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Research & Development Excellence


The Global Development Network organizes a range of awards and contests to support early career researchers to conduct locally relevant research and make their findings known. See success stories | Visit the Global Development Awards Platform for a global overview of all past grantees of the Global Development Awards Competition.

Ongoing awards include

  • The Global Development Awards Competition The Global Development Awards Competition includes the Japanese Award for the Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP) and the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD). These awards include significant prize money, with a top prize of $30,000 to the ORD category winner and $20,000 for each of the MIDP winning entries. GDN organizes an annual, open call for applications for prizes in each of these categories. Read more online or download the fact sheet.  
  • The Japan Social Development Fund Award is an award in which winners of the Most Innovative Development Project award are eligible to apply. This award provides assistance to exceptionally marginalized and disadvantaged groups by supporting innovative development projects in developing countries. The top prize is usually US$ 200,000. Read more.
  • Southern Voices on Global Trasitions The AFD-GDN Video The Global Development Network is partnering with the French Development Agency, AFD, to conduct an online video contest, on key development transitions taking place across the globe. The videos will tell the story of these transitions through the eyes of young researchers working in the Global South. See more.

Recently closed awards are

  • GDN's Next Horizons Essay Contest  Now closed, the contest invited original and innovative thinking to inform the ongoing discourse on development assistance and its role in post-2015 development finance. The international contest received 1,470 submissions from 142 countries around the world. Winning essayists continue to promote their ideas in top-rated development institutions with support from GDN.
  • KOICA 2014 Now closed, the contest, funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and administered by GDN, identified and recognized research papers engaging in promising growth studies that investigate the salient features of Korea’s development experience and prospects for developing countries. Over 180 submissions from 41 countries were received for the inaugural round of the competition.  
  • The Medals for Research on Development (MRD) were discontinued from 2015 onwards. This trademark competition awarded completed research papers for their academic excellence and potential for policy uptake. Funded by a different pool of donors every year, the Medals were distributed on an annual basis at GDN's Global Development Conference.