General Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions must adhere to the guidelines in the corresponding Call for Proposals or Concept Notes.
  • All proponents must submit proposals online through the Submittable. Mailed, emailed, or faxed proposals will not be accepted or acknowledged.
  • The deadline set by system's time is based on Bangkok/Hanoi/Jakarta time (GMT +7) and the system set that it does not allow for entries or changes to entries after the deadline date and time.
  • To ensure that you receive messages about  the status of your proposal, please use a valid email address and ensure that the email from Submittable is in your spam whitelist.
  • After successfully submitting the proposal, the proponent will receive an email message confirming receipt of the submission. The message will contain your proposal ID number for future reference. Please include this number on all correspondence concerning your proposal.

The research ideas, concept notes, proposals or projects that are developed by at least one SUMERNET partner institute for the work in the Mekong region but funded outside of SUMERNET's programme are eligible to apply to consider as the SUMERNET projects. However, the endorsement entails no financial support for the project, although the project may benefit from exposure within the network and SUMERNET regional activities and events.

Criteria/conditions for endorsement by SUMERNET 

  1. Research project endorsed by SUMERNET should address significant issues under the SUMERNET themes.
  2. The project needs to provide the following outputs: 
  • 1-page summary of the project for the website and SUMERNET project profile booklet
  • 1-page summary for annual progress report and 2-page summary for final completion report
  • Acknowledging SUMERNET as one of supporters in all project outputs such as peer review papers, book chapers, policy briefs, press release, article for newspapers, TV news, film and other communications products.

Application process 

  1. SUMERNET partner who participates in the project submits a letter of interest to endorse their research concept notes, proposals or projects as the SUMERNET projects together with required (non-funding) supports from SUMERNER to the Secretariat. 
  2. The Secretariat reviews the application and submits the Secretariat’s comments and recommendations together with all supporting documents to the SC for consideration (within 2 weeks)
  3. The Secretariat informs the results of SC decision to the applicant (within 1 week). 
  4. If the project is endorsed as the SUMERNET project, a MOU will be signed between the SUMERNET Secretariat and partners to implement the above SUMERNET supports and partner responsibilities.
  5. After the MOU signed, the Secretariat will coordinate with the project team in making the announcement of new SUMERNET project on SUMERNET mailing list and website as appropriate. 

This online form is facilitating collection relevant information of the project proposed for endorsement. This information will be considered by SUMERNET SC and Secretariat on the endorsement decision.

SUMERNET 4 All Rapid Response Research Grant

This grant will fund research that will provide evidence that directly contributes to ongoing planning or decision-making processes at national or regional levels, which address challenges being faced and help reduce water insecurities for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region. 

The research priorities of this call are aligned with three research themes of SUMERNET 4 All below:

1. Water access, rights, and allocation in times of water insecurity. 

2. Governance and management of water-related disaster risks.

3. Transboundary interactions with water systems. 

Expedited timelines apply throughout the process to ensure delivery meets rapid response needs. It is expected that contracting and start-up of successful project is equally expedited. The research project leader and team members are required to treat the award(s) arising from the call with urgency. 

In this round, funding support will not exceed 400,000 SEK (~US$ 45,000) per research project to be completed within 6-12 months. For this round of call, not more than four grants will be awarded in 2021.

Detailed call document and templates can be found at:

Details of this call

The format of applications is based on a shortened version of the well-established SUMERNET 4 All collaborative research funding instrument. We emphasize that applications with involvement of policymakers and planners, practitioners and marginalized women and men are particularly welcome, as are those lead or co-lead by women.

Successful applications will have to fulfil the following aspects:

  1. Addressing current challenges on water insecurity of significant importance for the Mekong Region, in line with at least one of the above research themes of SUMERNET 4 All.
  2. Providing evidence that directly contributes to ongoing planning or decision-making processes at national or regional levels to help reduce water insecurities for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region.
  3. Rapid response research covers the whole of the Mekong Region or at least two countries as the study area.
  4. A multidisciplinary research approach that includes gender and social equality, human rights, conflict sensitivity, and governance and poverty reduction as key targets.
  5. Engagement with a diverse group of team members in the project that represent diverse genders, ages, races and are at different stages in their research career is an advantage, especially if the project has a female lead.
  6. End beneficiaries of this rapid response research are the marginalized and most vulnerable groups in the Mekong Region.
  7. Lead agency and Team Leader have extensive experience and proven capacity to manage the grant that engages with interdisciplinary experts in water sector for the Mekong Region.
  8. Project team has proven experience and expertise to carry out the proposed rapid research.
  9. Including realistic activities that could be implemented and completed within the proposed project period even though the pandemic may continue in the region.
  10. Providing letter of support or request from target user(s) of future research findings to certify that there is a real need for this research while not compulsory will certainly be an advantage. 

Who can apply?

Lead Applicant (LA) needs to demonstrate that she/he has the skills, knowledge and support necessary to direct the proposed research and to be actively engaged in carrying the research through its completion. The LA will need to show appropriate evidence of expertise and experience matched to the nature and context of research project. LA must be a formal SUMERNET network member. (You can apply to be a SUMERNET network member if you have not registered as network member yet using this link: 

If lead organization has prior experience in receiving the grant(s) from SUMERNET or other programmes of SEI, the application would be an advantage. However, they will need to demonstrate that their project team can perform the activities specified in the application, without impacting the work earlier committed with SUMERNET or related ongoing tasks in their organizations.

Project team members could be the experts from SUMERNET network or other networks.

How to apply?

The Expression of Interest (EoI) form (available at this link) must be completed to ensure eligibility. Reference is made in the form to SUMERNET website where information on the programme’s goal, objectives and priority themes, as well as operating approach, boundary partners, capacity development etc. is made. Please refer to this when submitting the EoI.

All applications must submit an Expression of Interest and supporting documents using this online submission platform. Email submissions will not be accepted.

Important dates

  • Launch of the call: 23 July 2021
  • Deadline of EoI submission: 20 September 2021
  • EoI review: 21 September - 8 October 2021
  • Anticipated dates of announcement: 18 - 20 October 2021

To submit, please complete the following online submission form.

Dear Applicants,

SUMERNET is providing a 12-month fellowship hosted at the SUMERNET Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand. The fellowships are intended for young and early-career (not older than 35 years) Mekong Region citizens with researcher and/or practitioner backgrounds from the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The application deadline is Sunday, 8 November 2020, 23:59 (Bangkok time)

A. Background

SUMERNET is a regional research network focused on the six countries of the Mekong region. Its overall focus is to undertake research that influences and informs policy on sustainable development in the region thereby bridging the science to policy continuum. The ongoing phase, SUMERNET 4 All (S4A), will have a strategic focus on “reducing water insecurities for all in the Mekong Region”. The network takes a participatory approach in identifying and finding ways to meet the strategic focus of S4A and utilize the rich research and policy engagement experiences of our partners. Through this approach the network aspires to transform the lives of communities affected by water insecurity in the Mekong Region. More details about S4A  available here: 

One of S4A’s outcomes is to enhance the knowledge, attitude, and skills of knowledge producers so that they can deliver credible, gender inclusive, human rights-based, conflict-sensitive, and poverty-reduction focused research on key water insecurity challenges in the Mekong Region. The knowledge producers can improve their research practice and contribute to enhancing the discourse on water insecurities in the region. In S4A, among others, the programme focuses its interventions to improve capacity of young and early career professionals in the fields relevant to SUMERNET 4  areas of work. 

Besides providing grants for individual research projects, S4A is also supporting “fellowships” for young and early-career Mekong citizens of researcher and practitioner backgrounds, those involved or interested in communications and media work, or graduate students for hands-on learning under the four work components of SUMERNET 4 All. 

B. Objective

  1. To strengthen knowledge, capacity and skill of young Mekong citizen researchers, development practitioners, those interested in communications and media work, and graduate students. 
  2. To help deliver credible, gender inclusive, human rights-based, conflict-sensitive, and poverty-reducing research, practice and communications related to water insecurity in the Mekong Region.
  3. To strengthen the partnership and networking opportunities between their institutions of origin with the SUMERNET Steering Committee, SUMERNET Secretariat and other SUMERNET member institutes. Young professionals or graduate students from the member institutes of SUMERNET will be given higher priority for this grant. 
  4. To enhance a sense of ownership of the early career researchers, development practitioners, communication or media people, or graduate students towards SUMERNET as a regional research network.

C. Allowance 

The SUMERNET 4 All Fellow will receive a monthly allowance of SEK 7,500 (approximately USD 750) to cover basic living costs and accommodation while residing in Bangkok, Thailand plus standard/economic level Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) costs, basic health/travel insurance and relevant direct costs (return flight, Thai visa and work permit fees). 

D. Duration

The duration of this grant is 12 months. This can be extended for another term of 6-12 months upon evaluation of the candidate’s work and with the agreement of all parties concerned (SUMERNET fellow, SUMERNET Steering Committee, SUMERNET Secretariat, and also if relevant, the candidate’s home institution).

E. Specific Tasks

1. Contribute to SUMERNET relevant work, specifically related to programme-wide activities (organized in Components) within SUMERNET 4 All. The applicants can choose one main component (see below) that they would like to be involved with, with indication of one or more component(s) that they would like to support. Please refer below for the role of the fellow each component: 

  • Multi-stakeholder engagement (Component 1), learn from and support this Component 1 in supervision, monitoring and capacity building activities of joint action projects, small grants and other policy and stakeholder engagement activities. Your role under this component is potentially to support SUMERNET Secretariat in advising grantee partners planning and implementing their policy engagement activities, analyzing policy impacts at research project and at SUMERNET 4 All programme levels, and in planning policy forum for SUMERNET which is organized annually. 
  • Research (Component 2), learn from and support this Component 2 in supervision, monitoring and capacity building activities of research projects and integrated regional assessments and other research activities. Your role will be to carve out a project that adds value to your career and to S4A while helping grantee researchers deliver their work. Examples of fellowship projects could include how to share research outputs that make policy change, identifying and sharing insights for local community action addressing water insecurity or even how to enhance research impact across the Mekong. 
  • Communications (Component 3), learn from and support this Component 3 in supervision, monitoring and capacity building activities of research partners in website or multimedia outputs, publications, media outreach (especially local language media) and other communications activities relevant to the S4A communications strategy. Should you choose to focus on communications under S4A Fellowship, your role will be to support development of SUMERNET communications products, help update the SUMERNET website with interesting content such as blogs and short films, and support related events involving capacity building and media outreach for communications.
  • Project management (Component 4), learn from and support coordination and monitoring, evaluation and learning activities of S4A. Your role will be to support the daily operations of the management of S4A which includes grant administration, project financial management, planning and budgeting, and support MEL activities such as MEL data collection, analysis and reporting, in the purpose of measuring the achievement of S4A programme outcomes.

2. Learn about the subjects and themes of interest from relevant staff and researchers at the SUMERNET Secretariat, Steering Committee and Advisors through mentorship and supervision. The fellow will be required to identify subjects and themes of interests for mentorship and supervision during the period of the fellowship.

3. Other tasks that are considered relevant and effective in building the capacity of the fellow, including temporary placement in the SUMERNET grantee projects if there is significant interest from both fellow and grantee research partners.

F. Requirements


  • Candidate is a citizen of one of the Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) and is not older than 35 years at the start of the fellowship. 
  • Holds at least a bachelor’s degree and/or is in the process of obtaining Master’s or PhD degree in the subjects relevant to the S4A programme of work. 
  • At least 2 years work experience in a field related to the S4A programme of work. 
  • Available to commit to a 12 months full-time period of stay in Thailand to support the SUMERNET Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Proficiency in English language along with their native language in the Mekong Region.


  • Candidates who submit the letter or proof of previous work showing that they are known to, or recommended by, an institution that is a member of SUMERNET will be given priority in the selection process. 

G. Application and Selection Process

1. Application submission: Deadline 8 November 2020

Applicants need to submit their application through an online form available at this link: The following documents will be required to be uploaded:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Recent Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  • At least 3 references (current or former work/academic supervisors);
  • At least one letter of recommendation from current home institution or previous institution (optional);
  • Letter from home institution, guaranteeing that the applicant will return to working at the home institution after finishing the fellowship (this is optional).

2. Application Review (9 – 13 November 2020)

The submitted applications will be screened and reviewed based on the criteria set in this call. The members of the panel review are the relevant Component Coordinator and project management staff of SUMERNET.

3. Panel interview (tentatively 16 – 20 November 2020)

Only shortlisted applicants will be called for the interview with the SUMERNET selection panel. The interview stage will result recommendation of selected applicant(s) for approval by the SUMERNET Steering Committee (SSC). 

4. Endorsement by SSC and announcement (23 November – 27 November 2020)

The recommendation from SUMERNET panel will be considered by the SSC. The endorsement of the SSC will be the final decision for the selection of SUMERNET 4 All Fellow(s). This final decision will be announced in by 30 November 2020.

5. Start date of fellowship 

Subject to the restrictions related to COVID-19 Pandemic, the application process of visa and work permit for staying in Thailand, the S4A fellows will start their duty at SUMERNET Secretariat as soon as possible in 2021. The fellowship starting date will be determined taking into consideration the aforementioned conditions and will last for a period of 12 months from the starting date. 

H. Contact

For inquiries, please contact:

Ms. Unchulee Lualon

Programme Coordinator

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Phone: +66 (0)2 0730040-44


To initiate application, please complete the submission form.


Stockholm Environment Institute