Our Grantmaking Focus

The objective of our grantmaking is the creation of actionable public policy proposals that can be implemented by island governments as they seek to more effectively respond to the inter-sectoral challenges of sustainable development within their respective nations. While funders of research, we see ourselves as partners with our grantees and with island leaders in the process of making these policy recommendations.

The Small Island States Foundation staff works closely with its Board of Directors and governmental and institutional donors to identify grantmaking priorities and develop a strategic portfolio of grants that address the sustainable development needs of small island developing states, as described throughout this website. While there is a particular interest in the research of sustainable economic development, we support research into environmental protection and social development issues as well. Regardless of any particular research project’s focus, the findings usually can be holistically integrated into options that are broadly applicable across economic and societal sectors.

We partner with experts in the sustainable development of island nations who are affiliated with universities and research institutions around the world. We do not support individuals or for-profit organizations. In particular, we seek experts and research projects that are considered to be the best and/or most promising in their field, are holistic in their design and analysis, address public policy issues and concerns, and are relevant across the broad spectrum of small island nations.

The Foundation currently has a timely interest in identifying and benchmarking best practices vis-à-vis economic development, alternative energy, environmental protection, social equity, governance, capacity building, and other sustainability issues that challenge small island developing states, and how these areas interact with and affect one another.


Grant Guidelines

The Small Island States Foundation solicits proposals for research projects from selected universities and organizations with expertise in its areas of focus. We are unable to accept unsolicited proposals at this time. However we do welcome letters of inquiry that outline your institution’s strengths and research agenda, examples of past research effectiveness, and the rationale for any particular research project for which you seek funding. All letters of inquiry should be sent electronically to Duncan Hurd, the Foundation’s Executive Director. Only those letters from institutions whose work closely aligns with the Small Island States Foundation’s grantmaking focus will be answered.

Once a promising research project has been identified and a proposal has been solicited, it goes through a rigorous review process. Foundation staff investigates the relevance of the proposed research project to the applicant’s previous work, its financial stability, the qualifications of the researchers, the sustainability of the project and its potential to generate highly relevant findings, and recommendations from peer organizations.

Whenever possible we, or colleagues from universities and institutions with whom we have previously successfully partnered, will conduct on-site interviews with key staff.  Experts within the Foundation’s Board of Advisors subject each project that SISF sponsors to a peer review upon its completion.

Our Grantmaking Committee meets twice annually, in early April and early October, to decide which research projects to support. All applicants will be notified shortly thereafter about their proposal’s status.