Sour grapes

DANIDA’s grants for development research were re-opened in 2017. It was split into Window 1: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries with total funds of DKK 75 mill., and Window 2: Research collaboration projects in growth and transition countries with total funds of DKK 60 mill. For both Windows, the application procedure involves a first stage of submitting a short concept note, and a second stage for selected applicants to submit a full application.

The shortlisting of applicants invited to submit a full application was communicated early June 2017. For Window 1 applications the expected success rate reached an all-time low, as only 4 % of a total of 205 concept notes submitted will receive a grant, i.e. 7-8 projects, assuming that the maximum budget for a single project of DKK 10 mill. will be applied for.

Window 2 applicants stand a better success rate. Out the 51 applications, about 12 projects can receive a grant, as the maximum budget for a single project is DKK 5 mill. Thus, about 23 % can expect to make it all way.

The non-successful applicants have reason to frustration. The extremely low success rate in Window 1 may discourage future applicants, and evidence from rejection letters for both windows (see scans above) hints that only extremely short, non-informative arguments are given, simply registering non-fulfillment of evaluation criteria listed in the call.


Independent Research Fund Denmark

However, the Independent Research Fund Denmark also funds research in developing countries. It funds specific research activities within all scientific areas that are based on the researchers’ own initiatives and that improve the quality and internationalisation of Danish research. It is divided into five different Scientific Research Councils: Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Technology and Production Sciences. In Spring 2017, Independent Research Fund Denmark, could announce the projects granted funds based on applications submitted Autumn 2016.

Check the list of research projects involving studies in developing countries in the sidebar to the right.

These five research grants amounts to a total of DKK 24.486.478. The projects do not necessarily include any funding of collaboration with South researchers. In contrast, DANIDA research grant target research collaboration and South research and involves a component of research capacity development. As such, the Calls stipulate expected allocation ratios. One comparison to be drawn between the total of the five grants from the Independent Research Fund Denmark is that of the DKK 30 mill. allocated to Danish researchers in Window 1 projects (DKK 75 mill. is divided South/North: 60/40 % ) and that of the DKK 30 mill. allocated to Danish researchers in Window 2 (DKK 60 mill. is divided South/North: 50/50%).

In a coming feature will give more details on the landscape of funding of research involving developing countries and on the procedures, by which project applications are assessed.

You can also expect reports on the progress and findings of selected granted research projects, as they become available.

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