Subject: Call for proposal: CPEC- Collaborative Research Grant (Due Date: 31-03-2021 through online portal research.hec.gov.pk).
The CPEC- Collaborative Research Grant (CPEC-CRG) is one of the key component of recently launched HEC initiative namely "Academic Collaboration under CPEC Consortium of Universities". The overall objective of the said project is to understand and respond to the historic global geo-strategic and geo-economic transition and its impact on the region in general and Pakistan in particular, keeping in view the broad Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and its Pakistan-specific component – CPEC. The national response to the strategic opportunity arising out of the emerging global dynamics is the CPEC Long Term Plan (LTP).
The CPEC- CRG is anticipated to support promising research partnerships between Pakistan and China, aiming at finding solutions to CPEC-related problems through joint research by the universities of Pakistan and China, drawing upon research potential of academia on both sides. Keeping in view the scope and foreseeable impact of CPEC, this initiative will go a long way in supporting collaborative research proposals, addressing problems and issues pertaining to Pakistan's socio-economic development in general and CPEC in particular.
CPEC- CRG research projects must be collaborative in scope, with teams composed of academic researchers from Pakistan and China with the appropriate expertise to address the research challenge, as well as industrial and sectoral collaborators within Pakistan and/or China. Principal Investigators should be faculty members at higher education institutions in Pakistan. To take full advantage of the national research capacity, proposals are encouraged from teams including junior and senior academic staff, as well as both male and female researchers. PIs are also encouraged to include students who have worked on the academic research underpinning the CPEC- CRG proposal as part of the team.
CPEC-CRG awards will be selected competitively using a merit-based, independent, transparent evaluation and selection process based upon international standards. In addition, HEC will organize a series of workshops and webinars, as well as develop a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the CPEC- CRG program.
The CPEC-Collaborative Research Grant is focused on supporting research in the following priority thematic areas of national interest, utilizing full potential of Chinese experiences and lessons learnt in these areas;
- Sustainable Agriculture, including but not limited to challenges such as Agricultural Productivity and Resilience; exploitation of Agricultural Value-chains; and Sustainable Food Eco-systems for rural and urban consumers and producers
- Health and Wellbeing, including but not limited to Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health (MNCH), health-related information and communication technologies, Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiology, Non-Communicable Diseases, Bio-informatics & Big-data Analytics
- Clean Water and Sanitation, including but not limited to, food, energy, water nexus, and focusing on challenges such as large-scale, low cost, and scalable waste water treatment systems; significant reduction in irrigation related water losses; and innovative socio-technical approaches to water conservation.
- Poverty Alleviation, including, but not limited to, skills and labor market interventions, and focusing on challenges such as exploitation of 3G/4G networks particularly for less literate and largely illiterate populations; addressing and mitigation of large climate change impacts on marginal communities; the use of technology in bringing transparency and responsiveness to citizen services.
- Science & Technology for Sustainable Development, including but not limited to, export competitiveness, and focusing on challenges such as exploitation of economic and technological impacts of mobile broadband and development, deployment, and exploitation of 5G networks; 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) within the Pakistani context; transformational innovation and enhancement of global competitiveness of Pakistani export value-chains; indigenous development of high-end textile value chains; industrial performance and productivity, competitiveness, and re-location (particularly in the context of CPEC); and the interplay between population and economic development.
- Sustainable Cities and Communities, including but not limited to, sustainable urban design, low-cost housing, mobility, and transport and focusing on challenges such as planning for and preservation of urban space and life; economic, sociological, and cultural triggers for the planning and creation of second-tier (and new) cities and towns; provision of quality of urban life such as transportation and congestion, waste collection and disposal, water and sanitation, healthcare and education, and law and order.
- Cultural Harmony between Pakistan and China, which may include identity politics, gender, population, and work ethic focusing on challenges such as preservation of our intellectual heritage and material culture, barriers to gender participation in the workforce and in national development; future of work and family; and cultural and sociological impact of CPEC.
- Sustainable Energy, including but not limited to Energy efficiency, Battery and Storage Technologies, efficient and smart grids focusing on challenges such as smart and sustainable energy solutions for urban, rural, and remote areas.
- Sustainable Infrastructure, including but not limited to low-cost electric mobility solutions; sustainable platforms for urban, rural, and intercity mobility including roads, railway, and port infrastructure; innovation mechanisms for reduction in transmission and grid losses in legacy power transmission infrastructures.