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Basic Research Approach

This is similar to the former IFS granting programme, although with some revisions to criteria for eligibility.

Individual early career researchers in both the natural and social sciences may apply for a Basic Grant to undertake research that is innovative and/or relevant to local or national development needs and problems, and that aims to generate fundamental and/or applicable scientific knowledge.

While IFS continues to emphasise the quality and development relevance of the increasing amount of research it funds, the 2021-2030 Strategy sets out the case for better focusing of its resources on supporting promising early career scientists (no longer defined by age), who are fundamental to increasing science capacity in LLMICs and essential to addressing both national and global challenges.

IFS believes that scientists acquire their skills by conducting research in an enabling environment that includes access to resources and mentorship, both of which are in short supply in LLMICs. As scientists gain experience over time in planning, conducting and publishing their research, they establish a reputation in their field. This helps improve their abilities to identify and prioritise researchable constraints, collaborate with others, develop and lead successful research groups, and influence policy. Scientists who acquire such skills also help to empower the institutions in which they work and build science literacy in their home countries.

Individual early career researchers in both the natural and social sciences may apply for a Basic Grant (up to $15,000, one per successful applicant) to undertake research that is innovative and/or relevant to local or national development needs and problems that aim to generate fundamental and/or applicable scientific knowledge.

Research proposals may be submitted within these three thematic clusters, but applications may as well integrate or cut across them:

  • Biological Resources in Terrestrial Systems
  • Water and Aquatic Resources, and
  • Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Healthy Livelihoods

 To secure IFS support, applicants must submit a sound research project application on a self-selected topic that is innovative and/or relevant to her or his local or national development needs. The research proposal must demonstrate knowledge of the subject area, identify knowledge gaps, elaborate testable hypotheses and research objectives, develop a convincing, doable and appropriately costed research plan and research dissemination plans. Proposals must be written in English.

IFS has time-bound calls for proposals with closing dates. These will be announced here on this website - be sure not to miss the submission deadlines!

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ELIGIBILITY FOR BASIC RESEARCH GRANT

Applicants for Basic Research Grants must:

  • be citizens of an eligible country, and carry out their research in an eligible country (this does not have to be the country of citizenship) 

    »Eligible criteria (countries list)
  • either enrolled in a PhD program or have recently (within five years) completed a PhD degree

  • write their proposals in English

Researchers who are already IFS grantees are also eligible to apply for renewal grants irrespective of age.

See also: Eligibility Criteria