"Out of the box" Social Research: Call for Concept Notes


The Social Science Academy of Nigeria (SSAN) and Towntalk Poltech Limited consortia (Project SAFE), with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity to understand and demonstrate how data and technology can help to address stigma-related social issues and inequalities. 

This Call for Concept Notes will provide up to N5 million to support projects that adopt “Out of the box” approaches to the understanding and elimination of stigmatised social challenges in the society, which limit active participation of vulnerable groups in socio-economic development.


The aim of the competition is to fund three exceptionally innovative ideas that have the potential to reduce inequalities (including gender, disabilities, economic, political, justice, health, security) and social development. Your solution should target at least one of the inequality focus areas and should preferably leverage technology. Please note that all ideas must have gender consideration at its core and can be piloted within 6 months.

For the purpose of this call, “Out of the box” Social Research means research that aims to change existing narratives or practice as it pertains to social advancement of vulnerable groups, through the applications of innovative methodologies, tools or technology and are potentially scalable for wider applications.  


Also, gender consideration means research with identified clear outcomes and indicators with respect to social and gender equality, in addition to good gender balance in team composition.

We will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, June 10 2021 through which potential applicants will have opportunities to learn from some ongoing national and international research projects that have adopted “Out of the box” approaches to tackle specific socially stigmatised challenges. 

Participants at the webinar will also have the opportunity to interact with potential funding organisations that have the capacity to scale selected projects beyond the pilot phase.


Intending applicants will receive full details of the submission guidelines and selection processes at the webinar. PhD students, early-career researchers, and pre-revenue technology start-ups are eligible to participate in the program.

Any inquiries related to the Call and application process should be sent by e-mail to: secretariat@ssan-towntalk.org

Key dates

  • May 20: Pre-call announcement on “Out of the box” Social Research: Call for Concept Notes”

  • June 10: Webinar, Call launched

  • June 10: Concept Note guidelines and scoring template, submission portal opened

  • July 15: Deadline for submission

  • August 10: Review and notification of shortlisted teams with comments 

  • August 18-20: 3 day hackathon ending with pitches to judges and announcement of winners

  • August 25: Submission of vetting documents, payment of first tranche and project kick-off

  • November 25: Interim report from teams and presentation

  • February 25: Final report, project closure and presentations


Key links

Webinar Recording


Download Submission Template

Download Scoring Template

Submit your application here