Call for Proposals: WIT Seed Grants on Water

Background

Water has been recognized as one of the most important resources for Pakistan; its prudent management is therefore critical for the country’s economy and its people’s livelihoods. There are major challenges concerning the efficient and sustainable utilization of surface- and ground-water resources. These challenges are compounded by the impacts of climate change and a booming population. On the water governance side, Pakistan needs to examine its trans-boundary institutions, remove interprovincial trust deficit, formulate a national water policy and chart a path of economic development that is sustainable. Most of all, the water sector needs innovations to re-examine these challenges from fresh, out-of-box and holistic perspectives.  

 

Themes 

Within this context, the Centre for Water Informatics and Technology (WIT) at LUMS is pleased to announce small grants to support LUMS faculty, students and researchers to kickoff research projects related to water resources in the following thematic areas.   

1.    Hydro-informatics, data analytics and systems engineering for water, agriculture and allied disciplines with a particular focus on sensors and systems. 
2.    Water technologies for improving irrigation efficiency, enhancing drinking water services, treating waste water and powering agriculture related services. 
3.    Water economics and integrated systems analysis for policy formulation and comparative evaluation of interventions, to deal with issues of climate change, energy policy, agricultural policy and ecosystem services.  
4.    Water science, including the hydro-climatology of the upper Indus, aquifer modeling, sea water intrusion and contamination transport in critical surface- and ground-water resources. 
5.    Socio-hydrology including cultural studies, historical geography of the Indus basin and social behaviors related to water usage. In particular, studies related to the river Ravi sub-basin, its urbanisation and future are of immediate interest to the centre.   
6.    Other water issues related to challenges faced by Pakistan and the region, in particular integrated approaches that enable the analysis of river basins as complex socio-technical systems. 

 

Aims and Scope of Seed Grants

The grant programme is meant to support high impact research ideas aimed at building the capacity of LUMS researchers to tackle major challenges faced by Pakistan’s water resources. We encourage thoughtful, innovative proposals that promise either:  
•    High-Impact applied research proposals that specifically address the extent to which the outcomes of the project are practitioner-ready and lead to concrete interventions or policy advice.  OR
•    Identify fundamental knowledge gaps that have hitherto been completely overlooked and that promise profound advancements in understanding the science or practice of water related issues. 

 

Deadlines

Important dates relative to the review and notification process are outlined below. Notifications will be sent out on or before the dates noted.

March 31, 2016 Call for proposals
April 30, 2016  Submission of proposals
May 31, 2016   Announcement of results
June 1, 2016 Commencement of projects
October 1, 2016 Progress presentation and report
December 15, 2016  Submission of final reports
January 15, 2017 Stakeholders meeting and workshop
January 31, 2017  End of projects

Eligibility Criteria

All full-time LUMS faculty are eligible to apply as Principal Investigators (PI). External collaborators can be included as co-investigators. 

 

Study Period

Grants are limited to a period of eight months (June 1st, 2016 – Jan 31st, 2017). Successful projects are expected to continue beyond this exploratory period in the form of a major collaboration of the center with an external collaborator. 

 

Submission Guidelines

Principal investigators are invited to submit proposals by April 30, 2016 via electronic submission at wit@lums.edu.pk with the subject WIT Seed Grants 2016. It should ideally include: 

1    Project Summary
2    Statement of Research Question
3    Specific Aims of the Project
4    Brief Literature Summary
5    Research Design and Methodology
6    Expected Deliverables 
7    Schedule of Activities
8    Bibliography
9    Budget Sheet
10    CVs of Key Personnel 

The proposal should be limited to 3000 words/6 pages (excluding budget sheets, bibliography and CVs of key personnel). The standardized forms for LUMS FIF grants or HEC NRPU grants may be reused for proposal submission with the above mentioned page/word limits and guidelines. 

 

Funding Guidelines

•    The funding for individual awards can be up to a maximum of Rs. 0.5 Million, spread over a maximum of 8 months. 

•    Guidelines for allowed budget heads are the same as those for FIF awards. The only exception is that PI can claim a total honorarium of up to Rs. 50,000 upon successful completion of the project. 

•    Upto 50% of the budgeted required funds will be released upon award. They will be issued as an advance and will be adjusted subject to successful submission of mid-term report.

•    Remaining funds will be released after receipt of satisfactory completion documents (financial summary endorsed by mentor, original bills/invoices, completion report from awardee). The total funds released for each project shall not exceed the expenditures as claimed in the approved financial summary submitted by the PI. 

 

General Conditions:

•    All policies of LUMS currently enacted e.g. HR, Procurement and Project Management shall apply with in full effect. Any queries in this regard can be forwarded to OSPR.
•    Any research material produced or idea/design generated in each award can be utilized in further research with the discretion of WIT.

For further details, please download this guidance document

For further assistance, you are welcome to contact the WIT Team.