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HEC GCF 2020 Grand Challenge Fund Pakistan : Higher Education Commission

Organisation : Higher Education Commission HEC
Scholarship Name : Grand Challenge Fund GCF 2020
Project Submission Last Date : 9.8.2020
Country : Pakistan
Website :

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For registration of HEC’s workshops on Grand Challenge Fund (GCF), please submit your form on HEC-GCF workshop registration. Full Project Proposals (FPP) for GCF Call can be submitted through the online portal (

Related / Similar Service : PMNLS HEC FAQs Pakistan


The Grand Challenge Fund (GCF) is a key element of the Higher Education Development in Pakistan Project supported by the World Bank and implemented by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The GCF is anticipated to promote research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy and will provide funds to selected institutions based upon a competitive, peer-reviewed evaluation of proposals.

Key Features

** Expected No. of Grants – 25 per year
** Max Project Duration – Three (03) years
** Individual Grant Value – Rs. 15 – 225 million

Eligibility Criteria

Lead Principal Investigators (PIs) must :
** Be university faculty members (with PhD) from research intensive institution

Project Team may include :
** A consortia of faculty members from multiple university departments and/or multiple universities
** Private sector participants, particularly when they bring prior IP or capability to the consortium and/or significant deployment, implementation, or scale up capability
** International partners

International collaborations are encouraged :
** When the international partner brings a unique added value to the project team

How to Apply?

Applications can be submitted in response to a call for proposal. Submission must be made to the HEC online portal ( according to the guidelines provided in the call for proposals document under “Downloads” section

Apply Online :

Once the required details are filled online, please upload all the required documents in .pdf form and submit the application before deadline.

Note : An application once submitted can not be edited/resubmitted

Proposal Submission Stages :
** Project Outline Submission
** Full Proposal Submission

Evaluation Process

GCF awards are made through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive and merit-based process consistent with international standards

The Evaluation process consists of three sequential steps
** Project Outline Review
** Full Proposal Desk Evaluation
** Presentation to High Level Expert Panel by the project team and Institutional leadership of short-listed full proposals

Funding Details

GCF funding may be used for :
** Salaries for PI and co-PIs based on the amount of time spent on the project
** Stipends for bachelors, masters, doctoral students, and postdoctoral scholars to conduct the research proposed

** Travel to national and international meetings to present research results obtained
** Travel to consortia members’ institutions in support of the research proposed

** Processing fee for open access journals for disseminating research results
** The purchase and maintenance of appropriate, approved equipment to conduct the research proposed.

** The purchase of research supplies necessary to conduct the research proposed

** Grants to attract visiting researchers from outside Pakistan to conduct research that contributes to the grant objectives. These visiting researchers can be either expatriate Pakistani scientists or foreign scientists.

** A component of the grant will be earmarked for the problem solving (i.e., it will be released only if there is a demonstrable evidence of success in solving a problem)

Last Date

Last date for FPP Submission is 9.8.2020 (11:59 PM Pakistan Standard Time)

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