Call for Research Proposals: Global Development Awards Competition 2021

Deadline: June 9, 2021

The Global Development Network (GDN) invites researchers from low-income or middle-income countries to submit research proposals within the theme, ‘International trade and the promotion of biodiversity,’ for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD).

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2021. The Awards Competition is administered by GDN and supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals in low-income or middle-income countries with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.


  • The three winning projects will receive grants worth US$ 45,000.
  • Finalists will be invited to join a communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury, which will decide which research proposal to award.

A physical event is planned in 2021 for the presentations to the high-level Jury by the finalists, if conditions allow it, and projects are expected to start on 15 Jan 2022. In case social distancing policies do not make travelling possible, the event will be held on a virtual setting. The awards will be given to the researcher(s) whose proposals hold the greatest promise for improving our understanding of development issues and puts forth clear, articulate and well researched policy implications to address relevant developmental problems.


  • Eligible countries for the ORD competition are those classified by the World Bank as low-income or middle-income countries . The competition is open only to researchers who are citizens or permanent residents of these countries. The applicants (including team members) can be asked to submit proof of their citizenship and residency through documents with legal standing, at any point during the competition. Please note that all personal information details as provided in the application (and CV) should be factually correct, else the application will be liable for disqualification. The information on the Identity Card will remain strictly confidential with GDN.
  • The upper age limit for all applicants is 45 years as of 20 July 2021. Individuals above 45 years of age as of 20 July 2021 are not eligible to apply.
  • The proposal should not be receiving or scheduled to receive funds from other sources to be eligible for consideration for the ORD unless it is clearly explained how the additional funds provided by the ORD would reinforce the existing funds for successful completion of the research.
  • Staff members of multilateral and bilateral organizations (The World Bank, IMF, IADB, UN agencies, UKAid, etc.) are not eligible to apply.
  • Previous and current employees of GDN or its Regional Network Partners are not eligible to apply up till 5 years from the completion of their tenure. Previous GDN Board Members, project mentors and members of evaluation teams are not eligible to apply.
  • Similar proposals or papers resulting as products from full or partial GDN funded activities (Global Research Projects and other competitions not limited to Regional Research Competitions, Global Research Competitions etc.), cannot be submitted for this competition.
  • Past ORD winners and finalists are not eligible to apply with the same or similar research proposal. Additionally, winners are not eligible to apply for a period of 3 years subsequent to the end of their agreement with GDN.

Review Criteria

Throughout the review process, the proposals will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Academic quality
    • Quality of the research question formulated
    • Quality of methodology and methods chosen to answer the research question
    • Quality of literature review
    • Originality and Innovativeness
    • Ethics
  • Clarity of the links to policy
    • Link to specific development outcomes
    • Specific relevance to policy process
  • Feasibility
    • Timeline
    • Budget
    • Research team
    • Impact of social distancing policies


Click here to apply.

For more information, visit Global Development Awards.