Call for Commissioned Research Proposals: SCALABLE

WIOMSA, through the Sustainable Blue Future in the Western Indian Ocean – Institutional Strengthening through Science, Capacity, and Assimilation for a Sustainable Blue FutureSCALABLE, is inviting full proposals for selected research topics.


The blue economy holds immense potential for sustainable development, offering opportunities for economic growth, livelihood improvement, and marine resource conservation. The private sector plays a crucial role in driving investments, technological advancements, and business solutions that support the sustainable use of marine resources. The majority of countries in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, individually and through regional frameworks such as the Nairobi Convention and regional economic commissions such as SADC, COMESA, and EAC, have recognized and prioritized the need to strengthen coastal and marine resource management to support the transition to a sustainable and inclusive blue economy.

While the development of the blue economy holds significant promise, inadequately implemented policies and practices in the region can yield detrimental impacts on marine ecosystems and coastal communities. Ineffective governance concerning coastal and marine resources undermines the capacity of these ecosystems to sustainably support the growth of a blue economy. Therefore, enhancing good coastal and marine governance is imperative for fostering a transition toward a sustainable and inclusive blue economy, addressing social challenges such as poverty and inequality, and enhancing the health of coastal and marine environments. Crucial elements for successful coastal and marine governance include establishing a robust knowledge base across key sectors, enhancing research capabilities, promoting the uptake of policies informed by scientific evidence, and bolstering national and regional interfaces between science and policy to align with research and policy priorities while facilitating collaboration among scientific, industrial, policy, and citizen stakeholders

Effective decision-making regarding blue economy policies necessitates a thorough grasp of the pertinent issues, underpinned by extensive research and analysis. Nevertheless, persistent knowledge gaps can impede policymakers’ capacity to devise efficacious strategies. In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, for instance, pivotal sectors of the blue economy, such as coastal tourism, shipping, and marine security, suffer from inadequate study and understanding. Consequently, knowledge generation in these sectors can play a pivotal role in facilitating evidence-based decision-making, fostering innovation, and driving the blue growth of the WIO. Recognizing this imperative, WIOMSA acknowledges the necessity of addressing existing knowledge gaps to ensure evidence-based policymaking. Therefore, WIOMSA is commissioning research targeted at identifying and addressing specific knowledge gaps within designated thematic areas.

The Commissioned Research Grant

WIOMSA will provide research grants for the commissioned studies as part of the “Sustainable Blue Future in the Western Indian Ocean – Institutional Strengthening through Science, Capacity, and Assimilation for a Sustainable Blue Future – SCALABLE (2023-2026)” project. SCALABLE’s overarching goal is to enhance the Science-Policy interface within the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region and to expand WIOMSA’s research and knowledge initiatives in alignment with regional and global ocean policies. These policies include the Africa Blue Economy Strategy, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the Global Biodiversity Framework and others.


Proposals are welcome for research synthesis conducted by review researchers, scientists, or experts with specialized skills in the priority themes. These commissioned studies will fulfil various objectives:

  • Addressing critical knowledge gaps within specific themes.
  • Ensuring research findings are pertinent, actionable, and well-communicated.
  • Promoting interdisciplinary approaches and innovative methodologies to tackle complex challenges and yield fresh insights.
  • Facilitating the dissemination and application of research findings to inform decision-making processes, spur innovation, and foster beneficial societal transformation

Funding will be allocated for five research studies selected from the eight priority subjects listed in the full Call for Proposals.


Successful applicants will be awarded an all-inclusive grant of up to USD 50,000 to cover all expenses related to the research project. The grant will be disbursed in two payments and transferred to the institutional bank account. Projects are required to commence no later than July 2024 and be completed by August 2025.

How to apply

Applicants are required to upload their proposals and CVs to Proposal Central by 3rd May 2024. Please note that applicants MUST register their institutions on Proposal Central before submission. The approval process for institutional registration takes at least 24 hoursApplicants are therefore advised to pre-register their institutions in good time.

  • For full details on eligibility, the proposed priority themes and proposal submission, download the Call for Proposals.
  • Scan the QR code below or click here to submit your proposal.



For any inquiries regarding the Commissioned Research, please contact the Executive Director WIOMSA:


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