Local Challenge Fund (LCF)

Call for Proposals for Local Challenge Fund (LCF) is now open. The deadline for Project Outline (PO) submission is 1st October 2021 (11.59 PM Pakistan Standard Time).

Applications can be submitted via HEC-R&D online portal (research.hec.gov.pk) after 31.8.2021.

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). For LCF Priority Research Areas please refer to:

  1. The HEC Research Priority List is available at: https://hec.gov.pk/site/PRA
  2. SDG priority areas available at: https://www.sdgpakistan.pk/web/sdgs

The anticipated portfolio of LCF projects will support higher education institutions across Pakistan to undertake research focused on the local community – society, governmental, and/or industry -needs.  LCF projects are expected to strengthen the research capacity and to contribute to the research mission of the host institution.  Successful proposals will describe a research project designed in conjunction with the appropriate local stakeholders.  The dissemination plan must ensure that research outcomes are shared both in appropriate peer-reviewed journals and with the local community involved in the project design.  Proposals should include research activities and postgraduate education, and emphasize the broader societal impacts – with a particular focus on local community concerns - that may be anticipated from the project.

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.

LCF awards will be selected competitively using a merit-based, independent, transparent evaluation and selection process based upon international standards. The process is described in the Sections below, as well as in the full Evaluation and Selection protocol available on the HEC website. 


Last Updated: 19-08-2021 17:54



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