Cross-country Collaborative Research Program
The Competition

The Global Research Competition is a competitive grant program that provides early-career social science researchers from developing and transition with a platform to investigate international development challenges through collaborative cross-country or inter-regional research projects. The Competition is in-line with the prevailing global trends that indicate an increase in the frequency, publication and citations of co-authored papers in leading international journals, which further authenticates the significance of collaborative research.

Applications for the GRC grants are invited from teams of up to four early-career researchers (one principal researcher plus one or more research collaborators). The winning research teams receive expert guidance during their grant cycle, apart from financial grants. The research generally spans a period of 18 months.

Current Call for Expressions of Interest for Research on Aid Effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa

This is a unique call for expressions of interest, focusing on research proposals on aid effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa from the perspective of aid recipient countries. Deadline 11 September, 2016. Click here for details.

Structure and Design

Research Themes and Topics

Each year, the competition focuses on diverse research themes which originate from the policy research priority areas defined by GDN's Global Research Agenda and are in-line with GDN's future Global Research Projects (GRPs). The nature of the research themes are such that they encourage collaboration amongst researchers and are of relevance to more than one region. The current round of the GRC invited applications on the following three themes:

  • Inclusive and Sustainable Growth
  • Food Security
  • Political, Economic and Social Transformations

Research Activities

Research projects involve, but are not limited to, the following types of research activities:

  • Applied research
  • Case studies
  • Comparative studies
  • Critical analyses of existing research

Research Grant

The GRC grant performance period is up to 18 months. The value of the grant varies according to various aspects of the research project; such as team size and composition, scope of the research project, amongst others. The best performing research teams also have the opportunity to apply for GDN’s large-scale, high-caliber GRPs. Up to US$ 32,000 is awarded to support the following:

  • Expenses necessary to conduct research and
  • Outreach and dissemination activities
Applications and Selection Process

The Competition receives a large number of individual applications each year, almost twenty times more than the number of grants available. In order to facilitate the ‘matching’ process between individual researchers interested in collaborating to submit joint proposals for the Competition, and to enhance the application and grant management process, GDN leverages a sophisticated online platform. Female researchers are strongly encouraged to compete.

The submitted applications are filtered through a 3-stage review process:

  • Internal review: GDN’s internal reviewers scan all the applications received to check the overall quality of the proposals, along with the eligibility criteria of the application and the team members
  • External review: In this stage, 3-4 external experts review the eligible applications and rate the proposals on the bases of their quality, relevance and feasibility
  • Steering Committee review: The top 15-20 shortlisted proposals are presented to the Competition’s Steering Committee for their final review and selection
Research Capacity Building and Learning

Having an integral capacity building component, the Competition engages world renowned experts as mentors to guide the winning research studies. Furthermore, a Steering Committee guides the entire Competition. Before the final submission of research proposals, a methodological training workshop provides hands-on technical training, individual proposal preparation guidance and assistance with the comparative nature of the research. On the basis of the quality of applications and the demonstrated need for capacity building, the training targets young researchers to help them enhance their research design and proposal writing skills, thus improving the overall quality of the proposals as well as the social utility of the Competition itself.

Research capacity building support therefore includes:

  • Global Training Workshops: Research teams with the most promising and interesting ideas receive training and guidance from world renowned experts at a global workshop, before submitting their final proposals.
  • Individual Mentoring: Winning research teams benefit from intensive mentoring throughout the grant performance period, from inception to completion. The mentoring responsibility within each research team lies with a senior scholar who is engaged by GDN. From time-to-time, teams also benefit from training and guidance from world renowned experts.
Steering Committee

Additionally, the research teams have the opportunity to benefit from the vast knowledge of the Steering Committee members. The GRC Steering Committee comprises renowned academics from across the globe:

  • MILNER, Helen V., (Chair of the Steering Committee), Member, GDN Board of Directors; Chair, Department of Politics, B. C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University and Director, Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School
  • ASIEDU, Elizabeth, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Kansas
  • BANERJEE, Abhijit, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BOURGUIGNON, François, Member, GDN Board of Directors; Emeritus Professor, Paris School of Economics
  • GALAL, Ahmed, Managing Director, Economic Research Forum
  • LUCAS, Robert E.B., Professor of Economics, Boston University
  • NARAYAN, Deepa, Independent Consultant
  • WINTERS CB, L. Alan, Chairman, GDN Board of Directors; Professor of Economics, University of Sussex

For further information contact Ramona Angelescu, Director of Programs

Researcher in Focus

"A team composed of researchers from Tunisia, Egypt and Indonesia have run a project that examine and compare the impact of political transformation in 4 Muslim countries and the installation of new regimes characterized by the strong presence of Islamic political parties on the economic policies and the development of Islamic financial sector.
GDN has provide us a highly conducive working environments, not only for supporting financially the project but also for offering professorial mentoring on all research structures and findings, which makes the research project to be of an international readership and quality .” - Kaouthar Gazdar, Faculty of Economics and Management of Sousse (Tunisia)


Message from the Director of Programs