Call for Research Proposals - FAQ




1.    What should be the duration of the research project proposal?

The duration of research would span a period of 12 to 15 months. For any successful proposal that was submitted proposals with an 18 month duration the researcher/ institution will be asked to revise their work plan to 15 months.

2.    What is the new submission deadline?

The deadline for submission of proposal has been extended from 16 June 2019 to Monday, 15 July 2019 at 4.00 pm (Bangladesh Time). There will be no further extension to the submission date. Any applications submitted after this date will not be received or considered.

3.    Is the word file of the Guidelines for Submission and Implementation of Research Proposals available?

The Microsoft word file of the guidelines are uploaded on the website.

4.    Is there any donor guideline have to followed for the Contractual Agreement?

The project is funded by USAID and EU. The contractual agreement, which is the Letter of Agreement will be based on the EU guidelines.

5.    Is it possible to have a telephone conversation to receive clarification on the call for proposals or to receive advice on our application?

For the sake of transparency and equal treatment of all applicants, MUCH will not provide individualized information, neither advice nor pre-screening of proposals. All answers are provided in this dedicated FAQ section on the call for proposals’ webpage available to all potential applicants.

6.    Where can I access the ToR and Guidelines for Submission?

The Terms of Reference, Guidelines for Submission and Implementation of Research Proposals, Budget Template and Mailing Address for proposal submission can be found using link below:

7.    What is the eligibility criteria, are consulting firms eligible?

Participation in the Research Grant Scheme (RGS) is restricted to civil society, research and academic institutions. Individual researchers should submit their proposals through their institutions of affiliation. For the purpose of this call, institutions are defined as organizations having fully distinct legal status (e.g. a university, a research institute or an NGO). However, for large institutions (e.g. a university), different entities (e.g., departments, faculties, institutes, think tank institutes, bureaus and centers) can be considered as different institutions as long as each entity has a clearly distinct organizational and operational structure, and contributes to the execution of the research with multi-disciplinary human resources.

Eligible institutions must be non-profit making: non-governmental organizations, public sector operators, local authorities, semi-public sector entities are eligible for grants. The institutions should have an established office and operation in Bangladesh. NGOs should submit evidence of legal registration with the appropriate Government agency.

8.    Is there any provision of employing consultants in the research proposals?

Employing consultants and the honorarium rate will depend on the needs required to deliver the desired outputs. The call has a provision for the following human resources: 

  • Principal Investigator: The Principal Investigator (PI) is the team leader and is responsible for the execution of the proposed research. Unless differently specified and officially communicated by the grant recipient institution, the PI will be responsible for management and implementation, including compliance with the reporting requirements, and will be the contact person in addition to the head of the institution for communication at all stages of the research execution.
  • Other personnel: Full listing of the human resources to be involved in the research and their responsibilities within the proposed research project should be provided together with their contact details using the prescribed format. In addition to the PI, the following categories of personnel can be considered:

    • Co-Investigator(s) (CIs) are core members of the research team. In the case of proposals involving collaboration among different institutions, it is mandatory to include CI(s) for each collaborating institution. Each CI should be assigned the responsibility for a specific part of the research to be clearly identified in the proposal.
    • Research Assistants(s) are other full-time or part-time human resources that are needed to assist in the execution of the proposed research. The proposal should specify what kind of research assistance is needed, for which activities, and at what stage of the research.

Personnel involved in the research will be under the responsibility of the PI and the institution submitting the research proposal. It is essential that sufficient provisions are made in the proposed budget for remunerating human resources. MUCH will not provide any fund additional to that granted according to the approved budget. Neither MUCH nor any of its partners will bear any responsibility for the human resources involved by the PI and his/her home institution in the execution of the research at any stage.

9.    Can the proposals be sent by individual researchers not affiliated to any institutions or can an affiliated researcher send a proposal in his individual capacity?

Individual researchers can only submit their proposals through their institutions of affiliation.

10.    May two institutions submit a proposal collectively i.e. two institutions within Bangladesh or with institutions outside Bangladesh ?

Collaboration among institutions in the conduct of research is admissible if it is adequately justified by the objectives, methodology and activities included in the proposal. The eligibility of collaborating institutions participating in implementing the research and the eligibility of the costs they incur are the same as for the applicant institution.

Applying institutions should allocate provisions to the collaborating institution(s) and reflect it in the budget. It is the responsibility of the applying institution to pay the collaborating institution, as well as to maintain all financial records as per the rules of the institution. The budget submitted by the applying institutions will need to clearly delineate the expenditure under each of the line items representing heads/sub heads of expenditure.

11.    Are the proposals exempt from VAT for the NGOs?


12.    As per Eligibility section of the Guidelines for Submission and Implementation, any collaborating institution must also be non-profit making. Does this also apply to services availed from 3rd parties?

This only applies to the lead institution.

13.    What kind of agreement will be signed between FAO and the research institution?

FAO and the research institution will sign a Letter of Agreement (LOA).

14.    Who will sign the agreement in a University, will it be the Head of the Department or Registrar of the university?

The designated official of the research institution could be the Director, or Head of the Department. The designated official will be accountable to FAO and will be required to certify to FAO that the terms of the Agreement have been completely and satisfactorily met.

15.    Can the RGS assist in other research projects that are not aligned to the research topics?

No, only proposals that are aligned to the approved research topics will be funded.

16.    What could be the list of reasons for rejection of a proposal?

Please see Annex 1 of the Guidelines for Submission.

17.    What are the Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) Project (Area, districts, beneficiaries, implementing partners, stakeholders, implementing strategy, objectives, outcomes, indicators etc)?

MUCH is a national project that is working with the Food Planning Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food. MUCH main objective is to build a “strengthened enabling environment for eradicating food insecurity and malnutrition”. This is being achieved through five mutually reinforcing outputs:

  1. Enhanced capacities for developing national food security and nutrition policy frameworks, cross-sectoral and sectoral investment plans and programmes for food security and nutrition;
  2. Improved capacities for human resource and organisational development in the food security and nutrition domain;
  3. Increased capacities to ensure the adequacy of resource allocation and use for food security and nutrition;
  4. Improved capacities of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), civil society and the private sector to effectively engage in dialogue on food security and nutrition policies and programmes;
  5. Improved capacities to monitor, map trends and analyse the contribution of sectors and stakeholders to food security and nutrition.

18.    Is there any scope to provide incentives (seeds, compost, seed money) and training support for the community people to assess the changes after intervention during research project?

No. Activities and resources to be included should be relevant to the selected research topics and should contribute to addressing the research objectives.

19.    Can two different people in the same department/ different departments/ faculty but within the same University submit?

One institution can submit up to two research grants, but not more than one grant can be awarded to the same institution.

20.    What tools/ questionnaires/ data will MUCH provide for the various ToRs?

MUCH will not provide any tools or data to specific researchers; however, MUCH will provide technical guidance during the inception phase as well as throughout the life of the research.

21.    Please provide guidance on the following ToRs

  • Women’s empowerment, children’s diets and nutrition in urban and peri-urban settings (ToR #10)
  • Survey on consumer awareness of nutrition, food safety and hygiene (ToR #15)


  • For sampling, what will be the age bracket of children?

The sampling frame will be defined by the researcher/s.

  • What types of farming (women owned) in urban and peri-urban set up can be considered ?

Farming households will be identified by the researcher/s.

  • Can MUCH provide a potential list of farms/types for sampling?

MUCH will not provide a list of farms. The list of farms will be identified by the researcher/s.

  • What would be the selection criteria for adolescent girls (married & unmarried or only unmarried)?

Selection criteria will be defined by the researcher/s.

  • What methodology should be used to assess nutritional status?

Methodologies/ tools will be selected by researcher/s based on standard and validated methodologies.


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