Call for Project Proposals Under HEC Local Challenge Fund

Higher Education Commission (HEC) has called for Research Proposals under Local Challenge Fund (LCF)

The Local Challenge Fund (LCF) is a key element of the Higher Education Development in Pakistan Project supported by the World Bank and implemented by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The LCF is anticipated to support research projects that address locally relevant socio-economic issues (and may also address topics associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)), and will provide funds to selected institutions based upon a competitive, peer-reviewed evaluation of proposals.

Key Objectives

  • To support cross-disciplinary research projects that address any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the district level.
  • To strengthen the local university research capacity and to contribute to the research mission of the host institution in solving local issues.

The portfolio of awards supported through the Local Challenge Fund will address a broad range of local issues. It is anticipated that awards will be distributed at academic institutions across Pakistan and that a significant proportion of the PIs will be female.

Project Outlines (PO) can be submitted through the online portal ( after 10.8.2020

Last date for PO Submission is 1.9.2020 (11:59 PM Pakistan Standard Time)

How to Apply

Applications can be submitted in response to a call for proposal. Submission must be made to the HEC online portal ( after 10.8.2020 according to the guidelines provided in the call for proposals

Proposal Submission Stages

  • Project Outline Submission
  • Full Proposal Submission

Evaluation Process

LCF awards are made through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive and merit-based process consistent with international standards

The Evaluation process consists of two sequential steps: 

  • Project Outline Review
  • Full Proposal Desk Evaluation 

Eligibility Criteria

Lead Principal Investigators (PIs) must:

  • Be a university faculty member (PhD or FCPS/MCPS/FRCS) based at a Pakistan HEI that is not included in the research-intensive institution as specified for GCF-2020 call

The Project Team:

  • Should include at least one co-PI from a Pakistan HEI that is from a research-intensive institution as specified for GCF-2020 call
  • May include consortia of faculty members from multiple university departments and/or multiple universities
  • May include: private sector participants, particularly when they bring prior IP or capability to the consortium and/or significant deployment, implementation, or scale-up capability

Higher Education Institutions may submit a maximum of 3 exceptional Project Outline proposals under this Call for Proposals. It is the responsibility of the VC/Rector to identify those proposals to be submitted by each HEI, and if appropriate to undertake in an internal screening prior to the Project Outline Submission date.

More information about Local Challenge Fund may be found on the official page

This entry was posted in R&D.

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