Funding for development research

Details of calls for new funding opportunities in development research run by the Department for International Development (DFID) or our development partners.


This page is aimed at organisations and researchers looking for information on funding opportunities in development research. It lists in date order a selection of current calls with a research, evidence or evaluation theme which are being run by DFID or by our programme partners. If you are interested in working for DFID you should also look at our supplier portal.

Toward ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Africa and beyond: Research Programme

DFID’s overall programme on FGM/C has a vision to see an end to the practice in one generation, and aims to reduce the practice by 30% in at least 10 countries in the first 5 years of this initiative. The research component within this overall programme aims to produce a global evidence base on the most effective and cost-effective approaches to ending FGM/C in different contexts, to inform future policy and programming. It will focus on 3 research themes:

  • building the picture: where, when and why is FGM/C practiced
  • interventions: what’s working, where and why?: looking at critical elements, contextual factors, integrated/sequenced programmes, effective programming (including VfM) etc
  • wider impacts of FGM/C and interventions to stop the practice: looking at the positive/negative impacts of interventions on women/girls, men/boys, families, communities etc
  • there will also be a cross-cutting theme on measurement

With a combination of basic and operational research, the programme will implement high quality multidisciplinary research (i.e. sociology, anthropology, health/epidemiology, political science, and economics) and include a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Together with the generation of a body of primary evidence on FGM/C, the programme will have strong capacity building and research uptake/communication components: It is anticipated that this research programme will be delivered through the creation of a North-South Research Consortium.

Further information will shortly be published on the DFID Portal (Project reference PO 6337).

Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA), 2014 Grants Call

This call is for ‘blue skies’ research projects designed to advance global understanding on the way that ecosystem services contribute to poverty alleviation, with specific emphasis on generating new understanding that can benefit poor people in low-income countries. Research funded under ESPA-2014 is expected to inform thinking and practice over, at least, the next decade, representing a step-change in the knowledge and evidence that will underpin future activities in ESPA’s sphere of activity. Applications are invited for funding in the range of between £50,000 and £150,000. This call has been allocated a total available budget of up to £1•5m. Projects will be funded for a maximum duration of 12 months, with an expected start date between 1 December 2014 and 1 February 2015. Further information

Deadline for full proposals: 14 May 2014.

Royal Society-DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative, Programme Grants

This programme is for scientists who want to develop collaborative research consortia between scientists in sub-Saharan Africa and a research institution in the UK. The overall aim of the scheme is to strengthen the research capacity of universities and research institution in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting the development of sustainable research networks. The first round of the Programme Grants is now open.

Deadline for applying: 9 April 2014. Further information on the Royal Society website

Advance notice: DFID proposes to launch a major new programme on integrated water research for Africa and South Asia

DFID will issue a prior information notice (PIN) for the above opportunity.

The contract will be issued for up to 7 years. The successful service provider will be chosen based on technical and commercial proposals for implementation, as described in the terms of reference.

Potential applicants will be invited to fill in a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) which will include technical questions covering experience, approach and process. Up to 4 applicants will be shortlisted and invited to submit full proposals at the invitation to tender (ITT) stage.

Interested parties can register their interest on the DFID Supplier Portal. The project reference is PO 6456.

After registering interest, interested parties can access and download the PIN and the abridged version of the intervention summary.

This tender will observe the ‘Restricted’ Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) procedure which is a 2-stage process comprising a PQQ which will be scored and used to determine bidders to be shortlisted and taken forward to receive an ITT. Under the ITT stage, a limited amount of funding will be provided to allow shortlisted bidders to scope the research questions and build operational relationships with southern partners at the tender stage.

Additional information and timelines will be provided within the PQQ documentation which will include a draft of the terms of reference.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.