Introduction to Call for FFU Proposals, 2015Information meetings for applicants April-May 2014Dar es Salaam, Kathmandu, Accra and Copenhagen
Programme • Introduction to the Call and to South-driven research projects • What is a good application? Strategic aspects and criteria for selection • The application process and the administration of the grants • Questions/discussion
Danida support to development research– overall objective The main objective of the Danish support to development research is to strengthen research capacity in priority countries and to create new knowledge capable of alleviating development problems. The International Development Cooperation Act (LovomInternationaltUdviklingssamarbejde)§7, approved by the Danish Parliament in May 2012.
Strategic Framework for Danish Support to Development Research 2014-2018 • Research capacity in priority countries strengthened • Individual capacity development • Institutional capacity development in partner countries • Support to research policies and strategies in partner countries • Strengthen partnership and innovation capabilities 2. Innovative and relevant development research results produced • Joint research projects between partner country and Danish/international researchers • Core funding to leading international research institutions • Leveraging EU-funding for development research 3. Research results used • Ensure that research is driven by demand • Communication and usage of research results to decision makers and other stakeholders • Ensure development cooperation is drawing on research results
Call 2015 The application process consists of two phases: • Phase 1 – a concept phase (prequalification). Deadline 5 September 2014, 12:00 hrs (Danish time) • Phase 2 – a full application. Deadline 11 March 2015 Project start -January 2016 Project period – 5 years Budget – max DKK 10 million
South- and north-driven projects • The South-driven projects are applied for and managed by the applying institution in Ghana, Tanzania or Nepal, with partner(s) in Denmark. Three themes for each of the three countries are given in the Call. • The North-driven projects are applied for and managed by a Danish institution with partner(s) in the priority countries. Three themes are given in the Call.
Research Themes for Nepal, 2015 • Theme 1: Economic development and poverty reduction /Green growth. • Theme 2: Fragility, stability and rights. • Theme 3: Climate change / Natural Resource Management / Livelihoods.
Preliminary experience with South-driven projects • It is a new role to be in the drivers seat. • The ownership appears to have increased and is much appreciated. • Appreciation of selecting own research priorities. • There is more engagement and enthusiasm from researchers in the South. • Quality of applications must be further improved: need for more problem-oriented, analytical and inter-disciplinary proposals. • The administrative burden is significant.
Building Stronger Universities (BSU) • Programme aims at strengthening institutional research capacity of selected institutions in Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and Nepal through cooperation with Danish universities (e.g. support to Ph.D. schools, development of research protocols, accreditation, communication of research results, etc.). • BSU was reformulated in 2013 to ensure that it becomes driven by partners in the South. • Potential synergy between BSU and FFU research grants, as BSU supports the research environment but does not provide large research grants.
What constitutes a good application? Strategic aspects and criteria for selection
Success ratio for applications • Approximately 150 applications expected to be received in phase 1. 26 were rejected administratively. • 25-30 selected for phase 2. • 10-12 projects expected to be granted.
Who are involved in the assessment of applications and in decisions? • National Screening Mechanisms in Tanzania, Ghana and Nepal make assessment and shortlist a number of the South-driven applications (phase 1). • Embassies assess relevance (phase 1). • International peer reviewers assess the scientific quality (phase 2). • The Consultative Research Committee for Development Research (FFU) assesses applications and makes recommendations (phase 1 and phase 2) • The Danish Innovation Fund approves recommendations. • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark grants the funds. • Danida Fellowship Centre handles the administration and the communication with the applicants.
The Consultative Research Committee on Development Research (FFU) • Eight members representing main academic fields (incl. one international member), appointed by the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. One member from Min. of Foreign Affairs. • Contributes to the drafting of the call text, application procedures and guidelines. • Assesses and selects Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications and prioritizes projects for the funding by Min. of Foreign Affairs. • Participates in the quality assurance of the projects based on annual and final reports from the projectsand is consulted concerning approvals of major changes in projects. • Policy on conflict of interest: http://um.dk/en/danida-en/partners/research/
Three criteria for assessment1) Scientific quality • Situating the research in relation to existing research in the area. • The originality and innovativeness of the hypotheses or research issues. • Innovative use of theories and research method. • Appropriateness of research method to the topic. • Competence of the team, incl. relevant interdisciplinary expertise in the team. • Publications by participating researchers. • Managerial competence and experience in the thematic area.
Three criteria for assessment:2) Relevance • Relevance to development problems and national priorities of the country in question. • Relevance to priorities of Danish development cooperation. • Contribution of the project to postgraduate education and research training. • Involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including good cooperation between researchers from priority countries and Danish-based researchers.
Three criteria for assessment3) Effect • Potential contribution of the project to the alleviation of poverty in the country in question. • Dissemination of the results of the funded research activities to all relevant stakeholders. • Sustainability and use of the research capacity strengthening. • The involvement of private and public sector actors in the project preparation and implementation.
Research capacity strengthening • Research-based education, e.g. support to PhD students. • Facilitation of access to and use of scientific literature. • Training of senior researchers and teams to design and manage research and produce, document and disseminate research results. • Participation in international research conferences and networks. • Support to establishing and managing research laboratories and other facilities.
Communication and Dissemination • Application should outline a clear dissemination plan for research results and how research may influence policy and action. • A policy brief of approx. 5 pages must provide recommendations to decision makers in partner countries, to Danida, and to other relevant stakeholders. • Up to 10% of project budget for communication and dissemination expenses.
Recommendations: ”Do’s” • Do select a subject within the themes described in the Call for your country. • Do identify a research question which is not only intellectually challenging but also relevant and under-researched. • Do formulate research questions and hypotheses that describe the innovative nature of the proposed research, how controversies in the literature may be addressed and how ‘conventional wisdom’ may be revised. • Do explain carefully how the project contributes to new knowledge by positioning it in relation to existing research (not enough to provide a list of literature read).
Recommendations: ”Do’s” (continued) • Be focused, realistic and feasible. It is not an advantage to cover very broad research questions or extensive empirical material. • Make sure that the research is analytical rather than descriptive. • Consider that inter-disciplinarity is an asset and make sure that you have the right competences in the team. • Dotry to move from ‘grey’ to internationally refereed publications.
Recommendations: ”Do’s” (continued) • Make sure that the main responsible research(ers) have allocated sufficient time (not necessarily a good idea to select a director or dean as main researcher). • Do ensure a good balance between your input and the input from Danish-based researchers. • Dofollow up on recommendations from FFU after phase 1.
Warning: ”Don’ts” • Do not apply for ”product development”. • Do not apply for data collection projects without thorough explanation of how data will be used. • Do not apply for ”development projects”, grants are for research. • Do not apply for consultancy type of activities. • Do not apply for Ph.D. projects only without sufficient involvement of senior researchers (allocate enough time for the key applicant). • Do not apply for funding for your entire institute (number of key researchers should be limited to approx. 5-6). • Do not address only part of the call text.
Who can apply? • Applications can only be submitted by an institution, e.g. a governmental institution, private-sector enterprise or private organization. The main applicant must be attached to the institution, which is responsible for the project. • The main applicant researcher must at the time of submitting the application hold a PhD or equivalent qualifications. • The nationality of applicants is not an issue when assessing the application.
Whocanparticipate? • PhD and Postdoc projects cannot be supported individually, but can be included in a larger research project. • Co-funding from various sources is possible, and the involvement of public and private sector stakeholders in the research activities is encouraged (up to 10 % of project budget). • International research institutions and research institutions in countries outside Danida priority countries can to a limited degree be included as secondary partners. • Partners from the private sector can only receive support, if it is documented how they will contribute with additional resources to the research.
DFC handles the practical application procedure and administrates the approved projects. The Call 2015 and the e-application form can be accessed at Danida Fellowship Centre website: www.dfcentre.com http://dfcentre.com/research/calls-for-applications/ For questions concerning the practical application procedure, please contact the Research Unit at Danida Fellowship Centre at: firstname.lastname@example.org See the ongoing projects at Danida Research Portal: http://drp.dfcentre.com/
Finances • The total grant available for the Call 2015 is expected to be DKK 135 million, depending on the approval of the Finance Act, for both North and South-driven development research projects. • Duration of the grants is up to 5 years, and the grant amount is up to DKK 10 million. • Phase 1 applications must include an outline budget indicating if the size of the project is 1) DKK 5 – 6.9 million, 2) DKK 7 – 8.9 million, or 3) DKK 9 -10 million. • Phase 2 applications must include a detailed budget.
How to make the e-application • The e-application system is accessible from DFC’s website, link http://dfcentre.com/research/calls-for-applications/ • Applicants must register as users via the link. • The password can be shared so all partners can access the application. • Acknowledgement of receipt of the application and other communication will be sent to the username e-mail. Please keep all partners and institutions informed. • The relevant Call must be selected.
Filling in the application form Step 1 – Basic information on applicant; Step 2 – Details on the research project; Step 3 – Budget information; Step 4 – Upload of annexes; Step 5 – See the application online; Step 6 – Finish the application/submission. • Once the application form has been created, it is possible to break off from it and resume work at any time, and edit the information, until the OK button in Step 6 is pushed.
Recommendations: “Do’s” • Do read the application guide carefully. • Do fill in all the formal requirements set out in the Call and fill in the e-application correctly. • Do use the right e-application form and fill it in correctly. • Do remember all annexes: CVs of all identified researchers including main applicant, signatures, and, for Ph2: project document, Log Frame and budget. • Go through the application before submission and check if the text is cut off (do not rely on the word count function in Word). • Do start in time, getting signatures and CV’s may take time. • Do involve all the partner applicants in the planning and e-application, ensure ownership and adjust expectations.
Warning: “Don’ts” • Don’tbe late! The e-application closes 12:00 sharp (Danish time) on the days of the deadlines! • Do not expect to be able to change an e-application after it has been submitted and to submit appendices after the deadline is passed. • Do not expect DFC to tell you about your chances for success, but feel free to ask us about all the practical questions. • Do not be in a hurry, a sloppy application is not a good starting point and may be rejected by FFU. • Remember that the prequalification is no guarantee and the recommendations from FFU must be taken seriously.
How to identify relevant Danish research partners • Search the Danida Research Portal, link http://drp.dfcentre.com/ • Search the Danish research database http://www.forskningsdatabasen.dk/Search.html • Visit the Danish Development Research Network website http://ddrn.dk/intro.html • An overview of the universities in Denmark can be accessed by link http://www.dkuni.dk/english • International scientific databases such as http://scholar.google.com/ • If this fails, guidance can be provided from DFC to the identification of relevant Danish research environments