SUMERNET 4 All Call for Proposals on Joint Action

SUMERNET 4 All (S4A) is a knowledge-based policy research programme that wants to support joint actions by researchers and boundary partners to apply scientifically proven results or innovations for scaling impacts in reducing water insecurity for all, in particular for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region. S4A will focus on three research themes:

  1. water access, rights and allocation in times of water scarcity;
  2. governance and management of water-related disaster risks;
  3. transboundary interactions with water systems.

SUMERNET provides financial support and technical assistance to consortia of researchers and boundary partners, from the Mekong Region, with the possible involvement of other Southeast Asian country partners. The Consortia will carry out the joint actions over 1.5-2.0 years (18-24 months) in one of the above research themes.

SUMERNET 4 All will fund joint actions that contribute to the SUMERNET 4 All’s mission to “improve policies and practices in reducing water insecurity by conducting collaborative research, engaging in the policy process, and promoting scientifically sound research and innovation, incorporating gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, environmental integrity and poverty reduction in the Mekong Region.


Submission deadline: 23:59, 30 November 2019 (Bangkok local time)

Accepting ONLY online submission at  


A. Objective

The main purpose of this grant is to maximize the impact of scientifically proven results or innovations to reduce water insecurity for all. Priority will be given to proposals that have a greater potential to upscale or scale out the impacts from existing research or innovations, to positively enhance the policies and practices for the benefits of all water users especially the marginalized groups of people.

B. Scope

The joint-action grants can support either upscaling or out-scaling activities as follows:

  • Upscaling activities (vertical): researchers working with boundary partners to upscale research results/ innovations to reach a higher number of targeted final end users or to reach higher level of decision-making process (e.g. from local to national level or from national to regional level).
  • Out-scaling activities (horizontal): activities that take research results/innovations to benefit to a wider range of communities, including poor and marginalized communities (e.g. from one location to another location, from initial stakeholder to wider group).

C. Eligibility

The joint action grants are intended to enhance/maximize the impacts of scientifically proven results or innovations from previous research activities of SUMERNET, or others, to reduce water insecurity for all in practice.

The proposals for joint action grants must be jointly submitted by the researchers and boundary partners together. The project proposal lead must be a formal member of SUMERNET and physically based in the Mekong Region. If the project proposal lead is not a member of SUMERNET yet, they can apply to become a member, either before or on the date of proposal submission. To apply as member of SUMERNET, please access this form.

D. Granting Value and Process

Joint action project can cover the activities within only one country or more than one country. Each joint-action project will receive grants to a maximum of SEK 450,000 (or lower).  Each team pursuing this grant may also identify a potential project mentor that they would like to get a support from. SUMERNET will provide not more than 6 grants under the SUMERNET 4 All. The following is the granting process and timeline:

  • 30th November 2019, deadline for submission of all application documents via online system. Please click this link to access the online submission form:
  • By 20th January 2020, successful applications will be notified.
  • February 2020, the project lead and project boundary partners of all successful joint action teams will need to join the SUMERNET Annual Meeting, including a series of events that will be held 3-4 days tentatively in February 2020. The direct cost for this participation will be covered by the Secretariat separately.
  • By 20th February 2020, successful teams will submit updated proposals that take into account the comments from the reviewers.
  • By 28th February 2020, evaluation of the updated proposals and grantee contract completed
  • 1st March 2020, successful teams will start the implementation of joint action projects.

 E. Implementation Period

The implementation period is 1.5-2 years, from 1st March 2020 and to be completed not later than 28th February 2022. Grantees are expected to complete all project activities and submit all outputs to the SUMERNET Secretariat within this time period.

F.  Expected outputs

Each project will identify the outputs that best deliver on the intended impact for policy and research action. Apart from project reports to update on the progress and achievements, at a minimum each project is expected to produce at least one substantial manuscript, either for a peer-reviewed journal or as a book chapter, one policy brief (in English and local language), and at least two media outreach products, that disseminate joint action findings to the wider public (e.g. press release, article in newspaper, blogs, vlogs, podcast, or short film).

Project policy brief’s should be jointly produced by the researchers and boundary partners, highlighting the results of the application of research results or innovations in their selected areas, successes gained and lessons learnt from project implementation and what they would recommend (or not recommend) for future applications of research results or innovations, to out or up-scale the impacts further.

G.  Selection criteria

Required criteria

  • Collaborative project design and implementation - Joint action teams need to be a mix of researches and boundary partners
    1. Project team lead needs to be registered as a SUMERNET formal member and is physically based in the Mekong region. To apply as member of the network please access this online form link.
    2. Boundary partners need to provide official letter of support/commitment, highlighting the real needs (linking with water insecurity in their areas) and wish to apply that research results or innovation in their areas.
  • Contribution to SUMERNET 4 All - Clear regional significances and relevant to SUMERNET 4 All research themes
  • All joint action teams need to use inclusive multi-disciplinary approach for conducting the project: Use multi-disciplinary research approach that considers gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, governance and poverty reduction, and having at least one research question dedicated to gender and social equality issues.
  • Impact on policy and practice:
    1. Clear contribution to specific goals, targets, indicators of SDG in line with the focus of SUMERNET 4 All
    2. Clearly address water insecurities for all in selected area
    3. Clear evidences to prove that research results/innovation are credible and have been successfully applied in other locations
    4. Possibility to measure the impact on policy and practice within project implementation period
    5. Possibility to apply the research results/innovations in other areas (out scale) or at higher levels (upscale).
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement
    1. Engage with a variety of stakeholders e.g. government, communities, private sector, associations related to water insecurity issues that the project try to deal with
    2. Engage with marginalized groups of people into the project activities.
    3. The poor or other marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of people are targeted beneficiaries of the project
  • Team capacity and capacity building
    1. Technical capacity of project team including gender specialist to implement the project
    2. Engagement with young researchers/team members in the project
    3. Engagement with women researchers/team members in the project in key positions
  • Research management capabilities
  • Financial leverage and cost-effectiveness

Desired criteria

  • Selected research results or innovations to be applied in the joint action are based on the past or ongoing work of SUMERNET.
  • Possibility to engage with multi-stakeholders including women and feminist research organizations in the project activities
  • Joint action is led or co-led by women
  • Joint action will engage with the private sector
  • Joint action will include the partners from or activities in China (Note: SUMERNET 4 All cannot provide the grants to the partners from China though)

H. Required documents for submission:

  • Completed proposal in required format. Download the template of proposal at this link.
  • Short CVs (not more than three pages/person) of the Team Leader, project boundary partner, and not more than three key persons of the team including at least one female that will play important role in the team.
  • 3 sample publications relevant to this assignment that the Team Leader or team members served as the lead or co-authors. 
  • Not more than 2 publications related to selected research results/innovation that will be used for this joint action. This is to demonstrate that they are credible and/or have been applied successfully in other areas.
  • Official letter of support/commitment from the project boundary partner, highlighting the real needs (linking with water insecurity in their areas) and wish to apply that research results or innovation in their area.

I. Contact

For further inquiries please contact:

Ms. Unchulee Lualon

Programme Coordinator

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Phone: +66 (0)2 0730040-44