Individual researchers and organizations based in all parts of the developing regions of the world can, in principle, can qualify for support. Applications, in the form of aConcept Note, should centre on case studies that employ innovative and transformative open processes in generating knowledge and actions intended to address a range of development challenges in various Global South contexts.
It will be a two-stage application process: successful concept notes’ applicants will be invited to attend a proposal development workshop in Nairobi, and full final proposal is expected on November 30th, 2014.
Number of grants – Up to 15 grants will be awarded
Amount of the grants – Research or implementation projects up to $80,000 CAD each
Online Application Submission Portal – opens August 18, 2014
Online Call for Concept Note Submissions Closed – September 8, 2014
Short-listed Concept Notes Notified – September 24, 2014
Mandatory Workshop in Nairobi – October 13 – 15, 2014
Due date of final proposal – Nov. 17th, 2014
Purpose of the Call
Open and collaborative approaches to knowledge production have the potential to radically increase the visibility, validation and relevance of scientific research, while expanding the opportunities for a broad range of actors to participate in the knowledge production process. However, little research has been conducted into these asserted benefits and in the contexts in which they might be realised. How is “openness” practiced by researchers in various institutional contexts? How can open science approaches benefit researchers in the Global South? Can greater participation of citizens in the planning and conduct of scientific research increase its usefulness in addressing local development goals? How can the sharing of knowledge as a public good be weighed against protection of various forms of rights?
To begin to answer these and related questions, we are inviting applications on case studies that employ innovative and transformative open processes in generating knowledge and actions intended to address a range of development challenges in various Global South contexts (e.g. food security, health equity, citizen empowerment, and climate change related impact). We expect that funding of these case studies will strengthen the empirical foundation on the diversity of Open and Collaborative Science (OCS) practices as well as knowledge on their common principles, actors, motivations, and their institutional contexts. In particular, the project is interested in exploring whether OCS could subsequently lead to innovative models of redistribution of access to knowledge, economic opportunities, social justice, individual freedom, and well-being, and the conditions that lead to both positive, negative and unanticipated outcomes.
We welcome a mix of projects that include scientific research in a specific domain aimed at producing new knowledge, as well as critical research on ongoing initiatives, focusing on the behaviours, contexts, challenges and opportunities enabled by OCS. The longer term goal is to construct a conceptual framework on how open science norms and practices could be further established in developing countries via a community-based and networked driven approach, while building on key lessons learned from the funded case studies as well as existing related Open initiatives. As such, OCSDNet is expected to be a highly cross-disciplinary community of practice, engaging in partnership building with like-minded organizations, both locally and internationally.
Modality of the Call
OCSDNet is jointly coordinated by iHub (Kenya) and Leslie Chan from the Centre for Critical Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough (Canada), and supported by an international panel of expert advisors. OCSDNet will mobilize and support researchers and practitioners from the Global South (Latin America, including Central America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, East,Central and South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa) selected through an initial competitive call for Concept Notes (no more than 3,000 words), followed by full proposal development and subsequent approval.
Successful authors or organizations of concept notes will be invited to attend a proposal development workshop to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from Oct. 13-16, 2014.The cost of attendance and travel will be covered by the program. The purpose of the workshop will be to collectively review and refine the program’s objectives and conceptual framework, to identify common or synergistic research problems and shared methodologies, and to allow applicants to incorporate relevant knowledge from the program team and advisory board members in preparation of the full case study proposals.
The call will be closed on Monday, September 8th, 2014. Late submissions will not be considered.
The call is open to any researcher or practitioner affiliated with an organization or consortium of organizations based in countries eligible for support by the IDRC (see a list of eligible countries here).
At the time of submission, applicants must indicate their availability and commitment to participate in the proposal development workshop to be held in Nairobi on October 13-16, 2014. In case of unavailability, the applicant must be represented at the workshop by a colleague or collaborator who will play a significant role in the proposed project. Any Concept Notes that are not represented at the workshop will be disqualified from final proposal submission/consideration.
Effort will be made to ensure that an equal number of projects will be selected from each of the supported regions (Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa). The exact number of grants awarded will be determined by the quality of applications received and the cumulative cost of each proposal. Depending on the number of successful full proposals and the remaining funds, a second call may be issued at a later date.
Amount of Funding and Duration:
Up to 15 projects will be funded, which may include field research, capacity building initiatives including implementation and experiments, and critical analysis of OCS. Grants will range between CAD $50,000 to CAD $80,000. Project duration must not exceed 24 months, including all research and/or implementation activities and final reporting. Projects are expected to begin in January 2015 and end by Dec. 2016.
OCSDNet will work closely with the successful applicants to provide them with the support needed to further define the scope of research, effective implementation of the research agenda, and monitoring of the research outcomes throughout the grant period. In addition, the panel of international advisors will serve as mentors and support the selected research teams in terms of research design, data collection and analysis, and effective knowledge dissemination strategies. The OCSDNet virtual hub will further support resource sharing and the cross-fertilization of ideas and knowledge between research teams. OCSDNet will also support regional workshops, preparation for presentations and publications of research findings at appropriate international meetings and open access venues, and policy interface with funders and decision makers wherever applicable.
Concept note submissions may incorporate both theoretical work and practical implementation relating to the conceptual framework and should clearly factor in development related outcomes. Final selection will also take into consideration our aims of supporting research and knowledge-sharing:
i) in multiple thematic areas within Open and Collaborative Science;
ii) in diverse regions of the global South; and
iii) across organizations and organizational types.
In addition, applications will be assessed on the following four criteria:
1. Relevance and Fit:
Relevance of the research or activity to the identified development issue and to the network of researchers working on, or interested in open science.
Fit with at least one of OCSDNet thematic areas, namely Motivations (Incentives and Ideologies); Enabling Infrastructures & Technologies; Communities of practice in OCS in the Global South Context; Potential Impacts (Positive and Negative) of OCS (see Appendix Section 2 in the call for concept notes document for details of the themes and potential research areas).
Clear demonstration of how the research or activity will add value to existing knowledge and/or practice, citing past work done on the theme by the applicant organization and by other researchers.
Framing of open strategies as a means to a specific end, whether a better product, service, research output, process or policy engagement.
Evidence of innovation, clarity of research questions and objectives, conceptual soundness, soundness and adequacy of design and methodology.
Clearly identified linkage to the conceptual framework and Theory of Change (TOC) outlined in the call for concept notes.
Applications for events and for dissemination activities and products should provide as much detail as possible on: the program and process of the event or activity, how they will engage with the other members of Open and Collaborative Science community.
3. Application of Knowledge:
Evidence of clear need and demand for research and/or knowledge-sharing on the issue.
Clear and feasible plan to disseminate findings/proceedings to a variety of players/stakeholders.
Clear explanation of how the proposed research/activity will build OCS research leadership, inform decision-making, and/or influence practice and learning by groups or organizations, including the grant recipient(s), to benefit from the project.
Suitability and display of capacity by the applicant team:
Realistic and well-supported budget.
Sound plan and activities for monitoring and evaluating progress toward proposed outcomes (changes in awareness, will and behaviour on part of groups or organizations, including the grant recipient(s) to benefit from the project.
Viable work plan with roles and responsibilities of lead and collaborating organizations clearly defined.
Evidence that the proponents can mobilize the necessary collaboration and other funding to ensure the success of the project and efficient use of financial resources.