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Questions and answers

Q&A related to the Phase 1 2020 applications (updated continuously). Questions could be sent to DFC by email to research@dfcentre.dk.

Separated below in the sections: Who can apply/Partners – Countries – Theme – Assessment – E-application – Budget/What can be covered – Process – Other

NB: Please note that it is not possible to make corrections to an e-application after it has been submitted, except for corrections related to the personal information.

Important note: The selection of countries and themes for research in growth and transition countries (Window 2) in the 2020 Call
Based on the recommendations of the review of the Window 2 modality (first half of 2019) as well as the strategic priorities of the new government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to focus on themes related to climate change, energy, environment and natural resources, food quality, and health systems in the Window 2 Call 2020.

In addition, it has been decided to limit the Window 2 research to countries in Africa, and countries in Asia that are or have been recipients of Danish development assistance. This is a consequence of the expanding nature of the Strategic Sector Cooperation in combination with the limited funding framework for support to development research.

2020 is a transition year. The strategic framework for support to research in growth and transition countries from 2021 onwards will depend on the conclusions and recommendations of the ongoing Evaluation of support to development research 2008-2018 as well as the Evaluation of the Strategic Sector Cooperation initiative (is starting up late 2019).

Who can apply/Partners

Q: Can DFC assist me in identifying a Danish researcher or Danish research institution for a research application?
A: Unfortunately, DFC Research does not have the mandate to link up researchers and institutions in relation to the open 2020 call for research applications, as DFC needs to act 100% neutral in relation to all applicants in order to provide equal opportunities for all applicants. Instead, we have provided a guide on how to find relevant Danish researchers, and this is available under ‘Useful Links’ at the very end of the call text, so please refer to this guide when looking for potential Danish collaborating partners.

Q (W1): As far as I understand, a “country office” of an international research organisation is NOT a “nationally registered research institution” even if it is located in a Danida priority country. Is this correctly understood?
A: Yes, this is correct.

Q (W1): Can a country office of an international organisation in a DANIDA priority country be one of the “Southern” partners if the main “Southern” partner is a local university or research institution?
A: Yes, according to the Call text on page 3: “It is strongly encouraged to involve partners from the private sector and national authorities in the partner country or in Denmark in the research project, and grant funding can be used for their direct input to project activities but not overhead expenses.” In the same paragraph, it says: “International research institutions and research institutions in countries outside Denmark and outside the Danida priority countries can equally be supported by the grant for their direct input to the project activities with no overhead.” Therefore, a country office of an international research organisation can be included as partner, but without overhead.

Q: Can a research institution in a country outside the Danida priority countries be included among the beneficiaries of a grant?
A: Yes, they can be included as subcontractors or research partners and supported by the grant for their direct input to the project activities with no overhead.

Q (W2): How are the conditions for applying in this year’s application round when we have a research project granted in 2017 under Window 2?
A: For research projects granted under the 2017 application round, the responsible institution is invited to submit an application to be considered under the present Call, which may be granted as an extension project. The announced research themes, eligible countries, time and budget frames as well as other selection conditions stated in this Call will apply to such applications.

The total budget available for this research window is approximately 80 million DKK. This includes an allocation for extension of research projects funded in 2017 applying within this Call. The funding is conditional on approval by the Danish Parliament of the 2020 finance bill. The expected duration of projects is from 18 to 36 months with a maximum grant of 5 million DKK for each project.

Within this framework, the MFA invites Phase 1 applications for grants related to development research with partners in selected growth and transition countries (Window 2). Phase 1 is the first step of a process in which applicants submit project ideas leading to prequalification. Phase 2 is the submission of a full application by those selected in Phase 1(“prequalified”).

Q: I am going to apply for both Window 1 and Window 2 funds. As I received a grant in 2018, is it possible to apply in 2020? Could I be the principle investigator/coordinator in one Window 1 project and a Window 2 project at a same time? What about being involved in a number of Window 2 projects as partners – are there any limitations?
A: Yes, it is possible to apply in 2020, even though you are project coordinator of a project granted in 2018 – and thereby you can at the same time be the project coordinator of a new Window 1 or Window 2 project, if granted. It is stated in both Calls 2020 that: “A person may appear as project coordinator on several applications, but only one project per project coordinator may be approved for this funding window”. This is not specified across the two Windows, but it may not be considered feasible for the same project coordinator to start up two projects in the same year. You can be a researcher involved in several projects as long as this is feasible.

Q: Can a research-based institution submit more than one proposal as lead/main applicant?
A: Yes, it can – and a person may appear as project coordinator on several applications, but only one project per project coordinator may be approved for this funding window.


Q (W2): In previous years, it has been possible to target research in China with Chinese partners. In the call 2020, China is not mentioned as an eligible country. Is it possible within the call to make an application with research in China with Chinese partners? Is it expected that China will not be an eligible country for future calls?
A: As per the 2020 Call text, China is not an eligible country and therefore, it is not possible to submit an application for research in China. Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm whether or not China will be an eligible country in future calls. Please read the top text on this page with important note regarding the selection of countries and themes for research in growth and transition countries (Window 2) in the 2020 Call.

Q: May we have a contact point in Tanzania (embassy or other affiliated units to DANIDA in Tanzania) to explore more in details the needed/target areas of research related to Window 1 theme?
A: DFC does not have a contact person in Tanzania. There is a difference between the two windows; in Window 2, the sector counsellors are more directly involved, while such one specific person is not appointed for the Window 1 theme.


Q (W1): Does the research theme of call of the applications allow researches to base on other topics for sustainable development alone or must it relate to Climate change?
A: The full text regarding the research theme should be taken into account when choosing the topic for an application, i.e. both sustainable development and climate change have to be the focus.


Q: As an international institution we have been approached to join a consortium. From the Call text we understand we are eligible as an international research partner/sub-consultant, but it appears that only our direct costs will be covered under the grant (and not indirect costs). Is this a correct assessment or can indirect costs for research partners be considered as eligible costs?
A: As for international research-based organizations/institutions, the following is stated regarding Project Costs in the Call for applications: For international research institutions, partners in countries outside the Danida priority country (Window 1)/outside the growth and transition countries (Window 2), national authorities, and private sector partners, the budget can only include salaries and travel expenses, covering their direct input to the project activities, and no administration fees can be covered.

Q (W1): Regarding the budget shares, should a co-funding partner’s share be calculated into the 60/40% share?
A: No, the co-funding amount should be inserted separately in the application form and explained in the application, and this amount should not be part of the 60/40% share.

Q (W2): A question regarding the budgeting in a Window 2 application – do we need to split the 5 mill DKK in any specific way between Denmark and partner country?
A: No, It is indicated in the Window 2 Call that “Approximately the same level of researcher work time (in man months) on the project is expected between Danish researchers and researchers in the partner country”, but otherwise the current Call (Window 2) does not specify any specific way to split the budget between Denmark and the partner country.
More information concerning the budget will be provided in the Phase 2 invitation and instructions to the pre-qualified applicants.




Q: Regarding the Window 1 proposals, is there any room for demonstrations (implementations) activities? Or should it be same as window 2 projects with a focus on research aspects only?
A: In both Calls it is stated that: ”It must be clear that the proposal constitutes a genuine research project rather than being registration of data, commissioned research, a product development, demonstration project, technology transfer, consultancy, or development project”. Some research projects do include demonstration as part of the research, but the proposal can be rejected if it is not considered “a genuine research project”.