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Call for Research Project Proposals 2021

In 2018 the Hellenic Observatory launched an exciting research initiative to further fulfil and develop its mission and study of contemporary Greece and Cyprus in the field of the social sciences. The programme became possible due to new funding granted for the specific purpose of furthering the Hellenic Observatory’s research agenda. The Hellenic Observatory would like to acknowledge grateful and sincere thanks to the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation (ACLCF) and Dr Vassili G. Apostolopoulos for the provision of funding for this purpose. 

Research Themes & Level of Awards

The LSE’s Hellenic Observatory invited applications from researchers to conduct time-sensitive and globally competitive policy relevant research on contemporary Greece and/or Cyprus.

1. Researchers were invited to submit a research proposal on the following theme for an award of up to £20,000. One Project was to be selected (1 award) and the successful project should run for a maximum of 24 months. 

Sustainable Business

Greece recently published its “National Strategy for Sustainable & Just Development 2030”, which incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals in its strategy and aligns it to relevant European priorities. The transformation of private companies and organisations via the targeted adoption of the SDGs throughout their value chains is expected to extend their social and environmental footprint, create new markets, and serve better the needs of society at large.

We invite proposals that address one or more of the following:

• Analyse, through case studies, progress made in different companies, company sizes, and across sectors (e.g. agroindustry, tourism, food and beverage industry etc) to adopt and implement Agenda 2030.

• Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring progress.  

• Identify by sector the most pertinent national & EU regulatory frameworks that pertain to sustainable development priorities and goals. 

• Identify & analyse national barriers - economic, financial and regulatory ones - that hinder the implementation of Agenda 2030 & the SDGs.

2. Researchers were invited to submit a research proposal on one of the following themes for an award of up to £8,000. Two Projects were to be selected (2 awards) and the successful projects should run for a maximum of 12 months. 

Culture Wars

Divisions around ‘culture war’ issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, gender identity, religious exemption, and sex education, have flourished in the United States and have increasingly fueled socio-political debates in various parts of Europe. Research proposals are invited that place Greece within the wider European comparison on issues identified with culture wars. There is no prescribed disciplinary approach or methodology for this project. Applicants should explain the basis of international comparison for Greece.

Sustainability, Environment and Climate Change

Greece is lagging behind the aim of the European Green Deal to make Europe climate neutral in 2050, in, among others, the areas of recycling and waste management, decarbonisation and renewable energies, and climate change adaptation. Research proposals are invited that examine Greece’s preparedness towards making the national economy sustainable. Projects may examine one aspect of sustainability and climate change planning; opportunities for green entrepreneurship created by climate change mitigation; or propose an assessment of sustainability and climate change planning measures more generally. Interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged.

Social Mobility

Greece has generally been considered as a country of relatively high social mobility – partly due to its wide and relatively democratic participation in education. Still, different types of ‘glass ceilings’ and ‘stumbling blocks’ are known to operate in and outside the labour market that stifle social mobility and economic opportunities at the bottom. Little is known about whether the recent crisis has intensified or eased these constraints. 

We invite proposals that will seek to examine the changes in the degree and patterns of social mobility that may have taken place over the last two decades in the country in general and in relation to the recent crises more particularly (from the Eurozone crisis to the current COVID pandemic). Attention should be paid to the possible drivers of upward and downward social mobility. Projects focusing on particular aspects of mobility (for example, intergenerational mobility in education, occupational mobility in the labour market, and others) are also welcome and will be considered equally to projects examining the issue of social mobility at large.


Useful Information

Eligibility and Procedure

The projects should result in international research and policy-relevant reports.

The Call was open to all researchers with a university affiliation, who hold a doctorate (PhD degree) and have at least two years of post-doctoral research experience. This criterion does not apply to the research assistants appointed on the project.

Applications from groups of researchers were also eligible. The PI and lead members must fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Applicants who have previously been awarded funding from the Hellenic Observatory’s research calls cannot reapply in the same academic year that the previous project finished.

Applications are limited to one application per person/group each year.

Eligible costs include salaries, travel, research assistance, impact and knowledge exchange, and publications.

How to apply

Proposals were invited for projects which would commence in 2021. These were to be submitted electronically in Word format to Hellenicobservatory.Research@lse.ac.uk 

Applicants were asked to submit proposals of no more than 2,500 words (Calibri font, size 11, justified alignment, 2cm margins, single spaced). Proposals had to address the five evaluation criteria laid out in the Selection Process below and to be structured under the following sub-headings:

  • Summary: project title, name of the PI (and other lead researchers together with a structure of the team and the allocation of tasks across its members), start and end dates, total budget figure
  • Research objectives and project outline (including literature review)
  • Methodology
  • Time-Line
  • Planned Publications (other than the Policy Brief and the Research Paper- see Deliverables below): format, content, publisher, date of submissio
  • Impact
  • Annex 1: Personnel (including short biographies). Full CV’s should be attached as separate documents together with a listing of cited references.
  • Annex 2: Detailed Budget - see Budget below. Please complete the Excel budget template provided.


The budget should justify the costs identified for the project. Eligible costs include salaries, travel, research assistance, impact and knowledge exchange, and publications, in so far as they can be accepted as essential parts of the proposed research. Overhead costs of up to 15% of the total budget are allowed, but these should be included in the budget (the total budget cannot exceed (1) £20,000 or (2) £8,000. The selection committee has the right to request additional information regarding budget costs and to award a smaller amount than the one requested or advertised. Awards must be used solely for the purposes set out in the application. An amount of up to 20% of the total budget can be transferred between budget headings without reference to the Hellenic Observatory. Requests for budget transfers in excess of this amount should be addressed to the Hellenic Observatory.

Selection Process

Proposals were selected by the Hellenic Observatory and members of the Research Advisory Group according to the following criteria:

  • Originality, significance, rigour and impact of the research
  • Evidence that the individuals involved have the capacity to execute the proposed project and deliver on stated outcomes
  • Contribution towards policy-relevant challenges facing Greece and/or Cyprus
  • Value for money
  • Compatibility of the research with the broader work of the Hellenic Observatory

The Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group are solely responsible for approving the eligibility of applications and reserve the right to request additional information from the applicants. Shortlisted applicants may be asked to participate in a telephone/SKYPE interview. In all cases, the decisions of the Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group will be final. The Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group reserve the right not to make any awards or to adjust the number of awards they make.


The successful researcher / research team is required to provide:

  • Progress Report: A Progress Report of up to 2,000 words (after 6 months where project run is 12 months and after 12 months where project run is 24 months)
  • Policy Brief: A Policy Brief of 2,000 words at the end of the project
  • Final Research Paper: A Final Research Paper of up to 10,000 words at the end of the project
  • Other: Scholarly publications and publications in other outlets, stemming from the research project will be a significant criterion for the evaluation of the applications submitted

The researcher / or research team is obliged to give full acknowledgement to the Hellenic Observatory in all publicity and outputs related to the project, copies of which should be sent to the Hellenic Observatory. The Hellenic Observatory also retains the right to publicise a summary of the results, with full acknowledgement to the authors of the research, on its website and in its other publicity outlets.

Award of Funds

What happens next?

  • A collaboration agreement between LSE and your institution is set up. It is hoped that the agreements will be drawn up and signed by all parties by the beginning of September 2020. The successful applicant(s) must provide a relevant research account in their host institution for the transfer of the grant.
  • Funds are transferred in two equal instalments - the first on commencement of the project and the second on completion of the defined outputs to the satisfaction of the Hellenic Observatory.


Application Deadline                     9 May 2021 (23.59 GMT)

Successful Projects advised        July 2021

Contracts drawn up                      July - August 2021

Project Commencement              1 September 2021