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ESCAP-WHO Research Initiative on From Lab to Jab: Improving Asia-Pacific’s Readiness to Produce and Deliver Vaccines

Bangkok - 02 Aug 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that trade and transport play a key role in fighting the pandemic. Open trade in vaccine inputs and capital goods as well as the smooth transfer of knowledge and knowhow are needed to quickly ramp up vaccine production. Transportation is key factor to distribute vaccines across and within countries. Finally, all policy actions should be based on a wide engagement process.

In that context, the ESCAP Secretariat together with the World Health Organization (WHO) invite interested researchers and practitioners to make proposals to carry out studies in the eight thematic areas that cover various dimensions of assessing the regional capacity of  vaccine production and delivery, starting from research and development, manufacturing, trade, distribution and access to vaccine:


1. Research and Development in Vaccines in the Asia-Pacific:  State of Play and the Potential

2. Asia-Pacific in the Manufacturing and Global Supply Chains of Vaccines

3. Intellectual Property and Vaccine Manufacturing in Asia-Pacific region

4. Trade and Trade Barriers in Vaccines and Inputs to Vaccine Production in Asia-Pacific region

5. Regulatory Harmonization and Cooperation in Vaccines in Asia-Pacific region

6. International Transport and Logistics of Vaccines Across Borders: the case of Asia-Pacific region

7. Providing Equitable Access to Vaccines Within Countries: the case of Asia-Pacific region

8. Accelerating the development and distribution of vaccines in Asia and the Pacific: the roles of finance


1. Duration: 1 October 2021 - 31 March 2022

2. Outputs: A research paper on one of the prioritized research topics (tentatively 8,000-12,000 words, excluding annexes) and a policy checklist for a country’s self-assessment based on research results.

3. Consultancy fee: Depending on the proposal scope, methodology and experience of the researcher

4. Other benefits for selected proposals

  • Presentation of findings in UN ESCAP-WHO events on “Improving Asia-Pacific’s Readiness to Produce and Deliver Vaccines”, where relevant;
  • Publication of research findings in UN publications or through ESCAP regional networks, including ARTNeT and UNNExT, where relevant and suitable.


Please apply as soon as possible; deadline: 20 August 2021 Individual(s) with relevant expertise are invited to submit research proposals to Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka ([email protected]) and Mr. Matthias Helble ([email protected]) with a copy to Ms. Nattabhon Narongkachavana ([email protected])  

As some topics are related to each other, applicants may combine some of the listed topics in a proposal. The submissions should include:

1. An email expressing interest in one or more of the listed research topics;

2. In 500 words or less, a research proposal, including 1) summary of the research, including scope, methodology, and detailed tentative outline of the paper, 2) research schedule/timeline, and 3) main expected outcome/finding/recommendation, and;

3. Curriculum Vitae (CV), and any other evidence of relevant work.


The criteria used to evaluate the proposals will be based on feasibility of the proposed research plan (75%), with heavy bearing on expected outcome/findings: and previous work experience of applicant(s) in the areas related to the research topic (25%).


1. Only selected candidate(s) would be contacted. If there is no feasible proposal on certain topic, research on that topic would NOT be carried out.

2. Considering specialized nature of topics, successful proposals are expected to come from researchers who already have work/research experience in the area.

3. You are welcome to make a proposal of your research jointly with other researchers and/or practitioners to maximize synergy and complementarity of expertise.


Should you have any questions, please email Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka ([email protected]) with a copy to Ms. Nattabhon Narongkachavana ([email protected]

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