Call for Research Concept notes

Research on the Economics of Natural Resource Use and Environmental Change

Deadline: 9 June 2018

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is an initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) under the regional programme on Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN). SANDEE is a research capacity-building network that provides research support to South Asian researchers and institutions interested in the connections between economic development, the environment, and the use of natural resources. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing center based in Kathmandu, Nepal that serves the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Globalization and climate change increasingly threaten the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and livelihoods in mountain communities; ICIMOD aims to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities while addressing upstream-downstream issues. ICIMOD extends its services to its member countries through six regional programmes (Adaptation and Resilience Building, Transboundary Landscapes, River Basins and Cryosphere, Atmosphere, Mountain Environment Regional Information System, and Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks) with competencies in four thematic areas (Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air and Geospatial Solutions). 

SANDEE invites research concept notes in any area of environmental and resource economics relating to the development of South Asia and the HKH. Of particular interest are concept notes that demonstrate a clear demand from policymakers for their underlying research, although any concept note within the scope of SANDEE for research of scientific merit will be considered. We encourage research on issues of interest to national, provincial, and local-level policymakers in South Asian countries including environmental issues faced by people living in the plains, hills, and mountains. Researchers working in the region from South Asia who are affiliated to member universities of the Himalayan University Consortium, an initiative within ICIMOD, are encouraged to apply. We will consider proposals that discuss the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that each country has submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under the Paris Agreement, urban environment issues, energy access and efficiency, and disaster resilience.    

Examples of research previously supported by SANDEE include: 

  1. A country-wide assessment of how well renewable energy subsidies target the poor in Nepal and a case study of incentives for recycling lead acid batteries under India’s Deposit-Refund Scheme. 
  2. An analysis of possible payments to farmers for ecosystem services in Bhutan and an examination of biodiversity and economic indicators under different forest management strategies in Bangladesh. 
  3. An evaluation of a REDD+ pilot program in Nepal on carbon sequestration and socio-economic changes, and of a livelihood intervention program in India on farmers’ adaptive capacity. 

Past areas of research include the economics of climate change (impact assessment, mitigation and adaptation, evaluating programs and policies for greener development, and valuation of ecosystem services). To review completed research, please visit  

While SANDEE focuses on environmental management, proposals must include a strong economics component. Proposals related to action research that intend to produce consulting-type reports will not be considered. Concept notes are evaluated on their academic merit and policy significance. Multi-disciplinary projects, cross-border collaborations, and transboundary topics with a mountain focus will be prioritized. Institutional affiliation is required to receive a research grant.  

Grants are likely to be in the range of USD 20,000–30,000 over a two-year period.  Larger grants are more likely if teams are multidisciplinary, involve two or more countries in the region, or focus on a transboundary issue. To be considered for the winter 2018 grant cycle, please review the guidelines and upload concept notes to SANDEE’s website at by 9 June 2018. Candidates whose concept notes are selected will be invited to submit full research proposals that will be further reviewed for funding consideration. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a research and training workshop in December 2018 to defend their proposals for a research grant competition. For additional queries, please contact us at