Home » Window 2 – Research in growth and transition countries

Window 2 – Research in growth and transition countries

Eligible countries

The research must be implemented in a growth and transition country involved in the Strategic Sector Cooperation with Denmark. These are currently Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Project duration and grant

The total budget available for this research window is approximately 60 million DKK. The funding is conditional on approval by the Danish Parliament of the 2019 finance bill.

The expected duration of the projects is from 18 to 36 months with a maximum grant of 5 million DKK for each project. These initial (pilot) projects may be eligible for a subsequent funding phase on the basis of a competitive application round, assuming approval of a funding envelope for additional grants.

Main applicant

Applications can only be submitted by universities or by a research-based institution (public and private) in Denmark, which will be responsible for the grant. The project coordinator must have an affiliation to the applying institution.

At the time of submitting the application, the project coordinator must hold a PhD or equivalent qualification, documented clearly in the CV. Documented evidence that he/she is a Professor, Assistant Professor, or Associate Professor is regarded as equivalent to a PhD.

Experience shows that the project coordinator plays a key role in ensuring that a research collaboration project is successful. An effective engagement/ involvement of the project coordinator will entail a substantial workload, noticeably at the beginning of the project.

It is important that the project coordinator and the research team are able to document relevant scientific merits and qualifications as well as a research background within the topic applied for. A project coordinator may apply for more than one project, but only one project per project coordinator may be approved for this funding window.

Project participants

The application must list all partner institutions, including partners in growth and transition countries and possibly international and private sector partners. At least one researcher from each partner institution (project participant if private sector partner) must be named in the Phase 1 application.

Research collaboration is considered an important means to strengthen research capacity. In order for research partners to benefit from the collaboration, partnerships should be equal, and partners should be able to contribute actively in preparing both Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications. Research applications which have been prepared without the active involvement of partners in growth and transition countries will not be approved. Other important aspects of equal partnerships include joint fieldwork, joint publishing, knowledge sharing, access to databases and libraries, etc.

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 direct costs in relation to the project activities but not overhead expenses. Such partners are encouraged to contribute with additional resources (funding or in-kind) for the projects. International research institutions and research institutions in countries outside Denmark and outside the growth and transition countries can equally be supported by the grant for their direct input to the project activities with no overhead.

As the project duration is only up to three years it is not envisaged that PhD studies can be included. Direct input of ongoing PhD studies may be included.

Research themes

The global 2030 agenda and the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute an important framework for development cooperation and research. Therefore, it is envisaged that research projects and collaboration with respect to the selected research themes will be undertaken within the context of the relevant SDGs and that these will be reflected in the justification for the research proposals.

The thematic focus areas of the Call are country-specific and they have been determined on the basis of the focus of Danish strategic cooperation in the countries. The country-specific themes are as follows:

Bangladesh – Occupational health and safety

The economy of Bangladesh is growing fast and the ready-made garments sector is increasingly important. After major accidents in 2012 and 2013 that left hundreds of workers dead, the international community as well as international companies reacted strongly to ensure strengthened regulations for building construction and fire hazards. However, other aspects of occupational health and safety such as chemical hazards, accidents and manual load handling have not been paid similar attention. The objective of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to improve worker’s occupational health and safety in Bangladesh through strengthening the Ministry of Labour and Employment (BMoLE) and the Department for Inspection of Factories and Establishments (DIFE). This will include capacity development for better inspection and through better information and awareness. Further research to address the improvement of occupational health and safety in broad terms would be appropriate.

Brazil – Intellectual property rights (IPRs)

The overall focus of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to build the capacity of the Brazilian public administration within areas such as organisation, innovation, better regulation through quality management and control, as well as digitalisation through the introduction and adaptation of Danish best practices. A particular focus will be on intellectual property rights (IPRs), and will aim to enhance cooperation between the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) and its counterpart in Brazil, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). The handling of an excessive number of patent and trademark cases is a problem that affects the Brazilian economy negatively. Enhancing the capacity of the Brazilian IPR infrastructure and making it easier for companies to protect and enforce their rights in Brazil is important as “knowledge intensive” companies consider this a relevant parameter when deciding where to invest. Further research into intellectual property rights would be beneficial.

Brazil – Healthcare management and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Brazil faces challenges in guaranteeing timely and good quality healthcare for all, not least due to a rapidly aging population and a major transition in terms of disease burden from predominantly infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims to ensure better, faster and universal access to quality healthcare services and products by supporting the development of more efficient healthcare management, focusing e.g. on improving productivity in the health sector and on initiatives to achieve better patient security and quality treatment, efficient daily operations and optimal long-term design of the different health care activities. Non-exhaustive focus areas are improving healthcare through better use of data and improving healthcare by introducing efficient and transparent approval processes for pharmaceuticals, taking into account the overall licensing principles of quality, safety and security. Further research into these topics could be undertaken.

China – Food safety and sustainable agriculture

Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) on this theme is divided into tracks:

• Dealing with food safety, entailing the establishment of a China-Denmark food safety control cooperation platform, to provide basic technical support for supervision and to assist the authorities in achieving safer production, improving the food safety levels and ensuring public health. Two themes dealing with food safety regulation and standards have been identified where the experience and lessons of one country can be used in the other: i) legislation and regulations on supervision; and, ii) food safety testing and the evaluation technology used in laboratories.

• Dealing with animal manure as fertiliser, in which the aim is to develop regulatory guidelines together with the Chinese authorities. Inspiration on how to set-up a regulatory system that aims to create more efficient and more environmentally friendly arable production will be the main deliverable. Two themes dealing with the practical aspects of manure handling and the regulatory aspects at administrative level have been identified, in which Danish experience and lessons learned can be modified to the Chinese context: i) handling, storage and application of manure; and, ii) regulatory guidelines for promoting the use of manure.

Further research to address the improvement of food safety systems as well as the efficient and sustainable use of waste from agricultural production would be highly relevant.

China – Sustainable urban development

The city of Beijing is struggling with a wide range of urban challenges such as traffic congestion, air pollution, water scarcity, cloudbursts/heavy rains, flooding and life-style diseases such as diabetes. Encouraged by the immense public demand for a healthier environment, Beijing has reached out to the city of Copenhagen to help tackle sustainability issues. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) focuses on three main themes: i) sustainable urban development (including infrastructure development, waste management and green energy); ii) climate change adaptation and water management; and, iii) diabetes. Through this cooperation it is intended to support specific urban development projects in Beijing, e.g. the development of the Qinglong Hutong or new Eco-city areas, as well as the improvement of the regulatory framework, plans and strategies for sustainable urban development. Thus, research into the dynamics of sustainable cities would also be valuable.

China – Water management and air pollution

There are many serious water resource and environmental problems in China. Key challenges are the lack of enforcement of legislation and weak implementation of government strategies and policies at decentral level. Highest priorities are: i) water resource scarcity, groundwater and surface water management, including flood management; ii) law enforcement on air pollution from traffic and industry; and, iii) law enforcement and investment strategies regarding wastewater. The aim of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to enhance the capacity to address some of these challenges in a holistic and integrated way with input from Danish experiences and technological solutions. In this context there is a focus on knowledge building in the Chinese institutions responsible for development of guidelines and monitoring as well as enforcement of environmental standards as expressed in two national action plans: Water Ten and Air Ten. Further research into these topics would be appropriate.

China – Primary health care and approval and control of medicines

Health services in China are characterised by lack of coordination across a complex healthcare system, lack of qualified staff, weak gatekeeping functions and poor referral and counter-referral systems contributing to ineffective access to public services, insufficient detection or delays in diagnostics, unmet needs and long waiting times. Citizens living in rural areas are affected the most by these challenges. The aim of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to enhance capacities of the authorities within policy and regulatory development for integrated health care. Two projects have been designed.

The first deals with regulations and policies in the field of medicines and medical devices. Five main topics of cooperation are envisaged: i) authorisation of medicines; ii) laboratory control of medicines; iii) medical devices; iv) inspections; and v) quality management. Research proposals would focus on comparative studies in drug development regulatory systems and clinical trial regulations including applied science with regard to upgrading existing policies, infrastructure and regulations.

The second concerns quality and capacity development in the primary health sector, dealing with the role of the primary health care in early detection and treatment as well as cooperation and coherence between specialized health services including hospitals and the primary health care facilities such as Community Health Service Centres. Furthermore there is a focus on: i) mental health with an emphasis on outpatient treatment of lighter, non-psychotic mental disorders such as depression, dementia and anxiety; and ii) Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) with an emphasis on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and skin diseases. Research proposals would focus on the development of the primary health care system within the area of NCDs and/or mental health.

Colombia – Veterinary and food safety

The aim of the first phase of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to assist the Colombian authorities in improving the veterinary and food safety systems within pig value chains thereby contributing to safer production and products, a positive impact on public health, increased national pig production and access to the global market for pig meat. There is an emphasis on issues related to the regulatory framework and technical practices. In the second phase two new topics have been introduced: animal welfare and capacity building of small scale pig producers in post-conflict Colombia. Thus, research encompassing socio-economic dynamics and related to post-conflict areas would be relevant. Within the context of the SDGs, the gender dimension in improved production systems is also important.

 Ghana – Maritime safety and environment

The Gulf of Guinea is the key trade route and an important livelihood resource for both Ghana and West Africa. A major challenge is to ensure that the economic potential of the Gulf is realised in a sustainable and safe manner. The overall objective of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to build capacity and strengthen the framework conditions for the maritime sector in Ghana through government-to-government cooperation. The specific purposes are to enhance the capabilities in key maritime institutions in Ghana and to promote a maritime regulatory and enforcement environment, which is in compliance with international standards. Thus, research themes could include maritime security and the commercial and economic impact of piracy, the sustainable use of the maritime domain (such as fisheries and the coastal environment) as well as the socio-economic impact of port expansion and other maritime infrastructure investments.

India – Smart city water management

India is facing rapid urbanisation with an expected increase in the urban population of 400 million by 2040. The Government is tackling this challenge by upgrading a hundred cities through a smart cities programme, which includes water management. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) entails working with the city authorities of Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan in efforts to improve urban water management by identifying efficient strategies and plans in an integrated and sustainable manner. Danish partners are Aarhus Municipality and the water utility Aarhus Vand A/S. The focus is on several sub-sectors including efficient and safe water supply, non-revenue water remediation, sustainable waste water management including sewage treatment and the remediation of lakes and rivers (in Udaipur). It is also intended to use the experiences and lessons from Udaipur to reach the national policy level. Research into smart cities water management would be appropriate.

India – renewable energy

Towards 2040 India is expected to account for 30 percent of the total global increase in energy demand. In accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement (UNFCCC) on climate change, the Indian government has developed an ambitious nationally determined contribution (NDC) which includes: 40 percent of cumulative power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy sources by 2030, and reduced emissions intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level. The renewable energy capacity in India is around 71 GW but the government target for 2022 is 175 GW and for 2030, 500 GW. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims at assisting with the rapid rolling out of renewable energy. The focus will be on the development of offshore wind (5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030) while simultaneously offering assistance to increase grid integration of renewable energy. In addition areas such as waste-to-energy, biomass energy, energy efficiency, on- and offshore wind R&D and testing, energy storage solutions, electric mobility and fuel cells are high priority topics where there is considerable scope for research.

Indonesia – Circular economy and solid waste management

Indonesia is facing serious waste challenges especially in large and rapidly growing cities. City governments have to deal with increasing amounts of solid waste in inadequate waste management systems. Challenges include the lack of capacity among the many different responsible authorities to enforce the waste regulations, lack of awareness on waste reduction, recycling and the benefits of circular economy amongst the government the private sector and the general public. There is also a lack of separate financing mechanisms for waste management. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims to improve municipal solid waste management and resource efficiency to address environmental, economic and health issues. Research is needed to: i) model the concept of circular economy with various Indonesian stakeholders; and ii) address specific topics within solid waste management, such as the collection, separation and treatment of organic waste, replicating best Indonesian practices through national government regulation and improving the knowledge base by collecting more and better waste data at national level.

Indonesia – renewable energy

There are plans to increase power generation capacity in Indonesia by over 50-60 percent in the next five years, with a significant share from coal-fired facilities. An increased focus on renewables and on energy savings can contribute to the overall objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent by 2030. Intensifying the use of expertise pertaining to renewable energy and energy efficiency is a key component of strategic sector cooperation (SSC). Within this framework, activities have been developed around energy modelling, planning and integration. Another topic is interconnection and developing smart grids to increase flexibility, robustness and energy security. Further research on energy modelling, the integration of renewable energy and energy markets could complement these efforts.

Iran – Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

With the lifting of the economic sanctions in January 2016, Iran – with its 80 million inhabitants – is an interesting market for international investment. Enhancing the capacity of the Iranian intellectual property rights (IPRs) infrastructure and making it easier for companies to protect and enforce their rights in Iran will be important as “knowledge intensive” companies consider this a relevant parameter when deciding where they put their investments. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) between Denmark and Iran addresses constraints in relation to the protection and enforcement of IPRs, focusing on institution building, legal alignment, capacity building and awareness raising. The overall objective is to enhance the capacity of the Iranian institutions to protect and enforce IPRs. Further research in this field would be beneficial.

Kenya – Green growth and the circular economy in the manufacturing sector

Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims to support and strengthen opportunities for Kenya to pursue green growth in its manufacturing sector. The focus is on operational perspectives for enforcement and compliance, spatial planning, policy development and systemic change, with the underlying assumption that a strong public-private dialogue and collaboration is a positive lever for change. The overall technical focus is green and circular manufacturing in existing and new industries. This includes developing resource efficient and cleaner production processes, product design, solid waste management practices, wastewater management and industrial symbiosis. An established public private partnership comprising research institutions, public authorities and 35 diverse manufacturing companies located in a mixed industrial area with human settlements is the key practical basis for the SSC. Further research into the circular economy in manufacturing would be appropriate.

Kenya – Veterinary and food safety

The objective of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) is to improve the food safety, food quality and ability to further process healthy food originating from the horticulture and dairy sectors with emphasis on the control of residues and certain contaminants for the benefit of the Kenyan population and for increased export. This entails introducing a more risk-based and preventive approach to food safety aligned with a value chain focus. Food safety issues are addressed in three ways: i) regulatory and operational capacity building in food and feed safety authorities; ii) the development of the food and feed safety control system with an emphasis on value added in the dairy sector; and, iii) development of the food safety control system with an emphasis on value added in the fresh fruit and vegetable produce sectors. Further research on these topics would be beneficial.

Mexico – Primary healthcare and non-communicable diseases

Several major development challenges are currently threatening Mexico’s healthcare system, including inter alia: i) a shift in disease burden from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and mental illnesses; ii) inequality in access to quality health services deriving from a fragmented healthcare system characterised by multiple providers; and iii) incoherence in primary healthcare. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims at strengthening the primary healthcare system in Mexico in the light of the shared challenges in Denmark and Mexico resulting from a growing burden of NCDs and mental illnesses. Three complementary result areas are included: communication and referral mechanisms; IT-systems and digital communication; and efficient use of data equipment and telemedicine. Further research on these topics would be beneficial.

Mexico – Veterinary and food safety

The Mexican government aims to strengthen the pig production value chain with the purpose of achieving greater food safety and job creation, and to increase the supply of pig meat for both the home market and for exports. Mexican pig production is characterized by insufficient use and sharing of production and veterinary data, thus hampering the development of an efficient and safe production. In addition, there is potential for better documentation of the processes within the value chain, in order to facilitate the development of relevant programmes and policies based on information “from farm to fork” (i.e. traceability). In this context the focus of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) with Mexico is to improve productivity and food safety within the value chain for pork production.  By strengthening the use of data in the value chain and identifying the relevant data to be produced, collected, managed and used, as well as the dataflow in the farm to fork perspective, the objective is to support the development of a more knowledge-based production and facilitate increased intra-sector cooperation within the value chain. Further investigation of the value chain would be beneficial.

Myanmar – Occupational health and safety and labour market reform

In 2011 the government of Myanmar initiated a comprehensive reform process aimed at achieving a more democratic, market-based and socially equal society with prosperity for all. Since 2014, labour market reform has been given priority with the explicit aim of promoting sustainable growth and development. At this point in the reform process, however, there is a need to better understand how the strengthening of labour market institutions can contribute to promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, including what are currently the barriers and potential drivers for realizing this potential. A particular focus in occupational health and safety research should be given to small and medium-sized enterprises.

South Africa – Sustainable SMART urban development

Skewed and segregated socio-spatial planning during the Apartheid era has resulted in “disintegrated” and fragmented South African cities. As a result the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) is experiencing rapid population growth, urban sprawl and inner city dilapidation. This puts an immense pressure on the administration to transform the social and urban landscape and deliver services, housing, infrastructure, safety and employment opportunities. Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) aims to address these challenges and is expected to strengthen capacities to develop sustainable SMART solutions for urban planning. The collaboration draws on City of Aarhus’s best practice planning tools, experiences with innovative project organisation as well as world class technical solutions. Private sector developers and knowledge institutions in both countries are an integrated part of the collaboration with regard to technical solutions, knowledge transfer and capacity building. The focus of the SSC is on: a) green and non-motorised transport; b) water; c) public spaces; d) mixed-use developments; and e) housing. Research into the dynamics of sustainable cities would be a valuable complement to these efforts.

Turkey – Energy: renewables and district heating and cooling

Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) with Turkey encompasses two related themes.

Firstly, there is a focus on efficient, low-carbon heating and cooling systems. Roughly one third of the energy consumed in Turkey is today used for heating and cooling purposes. The authorities are aiming to promote the use of energy efficient and low carbon heating and cooling systems. Currently heat is mostly provided in individual or building-level heating systems and most systems are powered with fossil fuels. Relatively few district energy systems are found. Combining heat and power and utilising surplus heat in industry are likely to have a significant unused potential. Looking at the most suitable renewable energy sources for district heating and cooling, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass and waste-to-energy have to be considered in Turkey. Thus, research is needed to explore opportunities for developing energy efficient and low carbon solutions within heating and cooling.

Secondly, there is a focus on both offshore and onshore wind as renewable energy sources. Onshore wind has undergone rapid development during recent years. Since 2017 8.2 GW of new capacity was added in the power sector – 65 percent of this was renewable energy. Based on cooperation with respect to heating and cooling, the national energy authorities have specifically requested support for the expansion of the offshore wind sector and the preparation of an offshore roadmap. With sea on three sides of the country there is likely to be a significant wind potential to harvest. In addition to offshore it is likely that onshore wind also will be included in the SSC. Research could be designed to examine ways of using wind energy in Turkey’s electricity grid and the overall energy mix, balancing green wind electricity on the grid, looking into energy storage and using wind energy in heating and cooling networks.

Vietnam – Veterinary and food safety

Strategic sector cooperation (SSC) includes a focus on food safety in the pig value chain. A key concern is the routine use of antibiotics and other compounds to manage diseases in order to achieve productivity and biosecurity outcomes. Solutions to better manage this and reduce the amount of antibiotics used could include hygiene, biosecurity and disease surveillance measures as well as the prevention of diseases through vaccination. Research is needed to help establish how such measures – along with prudent use practices consistent with a “one health” approach – may be implemented. This would include determining the actual disease risk and status, current livestock farming and antibiotics usage practices, as well as the prevalence and risk of antimicrobial resistance with a view to making recommendations on pathways to improved disease prevention and control practices. It is recommended that the research be inter-disciplinary, include an analysis of the role of relevant stakeholders in achieving behavioural change and focus on developing innovative solutions that will work in the Vietnamese context.

Vietnam – Health care and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

The prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in primary healthcare is in focus through strategic sector cooperation (SSC). In Vietnam, as in many low and middle-income countries, the existing healthcare system is oriented towards infectious diseases. As a result, the system is poorly equipped to handle the growing prevalence of NCDs. There are direct consequences for especially for the poor, who are affected by the diseases and by lack of access to prevention and long-term care. A reorientation of the healthcare system with investment in the prevention and treatment of NCDs at the primary level and with new attention to patient self-care and involvement is underway. An essential prerequisite for success in this field is knowledge on how NCDs are experienced and handled by patients, relatives and healthcare professionals. Further research would be beneficial.

Vietnam – Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Literacy among Vietnam’s adult workforce is widespread and more so than in other countries, including wealthier ones. However, inadequate skills of job applicants (a “skills gap”) and scarcity of workers in other occupations (a “skills shortage”) are both identified as major challenges in the next step of industrialisation. The focus of strategic sector cooperation (SSC) has been on vocational education and training, supporting an enhanced coherence between the Vietnamese TVET system and the labour market addressing skill-gaps and future skills needs. Relevant line ministries and their regional branches are supported to develop tools and mechanisms to implement the parts of the strategy focusing on enhanced cooperation between schools, companies and authorities. Research is needed to assess strategic as well as concrete interests and opportunities for companies and educational institutions to engage in and influence these gaps and shortages in view of the rapid socio-economic and structural development, ongoing privatization and significant international integration of the economy.

See under ”Useful links” for information concerning the Danish Strategic Sector Cooperation and the role of sector counsellors.

Description of project idea

The description of the project idea must be structured according to the indicated headings and in the stated order. All headings must be used and none added. It is important to ensure that the application is clear and focused, and although there are no requirements regarding the length of each section in the project description, the project description as a whole must not exceed 4 pages (10,000 characters, including spacing) plus references.

The pilot projects must contain actual research activities addressing a research question within the announced research theme in the chosen country. Preparation of a possible application for a subsequent funding phase could constitute part of the pilot project.

Heading 1: State of the art, rationale, and relevance

Background to project objectives:
• Based on a state of the art literature review and a broader development rationale, explain how the research project will provide new knowledge in the scientific field concerned;
• Highlight how the proposed project relates to prior and on-going research in the specific field about which the applicant is aware;

Describe the project’s importance in relation to:
• The chosen research theme;
• National development priorities in the partner country related to specific Sustainable Development Goal(s);
• The strategic sector cooperation. Include an indication of the strategic relevance for the proposed partner institution(s), notably their envisaged involvement in terms of time and resources in the project;
• Relevance towards the public and/or private sector where appropriate.

Heading 2: Objectives and results expected

• Describe project objectives, including clearly identified research questions and possibly research hypotheses;
• List the main expected scientific results and an indication of the research capacity strengthening.

Heading 3: Indicative project methodology

Outline the methodology, research design, and approach to research capacity strengthening in general terms.

Assessment criteria

A Consultative Research Committee for Development Research (FFU) is tasked with assisting the MFA by providing professional and scientific advice in relation to research applications. See under “Useful links” for more information.

The FFU assesses Phase 1 applications on the basis of three criteria as described below: i) scientific quality; ii) relevance, and iii) the potential effect of the research.

The scientific quality of the proposal is evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
The research experience and qualifications of the project coordinator and the team;
The originality and innovative nature of the project, in terms of generating new knowledge and results.

The relevance of the proposal is evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
The focus of the project is well-defined with respect to the announced research theme in the chosen partner country;
The project contributes to the overall objectives of the Danish strategic sector cooperation in the country;
Preferably, the project includes public and private sector partners.

The effect of the research is evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
The potential direct effects with respect to the selected sustainable development goal (s);
The effects of the project in terms of the partnerships with public and private sector which could take the research to the next step;
Strengthened research capacity, which should add value for both the Danish and the partner institution.

It must be clear that the proposal constitutes a genuine research project rather than being a registration of data, commissioned research, a product development, demonstration project, technology transfer, consultancy, or development project.

On the basis of the FFU assessment, MFA makes a decision on which applicants should be invited to apply in Phase 2 of the selection process. In Phase 2, feasibility of the proposed research project will also be a criterion for assessment. Refer to “Useful links” for Phase 2 guidelines from 2018.

The scientific quality of the Phase 2 applications will be assessed by the FFU and approved by the Innovation Fund Denmark, cf. section 5, subsection 1 of the Act on Innovation Fund Denmark no. 306 of March 29, 2014, amended in Act no. 384 of April 26, 2017.

If the total number of qualified applications exceeds the available funding allocation, the MFA will select the best projects based on the FFU assessment of the above criteria and consider an even distribution between the countries. In that case, normally no more than three applications from one country will be invited to apply in Phase 2. If and when required, the MFA will conduct a hearing process in accordance with § 19 of the Danish Public Administration Act.

MFA may make the processing of new applications by the project coordinator conditional on compliance with the terms and conditions of previous MFA grants, including if the total time allocation for a researcher on several projects exceeds what is considered feasible.

Application process

Capture W2

Project costs

In the Phase 1 application an estimate of the grant applied for must be indicated. The total grant cannot exceed 5 million DKK for an 18-36 months’ project. Other funding sources and an estimated total project cost should be indicated.

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. It is expected that research institutions partner countries will provide a monetary or in-kind contribution to the project (salaries, equipment or materials). The actual level of co-funding expected will be agreed during preparations for phase 2 applications. In a possible subsequent project after the pilot project, it would be expected that a substantial co-funding is provided from public or private partners. Co-funding from the Main Applicant is encouraged.

For international research institutions and partners in countries outside the growth and transition country, the budget can only include salaries and travel expenses covering their direct input to the project activities, and no administration fees can be covered. For private sector partners and national authorities the budget can cover their direct costs, but no overhead.

Eligible costs

It will be possible to apply for funding for the following budget items:
• Salaries and emoluments;
• Expenses for trips abroad and fieldwork;
• Project and research materials and equipment;
• Publication, dissemination and communication;
• Administration fees (overhead);
• Research stays in Denmark for researchers from partner institutions of up to six months’ duration;
• Annual external audit and a final project audit.

Guiding principles for budgeting in Phase 2 is available under “Useful links”.

E-application information and content
Submission of a Phase 1 application must be done via DFC’s e-application system. The e-application system is accessible here.

Before the electronic application system is accessible, you will need to register yourself with your e-mail address and password – log on the link “If you have not previously used Danida Fellowship Centre’s electronic application system click here”. If you have several e-mail addresses, please note that acknowledgement of receipt of the application will be sent to the e-mail address used as your user name in the system. Shortly after submitting the application, the applicant will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt. If the acknowledgement is not received within 24 hours, the applicant should send an e-mail to research@dfcentre.dk to ensure that the application has been received before the deadline.

• To create an application, select the application form “W2 Research in growth and transition countries phase 1″.
• Once you have created an application form, you can save and resume work at any time by accessing the “Edit” box at the log-in page to the right.
• If you have forgotten your password, please type any password in the box, and by doing this, an e-mail with your correct password will be sent to your e-mail address.
• Your partners can access the application by using the same e-mail address and password.

The Phase 1 application must comprise the completed e-application form, CVs and signatures.

All steps (including Step 1A) in the e-application form must be completed, and the application and appendices must be completed in English. Only the required appendices will be considered. The total volume of the appendices must not exceed 25 MB. The appendices must be named: “Appendix (letter) – name of project coordinator”.

Appendix A – CVs: A front page of the appendix must be inserted, listing the CVs of the project coordinator and all other researchers and project participants named in the application Step 1A, listed in the order in which they appear.

The CVs must specify the scientific qualifications, managerial skills, and experience from developing countries, and must include a list of key publications and patents relevant for the application. The length of the CVs must be no more than 2 pages per person. Signature on CVs is not required.

The table of contents and all CVs must be compiled in a single PDF file in which each CV starts on a new page.

Appendix B – Signatures: This appendix must include scanned signatures of the project coordinator and the Head of the Responsible Institution/Department as per template (available in the e-application form, Step 5) and be uploaded as a PDF file.

Some upload actions can be slow and take several minutes, if there is a large load on the system, so please be patient when working in the application form. It is advised not to wait until the last minute before deadline to submit the application.


Applicants should familiarize themselves with the following before using the e-application system and submitting an application.

The responsibility of the applying institution
The applying institution is responsible for ensuring that all information in the e-application is correct, that the required appendices are uploaded with the e-application, that the contents of the appendices are correct and that the e-application has been submitted before the deadline of the Call.

It is not possible to make corrections to an e-application after it has been submitted, except for corrections related to the personal information such as change of e-mail address.

In the event of any subsequent material changes affecting the information submitted, the applying institution must immediately notify the Research Unit at DFC at research@dfcentre.dk.

The application must reflect possible legal, regulatory or ethical issues and considerations, including required standards or authorization requirements (such as production standards, quality systems, scientific ethics, data handling and protection, use of animals), as well as research permits, provision of information to relevant authorities, etc., and a plan for obtaining these.

Storage of information and data protection
When the e-application system is used, the system will automatically register the applicant’ identity, IP address, and the time at which the application was created or edited. All personal data will be processed, stored and deleted in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the DFC Privacy Policy. We also refer to the privacy policy of Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish) being the institution approving the selection of applications for funding.

Technical disclaimer

The Danida Fellowship Centre is obliged to inform prospectively applicants of any system errors that make the e-application system unavailable, affecting the applicant’s possibility of submitting e-applications within any deadlines. Information regarding such unavailability, and other unforeseen events, will be posted on the DFC website.

The Danida Fellowship Centre accepts no liability for incorrect information due to software errors, calculation errors, transmission errors and similar errors, or for any claims for damages due to incorrect use of the e-application system.

Rejection of applications without substantive consideration

According to Section 6 of the Executive Order on the granting function etc. under Innovation Fund Denmark (Executive Order no 1150 of 25 October 2017), an application may be rejected by DFC without substantive consideration by the FFU and the Ministry, if the formal requirements (to the eligibility of applicants and countries, and to the application and attachments) or deadlines, as set out in this Call for applications, are not met.

Other data which may be obtained by official bodies

The MFA and the FFU reserve the right to obtain information about any previous and current applications which an applicant may have submitted to the FFU, and this information may be included in processing of the e-application.

In the event that project funding has been or will be applied for from elsewhere, the MFA and the FFU reserve the right to obtain information as to whether the amount has been granted.

Use of funding for other purposes

The MFA may, at its discretion, decide that a proportion of the funding available is to be used for other research cooperation.


Once the submitted Phase 1 applications have been processed, an announcement will be made on the DFC website, as to who have been invited to submit a Phase 2 application. In support of that announcement, the following information may be published on the internet: applicant’ name, title, workplace, title of application, and expected application amount. The purpose of this is to enable applicants to apprise themselves of other prospective programme applicants and research activities and possibly form their own networks with a view to submitting joint applications.

Information about applicants who are not invited to submit a Phase 2 application may be disclosed in the event that access is applied for according to the Danish Public Records Act (Offentlighedsloven). Access to such information may be granted in the form of lists of who has applied and for what purpose (applicant names and application titles). Applicants should, therefore, take care that their application title does not reveal information about the activity which they wish to keep out of the public domain.