COVID-19/UN-Research Roadmap Call for Proposals Versão em português


Support Opportunity:

Regular Research Grant

Submission deadline:

July 10, 2021

Maximum duration of the projects:

24 months


1. What is this Call for Proposals?

FAPESP is releasing a second COVID-19 call for proposals, to support projects by researchers affiliated to institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, on topics relevant to the management and mitigation of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that were not addressed by the researchers in the first call (Supplements for Rapid Implementation in COVID-19).

This call will prioritize collaborative projects, with an emphasis on transnational partnerships. Research proposals submitted to this call should be policy-oriented (rather than curiosity-driven). Their aim should be to generate scientific evidence and conclusions to inform public policy related to Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery, to which FAPESP contributed, might be used as a template for proposals. Examples of questions and priority themes for proposals are presented in Annex 1. Those questions were based on the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery, augmented with Education and Mental Health questions.

Considering that several of the topics of interest are currently the object of research financed by funding agencies worldwide, international collaborative projects may provide opportunities to accelerate the development of results and increase their reach. Indeed, international research cooperation is itself one of the guiding axes of the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery and thus will be favorably considered during proposal evaluation. Moreover, this fast-track call aims to support short-term research projects (up to 24 months) that yield results in the short term. Thus, priority will be given to projects designed to extend or synergize with projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are already funded anywhere in the world. Proposals that are not linked to ongoing projects, but which involve collaboration with other research groups, may also be submitted.

In addition to supporting relevant, original, and high-quality investigations, this call aims to bolster the formation of collaborative research networks (international, national and/or local). Therefore, selected proposals will be grouped in expertise hubs, to facilitate the exchange of experience, the synthesis of the knowledge produced, and the proposal of public policies. Moreover, the principal investigators (PIs) of selected projects are expected to share the progress of the study in at least three (3) meetings to be held along the course of the projects, to be organized by a scientific monitoring committee designated by FAPESP.

FAPESP funding will comply with Regular Research Grant rules (, with the exception that funds for a postdoctoral scholarship OR a training scholarship (TT1 to TT-5) may be requested in addition to the usual budgetary limit for this grant type. The duration of these scholarships must match the duration of the grant.

This call is for proposals by researchers affiliated to São Paulo state research institutions and will not provide additional funds to collaboration partners.

2. Who is it aimed at?

The eligibility criteria for this call are the same as those required for Regular Research Grant applicants, available at, item 5.1.

Recipients of the Rapid Implementation Supplements against COVID-19 are not eligible for this call.

3. How to prepare the proposal?

The PI submitting the proposal will be responsible for identifying eligible collaboration partners and for designing a joint project. However, FAPESP suggests a few resources that may facilitate the identification of prospective partners:

  • The UKCDR and GLOPID-R COVID-19 project tracking tool: COVID-19 Research Project Tracker by UKCDR & GloPID-R

  • Several funding agencies that share MOUs with FAPESP and that have a portfolio of COVID-19-related projects may be able to assist in the identification of potential partnerships. Examples are:

    • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)- Canada

    • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)- Italy

    • National Science Foundation (NSF)- USA

    • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Germany

    • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - United Kingdom

    • National Research Foundation (NRF) - South Korea

    • Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) – The Netherlands

The list of funding agencies above is just a resource for identifying partnerships: there is no requirement that partnerships be formed with a research group supported by one of them. Some of these bodies offer web-based resources that facilitate the search for groups with projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example,, an SSHRC resource).

A summary of the researcher partner's project must be included in the proposal.

To submit proposals linked to grants in progress, the PI in this call must appoint the partner PI as a member of the new project team in FAPESP’s SAGe system. To do that, the partner PI must be registered in SAGe. For new registrations, please choose the option “No registration?” On the SAGe home screen and fill out all fields (Manual_SAGe _-_ Cadastramento_de_Usuário_v2.9.pdf).

4. Funding characteristics

The total amount allocated by FAPESP to this call is R$ 18,5 million.

Each proposal may request up to R$ 300,000 (R$ 150,000 per year) and must be submitted with an expected duration of 24 months. In addition to that, each proposal may request either a Post-Doctoral Fellowship (PD) or a Technical Training Scholarship (up to TT-5) as budgetary items (BCO – Duration of the fellowship or scholarship must match the duration of the project.

Due to the rapid implementation of the proposal, FAPESP will dispense the PI from the usual procedures required to select PD scholarship holders. However, the PI, as a PD Scholarship supervisor, must still demonstrate the fulfillment of FAPESP requirements for this type of scholarship in the scholarship activity plan.

5. How will the selection process work?

Proposals will be received until July 10, 2021 and will pass through the documentation check and academic qualification phases (habilitação e enquadramento). Proposals with incomplete documentation will be returned to the applicant and may be submitted again, within the submission deadline (Schedule, item 6, below). During academic qualification, proposals will be analyzed in terms of meeting the remit of the call: unqualified proposals will be denied and cannot be submitted again.

For this Call, special consideration will be given to proposals that include collaboration with ongoing projects, and especially international collaborations.

To request PD scholarships, the proposal PI must meet FAPESP’s qualification requirements for PD supervisors.

Qualified proposals will proceed to peer review and panel evaluation. At least two ad hoc advisors will be invited to write substantiated reviews and then gather in an evaluation panel, where the proposals and their reviews will be discussed, resulting in a panel recommendation for each proposal. PIs of proposals with favorable panel recommendations will be invited to an interview with FAPESP Area and Deputy advisors, who will then make a final recommendation. The Scientific Board of the Call will review the final recommendation and issue a final decision.

Denials of funding under this call are final and no appeals will be considered.

6. Schedule:

Call Announcement: April 20, 2021

Webinar - Call Covid-19 – 2nd Edition: May 5, 2021

Proposals submission deadline: July 10, 2021

Results announcement: September 2021



The topics below are based on the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery ( They are followed by example questions. These are suggestions, intended to guide the formulation of proposals, without prejudice to other research questions that might meet the objectives of the call.



Examples of research questions:

a. How can health systems be designed to be responsive, adaptable and accessible when they become necessary?

b. How can health systems eliminate inequality in access to services?

c. How to address the simultaneous occurrence of epidemics (Covid-19 / ZIKA / tuberculosis / diabetes / flu /, etc.)?


Examples of research questions:

a. What policies allow safe access to quality education to be guaranteed in emergency situations?

b. What policies allow reducing the impact of social inequalities (or promoting equity) on access to quality education in emergency situations?

c. What strategies allow reducing the learning gaps between students, promoting equal opportunities?

d. How is it possible to reduce the digital divide in an increasingly virtual world?


Examples of research questions:

a. How can access to quality water, sanitation and safe housing be maintained, particularly for marginalized populations, in emergency situations?

b. How is it possible to promote safe forms of mobility for those who need to move?

c. How can the built environment be designed to maximize opportunities and safeguard the environment?


Examples of research questions:

a. What mechanisms allow social protection to be accessible to all people who need it?

b. What economic recovery policies can protect citizens and ensure their well-being?


Examples of research questions:

a. How can macroeconomic policy promote a more inclusive and sustainable economic recovery?

b. How should public spending be financed to enable an inclusive and sustainable recovery?

c. How can governments achieve greater coherence between fiscal, monetary, labor market and development measures, minimizing negative externalities?


Examples of research questions:

a. How can recovery efforts collaborate to eliminate pre-existing social inequalities, in order to strengthen the resilience of communities?

b. How should communities be engaged in the decision-making process in order to strengthen social cohesion?

c. What strategies can promote social cohesion and engagement in the decision-making process and what characteristics should they have?

d. What strategies can support the identification of community needs (including the voice of its members)?

e. How to maximize the positive effects of actions that the community can and has taken to protect its members?


Examples of research questions:

a. What are the characteristics of effective communication that impacts people's perception and performance?

b. How to ensure engagement and contextual and semantic adequacy of communication with different segments of the population?

c. How to reduce the impact of fake news and conspiracy theories, which compete with effective responses to cope with the pandemic?


Examples of research questions:

a. What factors can contribute to the establishment of relationships between public leaders, managers, health authorities, technical groups and the community?

b. How to establish decision-making processes that lead to good responses to the crisis situation, both in the pandemic and in other emergency situations?

c. How to integrate transparency and accountability in measures to deal with emergency situations?

d. How to improve data sharing, logistics and crisis management?


Examples of research questions:

a. What are the psychosocial repercussions of the pandemic on mental health and well-being, at different levels and for different social segments, and how to deal with them?

b. What does it mean to have to change what we do under new and unknown conditions and how to promote changes in collective behavior?

c. What are the characteristics of the behavior of the population in a pandemic situation, including prosocial, counterproductive and other behaviors?

d. What strategies can be used to distinguish between people who are prone to engage (or not) in risky behaviors?

e. What factors are associated with risky behaviors and which are accessible to management to reduce them (at the individual and collective levels)?

f. What factors may be involved in the perception of risk and in the perception of consequences for adherence to preventive and protective measures (at individual and collective levels)?

g. What are the implications for mental health that a person knows that he or she has transmitted the disease agent to others and what to do?

h. How to promote collective adherence to guidelines from health authorities on protective, preventive measures and the maintenance of individual and collective security?

i. How can infection control and prevention be customized for risk groups, specific situations and epidemiological conditions?

j. What conditions could be implemented to promote adaptation to the post-pandemic environment (resilience and ways of coping with the future)?

k. Considering the pandemic as a traumatic, long-term event, what mental health care strategies should be implemented in relation to different types of vulnerabilities, including health personnel on the front lines of tackling the pandemic?

l. What mental health guidelines can be formulated for any upcoming pandemics or long-term traumatic events?


Examples of research questions

a. How to coordinate government, agencies, researchers, community agents (among others) to understand the problems and face them in an organized and effective way?

b. What are the relationships between demographic and epidemiological aspects and how to incorporate them in the design of public policies?

c. How is it possible to promote the mental health of the population integrated with social protection and basic services?

d. What strategies can support the formation of social support networks for communities: networks of personal, family and professional relationships.

e. Considering the nature of transits between networks, groups and territories, how to track, locate, contact and restrict the actions of potential disease transmitters?

f. How can we put emerging technologies (e.g., data science; artificial intelligence) at the service of responses to the epidemic?

g. How to "monitor" / ensure adherence to standards of good practice (ethics) in research under emergency conditions?

Page updated on 04/30/2021 - Published on 04/30/2021