Call for applications 2021 Communication for Development Research Fund

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Deadline to apply: 16 February 2021

Announcement of successful applications will be made by 5 April 2021.

Applications are now being received for the 2021 UNICEF/IAMCR Communication for Development Research Fund. Two awards, worth up to USD 4,000 each, will be awarded to small research projects that advance our understanding of how Communication for Development (C4D) contributes to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fund is open to advanced PhD students and early-career professionals who are IAMCR members residing in low and middle income countries.

Managed by IAMCR and funded by UNICEF, the fund is designed to support communication and media research that advances our understanding of how communication for development tools and methods can contribute to the realisation of the SDGs. The research supported will closely link with and contribute to the work of the Global Alliance for Social and Behaviour Change (GASBC), a coalition of organisations from diverse fields, united by a common commitment to building informed and engaged societies. UNICEF and IAMCR are founding members of the Alliance. The grant can be used to support a new research initiative or a distinct component of research already in progress. Proposals will be reviewed by a five-person selection committee made up of the co-chairs of IAMCR’s GASBC Taskforce, a member of IAMCR, a representative of UNICEF, and a member of GASBC.

In addition to the funds, awardees will be provided with: (1) mentoring support in the form of several online mentoring sessions throughout the duration of the grant project; and (2) the coordination of a peer review of the final papers. The IAMCR GASBC Taskforce will organise a special online session at the IAMCR 2021 conference, during which awardees will present their research. Awardees will also be required to present their research at two webinars attended by UNICEF staff and members of GASBC and IAMCR.

Successful applicants will receive a first payment of USD 2,500 in the first year (April 2021), to contribute to the operational cost of implementing the research project, and a second payment of up to USD 1,500 in the following year (May 2022) to support the presentation of their work at the IAMCR conference in Beijing.

Download the CfP


To apply you must be an advanced PhD student or early-career professional and reside in a low or middle income country. You must be a member of IAMCR at the time of submitting your application.

Research proposals must demonstrate how they will contribute to our understanding of how communication for development tools and methods can contribute to the realisation of the SDGs.

Complete applications must be received by 16 February 2021. 

The research project must begin no later than June 2021, a complete draft of a final report must be submitted by 30 April 2022, and a full paper must be submitted by 30 May 2022.

Language Policy

Applications must be submitted in English. The final research report or paper can be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

A good level of spoken English is required as that will be the language used for the mentoring sessions and webinars.

Application Procedure

Applications will be accepted until 16 February 2021.

A complete application must include:

  • A letter of application, not exceeding three pages, that describes the proposed research, including:

    • A project title.
    • A rationale for how the project will enhance our understanding of how Communication for Development contributes to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.
    • The methodology to be employed.
    • A budget showing how the research funds will be allocated (e.g. local travel, research assistant, technical support).
    • A timeline of project implementation and reporting.
  • A current CV.

  • A sample of applicant's work relevant to the proposed research.

Submit the application electronically to C4DFund [at] Applications must have C4D Research Fund as the subject line of the email. Questions can be addressed to info [at]

Members of the Selection Committee:

  • Elske van de Fliert (Chair), The University of Queensland, Australia | IAMCR GASBC Taskforce
  • Thomas Jacobson, Temple University, US | IAMCR GASBC Taskforce
  • Andrew Carlson, UNICEF, US | UNICEF
  • Sohini Bhattacharya, Breakthrough, India | GASBC
  • Joumana Kalot, American University of Beirut, Lebanon | GASBC
  • Vinod Pavarala, University of Hyderabad, India | IAMCR membership
  • Bruce Girard (non-voting), IAMCR, Uruguay | IAMCR Executive Secretariat