ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) Evidence Synthesis Research Awards (ESRA

) specification
Overview ..................................................................................................................................................... 2 Background ................................................................................................................................................. 2 ESRA aims and themes ............................................................................................................................. 3 ESRA activities and outputs ..................................................................................................................... 4 Funding terms and conditions ................................................................................................................. 6 Application process ................................................................................................................................... 7 Assessment criteria ................................................................................................................................... 8 Stage 1 - Eligibility check ...................................................................................................................... 8 Stage 2 - Assessment ............................................................................................................................ 8 Indicative timetable and further enquiries............................................................................................ 8

1

Only applications submitted via the ‘Evidence Synthesis Research Awards (ESRA) application form’ with a two-page CV for each named individual involved and a completed financial template will be accepted. and applicants are encouraged to show creativity in their plans for presenting their findings. Additional outputs are possible. The deadline for applications to be submitted is 16.esrc. Each ESRA funds a study that reviews and synthesises evidence on an identified theme that has been generated by scheme-funded research. The primary aim of the scheme is to fund world-class scientific research which has the potential for impact on policy and practice for poverty reduction. via the online application form www. which will be assessed on its individual merits in competition with other applications on that theme. Background DFID and ESRC formed a strategic partnership in August 2005 to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development and to enhance the quality and impact of social science research on poverty reduction: the ESRC/DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. and a full report with executive summary and annotated bibliography. Each ESRA will be worth up to £30. . It seeks to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development and to enhance the quality and impact of social science research on poverty reduction.Overview The ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) aims to fund world-class research from across the social sciences with high potential for impact on policy and practice in low income countries.aspx. All awards will commence between 1 April and 1 June 2014. Award holders must produce a short summary document that pulls out the headline findings and recommendations from their study. Evidence Synthesis Research Awards (ESRAs) assist the scheme in these aims.00 on 28 January 2014 (UK time). and must be completed within six months of the start of the award. but must submit a separate application for each proposed ESRA study. ESRA awards in this round will address one of five themes relevant to international development and poverty alleviation research: • • • • • research methods gender children and young people governance health. and identifies key gaps to be considered in future scheme research calls. assesses its existing and potential contribution to the scheme’s aims. Applicants may apply for more than one ESRA.000.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/fundingopportunities/ESRA-application.

to invest in a diversity of methods.2 million (£41. A total of 101 small to medium scale poverty-focused research projects have been funded through six competitive research calls under Phases 1 and 2. Phase 2 from 2009 to 2016. Following a desktop review of scheme-funded research to date. resources have also been allocated within the scheme to develop mechanisms to draw out lessons from what is a diverse portfolio of research projects. with 14 further projects recently awarded funding under phase 3. qualitative and mixed-method approaches have been utilised by scheme research. The total scheme funding across all three phases amounts to £66. As well as funding individual projects. In particular. Some scheme-funded projects have explicitly focused on developing innovative methods and methodologies to approach international development questions. and document any potential or actual impact generated. while others have applied established methods to new areas of research. as well as to increase its diversity. governance and health. five topics have been identified by ESRC-DFID as the themes to be covered in this round of ESRA.one focused on social protection. children and young people.8 million from DFID and £24 million from ESRC). and to encourage multi/inter-disciplinary research. In addition. in 2012 we funded two ESRA studies . Following this. They have been selected for their relevance to the scheme’s aims and significance in relation to international development research in general. ESRA aims and themes Each ESRA study will review the evidence generated from ESRC-DFID funded research in relation to one of the five themes in order to achieve three key aims: • • • To draw out commonalities and contrasts in research findings To assess the research’s existing and potential contribution to the overall scheme’s aims To identify key gaps for consideration in the development of future scheme research calls. We are commissioning an Evidence and Policy Group (EPG). gender. Details of scheme-funded projects can be found at: http://www.esrc. in what contexts. and cover both the conduct and substantive focus of scheme-funded research: Research methods A major scheme objective is to improve the quality of social science for development. identify key gaps in knowledge. A third phase was announced in 2012 with funding up to 2019.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/international-funding/esrcdfid/research-projects. we wish to identify trends in how. which will lead on securing and enhancing the uptake and impact on policy and practice of scheme-funded research.to outline the knowledge generated on these themes. and with what success and challenge quantitative. highlight methodologies used.ac.Research has been funded in a series of phases: Phase 1 provided funding from 2005 to 2010. we wish to commission a second round of ESRA studies focused on five further themes: research methods. and one on food security . We have particularly sought to promote greater attention to and reporting of methodology. .

consensus has still not been reached on a number of critical questions. While globally people’s health is improving. Successful applicants will need to . Research is also needed on the development of new solutions to global health problems. ESRC-DFID scheme-funded research has focused on various elements of the relationship between health and poverty at individual. While the importance of investing in this area is increasingly acknowledged. including the relationship between health and poverty. including notions of causality. national and regional levels. combining with other inequalities to result in disadvantage and exclusion for many young people. Governance The relationship between institutions and development has been a central focus of governance research over the last decade. and to health experiences at the individual level. and the ‘youth bulge’ affecting many developing countries. national and international institutions and governance processes. Much scheme-funded research has direct and indirect findings on governance. there remain sizeable research and evidence gaps on what strategies and interventions work. including any similarities or differences between the two. and the relationship between state and society. We will provide successful award holders with details of scheme projects whose research explicitly focuses on these themes. and in evidence generated on other topics of likely relevance to children and young people.Gender ESRC and DFID recognise gender as a cross-cutting structural inequality that is a key stumbling block to human development and poverty reduction. and by requiring all applicants to consider and address gender as a cross-cutting issue. However. and we are interested in evidence generated in relation to local. household. We wish to evaluate schemefunded research related to both health systems and delivery mechanisms. work is needed to improve access to existing treatments for those living in poverty. Investing in children and young people is likely to have both short and long term benefits in terms of poverty reduction and economic development. The scheme seeks to address this both by funding research which explicitly addresses such questions. localisation. Children and young people With the largest global generation of young people in history. However. and where and why to promote gender equality. community. universality vs. Understanding the distribution of opportunities and benefits and the processes. their cross-cutting nature means that relevant findings may have been generated beyond this initial pool. issues around childhood and youth present challenges but also opportunities in relation to poverty reduction. Age is widely recognised as a structural inequality. Health Health is widely recognised as central to poverty reduction. incentives and interactions involved is critical to effective poverty reduction programming. We wish to identify trends in evidence generated both through scheme projects directly addressing gender and those in which it functions as a cross-cutting issue. particularly young women. the political economy’s role in shaping development outcomes. marginalisation and in fragile or post-conflict states. We are interested both in evidence generated through scheme-funded research that directly explores aspects and experiences of their lives.

the following: • • Stand-alone summary (maximum 4 A4 pages) setting out key findings Full report including: o executive summary o aim of the synthesis o methods used in the synthesis o summary of research projects funded with relevance to the topic. and what are these? How has scheme research impacted on policy/ practice and research in relation to the theme? Each ESRA study should focus on both completed and in-progress research produced by projects funded through the scheme. research questions considered and other relevant information o findings of synthesis study related to questions set out above o conclusions and implications. and each study should address this issue throughout. but are not limited to. and highlight gaps and opportunities for future development. ESRA outputs must include. geographical focus. ESRA activities and outputs In order to achieve the aims of the ESRA. including number. published articles and grey literature by DFID-ESRC award holders in relation to one of the identified themes Review the documentation comprehensively to answer the following questions: o What approaches and methodologies has scheme-funded research used to generate knowledge on this theme? What commonalities. including suggestions for DFID-ESRC o annotated bibliography listing all references (research outputs from the scheme) used with a one or two paragraph summary of the research context and findings. • . identify potential and actual impact on this context by scheme research. with input from the scheme secretariat. We are particularly interested in identifying areas of innovation within scheme-funded research. specifically advising on content and potential audiences. award holders will need to: • • Identify all relevant reports. differences and innovations emerge? o What are the evidence and core findings from scheme-funded research on this theme? o What are the areas of consensus and debate . It should also contextualise the specific findings of scheme-funded research within broader trends in international development research on the relevant theme. Authors must co-operate with the scheme’s Evidence and Policy Group and the ESRC communications team in the production of other appropriate dissemination materials.do the findings reinforce or contradict each other? If the latter. what are the main differences? o What does scheme-funded research as a whole tell us about the theme? o What are the key gaps in knowledge not covered by the research? o Have any potential or actual impacts been documented.be pro-active in identifying and incorporating other relevant findings from scheme-funded research.

ESRA reports should not assume strong knowledge on the part of the reader and should be prepared to ‘guide’ the reader throughout the paper. in line with the general approach set out in their application. Graphics. We expect applicants to indicate the methods that will be used. Overhead costs may be included in applications up to a percentage of staff costs.oecd. This will enable successful applicants to gain a preliminary overview of the relevant material and develop more specific plans. and we are interested in innovative and creative thinking about how applicants will conduct and present the findings of their ESRA. The amount requested will cover the time spent researching and writing the synthesis. based on the location of the staff member’s organisation: staff members at organisations based in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). and as such will be undertaken via a contract between the successful applicant(s) and the ESRC. detailed workplan for an inception meeting within one month of the start of the award.org/dac/stats/daclistofodarecipients. We are not specifying a methodology for the ESRA.Final reports will be published under the joint ESRC/DFID Scheme.ac. please contact dfid@esrc. however. but anticipate that successful applicants will incorporate direct contact with current/ former principal investigators and other project stakeholders as appropriate. Requests for equipment funding are not anticipated. the maximum permitted overhead rate is 20 per cent of salary.htm) may include overheads of up to 50 per cent of their salary cost. including the research community. ESRC. 1 . other funders and policy research users. for all other staff members. The audiences for these studies are broad. charts and diagrams are likely to be helpful. and applicants are encourage to think carefully about how they will present and communicate their findings. Funding terms and conditions Applications may be made for up to a maximum of £30. Additional outputs can also be incorporated into applications. Further contact with ESRC and DFID is expected at the draft report stage. Costing for attending this meeting should be included in the budget. In addition. The ESRA awards do not fall within the Research Council Full Economic Costing (fEC) mechanism. although the final details of the ESRA workplan will be agreed at an inception meeting within one month of any award starting. If the lead author is not based in the UK. As Research Awards these studies may be exempt from VAT. Authors are also encouraged to plan to publish their work in a peer-reviewed journal. DFID.000 and must be completed within six months of the start of the award. and the cost of attending a meeting is likely to be prohibitive. Low-Income Countries (LICs) and Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) as defined by the DAC list (for the current list see www. the lead author will be asked to attend a meeting with the funders in the UK to present findings in person once the report is completed 1.uk to discuss possible other options for this meeting. as part of achieving the aims of the ESRA. The addition of VAT will be excluded from any value for money assessment. Applicants must clearly set out the approach that they intend to take to undertaking these activities and producing these outputs. All offers of funding will be on the condition that successful projects produce an agreed. it is the supplier’s legal responsibility to apply the correct VAT treatment.

To complete your application you must include the following documents (attach when prompted): • • CVs for all staff to be funded by the project (maximum of two pages for each CV).Researchers may be based in either UK or non-UK organisations with recognised research capacity.aspx). Applications from non-UK institutions and from teams rather than individuals are also welcome. . Applicants may apply for more than one ESRA.available to download from the call webpage www. are also invited to apply.esrc.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/29372/evidencesynthesis-research-awards-(esra)-call. but must submit a separate application for each proposed ESRA study. Researchers in non-HE institutions. normally located in a higher education institute.ac.esrc. which will be assessed on its individual merits in competition with other applications on that theme. Application process Applications should be submitted via the online application form www.aspx.uk/fundingand-guidance/funding-opportunities/esra-application. The ESRC and DFID welcome applications from researchers.ac. for example from government departments or from the third sector. Financial spreadsheet (using the Financial Template .

uk .Assessment Applications will be assessed on the following criteria: • • • • • Understanding of the objectives and purpose of the synthesis Knowledge and experience of the specific theme.from April 2014 Inception meeting .9 December 2013 Applications deadline .Assessment criteria Stage 1 .000 per synthesis.within one month of start of ESRA Draft report submitted . Stage 2 .16.00 on 28 January 2014 (UK local time) Assessment of applications . and applicants meet eligibility criteria Total budget (exclusive of VAT if appropriate) does not exceed £30. including demonstrable knowledge of the wider literature and relevant research Experience in research and in writing research synthesis products Value for money Quality of the proposed work plan and ability to deliver outputs to the required timetable. Indicative timetable and further enquiries • • • • • • • • Call for applications issued .February and March 2014 Successful applicants notified .up to six months from start of ESRA Questions on the ESRA specification or application process should be directed to dfidesra@esrc.Eligibility check Proposals will be checked for eligibility on the following criteria: • • All required documentation submitted and completed correctly. Failure to meet the eligibility criteria will lead to the proposal being rejected at this stage.ac.within three months of start of ESRA Final report submitted .by April 2014 ESRA begins .