New call on tackling global challenges

9 March 2017

NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development has joined forces with seven Dutch research organisations to fund use-inspired research to tackle global challenges. In March 2017, a call for proposals was collaboratively launched to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals in an innovative way and with a focus on the most vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. A total budget of seven million euros is available.

The co-funding research organisations are: Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam and Wageningen University & Research.

These Dutch universities and research institutes represent a huge body of knowledge in all scientific disciplines, which could and should be mobilised to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an innovative way. This joint initiative contributes to more coherent research funding and to a collaborative effort of the Dutch science community in addressing global challenges.

The Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Agenda entitled ‘Transforming our world'. This plan of action for people, planet and prosperity includes seventeen Goals to be achieved by 2030. By adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), all parties recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for global sustainable development. The SDGs are universal, integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

Tangible outputs with a global perspective

Because of the complexity of the challenges, an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach of co-creation is needed to be able to contribute to the SDGs. Furthermore, research projects should generate tangible outputs -other than knowledge- that are accessible, affordable and applicable for practitioners in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Collaboration with scientists from LMICs clears the path to innovative insights and breakthroughs that would otherwise be beyond the reach of Dutch science.  Therefore, research proposals should include close cooperation between Dutch and local researchers, between different disciplines and between knowledge institutes, governments, NGOs, private partners, or other relevant end-users. Additionally, to enhance the use of generated knowledge, projects must make an effort to share their plans, progress and outputs with organisations that potentially may use the knowledge generated.

The call for proposals

The call is open only for researchers who are employed by one of the co-funding Dutch research organisations. The deadline to submit a proposal - only after preselection and approval of the co-funding research organisation - is 23 May 2017

Published by  University of Amsterdam