CPEC Collaborative Research Grant – HEC calls for proposals

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) invites proposals for the CPEC Collaborative Research Grant (CPEC-CRG), the initiative being one of a key component of “Academic Collaboration under CPEC Consortium of Universities”.

CPEC- Collaborative Research Grant -HEC calls for proposals
CPEC- Collaborative Research Grant -HEC calls for proposals

The CPEC-CRG is an initiative which will support research partnership between the two countries, the project aims towards CPEC-related problems and finding their solutions. The universities of both the countries will jointly participate in the research project.

HEC encourages both male and female staff of the universities, not only that but junior and senior academic staff can participate in this joint venture. CPEC-CRG awards would be “selected competitively using a merit-based, independent, transparent evaluation and selection process based upon international standards”.

The faculty members of public and private sector universities/Degree Awarding Institutions can submit research proposal by 31st March 2021. The research proposal should be submitted through HEC-R&D online portal. The proposal is required to be made in accordance with the guidelines provided in Call for proposals.

It is mandatory to submit the proposal online as no other means will be accepted by HEC.

Dead Line

The deadline for submission of the application is 31st March 2021 (11:59 PM PST). The applications must be submitted online through HEC-R&D online portal any other means will not be accepted. The proposals should be made in accordance with the guidelines provided in Call for Proposal.

Eligibility Criteria

Principal Investigator (PI) must:

  • Be a  faculty member (Ph.D. or FCPS/MCPS/FRCS) working on a regular/ contract basis (contract duration equivalent to project duration) in the Higher Education Institutions (public or private) of Pakistan that are members of CPEC Consortium of Universities, as per the list provided on HEC Website (List of Members of CPEC Consortium of Universities)

Project Team:

  • Must include at least one academic partner as Co-PI from Chinese HEIs  that are listed  as Members of CPEC Consortium of Universities
  • May include at least one academic partner as Co-PI from Pakistani HEIs that are not included in the list of Members of CPEC Consortium of Universities
  • May include consortia of faculty members from multiple university departments and/or multiple universities
  • May include:  private sector participants, particularly when they bring prior IP or capability to the consortium and/or significant deployment, implementation, or scale-up capability
  • International collaborators from countries other than China are also encouraged particularly when they bring a unique added value to the project team
  • The detailed eligibility criteria of Institutions are available in the link (Eligibility Criteria for HEC Competitive Research Grants)

Priority Themes

The CPEC-Collaborative Research Grant is focused on supporting research in the following priority thematic areas of national interest, utilizing the full potential of Chinese experiences and lessons learned in these areas;

  • Sustainable Agriculture, including but not limited to challenges such as Agricultural Productivity and Resilience; exploitation of Agricultural Value-chains; and Sustainable Food Eco-systems for rural and urban consumers and producers
  • Health and Wellbeing, including but not limited to Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health (MNCH), health-related information and communication technologies, Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiology, Non-Communicable Diseases, Bio‐informatics & Big‐data Analytics
  • Clean Water and Sanitation, including but not limited to, food, energy, water nexus, and focusing on challenges such as large-scale, low cost, and scalable wastewater treatment systems; significant reduction in irrigation related water losses; and innovative socio-technical approaches to water conservation.
  • Poverty Alleviation, including, but not limited to, skills and labor market interventions, and focusing on challenges such as exploitation of 3G/4G networks particularly for less literate and largely illiterate populations; addressing and mitigation of large climate change impacts on marginal communities; the use of technology in bringing transparency and responsiveness to citizen services.
  • Science & Technology for Sustainable Development, including but not limited to, export competitiveness, and focusing on challenges such as exploitation of economic and technological impacts of mobile broadband and development,  deployment, and exploitation of 5G networks; 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) within the Pakistani context; transformational innovation and enhancement of global competitiveness of Pakistani export value-chains; indigenous development of high-end textile value chains; industrial performance and productivity, competitiveness, and re-location (particularly in the context of CPEC); and the interplay between population and economic development.
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities, including but not limited to, sustainable urban design, low-cost housing, mobility, and transport and focusing on challenges such as planning for and preservation of urban space and life; economic, sociological, and cultural triggers for the planning and creation of second-tier (and new) cities and towns; provision of quality of urban life such as transportation and congestion, waste collection and disposal, water and sanitation, healthcare and education, and law and order.
  • Cultural Harmony between Pakistan and China, which may include identity politics, gender, population, and work ethic focusing on challenges such as preservation of our intellectual heritage and material culture, barriers to gender participation in the workforce and in national development; future of work and family; and cultural and sociological impact of CPEC.
  • Sustainable Energy, including but not limited to Energy efficiency, Battery and Storage Technologies, efficient and smart grids focusing on challenges such as smart and sustainable energy solutions for urban, rural, and remote areas.
  • Sustainable Infrastructure, including but not limited to low-cost electric mobility solutions; sustainable platforms for urban, rural, and intercity mobility including roads, railway, and port infrastructure; innovation mechanisms for the reduction in transmission and grid losses in legacy power transmission infrastructures.

Funding Details

Budgets for CPEC- CRG awards will range up to Rs. 50 Million, with a maximum project duration of 3 years.  In exceptional cases, budgets may go up to Rs. 100 Million. Principal Investigators are encouraged to seek co- and complementary financing from the project collaborators from China. The awards will be made to the host higher education institution of the lead Principal Investigator in Pakistan.

The PI may cover cost of Chinese research partners and other international collaborator(s) under the Short Term Consultant budget head. All the budget requests should be consistent with HEC financial rules for Competitive Research Grants available in the link given below;

Financial Rules Governing Competitive Research Grants

Members of CPEC Consortium of Universities

People’s Republic of China

(1) Fudan University, Shanghai
(2) Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
(3) Nanjing University, Nanjing
(4) Peking University, Beijing
(5) Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
(6) Shanghai University, Shanghai
(7) Tsinghua University, Beijing
(8) University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei
(9) Zhejiang University, Hangzhou
(10) Xi’an Jiaotong University
(11) Harbin Institute of Technology
(12) Wuhan University
(13) South-Central University for Nationalities
(14) Yunnan University
(15) Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
(16) Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment
(17) Xi’an University of Architectural and Technology
(18) Sias University
(19) Northwest University


(1) Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering &
Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta
(2) COMSATS University of Information Technology, Islamabad
(3) Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi
(4) Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur
(5) Institute of Management Sciences (IMS), Peshawar
(6) Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore
(7) National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NU)
(8) National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad
(9) Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad
(10) University of the Punjab, Lahore
(11) University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore
(12) Karakoram International University, Gilgit
(13) Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro
(14) University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar
(15) NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi
(16) Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
(17) University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
(18) Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water & Marine Sciences, Lasbela
(19) University of Karachi, Karachi
(20) University of Balochistan, Quetta
(21) University of Peshawar, Peshawar
(22) Azad Jammu & Kashmir University, Muzaffarabad
(23) International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences, Karachi
(24) University of Agriculture, Peshawar
(25) Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam
(26) Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
(27) International Islamic University, Islamabad
(28) University of Sargodha, Sargodha
(29) National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad (NUML)
(30) Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
(31) National University of Technology (NUTECH), Islamabad
(32) Foundation University, Islamabad
(33) University of Haripur, Haripur
(34) Lahore College for Women University, Lahore
(35) National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad
(36) National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), Islamabad

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online through HEC-R&D online portal. Visit the portal by clicking the following link;

HEC Research Management System (HEC-R&D online portal)

Contact Details

Research and Development DivisionHigher Education Commission, Sector H-9, Islamabad
UAN: 051- 111-119-432
Complaint/Query Portal:onlinehelp.hec.gov.pk
Email: Info-r&[email protected]

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