More than 700 applications have been received in the Grand Challenge Fund (GCF) launched by Higher Education Communication (HEC) in February 2020.
Supported by The World Bank-funded Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) project, GCF is a unique research programme which aims to encourage university professors to help solve the pressing problems facing the country, a press release on Friday said.
“For too long HEC funded research projects without asking whether they had any impact. GCF is different; its very ethos is to assess the quality of research on how it will contribute to socio-economic development in Pakistan, how it will help solve the problems that confront us, and how it will support our communities, our businesses, our farmers, and our government agencies in making decisions that improve the lives of ordinary citizens. GCF is a very competitive grant.
The success rate is no more than 3 or 4 per cent. Grants will go through a peer-reviewed evaluation by high-level committees. We do expect papers to be published in the best journals. But we also expect to see results on the ground,” said Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri in a statement issued here in Islamabad.
In Phase-I (year 20-21), 25 proposals will be selected out of over 700 submissions. The maximum duration of each grant project is three years, and the maximum grant amount is Rs. 150 million.