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How We Work

Photo credit: iStock/Borchee


From the inception, this research program offers awarded researchers a unique opportunity to work with a dedicated scientific-technical advisor throughout the implementation of their projects. This tailored support ensures that researchers receive guidance and expertise to successfully carry out their research, assess and overcome challenges and achieve project goals. The advisors are seasoned professionals with extensive experience in their respective fields, providing invaluable insights and advice to help researchers achieve the best possible results. 

Mentoring involves guiding awardees in selecting appropriate research methods and frameworks, as well as providing input on research plans including budget, timeline, and team composition. Throughout the implementation of the grant, advisors provide constructive advice and guidance to maintain high professional standards, along with providing feedback on draft outputs. Towards the end of the grant, advisors provide  written feedback on final outputs and can advise researchers on the research dissemination process.

Meet our Scientific-Technical Advisors.
Take a look at GDN Mentoring to understand more about the advisory process.

Research Lab 

The Research Lab is an interactive space designed to enhance shortlisted  proposals by providing opportunities for interactions between candidates and with global experts and stakeholders. This feedback is meant to improve the academic content, methodological approach, and policy relevance of the research projects while they are still in the development stage.

The lab promotes collaboration and an environment to critically discuss the academic quality, methodological choices, and policy relevance of their research ideas. The lab also facilitate interactions with resource persons from various disciplines and foster peer engagement among shortlisted applicants.

During the first edition of the Program, the Lab featured a public talk by Professor Marie Stenseke (watch video | see more details), focused on the role of social science in making peace with nature, and a policy panel opened by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (watch video), Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, UNCBD. 

See the full playlist of speakers at the lab.

“I appreciate the research lab so much. It enlightened me about social research and I believe it will change my approach to research in general which my students will benefit from.” Principal Investigator from Senegal.

“The lab was an eye opener for young researcher in developing countries like me.” Principal Investigator from Ethiopia

Mid-term Review

Held at Future Africa Institute in the University of Pretoria in South Africa between June 24 and 26, 2022, the mid-term review workshop provided an opportunity for teams to meet in person and evaluate the progress of their ongoing research projects, receiving feedback from other peer researchers, advisors, and GDN. The event allowed for insight into other projects and complemented ongoing remote interactions with advisors. The workshop timeline coincided with the submission deadline for the first draft of the primary research paper, and draft papers were shared among all teams.

In conclusion, the mid-term review highlighted the critical role of social science in shaping the impact of research. By integrating social science perspectives, the researchers were able to take a more holistic approach to ecological research and gain a better understanding of human-environment interactions. This experience reinforces the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in advancing scientific knowledge and addressing complex societal issues.