Research programme management
In 2017, the Danida Fellowship Centre ensured the effective implementation of a condensed application round, successfully managed the introduction of a new funding window, facilitated the bridging of Building Stronger Universities (BSU) from Phases 2 to 3, and took steps to further promote the exchange of knowledge and results from and between research collaboration projects.
Shortened application rounds and a new window for support
The previous two-phased application round of 21 months was reduced to 12 months in order to shorten the interval from project idea to funding. In Phase 1, a total number of 205 applications were received for research collaboration projects in Danida’s priority countries from research-based institutions in Denmark, Ghana, and Tanzania (Window 1). The large number of applications received was most likely a result of the government’s cancellation of the 2016 application round. At the same time, a new window of support (Window 2) was introduced for grants to research collaboration projects in the emerging economies with which Denmark collaborates under the Strategic Sector Cooperation Facility. 51 applications were received for research projects within this new funding window.
The processing of 256 applications in Phase 1 and 43 prequalified applications in Phase 2, and the identification of around 210 peer reviewers led to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ final selection of 11 projects to be funded in Window 1, and 11 projects in Window 2.
Other activities in 2017 included the administration of on-going project grants, the quality assurance of project reporting, the organisation of thematic meetings in Ghana (“Research and Capacity Development in Partnerships between Ghana and Denmark”) and in Tanzania (“Green Growth, Development and Climate Change”), the dissemination of good stories from the projects, participation in several international seminars and workshops concerning research and research support, and the introduction of mobility grants for research stays in Denmark for researchers from the countries with which Denmark collaborates under the Strategic Sector Cooperation Facility.
A new phase of Building Stronger Universities
The BSU2 projects officially ended in September 2017, after being extended to allow the finalisation of planned activities, including bridging activities to BSU3. The initial reports from the universities involved in BSU2 show that it has led to invigorated administrative research capacity and support across the universities.
The BSU3 programme was officially approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 5 September 2017, following a vast amount of preparation, including onsite visits to the six universities involved, reviews and the circulation of a number of draft project documents.