Do you have a research proposal that can accelerate pandemic recovery with digital technology?

ITU’s Connect2Recover initiative aims to build back better with broadband by reinforcing digital infrastructure and digital ecosystems of countries so that they can better leverage information and communications technologies (ICTs) to support COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts and preparedness for a post-COVID normal and remain resilient in times of disasters.

Through the Connect2Recover initiative, ITU is launching the “Connect2Recover Research Competition” to identify promising research proposals that will accelerate digital inclusion during the COVID-19 recovery globally. ITU is pleased to recognize the support of ITU-D Sector Member Huawei for their support of this competition.


The competition aims to:

  • Improve research focus on digital resiliency and digital inclusion to build back better with broadband for pandemic recovery;
  • Build a global research community of think tanks and academic institutions around digital inclusion; and
  • Promote knowledge sharing that informs targeted practices to build back better with broadband.


This competition is open to Academia, including early career researchers and think tanks. Individual experts who are affiliated with academic institutions may also apply. Submissions must clearly elaborate and demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • How to carry out studies that can assess the resiliency for digital infrastructure taking into account relevant data sources and formulate forward-looking, actionable policy measures leading to positive outcomes in education, healthcare, or job creation by fostering digital inclusion as the country enters the COVID-19 recovery period?
  • How to build back better with broadband along with digital inclusion during the COVID-19 recovery efforts resulting in meaningful connectivity?
  • Develop key recommendations on aspects of resilient digital infrastructure supporting education, health, or job creation in the targeted context.


  • Fifteen (15) research grants worth USD 42,000 each will be awarded to winning research teams.
  • Winners will receive initial support from ITU to engage with governments and regulators to gather information and data for their research.
  • The Connect2Recover Initiative will enable this knowledge exchange through joint (online) events with the selected research teams and policymakers.
  • Winning teams will benefit from great visibility during these events and will have opportunities to present and discuss their research directly with decision makers.

Application Procedure

  • Participants must register and complete the submission form by clicking the ‘Apply Online‘ button below (Opens in a new window).
  • Submissions of original work are invited and submissions must be in English.
  • Please note that each team is only allowed one submission.
  • No individual team member can participate in two teams. This will result in exclusion of both teams.
  • To prepare the application, please download the information about the format and content required in the application form here: It is recommended to prepare the content accordingly and then copy and paste it into the online application form.

Application Deadline: August 31st 2021

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage