How it works

The LIRA 2030 programme supports its participants not only through grants, but also through training workshops, annual research forums and leadership and career advancement.

Training activities on integrated research

To achieve its objectives, the programme will provide training activities to strengthen scientific capacity in Africa to apply novel methodologies on co-design and co-production, and other relevant approaches required for undertaking high quality integrated research. Each training will also include modules on proposal development and science communication.

To identify participants for training, open calls for pre-proposals are launched. Representatives of successful pre-proposals are invited to participate in training workshops, following which participants are given 2-3 months to develop full proposals. Successful full proposals will receive 2-year research grants (see below). The training is an integral part of the grants in order to ensure that early career scientists have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop integrated research proposals and undertake this type of research. The first training workshop took place on 3-7 October 2016 in Nairobi 2016. The second training event took place in Kampala, at Makerere University, on 28 August- 1 September 2017.

In total, three training workshops will take place during the course of the programme. These will be delivered by ISC in partnership with ICSU ROA and NASAC and other relevant institutions in Africa.

Collaborative research grants

The programme will provide two-year collaborative research grants (90 000 EUR each/2years) to foster research collaboration on global sustainability at the regional level by linking early career scientists across disciplines and countries. These grants will also support research co-design and co-production with stakeholders.

Only participants of the training activities on integrated research (see above) will be eligible to apply for the grants.

After 5 years, the programme aims to consolidate a network of over 30 integrated research projects on global sustainability. The research produced by these projects should provide the evidence and create tools to support decision-making on complex sustainability challenges in Africa. The knowledge will also be used to inform intergovernmental policy processes (e.g. Agenda 2030, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, Habitat III, IPCC and others).

Two Africa-based institutions (NASAC and ICSU ROA), will be managing the research funding scheme.

Annual Research Forums

The programme will organize annual research forums to foster collaboration and networking between the supported research projects. Projects’ representatives will be invited to attend these events to share their results and experience with their peers. These events are expected to promote scientific exchanges and forge new research collaboration among projects. To foster cross-regional collaboration and with non-academic stakeholders, representatives from other relevant global research projects, decision makers and practitioners will also be invited to attend. The events will also include capacity building activities to strengthen projects’ science communication and science advice to governments skills.

In total, three annual open research forums are planned to take place during the programme. They will be organized by ICSU ROA in partnership with ICSU, ISSC and NASAC.

Leadership and career advancement

The programme will also provide international career development opportunities for the early career scientists supported by the programme by nominating them for international scientific committees and conferences, working groups, and inter-governmental policy processes.

Call for pre-proposals

Over the course of the programme, a total of three calls for pre-proposals were launched.

The first call focused on understanding the “Energy-Health-Natural Disasters” nexus in the urban context in Africa.

The second call was on Advancing the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11 on cities in Africa.

The third call was on Pathways towards Sustainable African Urban Development.


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