E-Cubed 2020 Call for Proposals

Proposal submission deadline extended: July 20th, 2020 at midnight EDT

Please submit your proposal to the E-Cubed Research Fund, here.

For more information please see E-Cubed Assessment Criteria, Frequently Asked Questions, and Dubai Cares’ budget template and guidelines.

We are currently living and working in a new paradigm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With some 177 countries now experiencing forced school closure and around 72% of students – some 1.3 billion in total – globally estimated to be out of school (as of May 2020), COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on education systems around the world and is exacerbating existing challenges related to education and learning. This pandemic has highlighted the need for quality evidence to support emergency preparedness and response across education systems globally. 

The 2020 call for E-Cubed proposals aims to generate and disseminate relevant and usable research to support evidence for education during crises and large-scale disruptions. We call on applicants to share proposals that address the gaps in evidence for education that have been further highlighted as a result of this global emergency. We ask you to consider preventative solutions as well as immediate responses to addressing education needs during large-scale disruptions.

We understand the need for a timely evidence response in light of this pandemic. INEE and Dubai Cares will do our best to expedite this call for proposals where possible. However, we do anticipate a variable impact of COVID-19 on our review processes. We aim to share funding announcements in the final quarter of 2020. Given this timeline, we will most likely be able to support research that is mid to long-term in scope as opposed to a rapid response. 

Please note that while this call for proposals encourages research in response to current COVID-19 large-scale education disruptions, proposals are not limited to this crisis. 

Criteria for Funding

Dubai Cares and INEE have designated the following criteria for E-Cubed funding. These criteria exemplify the E-Cubed approach to strengthening the EiE evidence base.

Please see E-Cubed FAQs for specific information on these criteria. 

  • Proposal outlines “usable” research which contributes to the evidence base in EiE by identifying and responding to a gap in data or evidence.
  • Research design, implementation, and dissemination is led by, and inclusive of voices of people and institutions within crises-affected contexts.
  • Research includes a clear dissemination strategy to produce a Global Public Good. *In its simplest form a Global Public Good is a resource that is freely available with no restriction in access.


Who is eligible:

  • Academic Institutions
  • Research Institutions
  • Private and nonprofit organizations
  • UN agencies
  • Governmental agencies
  • Private companies

Who is NOT eligible:

  • Individuals, including undergraduate or PhD research, and scholarships
  • Endowments
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Unincorporated associations or groups

What E-Cubed will not fund:

  • E-Cubed will not fund program design or implementation, and will not substitute any funding that should be available as part of existing programmatic funding.

Review Process

In partnership with Dubai Cares, INEE coordinates a rigorous review process of submitted proposals:

  • Each proposal is reviewed to ensure that it follows E-Cubed criteria and eligibility requirements. Proposals that meet these requirements are then shared with an independent advisory panel of EiE experts representing policy, academia, field and practitioner perspectives. *Please see E-Cubed Assessment Criteria for more information.
  • Each proposal is reviewed by at least two panelists in a double blind process. Panelists score proposals based on E-Cubed criteria for funding and provide feedback on aspects of each proposal including research relevance & rationale, research design & methodology, research approach, and research outcomes.
  • Based on the advisory panel’s scoring and feedback, proposals are ranked. In cases where there are major score discrepancies of a single proposal, an additional panelist moderates the scores.
  • From this process, 10-12 proposals are shortlisted for funding.
  • INEE shares with Dubai Cares a complete proposal ranking along with the shortlisted proposals.
  • Dubai Cares selects projects for funding.
  • Once projects are funded, it takes on average 3-6 months for projects to be launched.

Review of shortlisted proposals:

In its review of shortlisted proposals, Dubai Cares thinks critically about how the E-Cubed research envelope will most meaningfully contribute to the evidence base for EiE. A key consideration when selecting proposals for funding is the support of EiE research that is freely accessible to, designed for, and inclusive of local EiE actors. Dubai Cares also considers how research will support evidence generation in underfunded and under-researched areas and contexts. Dubai Cares strives to select proposals which cover a diverse range of research locations, methodologies, and inquiries.


For questions related to E-Cubed proposal submission and review please contact INEE (Sonja Anderson). For questions related to final funding decisions and ongoing grant management contact Dubai Cares (Nadeen Alalami).


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