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Family Planning, Fertility and Urban Development. They anticipate that the involvement of a research mentor will further ensure research quality and skill enhancement.
  • A strong network building component is anticipated. Annual fellow workshops will be held,
  • giving fellows exposure to a range of resource people who will serve as additional resources for their research,
  • enabling interaction between the cohort of fellows, and
  • building skills in communication and policy outreach.

Fellows will be strongly encouraged to present their research in important national and international conferences, and provision has been made in the budget to enable such attendance. They will be supported to link with broader research and urban development policy networks and programmes, both within and outside sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, making full use of established IUSSP networks and urban planning networks (eg UN HABITAT, the International Society for Urban Health). They will also be encouraged to engage as early as possible at local and national levels with potential audiences who could use their research results, to ensure that the problem definition is tailored to specific gaps that need to be filled.

Funding Scope and Duration

  • The project duration will be 12-24 months, with provision for a small number of fellowships to last 36 months.
  • All research activities and reporting must be completed before the agreed upon project completion date.
  • A typical budget they expect to receive is US$40,000 for a two-year project.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The proposal must focus either on a single city, or represent comparative work on multiple urban areas, of any country of sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia.
  • Eligibility will be limited to citizens of countries in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia, and those currently working in established institutions.
  • Contracts will ideally be made with individual fellows but can be negotiated on a caseby-case basis if their home institution has special requirements.

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