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Skills Challenge Innovation Call: Finding solutions to skills mismatch



The ILO is calling on individuals and organizations to share innovative ideas and solutions to address the skills mismatch challenge. The ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call will recognise and support the development of solutions that aim to address the different forms and dimensions of skills mismatch.

These can include proposals to:

  • enhance the effectiveness of vocational education and training programmes through innovative delivery and assessment partnerships;
  • improve the development and recognition of knowledge, skills and attributes of employees through innovative work based learning initiatives;
  • empower enterprises to better utilise the skills of their workers;
  • improve the collection, analysis, management and use of data and information on skill needs and labour market trends;
  • improve the training and employment of under-represented groups including migrant and refugees, people with disabilities, young people and women;
  • improve the provision of active labour market programmes through the integrated provision of vocational and job search assistance, training and work placement for the unemployed; and
  • to establish new and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships to address skills mismatch at the regional, sectoral or local levels.

Who can apply?

Any individual or any formally constituted and registered organisation/company in existence for at least two calendar years prior to the deadline. By organizations we mean cooperatives, education and training institutions (including schools, public and private training providers and universities), government agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations, public and private enterprises, regional and sectoral bodies and research organisations.

We are open to all ideas and solutions at any stage of development. They can be at an early-stage or more mature innovation. They can be a one person’s idea or involve a collaborative joint effort from different actors, such as governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

An expert evaluation panel will evaluate all proposals and the winner will receive support to turn the idea into reality and cement their role as innovators in skills development.

What will the winner get?

The winning entry will receive substantial support comprised on the following:

  • Financial support: The winner will receive a $50,000 grant to implement the proposed solution;
  • Six-month innovation lab: The winner will receive technical support to transform the idea into a prototype ready to be piloted, including through boot camps and remote mentoring via a virtual platform;
  • Worldwide visibility: The winner will receive support through awareness raising of the idea and solution, including an invitation to a global event to present the innovation concept to potential partners and sponsors, press articles in media channels, videos, among others;
  • Extended network and partnerships: The winner and shortlisted entries will join the ILO’s Global Network of Skills Innovators. They will have the opportunity to exchange with other innovators and share their solutions with ILO’s stakeholders. 

What is the application process and key dates?

To submit your idea or solution, applicants should:

  1. Go to the Skills Challenge Innovation Call webpage ;
  2. Revise the eligibility criteria  and terms and conditions  of the competition;
  3. Develop the proposal and secure support from partners;
  4. Complete the form  available on the website;
  5. Send the completed form and supporting documents to by 13 April 2020 (midnight, Geneva time).

Applications and supporting documents can be submitted in English, French and Spanish. There is no fee  to participate in the Call. Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their application has been received. Incomplete or late responses will not be considered.

Key dates and deadlines: 

  • Launch of the Call: 29 January 2020;
  • Submission deadline for ideas: 13 April 2020 (midnight, Geneva time);
  • Announcement of winner: 14 May 2020;
  • Skills Innovation Lab commences: September 2020;
  • Piloting of solution completed by: September 2021.

Any queries related to the challenge call in general or the application process itself should be directed to

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Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility – Grants For Startups



Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility (NISRF) is offering grants to help start-ups survive the pandemic.

NISRF is an emergency facility designed by a consortium of funding partners to support grant applicants whose businesses/activities are either being adversely affected or modified in response to COVID-19.

Worth Of Award

  • Business equity-free funding between $5,000 to $20,000.
  • Access to a pool of mentors and business experts.
  • A chance to continue to create impact and stay afloat.


To qualify for this funding, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a company operating in Nigeria
  • The company is tackling an urgent social problem
  • The company is post-MVP, revenue-generating, registered with CAC
  • Can demonstrate substantial financial health before the onset of COVID-19 ($60K ARR – 12 months period minimum)
  • The company has already received seed capital
  • Can demonstrate the scale of impact, or potential for future scale
  • Fall in any of these sectors: Agriculture, Critical Infrastructure, Financial Services, Health Care, Education, and with initiatives that target the informal sector.

Deadline: 7th September 2020. Click here for more information.

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2020/2021 Fung Global Fellows Program For Scholars Around The World



Each year the program selects scholars from around the world to engage in research and discussion around a common theme. The number of candidates hired will depend on the qualifications of the overall applicant pools. 

There are two categories:

  1. Postdoctoral research associates: Who received their doctorate from an institution outside of the United States and who, at the time of application, do not hold a tenure-track faculty appointment.
  2. Early-career scholars: employed outside the United States who have a faculty appointment, a professional research appointment, or are an established independent scholar in the designated theme of the program.

Application Requirements 

The following items must be submitted by the applicant, in English;

  • Online application
  • Cover letter (1.5 pages maximum)
  • Curriculum Vitae (including publications)
  • Research proposal (maximum of 3 pages, single-spaced)
  • One writing sample (article or book chapter, maximum of 50 pages)

Stipends And Research Support

  1. Fellowships for the Early Career and Postdoctoral fellowships are for the entire academic year, from September 2021 to June 2022.  
  2. Within the limits of its resources, the program intends to provide a salary for Early Career and Senior Fellows that equal the regular salary paid to a Fellow at his or her home institution. In cases where the Fellow’s base salary scale at their home institution is significantly below the norm, the salary might increase.
  3. Fellows will receive research funds.
  4. Fellows would get an office space, computer access in a suite dedicated to the program, and access to the Firestone Library. 

Deadline: 16 November 2020. For more information, please visit the official website of the PIIRS Fung Global Fellows Program

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