SUMERNET 4 All Call for Expression of Interest on Joint Action Grants 2020

SUMERNET is a regional research network and knowledge-based policy research programme. Under the present Phase 4 called SUMERNET 4 All (S4A), our mission is to "improve policies and practices in reducing water insecurity by conducting collaborative research, engaging in the policy process, and promoting scientifically sound research and innovation, incorporating gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, environmental integrity and poverty reduction in the Mekong Region".

Agus Nugroho By Agus Nugroho - Jul 30, 2020

SUMERNET 4 All will provide financial and technical support to six types of grants to the network members and other collaborators that can contribute to SUMERNET 4 All’s mission.

About the SUMERNET Joint Action grants

The Joint Action (JA) grant is one among six types of grants of SUMERNET, intended to support projects that can create impact by applying existing evidence-based research or innovation in practice. Grants will support a consortium of researchers and their boundary partners[1] from the Mekong Region, not for conducting normal research but for applying existing research or innovations for creating more impact on policy or practice “in reducing water insecurity for all”.

Call details

This is a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Joint Action (JA) grants. The total funds available for this round is 900,000 SEK for 2 projects led by the applicants from Lao PDR, Cambodia, or Myanmar for projects with a duration of 1.5-2 years. The project budget shall not exceed approximately US$ 45,000 per project (SEK 450,000 per project). The total project funds can cover activities within one country. The activities in other countries could be covered if they are necessary in order to achieve the impact in targeted country.

Date of call: 31 July 2020

Deadline for application: 30 September 2020

By online submission ONLY:

I.    Theme 

Joint Action projects must have dual buy-in from researchers and boundary partners and focus on creating impact on policy or practice under at least one of the following S4A research themes: 
1.    Water access, rights and allocation in times of water scarcity; 
2.    Governance and management of water-related disaster risks; 
3.    Transboundary interactions with water systems. 

The project must also use a multi-disciplinary approach that considers gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, governance and poverty reduction to reduce water insecurity for all, and in particular benefit the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region. 

II.    Scope

The Joint Action grants support the upscaling or out-scaling activities that applying research findings or innovation to create impact on policy and practice that directly address the S4A’s mission and themes. These include the following activities: 

1.    Upscaling activities: activities that upscale existing research results/ innovations to reach policy makers at local, national, or regional levels.
2.    Out-scaling activities: activities that take existing research results/innovations to bring benefit at the community level. 

III.    Selection criteria

Successful applications will need to fulfill the following aspects:

1.    Clear design to apply past/existing research results/ innovations to create impacts on policy or practice in reducing water insecurity for all as described in the theme and scope above. Applications for conducting new research will NOT be considered as priority. 
2.    Targeted area in one or more among three countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR or Myanmar). 
3.    Use a multidisciplinary research approach that includes gender equity and social justice, human rights, conflict sensitivity, governance, and poverty reduction as key targets.
4.    Show that the eventual beneficiaries of the project are marginalized and vulnerable groups in the Mekong Region.
5.    Leading agency and Team Leader of the project have proven capacity and experience in managing similar project in the Mekong Region, and are originally from Lao PDR, Cambodia, or Myanmar. 
6.    The Lead Applicant must be a SUMERNET member from the Mekong Region. Applicants can apply to become a member, either before or on the date of proposal submission by filling in this online form.
7.    Applications led/co-led by women and involving female researchers and boundary partners are strongly encouraged. 
8.    Engagement with a diverse group of team members that represent different genders, ages, and ethnicities, and are at different stages in their career is an advantage. 
9.    Letter of commitment/support from the boundary partners should be submitted with the EOI. For Joint Action projects, it is preferable to have policy makers or practitioners or policy influencers as the boundary partners.

IV.    Expected Project Outputs 

1.    One publication of policy relevance such as a policy brief or working paper in English and in a relevant local language from the Mekong Region
2.    One media output (e.g. blog, video, Op-Ed, newspaper article, podcast, etc.) that disseminates joint action findings to the wider public
3.    Project report outlining project activities, opportunities and challenges, policy impact and recommendations as well as a financial report

V.    Timeline

All activities and publications must be completed within 1.5 - 2 years (latest delivery by 31 December 2022).

VI.    Expression of Interest (EOI) 

Interested applicants can submit an Expression of Interest using the SUMERNET online submission platform at: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted with further instructions on submitting a full proposal. 

Attachments to be included in the submission

1.    Expression of Interest (using provided EOI template)
2.    2-page CV of Lead Applicant
3.    CVs of project team members (2-page per person)
4.    Support letters from the boundary partners 
5.    Previous relevant research publication(s) or other documentation (such as technical reports, etc.) (optional)

For further inquiries please contact: 
Ms. Unchulee Lualon 
Programme Coordinator
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Phone: +66 (0)2 0730040-44 


[1] Boundary partners are individuals, groups, or organizations with whom SUMERNET interacts directly, and with whom SUMERNET, can anticipate opportunities for influence and measurable changes. SUMERNET boundary partners may be knowledge producers, policy makers and practitioners or policy-influencers in the area of focus. 

Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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