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General Requirements and Eligibility Criteria for Phase 7 Proposals

The call for proposals for Phase 7 has now closed. The following information is provided for reference only.

I. General Guidelines

Investigators should clearly explain how the proposal, if funded, would facilitate research capacity building at the institutional level in Pakistan. Projects that would only enhance the capabilities of their individual participants, with no demonstrated broader impact, will be considered less competitive and thus less likely to receive funds. Applicants are reminded that priority is given to projects in which the main locus of activity is in Pakistan, not the United States, so budgets should be allocated accordingly.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the lists of projects funded in Phase 1 (2005), Phase 2 (2006), Phase 3 (2007), Phase 4 (2009), Phase 5 (2012), and Phase 6 (2015) to gain a better understanding of the types of activities supported under this program. Additional weight will be given to projects that demonstrate a clear strategy for uptake or adoption of research outputs, including via further investment by the public or private sectors. Proposal submissions by female principal investigators and projects involving female scientists and students (graduate and undergraduate) are strongly encouraged.

Both the Pakistani and the United States governments have contributed funds to support projects under this program to enhance the ability of the science and technology community to positively contribute to human and economic development in Pakistan. In the six phases of the program carried out since 2005, a total of 96 projects have been funded. 

All awards will be contingent upon the availability of funds.

A. Program Focal Areas

The program welcomes proposals across a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

Health Security

Environment / Climate Change / Biodiversity


Energy and Renewable Energy

Health/Public Health/Medicine

Social Sciences


Economic Development

Water and Sanitation

Democracy and Governance


Food Security

·         The new addition of Health Security to the range of topics this year includes action package targets of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) related to National Laboratory Systems, Real-Time Surveillance, Reporting, Biosafety and Biosecurity, Emergency Operations Centers, and Linking Public Health with Law and Multisectoral, Rapid Response. Applicants are encouraged to reference the Pakistani Joint External Evaluation at when developing proposals under these topics.

As part of the current call for proposals, we are pleased to offer a special opportunity for proposals focused on technology transfer, entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization. Proposals submitted in response to this special focus area should be designed to build the capacity of university and public sector researchers and technology entrepreneurs to: 

  • Connect with the private sector to support technology commercialization;
  • Identify new technologies with potential market value;
  • Scale up a prototype or process for full-scale production;
  • Provide training and mentorship on technology transfer, administration, and other relevant functions related to technology development and commercialization.

Special consideration will be given to proposals in the field of education that advance knowledge on how:

  • To increase the quality of education in Pakistan especially as it concerns early grade reading; and
  • To increase the participation and education attainment of underrepresented populations in the Pakistan education system, including girls and persons with disabilities.

Private companies may not apply or receive funding, but may participate as partners on projects.

B. Types of Activities Supported

Applicants may request support for collaborative research grants, which may be focused on any topic listed in this solicitation, but the program especially welcomes proposals relevant to technology transfer and commercialization as described above. Each set of partners may receive no more than one grant.

Although workshops may be organized as part of proposed collaborative research projects, the program does not accept proposals solely requesting support for the costs of organizing a workshop. Researchers interested in organizing such events in Pakistan may wish to consider the opportunities offered by Pakistan Science Foundation or HEC’s program of Grants for Organizing Seminars, Conferences, Symposiums, and Workshops at:

C. Eligibility Information

(i) Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility: Proposals are to be developed by partnerships that should include at least one Pakistani partner and one U.S. partner. Pakistani partners must be based at a HEC-recognized public sector university or a HEC-recognized private sector research funding eligible university. To view the list of eligible private sector universities, please see: Each PI and each co-PI may only submit one proposal. Previous sub-awardees (PIs) from Phases 1-6 of the program are ineligible to apply.

Projects involving participants from only one country (Pakistan or the United States) are ineligible and will not be reviewed. In developing proposals, proposing partners are urged to take advantage of the widest range of Pakistani talent capable of contributing to the achievement of objectives. In particular, partners should explain in their proposals how they will encourage the participation of women and ensure that they are provided equal opportunities for involvement in the proposed projects, whether as principal investigators, co-investigators, post-doctoral researchers, students, trainees, or workshop participants.

(ii) Topical Eligibility Limit: Due to U.S. government regulations, the program cannot fund research involving “testing or breeding, feasibility study, variety improvement or introduction, consultancy, publication, or training in connection with the growth or production [of a crop] in a foreign country for export if such export would compete in world markets with a similar commodity grown or produced in the United States."

D. Award Information

(i) Anticipated Type of Awards: Requests for funding can vary in amount and length but should not exceed three years. In order to achieve significant progress towards one of the program objectives, proposals are generally expected to involve multiple individuals (including women and students) and contribute to building strengths of key institutions in Pakistan. U.S. and Pakistani budgets may vary but the total combined budget request should not exceed $500,000 for the life of the project. Capital costs for the construction of new buildings, renovations, and/or purchase of vehicles will not be covered. Quarterly as well as annual narrative and financial progress reports will be required. Continuing-year funding of multi-year projects will be contingent upon a merit-based annual evaluation of progress.

Proposals should include all activities and costs necessary to achieve the results stated in the application. Leveraging of resources is encouraged; therefore, the entire cost of the project should be included. Applicants are required to disclose any other funding received or applied for from other sources that would support the proposed project.

Projects funded through this solicitation shall not receive any preference for funding under future USAID and/or Department of State-supported programs. 

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.