How to Apply for ITU Connect2Recover Research Competition 2021

Filed in Competitions by on August 13, 2021 0 Comments
ITU Connect2Recover Research Competition

Applications for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Connect2Recover Research Competition 2021 are now open. Through the Connect2Recover initiative, ITU is launching the “Connect2Recover Research Competition” to identify promising research proposals that will accelerate digital inclusion during the COVID-19 recovery globally.

The competition aims to:

  • Improve research focus on digital resiliency and digital inclusion to build back better with broadband for pandemic recovery;
  • Build a global research community of think tanks and academic institutions around digital inclusion; and
  • Promote knowledge sharing that informs targeted practices to build back better with broadband.


  • Fifteen (15) research grants worth $42,000 each will be awarded to winning research teams.
  • Winners will receive initial support from ITU to engage with governments and regulators to gather information and data for their research. The Connect2Recover Initiative will enable this knowledge exchange through joint (online) events with the selected research teams and policymakers.
  • Winning teams will benefit from great visibility during these events and will have opportunities to present and discuss their research directly with decision makers.


  • This competition is open to Academia, including early career researchers and think tanks.
  • Individual experts who are affiliated with academic institutions may also apply.
  • Submissions must clearly elaborate and demonstrate at least one of the following:
    • How to carry out studies that can assess the resiliency for digital infrastructure taking into account relevant data sources and formulate forward-looking, actionable policy measures leading to positive outcomes in education, healthcare, or job creation by fostering digital inclusion as the country enters the COVID-19 recovery period?
    • How to build back better with broadband along with digital inclusion during the COVID-19 recovery efforts resulting in meaningful connectivity?
    • Develop key recommendations on aspects of resilient digital infrastructure supporting education, health, or job creation in the targeted context.

Evaluation Criteria

A jury appointed by ITU will review proposals received based on the following criteria in addition to the competition scope to select the winning submissions:

  • Collaboration: Participants are encouraged to apply in teams featuring institutions from both developed and developing countries. Effort will be made to balance the winners between regions.
  • Relevance: The research must provide essential insights to foster digital inclusion. Research pertaining to the broad area of connecting the unconnected will receive a special focus. The submission should also offer recommendations on how good practices and (the proposed) additional research could improve the current situation and enable stakeholders to achieve their desired future state.
  • Impact: The proposal should demonstrate a new, innovative recommendation and outline its potential and impact on vulnerable (currently digitally excluded) groups.
  • Viability: The recommendations should demonstrate the research adaptability and replicability.
  • Sustainability: The submission should be financially sustainable and consistent to the COVID-19 crisis for short- and mid-term impact while engaging with local partners.
  • Novelty: The proposal should be original research and should be related to new knowledge discovery in the field of digital inclusion.
  • Implementation Plan: Submit concrete, actionable recommendations along with an implementation plan for a Pilot Project in a beneficiary country.


Participants must register and complete the submission form. Submissions of original work are invited and submissions must be in English.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit ITU.

Deadline: August 31, 2021

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