Call for applications: IFS Basic Research Grants

Providing early career support to promising young Low and Lower Middle Income Countries (LLMIC) researchers has been the mandate of the International Foundation for Science (IFS) for many years.

IFS continues its commitment by providing tailored research capacity-enhancing support to promising early career scientists based around the provision of individual Basic Grants.
To secure IFS support, applicants must submit a sound research project application on a self- selected topic within the three research cluster area 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.

The Research Areas for Basic Research Grant

Proposals are sought under one of three research clusters:

  • Biological Resources in Terrestrial Systems
    Including but not limited to: Biodiversity, Forestry, Natural Products, Renewable Energy and Climate Change.
  • Water and Aquatic Resources
    Including but not limited to: Water Resources Research; Research on all aspects of freshwater, brackish and marine aquatic organisms and their environments.
  • Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Healthy Livelihoods
    Including but not limited to: Research on Food Production; Animal Production and Veterinary Medicine; Crop Science including Underutilized Crops; Food Science and Nutrition, and Food Security issues.

Eligibility Criteria

Country eligibility

To be eligible for support from IFS Basic Research Grant, applicants must be citizens of a developing country that is eligible for IFS support, and carry out the research in an eligible country (this does not have to be the country of citizenship).

Eligible Countries list

Personal eligibility

Applicants for IFS grants:

  • must be citizens of eligible countries (see below), and must carry out their research in an eligible country (which does not have to be the country of citizenship), and
  • must either be enrolled in a PhD program or have recently (within five years) completed a PhD degree.
  • must write their proposals in English

Institutional Affiliation

Applicants must be attached to a national research institute (e.g. university, non-profit making research centre, or research-oriented NGO) in a developing country. The institution is expected to: administer the grant, guarantee that the applicant has a salary (or other source of income), and provide basic research facilities. Researchers employed at international research institutes or NGO’s are NOT eligible. However, researchers doing part of their project at an international institute can apply for an IFS grant, if their principal affiliation is with a national institution.


Basic Research grants are awarded on merit in amounts up to USD 15,000 for one to three years. Grants are intended for the purchase of basic tools for research: equipment, expendable supplies and literature, as well as field activities.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of research grant applications is 30 November 2019 and applicants will be informed about the outcome of the competitive review process before 31 July 2020.

Read the full announcement here! 

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