Rapid Response Research: Call for "Expressions of Interest"

SUMERNET announces a call for Expression of Interest for its rapid response grants. SUMERNET will award three grants in total over the period of its fourth phase under “SUMERNET 4 All” (2018-2023). Funding support will not exceed US$ 42,000 per research project to be completed within 6-12 months. For this call, not more than two grants will be awarded in 2020.

Kadesiree Thossaphonpaisan By Kadesiree Thossaphonpaisan - Jun 10, 2020
Date of call: 10th June 2020

Deadline for application: 31st July 2020

Opportunity background

Fourth phase of SUMERNET (SUMERNET 4 All) has the main goal to reduce water insecurity for all in particular for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region.
In response to the fast-evolving situation of water insecurity across the Mekong countries, SUMERNET 4 All is launching a rapid response mechanism to fund a rapid research that will provide evidence that directly contributes to ongoing planning or decision-making processes at national or regional levels, which address challenges being faced and help reduce water insecurities for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region.
The research priorities of this call are aligned with three research themes below.

  1. water access, rights and allocation in times of water insecurity;
  2. governance and management of water-related disaster risks;
  3. transboundary interactions with water systems.

Expedited timelines apply throughout process to ensure delivery meets rapid response need. It is expected that contracting and start-up of successful project is equally expedited. Research project leader and team members are required to treat the award(s) arising from the call with utmost urgency.

Details of this call

The format of applications is based on a shortened version of the well-established SUMERNET 4 All collaborative research funding instrument. We emphasize that applications with involvement of policy makers and planners, and practitioners and marginalized women and men are particularly welcome, as are those lead or co-lead by women. 
Successful application will have to fulfil following aspects: 

  1. Addressing current challenges on water insecurity significantly important for the Mekong Region, in line with at least one of research themes of SUMERNET 4 All. 
  2. Directly contributing to ongoing planning or decision-making processes at national or regional levels to help reduce water insecurities for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region.
  3. Rapid response research covers whole of  the Mekong region or at least two countries at the study area.
  4. A multidisciplinary research approach that includes gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, and governance and poverty reduction as key targets.
  5. Engagement with a diverse group of team members in the project that represent diverse genders, ages, races and are at different stages in their research career is an advantage, specifically if the project has a female lead.
  6. End beneficiaries of this rapid response research are the marginalized and most vulnerable groups in the Mekong Region. 
  7. Lead agency and Team Leader have extensive experience and proven capacity to manage the grant that engage with interdisciplinary experts in water sector for the Mekong Region. 
  8. Project team has proven experience and expertise to carry out proposed rapid research.
  9. Providing letter of support or request from target user(s) of future research findings to certify that there is real need for this research while not compulsory will certainly be an advantage.   

Outputs and requirements

  • One English manuscript for submission to an international journal 
  • At least one public product (e.g. blog, video, Op-Ed, etc), with at least one product involving marginalized and vulnerable communities
  • One project report or other appropriate product including research findings and recommendations, which will directly use to inform ongoing planning or decision-making processes as earlier identified
  • One policy engagement event  
  • All activities and outputs must be completed within a period of 6-12 months 

Who can apply?

Lead Applicant (LA) needs to demonstrate that she/he has the skills, knowledge and supports necessary to direct the proposed research and to be actively engaged in carrying the research through its completion. The LA will need to show appropriate evidence of expertise and experience matched to the nature and context of research project. LA must be formal SUMERNET network member.  (You can apply to be SUMERNET network member if you have not registered as network member yet using this link). If lead organization has experience in receiving the grant(s) from SUMERNET programme or other programmes of SEI, the application would be advantaged. 
Project team members could be the experts from SUMERNET or other networks. 

How to apply?

The Expression of Interest (EoI) form (available as attachment below) must be completed to ensure eligibility. Reference is made in the form to SUMERNET website where information on the programme’s goal, objectives and priority themes, as well as operating approach, boundary partners, capacity development etc is made. Please refer to this when submitting the EoI.

All applications must submit an Expression of Interest and supporting documents using the SUMERNET online submission platform at: https://sei.submittable.com/submit/168010/sumernet-4-all-rapid-response-research-call-for-eoi.  

Documents to be prepared for online submission

  • Completed Expression of Interest form
  • CV of Project Leader
  • CV of Project team members
  • Annexes of activities, outputs and budget (templates available)
  • Letter of research or support from target users of this research findings

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