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Mujib 100 RGfW

Purpose

icddr,b has launched ‘Mujib 100 Research Grants for Women (Mujib 100 RGfW)’ in commemoration of the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and in celebration of icddr,b’s 60 years of scientific brilliance. The purpose of this grant is to create a new generation of female researchers and scientists in Bangladesh. Both the Government of Bangladesh and icddr,b are committed towards an inclusive and supportive  environment to nurture women working in science.

Background

According to UNESCO, globally at the bachelor's and master's levels, women have achieved parity (44-55 percent) by representing 53 percent of all graduates. At the PhD level, they account for 43 percent. But only 28 percent choose a career in science and research. A recent Nature study reviewed 83,000 articles and found only 17 percent had female corresponding authors.

Bangladesh, which has already shown promises to emerge as a middle-income country, is no exception. Although Bangladesh has achieved enormous success in various aspects of growth and development, acute shortage of world class female scientists still remains a challenge. Female researchers are required for leading the expanding research portfolio worldwide but they often find it difficult to sustain their career in this field due to factors which negatively influence the decision-making process. This includes the lack of practical understanding regarding women working in science, to the unseen promise of a stable job along with prejudices and beliefs. This can deter parents, relatives, teachers and peers from advocating science as a career avenue for girls.

Bangladesh is lagging behind in women’s participation in research on health and technology. Without strong contribution from women in this field, the country will fall behind even further. Since icddr,b has a unique research environment to nurture and mentor scientists, and the current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasises  the advancement of science and technology, this has the potential to become a very appropriate and timely initiative. It will aim to create opportunities for female scientists to attain their first competitive grant and to incentivise them to choose science as their career path.

Specific Objective

icddr,b as well as Bangladesh faces an acute shortage of female researchers. Therefore, the main objective of this grant would be to:

  • Familiarise female researchers with the peer reviewed competitive process of winning a research grant
  • Provide them with an opportunity of getting their start-up grant
  • Create a pool of world class female researchers in Bangladesh

 

Mujib RGfW eligibility, research area, requirements:

- Applicant must be a Bangladeshi women researcher/scientist/academic aged below 50 years.

- Proposed project must be related to icddr,b’s research priorities, which are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Areas of icddr,b’s strategic priority are:

  • Reducing maternal, neonatal, and child mortality and improving the well-being of women and children
  • Preventing and treating maternal and childhood malnutrition
  • Controlling enteric and respiratory Infections
  • Detecting and controlling emerging and re-emerging infections
  • Achieving universal health coverage
  • Achieving gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Examining the health consequences and adaptations to climate change
  • Preventing and treating non-communicable diseases

 (Please click to download icddr,b’s Strategic Plan for more information on the research focus.)

- Approximately USD 400,000 will be available for allocation in 2020.

- The maximum budget threshold (excluding overhead) for each project would be USD 50,000 for a maximum duration of 18 months.

- It is highly encouraged to propose projects in collaboration with icddr,b. Each project lead by any applicant within or beyond icddr,b will have a senior scientist from icddr,b as mentor.

Mujib RGfW Secretariat:

The Research Administration (RA) unit of the Office of Deputy Executive Director (ODED) at icddr,b will serve as the Secretariat for the allocation process of this award, and will set timelines for activities in consultation with the Allocation Committee (the composition of which is mentioned under 5.1 in this policy). RA/ODED will  serve as the conduit for communication among the recipients and icddr,b.
 

Mujib 100 RGfW selection criteria

Proposals not aligned with icddr,b’s strategic priorities will not be considered.

The reviewers will score concept notes on a 100-point scale as follows:

Description

  Point

i

  Appropriateness of the research question

    25

ii

  Quality of study design and method

    40

iii

  Feasibility of the project (Budget & Timeline)

    20

iv

  PI expertise and experience

    15

 

Award decisions

Research proposals will be pre-screened by icddr,b Research Administration before being reviewed and short listed by the Allocation Committee using a pre-determined criteria. Only the short listed concept notes will be sent to the external reviewers.

The Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) of icddr,b who are world renowned international experts from different scientific disciplines will review the short listed concepts and score them on a 100-point scale.

Although awards will be made on  merit based scores received from the SAG, at least 50 percent of the total number of projects that receive funding will be from outside of icddr,b.
The Allocation Committee, considering the scores received from the reviewers and based on available funds, will make the final decision. The Allocation Committee will constitute of:

  1. Executive Director, icddr,b
  2. Deputy Executive Director (DED), icddr,b
  3. Senior Directors of Scientific Divisions at icddr,b
  4. Professor Saria Tasneem, Former Head of Obs. & Gynae, Institute of Child and Mother Health, Matuail, MoHFW, GoB; Head, Department of Obs. & Gynae at Centre for Women and Child Health, Dhaka
  5. Professor Ahmed Abu Saleh, Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Chair of icddr,b’s Ethical Review Committee (ERC)
  6. Dr. Firdausi Qadri, Senior Scientist, icddr,b
  7. Director, Finance (non-voting)
  8. Head, Research Administration (non-voting)

Successful applicants will be asked to develop full proposals using icddr,b’s Protocol Application Format (RRC Face Sheet). Special meetings of icddr,b’s Internal Review Board(IRB) will be organised for review and approval of protocols that involve human subjects or animals.

Funds will be allocated only after the projects have been approved by the IRB.

icddr,b’s standard approval process will be followed for research related activities (not involving human subjects/animals/micro-organisms etc.). Budget to be approved by respective Division Directors(for icddr,b applicants only) and by Director, Finance, icddr,b (for all applicants).

 

Monitoring

- Six monthly monitoring and review of project progress will be done by the Allocation Committee.

- Annual (narrative and financial) reports should be submitted to the Allocation Committee within 30 days of completion of a year for an ongoing project.

- Final report (narrative and financial) is due within 45 days after completion of the project.

Conditions

- The position of Principal Investigator (PI) of projects is non-transferrable since the PI’s credentials will be considered during scoring (15 marks).

- An applicant may submit more than one application but an applicant will only be supported for one project.

- An applicant's PI can be a co-PI/FPI in another application.

- thete will be no need to budget for IRB cost as this will be recovered from the Overhead (for both internal and external applicants).

- Qualitative comments will be requested from the SAG reviewers, and if received, will be shared with each applicant.

 

Timeline for the allocation process 

  Activity

  Date

  Call for Concept Notes

  March 19, 2020

  Dissemination seminar on application process

  April 19, 2020

  Concept submission to icddr,b in prescribed format

  May 21, 2020

  Concepts distributed to the Allocation Committee for preliminary review

  June 4, 2020

  Allocation Committee’s review received

  June 30, 2020

  Short listed Concept notes distributed to SAG members for review

  July 6, 2020

  Review and score received from SAG

  August 7, 2020

  Decision made by the Allocation Committee

  August 20, 2020

  Applicants informed of Allocation Committee’s decision

  August 27, 2020

  Research protocol/research activity proposal developed by successful applicants

  September 30, 2020

  Final approval from IRB

  October 31, 2020

  Project commencement

  Post IRB approval and Awarding Ceremony

 

Application deadline

Deadline for submission of application is 5:00 pm BST on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Question and answer session

A Q/A session to provide clarification on the policy and allocation process has been planned and will be announced later.  A step by step process on how to apply will be demonstrated in a video and will be posted here shortly.

Application format

- A curriculum vitae of the applicant to be submitted online under the Apply Online section below is required.

(Please click here to download a CV template to know about the necessary information required for online submission of the curriculum vitae).

- Research proposal should be submitted using online in the prescribed format, together with budget and budget justification.

(Please click here to download a research proposal template to know about the necessary information required for online submission of the curriculum vitae).

- Applicants should attach with their CVs a copy of their photo ID (National ID/Passport/Driving License etc.) Applicants should also attach with their proposal a Letter of Support from their institutes mentioning that they will partner with icddr,b if the application is successful.(this condition is not applicable to internal applicants)

Apply online

(You are requested to keep all your required information ready in hand before submitting your application. Online application form will be enabled within 20 days. Meanwhile, if you have any queries that you would like to raise, please write to us at Mujib100RGFW@icddrb.org).