ICSU in partnership with NASAC and the ISSC has opened a call for pre-proposals to identify collaborative research projects across Africa that explore integrated approaches for sustainable urban development in Africa. 35 pre-proposals will be selected to attend a training event on interand trans-disciplinary research, which will take place on 3-7 September 2018 (place tbc). Participants of the training will then be given about two and half months to submit full proposals. In February 2019 up to eleven collaborative research projects across Africa will be funded to the value of up to 90,000 Euro each over two years.



  • This call is open only to early career scientists who are nationals of an African country, and who are based at organisations in Africa. Applications led by early career scientists from West and North Africa are strongly encouraged.
  • Applicants should have no more than 10 years work experience following their PhDs or equivalent research experience. If an applicant does not have a PhD, evidence proving research experience should be provided.
  • The programme aims to foster research collaboration across Africa, therefore each project should involve 2 African countries. Ideally at least one member of the research team should be based in a low income country (based on OECD ODA’s ranking) or the inclusion of collaborators from the poorest parts of middle income nations should be demonstrated.
  • Each application should demonstrate its relevance to the thematic focus of the call.
  • Each research team should include minimum one social and one natural scientists.
  • Pre-proposals should illustrate steps that were taken to co-design research questions with key stakeholders. Plans of engaging these stakeholders in knowledge co-production should also be outlined.
  • Each application should include information about the Principal Investigator and should indicate the name of the collaborator(s) and attach a letter confirming his/her interest in research collaboration.
  • The institution under which the project will take place should be based in an African country. This institution should provide a letter of support for the project, if it’s successful. A senior scientist from this institution who will supervise the applicant should also provide a letter of support. Applications which do not include such letters will not be considered.
  • All projects must include a university partner.
  • Applications can be written in English or French. However, if the project is successful, all progress reporting will need to be done in English. However, it is not necessary that the research be conducted in English or published only in English.
  • Applications which exceed the character limits (see below) will not be considered.



The LIRA 2030 Africa programme has a two-phase application process. The first phase is a call for pre-proposals which aims to identify early career researchers in Africa interested to undertake integrated (inter- and trans-disciplinary) research on advancing sustainable urban development the in Africa. Principal Investigators of successful pre-proposals will be invited to attend a 5-day training event on integrated research which will take place on 3-7 September 2018 (place tbc). This training aims to strengthen scientific capacity to undertake this form of research, to enable researchers to build meaningful inter- and trans-disciplinary projects, to support the development of full proposals and to strengthen science communication skills. The programme will cover associated travel and subsistence costs. 

In the second phase, which will be launched following the training (in September 2018), the programme will offer up to eleven grants, each up to 90000 Euro over 2 years, for integrated research projects. Only participants of the training event will be eligible to apply for these grants. They will be given about two and half months to develop full proposals and submit them by 23 November 2018.

! As soon as applicants are aware that their pre- proposals have been selected, they are encouraged to start the development of full proposals (see a template for full proposals). Full proposals can be further developed following the training event.

Please note that this document relates to the first phase only. Further details about the process for applying for funding in the second phase will be made available in September 2018.

Successful projects will be announced in February 2019. The research projects funded by the programme will become part of the LIRA 2030 Africa network and will be connected with global research projects of Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, and Urban Health and Well-being.


Description Date
Issue of the call for pre-proposals 1 March 2018
Submission deadline for pre-proposal 14 May 2018
Selection decision of pre-proposals End of June 2018


Please click here to download the attached document for more information.