Research Funding Programme 2021

We invite research proposals on climate change action, local democracy, and labour, livelihoods and employment. 

Our sixth Research Funding Programme comes from our efforts to strengthen and elevate the state of understanding of societal processes and outcomes. This programme is designed to promote inquiry into areas of particular interest to Azim Premji Foundation and to explore possible responses for some of them.

This funding programme is designed to strengthen and supplement our existing efforts in areas of climate change action, local democracy, and labour, livelihoods and employment. While we are open to any broad consideration within an area, the research should be empirically grounded, and be able to inform practice and policy. 

We invite research proposals of high quality that examine the significant questions of public concern in the following areas:

  • Climate change action
  • Local democracy
  • Labour, livelihoods and employment

Our funding towards this area is designed to promote an increased understanding of the climate crisis in India, and to explore possible action and responses to it. We seek proposals of high quality that examine significant questions of public concern in the following areas: 

  • Climate change education and outreach, especially in cities 
  • Climate change policy and action 
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

We will not consider proposals that do not establish a strong link to climate change, even as we are open to a broad consideration within the range of climate action. For example, we will not consider proposals that work on aspects of sustainability, such as pollution, waste and ecology, that do not establish a strong link to climate change. 

Your proposals should be empirically grounded, aiming to directly inform and engage with education and outreach, policy or practice. Successful projects must have a strong component of action in some form. Projects that are solely focused on research will not be considered in this call. We encourage collaborative research applications. 

Research funding budget: 

INR 5 – 20 lakhs 

Duration of project: 

1 – 2 years 

Announcement of initial selection and shortlist was made on Nov 6, 2021. Deadline for submission of complete proposals is Nov 302021.

There is much to be done in India’s overall journey towards its constitutional promise of deepening and widening democratic foundations and development in the country in the form of Amendments 73 and 74 of the Indian Constitution. The Centre for Local Democracy supports this journey through field engagements to create good practices at scale through supplementary research as well as to build capacity through educational programmes and work with stakeholders to build a conducive ecosystem. 

The Centre for Local Democracy invites research proposals for empirical work in the following areas that have direct relevance to strengthening local democracy and development. We seek rigorous analysis and study of the following: 

  • Determinants of good practices of gram, block and zilla panchayats in any of the areas of resource mobilisation, governance of natural resources, welfare, equity and social justice. 
  • The process of Gram Panchayat Development Planning, and its contribution to development and social justice outcomes. 
  • The barriers faced by elected women representatives in gram panchayats having prior experience in community-based work or in social movements. 
  • Study of the functioning of the traditional governance systems of the Adivasis and their integration with constitutional local governance structures and processes.
  • The functioning of nyay panchayats and other alternative dispute resolutions systems and possibilities of their integration with the mainstream justice delivery system. 
  • Assessment of quality and coverage of Capacity Building Strategies of panchayats in terms of their efficacies in institutional functioning and welfare-development goals. 
Research Funding budget: 

INR 5 – 10 lakhs 

Duration of project: 

1 year

Announcement of initial selection and shortlist was made on Nov 6, 2021. Deadline for submission of complete proposals is Nov 302021.

Economic growth in India has failed to generate secure, regular, and decent incomes for the vast majority of the workforce. As India emerges from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for fresh thinking that does not bind itself to any prior ideological commitment, except the right of every Indian to lead a secure and dignified life in a just and sustainable way. 

The Centre for Sustainable Employment aims to foster fresh and creative thinking on this urgent and complex issue. We invite research proposals in the broad area of labour, livelihoods and employment including but not limited to: 

  • Macroeconomics of structural change and employment generation 
  • Skills and skill development 
  • Sustainable industrialisation and green growth 
  • Labour laws, informality, and contract labour 
  • Impact of COVID-19 and the associated measures on labour, livelihoods and employment. 

We are looking for studies with a research focus, and not only a pure intervention-based proposal. Ensure your proposal has a research focus. 

Research funding budget: 

INR 5 – 20 lakhs 

Duration of project: 

1 – 3 years 

Announcement of initial selection and shortlist has been made on Nov 6, 2021. Deadline for submission for complete proposals is Nov 302021.

Timeline for submissions and deadlines

  • Programme open for submission of concept notes.
  • Deadline for submission of concept notes.
  • Announcement of initial selection and shortlist.
  • Deadline for submission for complete proposals.
  • Announcement of awards.
  • Research Project begins.

Applications are invited from individuals or an associating group of researchers.

We invite applications from independent researchers, or researchers affiliated with academic institutions, non-profit organisations, for-profit organisations and the government. We encourage scholars and researchers in the fields of education, development practice, public policy, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, history, creative arts, media and the sciences to apply. 

This call for proposals is for researchers external to Azim Premji Foundation. Employees of Azim Premji Foundation are not eligible to apply. 

You can apply via our research portal’ that will open for applications on 3 August 2021, and close on 30 September 2021

Please submit the following documents.
  • Online application form. 
  • A concept note of not more than 1200 words. 
  • CVs of all collaborating investigators. Please specify the principal and co-principal investigators. 

Your proposal should address the particular theme under the domain you wish to work within. We will not consider concept notes outside the scope of the specific sub-themes and areas of research. Concept notes crossing the word limit of 1200 words will be disqualified. 

Please indicate the following in your concept note:
  • Why is this study important? Highlight the significance. 
  • Identify clearly your research objectives and questions.
  • Outline the methodology you will use. 
  • Indicate why the research has general significance to the domain, and the ways in which you will address the concerns laid out in the sub-themes. 
  • Demonstrate your competency and qualifications to undertake research in the proposed area. 

You can submit multiple proposals addressing specific sub-themes, both within a domain or across the different domains mentioned above. 

Next steps

All applications will undergo a detailed review for selection to the next round. On being selected for the next round, we will invite you to submit a detailed proposal where all aspects of the research are explored. 

Please write to <helpdesk.​research@​apu.​edu.​in> for any queries.