Irish AID SDG Challenge 2022 for Sustainable Solutions (€50,000 Funding)

Irish AID SDG Challenge 2022 for Sustainable Solutions (€50,000 Funding)

Irish AID SDG Challenge 2022 for Sustainable Solutions (€50,000 Funding)

The Science Foundation Ireland (sfi) is inviting applications for the SDG Challenge 2022 – an opportunity for research teams to develop innovative solutions relating to challenges associated with climate, biodiversity and the environment. Under this call, in partnership with Irish Aid, applications are invited that contribute to the interconnected areas of SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 14: Life below Water and SDG 15: Life on Land.


  • The overarching purpose of the SDG Challenge is to develop transformative, sustainable solutions that will contribute to addressing development challenges under the UN SDGs in Irish Aid’s partner countries.
  • The objectives of the SDG Challenge are:
    • To provide opportunities for Ireland-based researchers to form diverse teams and identify key development challenges where technology can deliver transformative impact with a focus on southern partner countries;
    • To enable the development of collaborations between researchers in Ireland and researchers in partner countries where Irish Aid operates;
    • To support the development, deployment and demonstration of sustainable technologies responding to the identified challenges;
    • To promote sustainability and the important role that STEM3 plays in addressing global sustainability issues and the SDGs.

Thematical Areas

  • The SDG Challenge 2022 is a call to action to international, transdisciplinary research teams to work in partnership to develop solutions that will help to address these risks and support the transition to a climate-resilient future.
  • This challenge seeks solutions that will contribute to achieving the targets and indicators set out in SDG 13: Climate Action. Protection and restoration of nature will be essential in addressing climate change and ensuring future resilience.

Funding Information

  • An overall prize award of €1M will be awarded to the team that demonstrates the highest potential for transformative impact.
  • Applications to the programme can request up to €300,000 in total direct costs over a duration of 18- months.
    • Concept Phase: Up to €50,000 can be allocated for use during the Concept Phase of the programme (Months 1 – 6)
    • Seed Phase: Up to €250k can be allocated for use during the Seed Phase of the programme 12 Months.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Ireland-based Team Lead/Co-Lead must:
    • Be a member of academic staff of an eligible Research Body18 (permanent or with a contract that covers the period of the award),
    • Be a contract researcher with a contract that covers the period of the award (contract may be subject to receipt of the award).
    • Hold a PhD or equivalent.
  • The Partner Country Team Co-Lead must:
    • Eligible partner countries for this SDG Challenge Call are: South Africa, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Vietnam, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.
    • Be employed at a HEI or RPO in one of the partner countries eligible under this call. The HEI/RPO in the partner country must be a publicly funded or not-for-profit institution.
    • The RPO must have the capacity and infrastructure to support the research, should be research active and be able to demonstrate the standard of academic rigour required for a significant research project.
    • Be a member of academic staff or a contract researcher at an eligible HEI/RPO with a contract that covers the period of the award.
    • Hold a PhD or equivalent.
    • Unlike other calls under the SFI Future Innovator Prize, applications will not be accepted where a Team Lead or Co-Lead is a postgraduate researcher.
    • In cases where the Team Lead and/or Co-Lead is a postdoctoral researcher, the application must include a Letter of Support from an established researcher confirming they will act as a mentor to the Lead/Co-Lead for the duration of the award. The Partner Country Team Co-Lead may not be a postdoctoral researcher.


Applications must be submitted through SFI’s Grants Management System, SESAME.  If accessing SESAME for the first time, researchers should contact their local Research Office to get access to the system.  

The deadline for submission of applications to this call will be 22nd September 2022 (13:00 Dublin Local Time).

Applicants should carefully review the following call documentation including eligibility information before preparing an application. Applicants must use the templates provided below and adhere to all guidelines.   

Please note that the Team Lead, Partner Country Team Co-Lead and Team Co-Lead must all use the CV Template provided below. The Societal Impact Champion may use a CV format of their choosing.

Also Read: Other Opportunities to Apply

Also Apply for the Strategic-Technical Support Program – Capacity Building for NGOs and CBOs

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