Call for Research Proposal on Local Governance:
Support to Young Researchers of Public Universities

Deadline: 19 January 2019


Strengthening local governance has been a key focus of the government of Bangladesh and development partners. As a part of its continuous interventions, UNDP, in collaboration with SDC and DANIDA, has developed the Efficient and Accountable Local Governance (EALG) Project with the aim to strengthen the capacities of local governments (Upazila Parishad and Union Parishad) to foster participatory local development in the rural areas. The project has three major program components while supporting policy for effective local governance is included and expected to address local governance policy issues irrespective of local government tiers through research and policy dialogue. To support policy and effective dialogue with the LGI representatives and policymakers, research and knowledge products would pave the way of promoting local governance. Keeping this in mind, EALG in collaboration with the Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS)- University of Rajshahi, Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), and National Institute of Local Government (NILG) has introduced a Research Grant (RG) for students/young researchers to enable their understanding on local governance issues and improving their research skills.
Young researchers of public universities will be provided a Research Grants (RG) to carry out research on local governance. It is expected that selected young researcher or a group of researchers will complete a research study under the direct supervision of any qualified faculty member of Public Universities or research institutes not below the rank of Associate Professor/equivalent. The Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS), University of Rajshahi/National Institute of Local Government (NILG), Dhaka/Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD),Comilla /Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka in partnership with Efficient and Accountable Local Governance (EALG) project of Local Government Division supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and UNDP is seeking research proposals from young researchers on Local Government issues.


The objectives of the Research Grant are to:

  • enhance understanding of students/ young researchers on Local Governance issues;
  • improve understanding of research methodology and enhance research skills through practical application of research knowledge on the ground;
  • promote innovation and innovative solution of improving local governance and service delivery to citizen especially to the poor and marginalized; and
  • produce more knowledge products on local governance.

Research Areas/ Themes 

Following themes or research areas are provided as examples but not restricting the researcher to propose any research topic germane to strengthening LGIs and promoting local governance.

  • Activation and effectiveness of Ward Shava at UP level
  • Activation and effectiveness of Standing Committees for UP/UZP  
  • Effectiveness of open budget session at UP level
  • Study on good practices of selected UPs and UZPs
  • Areas and strategies for UP resource mobilization
  • Effectiveness and Governance of VGD/VGF/TR/FFW/EGPP
  • Potentials for UZP open budget session
  • Challenges and potentials for reserve seat women in UZPs
  • Gender responsive planning and budgeting at UP and UZP level
  • Government services being rendered by UPs 
  • Good governance at UP and UZP 
  • Effective project management at Union and Upazila level
  • Grievance redress management at Union and Upazila level
  • Planning process at UP and UZP
  • Community participation in management of UP and UZP
  • Technical skills and capacity needs of elected members
  • Role of UP/UZP in local development

Eligibility of the applicant and proposal

The following are the minimum eligibility criteria for students forgetting research grant, and for supervisors for supervising research studies;

  • The regular/recent students of social science discipline from any public university will be eligible for applying the research grant.
  • Students who are studying in Masters degree and/or enrolled in M.Phil or Ph.D as research fellow as regular student will be eligible to apply.
  • The researchers who are in service will not be eligible for research grant.
  • Joint and group research is eligible and encouraged, but the lead researcher should have minimum honors degree.
  • The research topic should be focused on local governance issues.
  • Applicants should provide a consent letter from an eligible supervisor.
  • Research proposal must be a completed one and be prepared following the guideline provided in Section 6 (structure of presentation).
  • Supervisor will not be below the rank of Associate Professor or equivalent having PhD degree and publications and experiences of supervising research in the social science or development field.
  • A supervisor can supervise maximum of 3 Research Projects under this grant, hence if more than 3 consent letters are submitted, all the proposals submitted under that particular supervisor would not be considered for evaluation.

Technical/Financial Assistance:

  • Maximum of 160,000.00 (One lac sixty thousand) Taka would be considered to support completion of each research work either to individual/ joint researchers or a group of researchers excluding supervisor’s honorarium.
  • A supervisor will get minimum of Tk. 30,000 (Thirty thousand) Taka and maximum of Tk. 40,000 (Forty thousand) Taka based on their positions (e.g., Associate Professor/equivalent 30,000 and Professor/equivalent 40,000) for supervising a research work based on the agreement/ contract signed.
  • Grant will be provided through the assigned institutions in installments based on deliverables. VAT and Tax would be paid as per Government rules. 
  • Training will be provided to the selected researchers for five days on research methodology and local government issues.

How to Apply:

  • Research proposal for a research grant should be submitted to IBS/NILG/BARD/CGS directly with a copy to EALG project online or hard copy within the above-mentioned deadline.
  • Research areas should be selected from pilot Upazilas and Union Parishads under Faridpur, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Patuakhali, Netrakona, Chandpur, Sunamganj and Cox’s Bazar district. Please see the list of pilot UZPs and UPs in the Annex.
  • Researchers interested to conduct research at Rajshahi and Rangpur districts should submit their proposals to IBS; Dhaka, Faridpur, Netrokona, Khulna and Patuakhali should submit to NILG or CGS; and Chandpur, Sunamganj and Cox’s Bazar should submit to BARD.
  • A researcher can submit only one proposal (single or joint) to any institute for research grant.

Structure of the Proposal:

Applications for research grants will only be considered if a comprehensive, well-thought out proposal is submitted based on the following structure:

Title Page

The title of the proposal should be clear and concise (one sentence only). Name of researcher and supervisor should be mentioned in the title page. Research area (District) also needs to be mentioned in the Title Page.


(Maximum 500 words)
The introduction should set out the background information to the problem to be studied and the context within which it will be studied. It should also show the importance of the issue, and how this research will influence strengthening LGI systems and or promote local governance in Bangladesh.

Problem Statement
and Significance of
the Research

(Maximum 500 words)
This section should show the core of the intended research, i.e. what the researcher wants to study or investigate. It must be brief and clear.


One paragraph or several sentences. Overall objective and specific objectives of the study may be mentioned.

Literature Review/Conceptual /Theoretical Framework

(Maximum 1000 words)
The literature review should give a brief description of what is already known in terms of studies done in the area, policy statements and the implications, and an identification of gaps to be studied and filled, both on a theoretical as well as on an empirical level. It should indicate how existing work contributes to the research at hand, and vice versa, how the study at hand moves beyond this existing work. Alternatively, the study could also show how it builds on the experience of others.



(Maximum 1000 words)
The methodology is intended to identify the key variables that the research aims at, as well as the research area, methods of data collection, sample size, data analysis, preparation of report etc. in details.


The proposal should include a breakdown of activities and their approximate timing. The timeframe should be realistic, but not beyond four months starting from January.


Under the open competitive system, the maximum budget granted for each successful proposal is BDT 160,000 (One lac sixty thousand) only. The research needs to justify the expenditure by detailed breakdown. The grant can cover items such as subsistence, transport, materials and supplies, photocopying and binding, literature, pre-testing questionnaires, data coding and analysis, etc. This research grants do not include capital expenditure of any kind, such as computers, nor do they allow for contingency expenses or running costs. No need to budget for training and publication of report as the training and publication would be responsibility of the designated institutions.


All references in the body of the proposal should appear in full at the end.


The proposal should include researchers’ basic information regarding their institutional engagement and CV. In case of a combined research where two or more researchers will be engaged, a brief resume of all researchers should be included and the division of responsibilities between and among the researchers in a team.


Letter of Consent from the supervisor to confirm that s/he has agreed to supervise the research and technically guide the researcher/s until the successful accomplishment of the research. A short CV of the supervisor also needs to be enclosed.

Font and font size

The proposal should be written in MS word with 1.5 line spacing, in Times New Roman font and the font size should be 12. Maximum size of the proposal should be not more than 3500 words. Proposals can also be written both in Bangla and English.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • The following criteria will be taken into account when evaluating a proposal for a research grant:
  • The proposal’s relevance to the selected themes/ research areas
  • The competence and potential of the researcher/s
  • The technical merit of the proposal
  • The potential for contribution to knowledge area on local governance.

Evaluation Process

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a Proposal Evaluation Committee at the designated institute. The proposals will be evaluated based on rate/ score looking at the title, introduction and background, statement of the problem, objectives, literature review, relevancy and testing ability of the hypotheses, methodology, sampling procedure, data analysis, presentation, feedback mechanism, bibliography etc. The evaluated proposals by the designated institutes will be finalized by a committee comprising representatives of LGD, EALG, UNDP and faculties of respective institutes.


Proposals for research should be submitted to:

Annex: List of Upazila and Union Parishad under EALG Project

Division District Upazila Union
Dhaka Faridpur Bhanga, Madhukhali Bana, Buraich, Gopalpur, Tagarbando, Pachuria, Nasirabad, Tujarpur, Moyna, Boalmari, Dadpur, Paromeshardi, Charhorirampur, Charvodrashon, Gazirtak, Arpara, Dumain, Korkodi, Kamaldia, Gajna, Bagat, Megchami, Jahapur, Purapara, Dangi, Aliabad, Krishnopur, Narikelbaria, Ramakantopur, Gotti, Atghor
Khulna Khulna Dakop, Rupsha Amirpur, Bhandercort, Bajua, Koilashgonj, Laowdob, Dakop, Kamarkhola, Digholia, Barakpur, Aarongghata, Jogipol, Magurkhali, Atlia, Bhandarapar, Rudaghora, Khornia, Dumuria, Maguraghona, Raghunathpur, South Bedkashi, Amadee, North Bedkashi, Moheswaripur, Horidhali, Raruli, Kopilmoni, Soladana, TS Bahirdia, Barasat, Modhupur
Barishal Patuakhali Kolapara, Rangabali Daspara, Kachipara, Nowmala, Bogha, Madanpura, Adabaria, Bauphul, Dhulia, Kalisuri, Lebukhali, Muradia, Srirampur, Angaria, Alipura, Bohrompur, Bashbaria, Chorborhan, Golkhali, Chiknikandhi, Ratondi Taltoli, Amkhola, Tiakhali, Champapur, Dhankhali, Lalua, Kakrabunia, Badarpur, Joinokathi,Boro Baishdia, Chalitabunia.
Rajshahi Rajshahi Bagmara, Mohonpur Arani, Monigram, Chakrajapur, Bajubagha, Gorgori, Bausha, Auchpara, Dwippur, Borobihanali, Jhikra, Sreepur, Shuvodanga, Goalkandi, Naradahs, Kachikoalipara, Basupara, Gonipur, Yusufpur, Jhalakpur, Rishikul, Basudevpur, Mohonpur, Godagari, Char Ashariadoh, Matikata, Pakri, Rayghati, Parila, Haripur, Puthia.
Sylhet Sunamganj Dakshin Sunamganj, Tahirpur Fathepur, Badhaghat dakkin, Polash, Kalaruka, Dular Bazar, South Kurma, Jawabazar, Shimulbak, Pathariya, Dorgapasha, Purbo Pagla, Madhonagar, Bongshikunda Uttar, Sukhair Razapur Dakshin, Selbarash, Joysree, Tarol, Jogdol, Bhatipara, Sormongol, Rajanagar, Chilaura Haldipur, Asharkandi, Vhimkhali, Jamalganj Uttar, Habibpur, Bahara, Badhaghat Uttar, Dakshin Sreepur, Tahirpur Sadar
Chattogram Chandpur Faridganj, Haimchar Rampur, Hanarchar, Bagadi, Subidpur (East), Rupsha (South), Balithuba (East), Nilkamal, Gazipur, Algidurgapur (South), Haiemchar, Hatila East, Dadoshgram, Gandharabpur (South), Hatila (West), Karaiya, Kachua (North), Sahodebpur (West), Pathaoir, Sahadebpur (East), Kadla, Gohait (North), Gohait (South), Islamabad, Baganbari, Mohonpur, Farazikandi, Upadi (South), Khadergaon, Chitoshi (East), Raisree (South)
Cox’s Bazar Teknaf, Ukhiya Baharchara, Nhilla, Teknaf, Sabrang, Saint Martin, Whykong, Jalia Palong, Haldia Palong, Raja Palong, Ratna Palong, Palong Khali
Mymenshing Netrokona Kalmakanda, Khaliajuri Chhiram, Roypur, Kakairgara, Kullagara, Birisiri, Chandigarh, Pogla, Rongchati, Nazirpur, Kailati, Kharnai, Dalpa, Kandiura, Chirang, Muzaffarpur, Krishnapur, Gazipur, Nagar, Maghan, Fatehpur, Nayekpur, Changaon, Kaitail, Ghaglajhur, Baratali Banihari, Tetulia, Madanpur, Kaliara Gabargati, Laximiganj, Kailati
Rangpur Rangpur Kaunia, Mithapukur Kutubpur, Gopinathpur, Lohanipara, Kolkonda, Laxmiteri, Nohali, Gojgonta, Shohidbag, Sarai, Kursha, Banghi, Durgapur, Borobala, Moyanpur, Baluamasimpur, Bolarhat, Kafrekhal, Latifpur, Boro hazratpur, Payrabondar, Khoragach, Milonpur, Mithupur, Kumetpur, Chandanpat, Haridebpur, Mominpur, Sadapushkarini, Kholeya, Alampur
  Total 18 UZP 251 UP