Based on lessons learned from evaluations and assessments of various policy-supporting initiatives in the past, a new programme was developed, envisaging scientific support to the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD): the Policy Supporting Programme (PSP). PSP is the successor to similar former programmes in the past, PSR and Acropolis.
PSP funds policy support to DGD on several broadly formulated priority themes of the Belgian Development Cooperation to establish sustainable cooperation networks on these themes in the longer term.
Call for Concept Note 2023-2027
01/ How does it work?
The Policy Supporting Programme delivers research output on specific themes of interest to the Belgian development cooperation on demand of the Belgian government. The goal of PSP is to deepen the knowledge on themes that are of prime importance to the Belgian development cooperation, linked to building the knowledge and capacity of DGD.
An online information and matchmaking session with stakeholders took place on November 30th 2022. This resulted in the final Terms of Reference elaborated by DGD for PSP regarding the following three themes:
- Climate & Environment
- Fragility & Resilience
- Social protection, inequality & inclusive growth.
These Terms of Reference (ToR) provide potential applicants with more subject matter-related information. The present call invites interested parties to submit a Concept Note containing the following elements:
- A presentation of the core group:
o relevant expertise
o roles & responsibilities
- A strategy for the inception phase:
o reflections on the theme and priorities
o outlining the method and approach for the inception phase
o the approach to mobilise expertise
o the approach to guarantee (gender) equality and interdisciplinarity
- A strategy for the uptake of research results
- An activity planning and budget for the inception phase
The PSP will start in May 2023 and end 31 August 2027 (4 years and 4 months). Each project will start with an inception phase in May 2023. The real start of the fully-fledged project takes place as of November 2023, after the submission and validation of the fully-fledged proposal, elaborated on during the inception phase.
02/ Who can apply?
Researchers of Belgian higher education institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences and arts) are eligible to submit for this call.
The Concept Note needs to present the core group, which includes at least 1 promoter of an HEI from the Federation Wallonia-Brussels region, 1 promoter from a Flemish-speaking HEI, and 1 promoter from a partner country. The group consists of people with:
- the relevant expertise,
- the capacity to mobilise a network and
- the capability to generate change and impact. The Concept Note also includes a budget.
03/ Which partner countries are eligible?
Researchers affiliated with Belgian higher education institutions (HEIs) (both universities and universities of applied sciences and arts), and researchers affiliated with higher education institutions in one of the partner countries of ARES and VLIR-UOS.
Concept Notes need to include at least 1 HEI from Flanders, 1 HEI from the Federation Wallonia-Brussels (FWB), and 1 HEI from a partner country.
A maximum of 50% of the budget can be spent by a HEI in a partner country.
Of the funds spent by the Belgian HEIs, max. 25% of the ARES/VLIR-UOS budget can be spent on Flemish / FWB researchers respectively. How this rule will be implemented, is still under discussion and will be communicated without delay.
04/ Budgetary framework
Three thematic Policy Supporting Projects will be funded, with the budget of each project being € 1,330,000 for the entire duration of the project.
05/ How does the assessment procedure work?
The selection commission will be composed of DGD representatives. Two independent experts will be identified by ARES and VLIR-UOS to contribute to the selection commission activities. The selection commission will be responsible for the appraisal and selection of the Concept notes.
After the inception phase, this commission will also be responsible for the assessment of the fully-fledged proposals. For information on the selection criteria, see the table on pages 13-14 in the call document.
All Concept notes are assessed by the commission members, guaranteeing equal treatment and triangulation.
|18 January 2023||Launch date of the call for Concept notes|
|9 February 2023||Hybrid information session|
|14 March 2023||Deadline for submission Concept note to VLIR-UOS/ARES|
|Beginning of April 2023||Selection of Concept note by DGD|
|Beginning of May 2023||Start of inception phase|
|End of October 2023||Submission fully-fledged proposal to VLIR-UOS/ARES|
|Beginning of November 2023||Approval fully-fledged proposal by DGD|
|Mid-November 2023||Full start PSP projects|
08/ How to submit a proposal?
Send your Concept note by e-mail to both ARES and VLIR-UOS on the following addresses:
An information session will be organised on Thursday 9 February 2023 from 10:00 until 12:00 (CET). During this session, information will be provided regarding the PSP Programme and the modalities of the call.
The session is also an opportunity to meet/discover other interested parties within the same field of expertise.