Applications Invited for Research Proposals - Global Development Awards Competition 2020

Applications Invited for Research Proposals - Global Development Awards Competition 2020

Organization: Global Development Network (GDN)

Apply By: 30 Sep 2020

Grant Amount: 45000 USD

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About the Organization:

The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries to promote better lives. They support researchers with financial resources, global networking, as well as access to information, training, peer review and mentoring. GDN acts on the premise that better research leads to more informed policies and better, more inclusive development. Through their global platform, #GDN connects social science researchers with policymakers and development stakeholders across the world.

Call for Research Proposals: Global Development Awards Competition 2020

The Global Development Network (GDN) invites researchers from low-income or middle-income countries to submit research proposals within the theme, ‘Unpacking the health-environment-economic wellbeing nexus,’ for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD).

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2020. The Awards Competition is administered by GDN and supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals in low-income or middle-income countries with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.

Proposals under this theme would look critically at policy successes and failures to look at the complex intersection of health, environment and economic wellbeing. Research projects can focus on local, national, regional or continental policy initiatives, and come from any discipline within the social sciences. Proposals can focus on ongoing policy initiatives, past ones, or initiatives currently being set up.

A direct link to the COVID-19 crisis is welcome, but not required. In light of the quickly changing scenario, proposals that integrate a focus on COVID-19 and related policy responses must explain how the quickly changing policy landscape is likely to impact the focus of the research.


The three winning projects will receive grants worth US$ 45,000.

In light of current Covid-19 crisis and related travel limitations, the selection will be conducted online. Finalists will be invited to join communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury, which will decide which research proposal to award. A physical Award ceremony might be held in 2021, if conditions allow it, but projects are expected to start on 15 Jan 2021. The awards will be given to the organization(s) or researcher(s) whose proposals hold the greatest promise for improving our understanding of development issues and puts forth clear, articulate and well researched policy implications to address relevant development problems.

  • The first prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 30,000.
  • The second prize and third prize winners will receive a grant of US$ 10,000 and US$ 5,000 respectively.
  • The funds will be used to support the research work proposed by the winners towards the completion of their research.
  • Additionally, awardees will be paired with world-class academic in their area of work who will play the role of a Scientific and Technical Advisor to the winners


  • Eligible countries for the ORD competition are those classified by the World Bank as low-income or middle-income countries.
  • Citizens of eligible countries currently residing in a non-eligible country are only allowed to apply if they have been living in the non-eligible country for no more than five years as of 20 July 2020. This should be clearly shown as in the CV and personal information should be provided. In case any information is found to be incorrect, the proposal is liable for disqualification during any stage of the competition, including after the grant has been conferred.
  • CVs for all team members must be included in the application. The CVs should clearly state the age of all team members, the citizenships for all team members and the country of residence for the past five years for all team members and the current institutional affiliations for all team members. These details are mandatory, and an application will be deemed incomplete if these details are not submitted.
  • The upper age limit for all applicants is 45 years as of 20 July 2020. Individuals above 45 years of age as of 20 July 2020 are not eligible to apply.
  • The proposal should not be receiving or scheduled to receive funds from other sources to be eligible for consideration for the ORD unless it is clearly explained how the additional funds provided by the ORD would reinforce the existing funds for successful completion of the research.


  • Staff members of multilateral and bilateral organizations (The World Bank, IMF, IADB, UN agencies, UKAid , etc.) are not eligible to apply.
  • Previous and current employees of GDN or its Regional Network Partners are not eligible to apply up till 5 years from the completion of their tenure. Previous GDN Board Members, project mentors and members of evaluation teams are not eligible to apply.
  • Similar proposals or papers resulting as products from full or partial GDN funded activities (Global Research Projects and other competitions not limited to Regional Research Competitions, Global Research Competitions etc.), cannot be submitted for this competition.
  • Past ORD winners and finalists are not eligible to apply with the same or similar research proposal. Additionally, winners are not eligible to apply for a period of 3 years subsequent to the end of their agreement with GDN.
  • Past and current ORD reviewers are not eligible to take part in the competition.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2020
  • Announcement of Eligibility screening results: 2 October 2020
  • Announcement of First Level review results (shortlisted applications) and comments from reviewers: 30 October 2020
  • Resubmission of updated application for shortlisted applications: 8 November 2020
  • Announcement of Second Level review results (finalists) and comments from reviewers: 4 December 2020
  • Resubmission of updated application of the finalists: 11 December 2020
  • Online Communications training: 7-11 December 2020
  • Jury presentation: 14-18 December 2020 (specific date to be announced)
  • Announcement of winners: 20 December 2020

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