MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

ESRC-DFID Development Frontiers Research Call announcement

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ESRC DfidA new funding opportunity is being launched as part of a decade-long partnership between the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) which aims to place innovation and appetite for risk at the centre of world-class research.

Sitting within the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research, this new call will fund innovative, strategic and catalytic research that offers new ways to tackle the challenges encountered at the intersections between sustainability, poverty and conflict/fragility in specific geographic contexts.

Securing meaningful sustainable development for all will need things to be done differently – from global frameworks and national policies to community-level action. New perspectives and novel solutions are needed. Research has a critical role to play in breaking down existing ways of thinking about sustainability and development, and reformulating them in ways that could prove to be transformative. To achieve this will require new approaches that cut across and transcend traditional boundaries – geographic, disciplinary, and methodological – as well as strong new alliances that bridge the research/practice divide. Funding this kind of research also requires a different approach that can balance excellence through rigour and competition with the desire to generate genuine collaboration and space for different voices. The expectation is that the Development Frontiers call will encourage novel developments of social science-led enquiry, and support research activity that pushes the boundaries of international development research and entails an element of risk.

This call has been designed to enable researchers to conduct exploratory, small-scale projects with a view to developing ideas, collaboration, and research capacity for future larger bids for other calls. Projects must explore issues related to the intersections of poverty, climate change and conflict in one or more of the call’s focus countries with cross-regional comparisons encouraged where appropriate. These countries fall within three regions (West Africa, Horn of Africa, and South/Southeast Asia) – the pre-call announcement contains the list of specific countries.

Proposals will be invited for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) value between £200,000 and £300,000.

A full call for proposals will be launched in October 2016 with a deadline of Jan 2017. This notice is being issued now to allow interested researchers to begin discussions with potential research partners and research users in advance of the formal call for proposals

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