HUC TROSA Water Research Grant

Call for Proposals
Date of circulation: 23 April 2018
Application deadline: 31 May 2018

The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) Initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has partnered with the Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) programme led by Oxfam to invite proposals for the HUC TROSA Water Research Grant on transboundary water resources governance in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) and Salween basins. The aim of this call is to strengthen transboundary and regional collaboration across Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) countries through research, learning, education, capacity strengthening, and institution building. This grant programme will bring together research and practice-based institutions in the HKH region and encourage transboundary collaboration through south-south cooperation among academic practitioners. Institutions receiving the grant must use this funding to pursue concrete long-term transboundary collaboration plans. 


The HKH region is the water tower of South and South East Asia. Ten major rivers originate here. The Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna and Salween river basins extend from the world’s tallest mountains, through floodplains and lowland systems to fertile wetlands, deltas, estuaries, and bays. All these rivers hold important cultural and religious significance for the countries they pass through. The waters and rich sediment loads also support fishery and agricultural systems of national and global significance contributing to the economic development of the countries. The waters connect nations and function as trade routes. Yet, millions of people in South and South East Asia do not have secure access to water. This is due to growing competition over natural resources caused by infrastructure development; agricultural, urban, and industrial expansion; and the effects of climate change which manifest as, among other things, floods and droughts that have increased in intensity and frequency in recent years. The transboundary nature of rivers with shared resources across borders provides an opportunity for cooperation in South and South-East Asia over how waters are governed and managed within and across borders.

Focus Areas

The proposal should address one question listed in Annex 3, focusing on one of the river basins — Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna, and Salween. Areas of interests are:

  • How do water resource management infrastructure or interventions (e.g., embankments, dams, hydropower projects, bridges, dredging work, ports, etc.) affect communities (including gender dimensions) and other ecosystem functions (such as the nature of erosion/flooding, water quality, and biodiversity, etc.)?  
  • What kinds of transboundary water information systems (relating to floods and other riverine hazards, water quality, sediment, etc.) can be effective in influencing timely, informed, and gender-inclusive community-led actions and improved decision making on water-related issues?  
  • How can governments, civil societies, the private sector, academia, media, and other stakeholders meaningfully engage through multi-stakeholder platforms or other suitable mechanisms to make transboundary water cooperation initiatives and decisions more inclusive and equitable?  

Proposals concerning and addressing gender issues will be given priority. Proposals adopting action research or research-into-use and critical pedagogy approaches, engaging civil society, and community-based organizations and stakeholders as co-producers of knowledge, are strongly encouraged.

Who Can Apply?

Universities and research institutions based in the HKH region that are current members of HUC or have applied for membership in four countries — Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Nepal (Annex 2) are eligible to apply. HUC members from China are strongly encouraged to join or lead the proposals on a cost-sharing basis.

The implementing team must include principal investigators from all partnering institutions. Women are strongly encouraged to serve as principal investigators and/or project leads. Partnerships with and/or involvement of civil society and community-based organizations, including women-/youth- led organizations, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure

If there are any queries, please send them to the mailing address.

The deadline for submission is 31 May 2018. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.