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Call for research projects for development and training projects for the South

Every year, ARES launches a call for research projects for development (RPD) and training projects for the South (TPS). This call is addressed to authorised members of the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) of the Federation Wallonia Brussels, Belgium and to the authorised members of the HEI of partners countries.

/ Call for research and training projects 2025

The call for research and training project proposals 2025 is now closed.

Eligibility criteria?

01 / Geographical focus

For the 2025 RPD-TPS call, ARES decided to focus on 18 countries. Partner institutions which do not play a coordination role may however be located in one of the partner countries eligible in the framework of the thematic HES4SD JSF. The list of these 18 countries and of the “JSF partner countries” is available below under “Reference documents”.

02 / Common strategic frameworks

The projects must be built in accordance with the strategic goals of the Thematic Common Strategic Framework (JSF) “Higher Education and Science for Sustainable Development” (HES4SD) which has been developed for the 2022-2027 programme. The HES4SD JSF is available below under “Reference documents”.

03 / Partnership - Stakeholders

The project must be carried out as a partnership: it must include at least one Coordinating HEI in the Wallonia Brussels Federation as WBF coordinator, one Coordinating HEI in the partner country and at least one Partner HEI in the Wallonia Brussels Federation, Belgium.

The teaching and/or research partner institutions in the partner country must meet the following requirements:

  • The institution services a public service function (public institution or functional public service);
  • The institution must be not-for-profit;
  • The degrees that the institution awards are recognized by the public administration authorities of the countries involved.

Detailed information about the status of the participants (WBF and local coordinators and partners) is available in the strategic directions and guidelines.

We draw the attention of applicants to the fact that a WBF coordinator can only submit one project proposal as coordinator under this call.


Which financial support?

  • The duration of RDP and TPS is 3 or 5 years;
  • The budget of the project proposals must comply with the RPD and TPS financial standards included in the RPD-TPS vademecum
  • 3-year projects have a maximum budget of 350,000 €5-year projects have a maximum budget of 500,000 €;
  • 5-year RPD project proposals must include at least one PhD thesis
  • 5-year TPS project proposals may – but are not obliged to – include PhD theses;
  • The budgets of the projects will be divided in academic years (from September until the end of August).

How to submit a proposal?

01/ Procedures for submitting proposals

  • Pre-project proposals may be written in French or English. Annexes in Spanish will be accepted;
  • They must be submitted via the GIRAF platform by 15 April 2024  at midday;
  • They must be accompanied by coordinators and partners’ CVs (maximum 5 pages);
  • They must be officially validated by the WBF Coordinating HEI by 22 April 2024 at midday;
  • Not respecting these deadlines will lead to the proposal rejection.

The practical steps to submit a proposal are detailed through GIRAF. The WBF coordinator will be invited to:

  • Create his personal account or activate his existing GIRAF account (people already involved in a project funded by ARES are already included in GIRAF database);
  • Contact the development cooperation unit of their institution to get the link to create a GIRAF form;
  • Nominate co-writers among the activated accounts in GIRAF. Co-writers must activate or create their own accounts before being able to be designated as such.


15 January 2024  Launch of the call for preproject proposals
29 March 2024 at midday  Deadline to create a new form in GIRAF
15 April 2024 at midday  Closing of the call for preproject proposals
2-20 September 2024 Preproject proposals evaluation meetings
End of September 2024 Selection of preprojects
17 October 2024 Information meeting on full projects formulation
18 October 2024 - 2 February 2025 Formulation of the full projects
3 February 2025 at midday Deadline to submit full projects proposals
April 2025 Validation of the 2025 RPD-TPS selection by ARES Board
September 2025 Start of the 2025 PRD-PFS

How are the projects selected?

01/ Selection process

  • The administrative admissibility of the pre-project proposals is examined by contact persons from the HEIs and by ARES Direction for Development Cooperation.
  • The admissible pre-project proposals are then analysed by two transversal external experts and two scientific experts.
  • The DGD and diplomatic missions review the proposals, focusing on relevance, coherence and synergies criteria as well as on the links with strategic priorities of the Belgian Development Cooperation, and provide an opinion.
  • On the basis of the opinions given by the experts and the DGD, the Bureau of ARES Development Cooperation Committee selects the pre-projects, taking into account the number of projects planned in the framework of the call and possible political and strategic criteria.
  • The selected pre-project will participate in the two next phases of the selection process: the formulation and the validation phases (for more information, please read the strategic directions and guidelines).

02/ Selection criteria

Pre-project proposals are analysed by the experts on the basis of an evaluation grid including the following criteria:

Scientific and educational quality

The scientific and educational quality of a project will be a key factor during the selection of RPDs and TPSs. In more concrete terms, these projects must satisfy the following requirements:

  • For RPDs, describe the scientific matters addressed and explain the scientific contribution of the project;
  • For TSPs, describe the topics covered by the training through the curriculum and explain how they cover the various aspects of the identified issue;
  • The pluridisciplinary nature of the project is important: the various disciplines or sub-disciplines involved must be highlighted and it must be clear how their integration will make it possible for the project to address the complexity of the identified issue;
  • Provide a “state of the art” of the scientific issues addressed;
  • Partners’ CVs (attached according to the required standards: maximum 5 pages including, when applicable, the five most important publications in the scientific area targeted by the project) must demonstrate that the qualifications of the participants match the needs arising from the addressed issue.

Relevance to development

The relevance to development (local, regional or national) of the project proposal is an essential criterion. In this regard proposals must provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:

  • Is the project correctly structured for the context in which it must be carried out?
  • Does the RPD project address a development issue which has arisen in the country/countries involved? Will the contribution to this problem have an effect, either direct or indirect, on the development of the country/countries involved and will it allow meeting the needs of the target groups and final beneficiaries?
  • Does the TPS address a leading training field for the development of the partner institution or for the local, national or regional society?

Suitability of the budgetary allocation to the proposed response strategy

At the pre-project level, it is required to give a breakdown for general budget items (investment, functioning, staff, grants, travel expenses…). The experts will evaluate whether or not this budgetary allocation is adapted to the proposed strategy.

MORE INFORMATION: contact our team in charge of RPD-TPS : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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