Details of the next Call (Round 1, 2020) will be available shortly


Call for Proposals - Round 2, 2019 (CLOSED) 

Accelerating progress towards the United Nations Global Goals


The Scottish Universities Insight Institute[1] (SUII) is a joint venture of six Higher Education Institutions. SUII projects aim to stimulate in-depth knowledge exchange through workshops, seminars, and other activities over a period of around six months. SUII provides both financial and logistical support for events.

The United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals were supported by 193 signatories at the General Assembly of the UN in September 2015.  They form part of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development[2]. The goals are aimed at mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind”[3] They are summarised as being all about “people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership”.


Image result for un sustainable development goals

Scotland was one of the first countries to commit to the goals in 2015 and they are incorporated into the National Performance Framework[4]. "The UN Global Goals offer a vision of the world that I believe people in Scotland share. The national and international dimensions to poverty and inequality are interlinked. Scotland cannot act with credibility overseas, if we are blind to inequality here at home. And our ambitions for a fairer Scotland are undermined, without global action to tackle poverty, promote prosperity and to tackle climate change." - First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - November 2015

This call for proposals seeks applications for projects that will accelerate progress towards the achievement of these goals in Scotland and the wider world. It is intended that this broad theme will be pursued over the course of the next three calls for proposals. The current call will consider all aspects of the goals, future calls may focus on more specific aspects. Proposals could focus on individual goals but we are particularly interested in those that consider the interrelationship between goals.

We will be looking to engage a broad cross section of civil society in Scotland through the SDG Network Scotland[5] to help guide this work. As part of this engagement a webinar was held in early August with network members to help shape the call. Specific ideas from the webinar which potential applicants may wish to consider are set out below:


Points of engagement – How can policy makers, practitioners in all sectors and the wider public be more effectively engaged to both understand the goals and accelerate progress towards them?  What role can schools, businesses, local communities, individual interests play? What lessons can be learned from successful practice in Scotland and elsewhere?

International engagement – How best can Scotland engage with other places to share ideas and lessons – what sort of leadership role could Scotland play? What role can schools play in promoting global citizenship?

A systems approach – How can the goals be approached in a systematic way to ensure policy coherence and allow space for intended and emerging outcomes, while also having regard to potentially unintended consequences? What theories of change will be most helpful in accelerating progress? How can rights and equalities be embedded across the goals?

Linking SDGs and the National Performance Framework - How do policies, resources (money, knowledge, networks etc.) and activities relate to each other in successful approaches? How can the SDGs be more closely linked to budgeting and indicators of progress (outcome and process) at all geographical levels? What are the links to participatory budgeting?

Scottish National SDG Review – How can what we have learned from work to date be built on to accelerate progress?


We are also planning to work in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland in this programme to help them make their contribution to accelerating progress towards the goals. They have identified two specific areas of enquiry which applicants may wish to consider:

  • Identifying transformational interventions and measuring progress in the areas of responsible consumption; responsible production; and maximising value from waste and energy. 
  • Motivating households to reduce food waste (the overall target is 33% by 2025) – developing a baseline and measuring impact.

Applications are invited from teams whose composition reflects the multi-discipline and multi-sector remit of the Institute. Programme teams should include academics and policy makers and practitioners, ideally some non-academic partners should be involved in the development phase of a proposal to help ensure it is demand led. SUII programmes also offer the opportunity to draw on international expertise. Organising teams must include members from at least two SUII partner universities.

Prospective applicants are welcome to get in touch with the Institute for advice ahead of submission, or with any particular questions they may have.