Over the last five years, the Think Tank Fund has underwritten some 40 initiatives from 30 organizations addressing a range of issues confronting populist policies and addressing threats to open society within the Open Society New Response Projects support.
Our support continues to be focused on supporting established policy research centers in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in development and promotion of innovative, evidence-based policy-relevant research seamlessly combined with comprehensive communication and advocacy of preferred policy alternatives.
Applicants must have a solid understanding of the context related to their research and intervention, and the proposal should not consist of preliminary studies that survey a basic understanding of the problem or create a survey of literature. The survey and review of existing research and context should precede the writing of the proposal. The proposal should build upon activities conducted in the past (be it by the applicant or others). Applicants should have already undertaken similar research and policy work for a number of years and be ready to provide evidence of their previous work. They should clearly demonstrate that the proposed research is in line with their mission. Proposed policy research must be organically complemented by a comprehensive and feasible advocacy strategy. Applicants should clearly outline the pathways of change, including channels of influence. Given that contexts differ, this could be reflected through a detailed advocacy plan in some cases, or realistic estimate of impact in others. Where comprehensive advocacy is not feasible, applicants should suggest alternative approaches of creating impact through their intervention.
Being aware of policy centers’ limitations in undertaking advocacy, the Think Tank Fund encourages joint proposals linking think tanks to advocacy and watchdog NGOs.
Prior to sending a full proposal applicants shall submit a brief concept paper of no more than 3 pages plus any applicable appendices in a single editable document (*.odt or *.doc) via e-mail to [email protected] The Think Tank Fund will use this concept paper to determine whether the project meets our current funding priorities. The concept paper should include brief paragraphs on the following sections (you can use these as section headings):
1. What is the issue/problem?
A brief identification and description of the policies, attitudes, or practices (issues) the project aims to address, as well as their importance and social relevance.
2. What has been done about it already?
A brief representative (not exhaustive) account of previous actions and interventions (by prospective grantee and others) to tackle the issue(s) mentioned above, including specific examples of the success or failure of respective actions, and how your project builds on past lessons learned.
3. What do you propose to do about the issue(s)/problem(s) and how do you intend to do it?
A brief overview of the proposed activities and outputs envisaged within the project, including a timeline, methodology, and advocacy plan that outlines the full pathway to change.
4. Why should your organization do it?
Please briefly explain why your organization is suited to conduct the proposed project.
5. Proposed budget and timeframe
An estimated overall project budget and timeframe. If you have already secured co-funding please mention it here.
A short description of your organization, website address, your mission, and links to any policy outcomes or projects of which you are particularly proud. Additional information can be provided in the form of a website link.
After review of the concept paper, grant applicants may be invited to submit a full application.
Detailed guidelines on drafting the full proposal will be provided to applicants whose concept notes fit within the Think Tank’s funding priorities. In general the full proposal will follow the structure of the concept paper mentioned above. The full proposal consists of a narrative description of the project and budget. While the concept paper provides a brief overview of the project idea and the context, the full proposal elaborates on each of the sections in greater detail, specifying objectives, a detailed activity plan including specific expected project outcomes and benchmarks for assessing the project’s impact.
The narrative part of the proposal shall not exceed 10 pages. Other relevant information, such as an organizational history, a full institutional budget and examples of previous policy products, may be appended. Applicant organizations shall also provide a detailed project budget and implementation plan. The budget will be based on a standard template and budget development guidelines, which will be provided with the template.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Open Society Foundations
Think Tank Fund
Oktober 6. u. 12.
Budapest 1051, Hungary