Get up to US$45,000 for Researchers from Low-income or Middle-income countries in the Global Development Awards Competition 2020

For researchers from low-income or middle-income countries, take your research to the next level and submit research proposals within the theme, ‘Unpacking the health-environment-economic wellbeing nexus,’ for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) under the Global Development Awards Competition 2020.

Winning researchers in this competitive research grant program will receive funding of up to US$ 45,000.  

Application Deadline: September 30, 2020


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Here are the benefits of participating in the awards competition:

  • The three winning projects will receive grant funding of up to US$ 45,000 to support the proposed research work
    • The first prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 30,000. 
    • The second prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 10,000. 
    • The third prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 5,000.
  • Experts will be assigned to Grant awardees in their relevant field to play the mentor role of a Scientific and Technical Advisor.


In order to qualify for participation in this award competition, applicants must 

  • Be citizens or permanent residents of an eligible country. 

Eligible countries are those classified by the World Bank as low-income or middle-income countries

  • Be researchers. 
  • Be 45 years of age or younger as of 20th July 2020.
  • Citizens of eligible countries currently residing in a non-eligible country are only allowed to apply if they have been living in the non-eligible country for no more than five years as of 20 July 2020. 

This should be clearly shown as in the CV and personal information should be provided. 


  • The awards will be granted to the participants whose proposals hold the greatest potential for improving understanding of development issues as well as clearly articulate policy implications to address relevant development problems.
  • Submission of proof of  citizenship and residency might be required of all applicants (including team members) through legally certified documents. 
  • The following set of individuals are ineligible to apply for this program:
    • Staff members of multilateral and bilateral organizations (The World Bank, IMF, IADB, UN agencies, UKAid , etc.).
    • Previous and current employees of GDN or its Regional Network Partners (can apply 5 years from the completion of their tenure). 
    • Previous GDN Board Members, project mentors and members of evaluation teams.
    • Past and current ORD reviewers are not eligible to take part in the competition.
  • Past ORD winners and finalists cannot apply with the previously submitted or similar research proposal. 
  • Winners are not eligible to apply for a period of 3 years subsequent to the end of their agreement with GDN.
  • Similar proposals or papers resulting as products from full or partial GDN funded activities cannot be submitted for this competition.
  • To be eligible for consideration for the ORD, the proposal should not be receiving or scheduled to receive funds from other sources unless it is clearly explained how the additional funds provided by the ORD would reinforce the existing funds for successful completion of the research.
  • Personal information details supplied in the application should be factually correct, else the application will be liable for disqualification during any stage of the competition, including after the grant has been awarded.
  • Proposed projects can be centered on: 
    • Local, national, regional or continental policy initiatives, and come from any discipline within the social sciences.
    • Ongoing policy initiatives, past ones, or initiatives currently being set up.
  • A direct link to the COVID-19 crisis is welcome, but not required. 

In light of the quickly changing scenario, proposals that integrate a focus on COVID-19 and related policy responses must explain how the quickly changing policy landscape is likely to impact the focus of the research.

  • Applications with incomplete documentation will not be considered. 

Free Worksheet and Checklist

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Application Instructions

To apply for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) under the Global Development Awards Competition 2020, should follow the steps below:

  • Read the full eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, competition guidelines and a detailed description of the theme of the award 
  • Learn more through the FAQs 
  • Commence your Application:
    • Download the Application Template here for an example of what’s required.
    • Complete your application and save it on your computer in .doc, .docx or .pdf format for upload.
    • Organization Profile: Prepare a document providing the profile (min. 1 page) of your organization (if applicable) and save it on your computer in .doc, .docx or .pdf format for upload.
    • CVs of the research team– A compilation of the CVs of the different team members, matching the name of the documents per role in the proposal (PI for Principal Investigator and CR for Co-Researchers)  compressed into a .zip, .rar or similar type of files. must be included in the application. 

The CVs should clearly state the age of all team members, the citizenships for all team members and the country of residence for the past five years for all team members and the current institutional affiliations for all team members.

  • Click here to apply.   

About the Global Development Awards Competition 2020

Administered by GDN and supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan, the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition. 

Since its inception in 2000, this award program funds and supports exceptional  research proposals in low-income or middle-income countries with a promise for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.

With this year’s edition themed ‘Unpacking the health-environment-economic wellbeing nexus’, it’s encouraged that proposals critically examine policy successes and failures to look at the complex intersection of health, environment and economic well-being. 

With up to 8,800 researchers and development practitioners from low-income or middle-income countries having participated in this competition and more than 200 awards conferred till date, this year’s edition will select and  grant the award to three winning projects.

Discover more opportunities from GDN.

Discover more opportunities from Government of Japan.

Key Dates and Order of Program

All submissions must be made by 6:00 PM(Indian Standard Time) on 30th September 2020.

The Eligibility screening results will be announced by 2nd October, 2020. 

The First Level review results of shortlisted applications and comments from reviewers will be announced by 30th October 2020. 

Resubmission of updated application for shortlisted applications will commence by 8th November 2020. 

Second Level review results (finalists) and comments from reviewers will be announced by 4 December 2020

Resubmission of updated application of the finalists will commence by 11th December 2020. 

Online Communications training will commence by 7th-11th December 2020

Jury presentation will take place by 14th-18th December 2020 (specific date to be announced)

 Winners will be announced by 20th December, 2020. 

Finalists are most especially, expected to be available during the following periods:

  • 7-11 December 2020 – Communications training to take place online
  • 14-18 December (date to be specified later) for the presentation of their projects to the jury.

After the application deadline is reached, a multi-stage review process will be used to select the winners. 

The evaluation process will be based on the blind review process wherein identities of the authors and reviewers will be concealed to eliminate any selection bias.

The proposals will be reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Potential for a substantive contribution to a particular aspect of research literature on the topic of the current edition.
  • Innovative value of the research topic and the methodology proposed
  • Academic quality of the proposal (including quality of referencing, clarity of research questions, appropriateness of methodology)
  • Clarity of the links to policy (at the level of concept definition, operationalization, critical review or evaluation) for addressing specific development issues
  • Composition of the research team and the cost-effectiveness of the budget proposed

An in-person Award ceremony might be held in 2021, if conditions allow it, but projects are expected to start on 15 Jan 2021.

Due to the Covid19 crisis and travel limitations, the selection will be conducted online.

Networking and Partnership Opportunities

Some of the Partners & Funders for the program include:

  • African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
  • Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)
  • Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD)
  • Arab Planning Institute, Kuwait
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
  • Brookings Institution, USA
  • Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), France
  • Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE), Senegal
  • Centre for Khmer Studies (CKS), Cambodia
  • East Asia Development Network (EADN), Philippines
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • IdeasBelong, Belgium
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France
  • Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), UK
  • Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), India
  • Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada
  • International Economic Association (IEA)
  • International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • IrishAid
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India
  • Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
  • Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA), Colombia
  • Merck
  • Ministry of Education, Peru
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Center
  • The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)
  • The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)
  • The World Bank
  • Think Tank Initiative (TTI)
  • United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  • Universidad del Pacifico, Perú
  • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada
  • University of Ghana
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.

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