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ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) Dr Jo Duffy, Research Directorate, ESRC.

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Presentation on theme: "ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) Dr Jo Duffy, Research Directorate, ESRC."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) Dr Jo Duffy, Research Directorate, ESRC

2 Purpose The purpose of the Scheme is: to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development and to enhance the quality and impact of social science research which contributes towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Scheme will fund: world class scientific research on issues relating to economic, social and political development in less developed countries with the potential for impact on policy and practice for poverty reduction.

3 Strategic Background to the Scheme DFID and ESRC have agreed to continue their strategic partnership to provide a joint funding scheme for international development research. The ESRC will continue to be responsible for the implementation and administration of the scheme. This collaboration recognises the synergies between the organisations strategic priorities DFIDESRC GROWTH GLOBAL ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE, POLICY AND MANAGEMENT CLIMATE CHANGE ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND RESILIENCE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE HEALTHHEALTH AND WELLBEING GOVERNANCE IN CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS SECURITY, CONFLICT AND JUSTICE FUTURE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES, INNOVATION AND SKILLS SOCIAL DIVERSITY AND POPULATION DYNAMICS UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR

4 Thematic Highlights The second phase of funding for the joint scheme retains the overall Poverty Alleviation theme from the first phase, and applications under this broad heading will be welcome. However, ESRC and DFID have identified three thematic areas for this call where work will be of particular interest. These are: Population and Development Development in a Changing World: the challenge for theory, policy and action Inequality and Development The call specification provides details of the kinds of questions that might be addressed under each of these highlights. These are examples, and NOT a comprehensive list. Proposals addressing the interactions between these areas will be welcomed, as will applications which challenge existing policy or practice assumptions. Applicants with research interests relating to last years highlights will still be able to apply through the open Poverty Alleviation heading.

5 Scope The scheme takes a broad definition of poverty alleviation The scheme is not prescriptive in terms of geographical focus, but rather takes a flexible approach. The focus of projects should be determined by their relevance to the main aim of the scheme – namely research that supports the alleviation of poverty amongst the poorest countries and peoples of the world. This may involve research on the poorest sections of society in middle income countries where there are high levels of income inequality. The choice of research questions and geographical focus should be intellectually coherent and methodologically sound. The scheme allows for elements of comparison with developed countries. The Scheme is open to all disciplines and academic subjects, not just the Social Sciences. However the Social Sciences should represent more than 50% of the research focus and effort. Contract and/or development type consultancy work will NOT be funded.

6 Generic Research Challenges A series of generic research challenges that might be addressed under the Scheme include (but are not confined to): Understanding and creating the socio-economic conditions that are necessary to facilitate the alleviation of poverty; New theoretical and conceptual thinking about the nature of development; New theoretical and conceptual thinking about the conditions under which development and poverty alleviation can be delivered; Methodological challenges posed by international comparative work in different social, economic and cultural settings; Paucity of datasets, especially micro-level or longitudinal data.

7 A greater focus on Impact (1) The second phase of the scheme places an even greater focus on the Impact of funded research, reflecting new thinking and practice within both organisations. ESRC and DFID expect that the researchers they fund under the joint Scheme will have identified the potential impacts of their research on policy and practice, and will actively consider how these can be maximised and developed. All applicants are required to include a Pathways to Impact statement which addresses the following three questions: Who will benefit from this research? How will they benefit from this research? What will be done to ensure that they have the opportunity to benefit from this research? Researchers are strongly encouraged to be innovative in the kinds of engagement, communications and research uptake activities they define within their Pathways to Impact statement.

8 A greater focus on Impact (2) It is recommended that a minimum of 10% of the overall budget should be dedicated to delivering the activities outlined in the Pathways to Impact statement. It is also strongly recommended that each project hold a seminar with key stakeholders in the country or countries where the majority of the research is taking place, at the earliest opportunity, to set out the aims of the project and fully ground it in the local context. IMPACT AT THE SCHEME LEVEL Funds from within the overall scheme budget will be allocated to a range of activities oriented towards research impact, and it will be a condition of award that research teams co-operate with these activities when requested to do so. This will include: A Strategic Advisor for the Joint Scheme whose role will focus on impact at the Scheme level, identifying synergies, potential opportunities, and practical mechanisms for impact, and working with award holders. The commissioning of synthesis work around thematic clusters A formal Impact Evaluation at the end of the second phase of the scheme.

9 Who can participate in projects? The Scheme is open to researchers based in recognised higher education institutions, research organisations or organisations with a credible research capacity. Researchers may be based in either UK or non-UK organisations with demonstrable research capacity. Partnership with a UK body is not a requirement. In addition to principal and co-investigators it is possible to name other specific collaborators and consultants in the application, for instance public, private or NGO sector experts who could provide invaluable stakeholder inputs and advice to the project. These need to be properly and fully costed. The intellectual challenge should be the determining factor when configuring appropriate partnerships and collaborations.

10 Eligibility issues – Registration and Recognition Applications must be submitted through the Research Councils Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). In order to be able to submit an application all principal investigators and co-investigators should complete Je-S Registration. We strongly advise potential applicants to register with Je-S at least 4 weeks prior to the call deadline, as no exceptions can be made for late submission of applications. IF YOU KNOW YOU ARE PLANNING TO COLLABORATE WITH NON-UK BASED COLLEAGUES WHO ARE NOT YET Je-S REGISTERED START THE PROCESS NOW! This process has been simplified for this scheme to focus primarily on confirming that an applicant is from an authentic entity with a capacity to undertake research. Research council recognition of institutions eligible to hold grants is a longer and more involved process that will be undertaken once a proposal is recommended for funding. This must be completed before an award can be issued to the award holders institution. The recognition process covers issues including mandate, research infrastructure, governance and accountability.

11 Capacity Building ESRC and DFID are NOT seeking through this Scheme to fund capacity-building per se. Both organisations fund elements of capacity building through other mechanisms. However, capacity may be built or strengthened through the research process. In cases where the intellectual agenda would be furthered through capacity related activities the sponsors will accept the inclusion of some elements of research capacity to be addressed explicitly within proposals. This might include: Doctoral students Visiting Fellowships Production of datasets The Scheme also supports capacity building through North-South or South-South partnerships. All such partnerships should be genuine, with proportionate and balanced roles and responsibilities. Capacity Building elements should be set out in relation to the core intellectual agenda of the research proposal and not treated separately. The objective is to focus on the quality and impact of the research, with flexibility on how improvements in research capacity might contribute to this.

12 Doctoral Students This scheme does not provide support for standalone Doctoral Students. Doctoral Students from any country may be included in applications to the Scheme as long as they are registered for their degree at a UK University recognised by the ESRC for PhD training. The research conducted by the student must represent a discrete price of work. However, synergy with the main research project and added value should be demonstrated. Studentships cannot be used as displacement for the normal research support required on a grant. Overseas institutions may contribute to the supervision of a PhD Student included on a proposal, provided they can demonstrate an appropriate research environment and infrastructure for doctoral work and robust supervisory provision. Students may spend a reasonable period (but not usually more than half) of their studentship at the overseas institution. It is the responsibility of the UK Research Organisation to ensure that the student is receiving appropriate standards of supervision and that the PhD thesis is submitted on time.

13 Scheme Budget / Scale of Individual Projects The second phase of the joint Scheme has a budget of £23m, which will be spent over three annual calls for proposals. We anticipate spending £7m on this second call of the second phase, but will consider allocating additional funds if there are sufficient proposals of exceptional quality to warrant extending the budget. Applications are invited for projects with an FEC* value of between £100k-£500k. [*The Research Councils currently provide 80% of the Full Economic Cost (FEC) of a project for UK applicants.] The duration of grants should range from a minimum of one year to a maximum of three years. All grants will be awarded to the institution of the Principal Applicant, with this institution being responsible for the proper disbursement of and accountability for all monies received.

14 Costings model – non-UK institutions For non-UK institutions, in response to concerns about the 80% rule on developing country partners, the scheme will support in full (100%) all of the direct costs of the research. In addition, indirect costs may be charged on staff salary and other staff related costs (ie. statutory contributions analogous to UK National Insurance or Superannuation contributions). Indirect costs may NOT be charged on non-staff related direct costs, eg. Equipment, travel and subsistence, consultancies, conferences, etc. The following rates for indirect costs should be applied: For applicants from developing countries the overhead rate is 50%. For applicants from developed countries the overhead rate is 20%. In all cases the ESRC and DFID will require adequate evidence of the costing basis

15 Application process Applications must be submitted through the Research Councils Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). The application has two elements – an online form comprising a number of structured boxes for key information, and a series of mandatory free text documents which need to be completed offline and uploaded as attachments to the online form. Mandatory attachments include the Pathways to Impact statement (discussed earlier) and the Case for Support. The Case for Support contains the substance of the research application and it is essential that a coherent exposition of the proposed project is presented. You must indicate both in your Case for Support and in the Summary section of the online form if your proposal relates to one of the three research highlights for this call: Population, Development in a Changing World or Inequality. Help with technical aspects of the application process is available from the Je-S Helpdesk – email: or tel: +44 (0)1793 444164.

16 Decision Making Process and Timetable Proposals received under this call will be peer reviewed in a two stage process. The initial assessment will be by expert members of a Peer Review Pool from which around 50 applications will be shortlisted for assessment by a Commissioning Assessment Panel. The Commissioning Assessment Panel will consist of both academics and users (representatives from the fields of policy and practice). This panel will meet and make its funding recommendations in Spring 2011. Both reviewers and panel assessors will be drawn from the international community and the UK. Funding decisions will be communicated to applicants by the end of April 2011, with start dates for awards of 1 June 2011 onwards. Please allow more time if your institution will require formal Research Councils Recognition prior to issuing the grant.

17 Assessment Criteria Proposals will be judged against a series of assessment criteria which fall under the following headings: Research Agenda Project Management Capacity Building Pathways to Impact, Stakeholder Engagement and Outputs Value for Money Research Partnerships …in short, we want Excellence with Impact

18 Sources of further information Scheme documentation and guidance can be found at: If you have any further questions, please contact the Scheme Secretariat at ESRC: Email: Tel: +44 (0)1793 413135 (Lyndy Griffin) Tel: +44 (0)1793 442162 (Peter Stephenson) Tel: +44 (0)1793 413387 (Elly Stott) Tel: +44 (0)1793 413165 (Jo Duffy)

19 Any Questions? Q&A Session for generic questions that may be of interest to all audience members One to one surgery with members of the ESRC team for questions specific to individual proposals


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