AFD-GDN Biodiversity and Development Award Program 2021

Deadline: 7 March 2021
Open to:
researchers from developing countries
4 individual research grants, each up to a maximum of USD 40,000


The Call for Expressions of Interest is open for the AFD-GDN Biodiversity and Development Award Program 2021, a global competitive research program jointly launched by the Global Development Network (GDN) and the French Development Agency (AFD). This award aims to support researchers working on an approach that integrates development policies and safeguards biodiversity.

The award program targets researchers based in developing countries and aims to identify and support productive multidisciplinary engagements on biodiversity mainstreaming. The unique feature of the Program is its two-stage award process:

  • in the first place, the program recognizes and encourages quality individual (or small-team) scientific endeavors within given disciplines, with competitive research grants accompanied by mentoring and tailored support;
  • in addition, it promotes and incentivizes multidisciplinary collaborations among awardees working in different fields.

Applicants are asked to explore options for mutual collaboration from the earliest stages of the selection process, and an additional grant is awarded to pairs of researchers who can identify multidisciplinary activities, including but not limited to evidence synthesis, that cut across their individual research projects


  • The call is open to teams of researchers belonging to a university or any other research-oriented organizations based in developing countries (full list of eligible countries in Appendix). Proposals from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea, 9 Guyana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Sénégal, Tunisia, Uganda, and Vietnam are particularly welcome, and will be given preference in cases of parity in quality.
  • A maximum of 3 researchers, including the principal investigator, are allowed in each team.
  • Applicants should clearly mention if this proposal is receiving or will receive funds from other sources. Co-funding is encouraged, but it should be clearly explained how the additional funds provided by the grant would reinforce and complement the existing funds for successful completion of the project.
  • Applicants need to be able to read, speak and write in English, since the program is run in English. Applications in English are hence requested on priority for this all. However, applications in French will be accepted as an exception, and with justification.
  • Women candidates are encouraged to apply.


This program calls for innovative and original research projects on the following aspects:

  • Understanding the ‘pressure’ development activities exert on biodiversity and how this knowledge can be a basis for socio-ecological restoration
  • Formulating and documenting the ‘value’ at large of ecosystems and biodiversity for social and economic systems (including non-monetary value and insurance value)
  • Analyzing the means put in place by public actors (State, local governments, Biodiversity agency, etc..) to scale up biodiversity mainstreaming
  • Transformation pathways towards biodiversity positive development.
  • Documenting strategies and modalities for mainstreaming inclusive and participatory decision-making
  • Understanding evidence generation and use on biodiversity mainstreaming-related action.


  • GDN intends to assign competitively 4 individual research grants, each up to a maximum of USD 40,000 for a 24-months project starting in July 2021, and 2 additional multidisciplinary research grants of up to USD 15,000, to be implemented in parallel.
  • Beyond funding, GDN will support the projects with tailored opportunities for mentoring, peer-review and networking, including through interactions with a Scientific Committee that will oversee the program and support quality control.
  • Global recognition for winners.

How to apply?

Expressions of interest must be submitted by March 7th 2021. Shortlisted researchers will be invited to join an online collaborative space in March and April 2021 and a Research Lab from April 19th to 24th 2021 and will have a chance to submit both revised individual research proposals and joint (in pairs) multi-disciplinary proposals by May 15th 2021.

Eligible applicants must submit through the dedicated online platform the following documents as part of the application package:

  • An expression of interests (up to 8 page)
  • CVs and publication lists for the PI and other team members.
  • A 2-page description of track record including a narrative explanation of the link between the submitted EoI and past work of each researcher involved.
  • A support letter from the Institution of primary affiliation of the eligible local researcher, stating the scope and extent of support available to the project (in kind/matching contribution)

For more information, visit the official open call.

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