Call for the Least Developed Countries: register before 28 September for the Research4Life online course

The United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries (TBLDC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are thrilled to continue a partnership to support the delivery of online training activities for the 47 least-developed countries to enhance the access to recent scientific knowledge, and thus give them the opportunity to participate fully in the global scientific community.

With this objective, TBLDC and FAO are set to run the second edition of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled: Research4Life Online Training Tools to develop capacities in information use, scholarly communication and information management in least developed countries” between 5 October to 8 November 2020.

The call for applications is open until 28 September. Please register here

Past Research4Life online course participants shared experiences and lessons learned displaying the large success of the previous course. Up to 1,500 participants representing 75 countries took part in the previous online training activities to enhance knowledge of and access to the most recent high quality and relevant scientific knowledge. Throughout the empowering learning opportunity, participants were introduced to the thousands of scientific journals and books available through Research4Life to students, researchers, practitioners, etc. in countries across the world. 



Participants are expected to spend on average six to eight hours per week on lessons and activities, such as contributing to discussion forums and webinars.


The MOOC allows participants to study their area of interest throughout a five-week period. The course covers topics such as the scholarly communication landscape, information literacy skills, advocacy and capacity development strategies. Additionally, it provides discipline-specific information for Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI.

Participants of the course will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance after completing the exam at the end of the course. Those who pass the exam with a grade of at least 7.0, will receive a Certificate of Achievement.


Module 1: Scholarly communication and Research4Life: This module provides an overview on scholarly communication, the publishing landscape, key concepts about Research4Life including the details about the partnership, programmes’ coverage, eligibility criteria, and registration. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 1.1: Scientific landscape

  • Lesson 1.2: Research assessment and bibliometrics

  • Lesson 1.3: Research4Life

Module 2: Discovery and re-use of scholarly literature: This module covers key concepts of information literacy skills and competencies, including academic ethics, licensing and academic collaboration tools. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 2.1: Identifying information sources

  • Lesson 2.2: Using information resources

  • Lesson 2.3: Intellectual property and copyright – Ethics and plagiarism

  • Lesson 2.4: Citing, reference management and collaboration tools

Module 3: Discipline-specific browsing and searching: This module describes the five Research4Life programmes (Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI, GOALI) in detail, including how to conduct discipline specific search, an introduction to Summon to search across programmes and the bibliometric analysis tools: Scopus and Dimensions, which are provided within Research4Life. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 3.1: Hinari: Research in Health

  • Lesson 3.2: AGORA: Research in agriculture

  • Lesson 3.3: OARE: Research in the Environment

  • Lesson 3.4: ARDI: Research for Development and Innovation

  • Lesson 3.5: GOALI: Research for Global Justice

  • Lesson 3.6: Search across Research4Life programmes

  • Lesson 3.7: Citation databases

Module 4: Additional discipline-specific resources: This module focuses on additional discipline-specific resources and services in the five main disciplines of the Research4Life programmes. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 4.1: Health

  • Lesson 4.2: Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, food security, related biological and environmental sciences

  • Lesson 4.3: Environment

  • Lesson 4.4. Development and innovation

  • Lesson 4.5. Global justice

  • Lesson 4.6. Interdisciplinary resources

Module 5: Advocate on Research4Life and Facilitate Capacity Development: This module teaches you how to design advocacy strategies to address decision makers and upper management. It also guides you on how to train local groups on how to use Research4Life. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 5.1: Research4Life Advocacy Toolkit

  • Lesson 5.2: Training Your Audience on How to Use Research4Life


At the end of the course, participants do a graded online exam. There are two types of certification for this course:

  • Certificate of Attendance: for those who complete and submit the exam at the end of the course

  • Certificate of Achievement: for those who complete the exam with 7.0 and higher mark.



The United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries is a global organization dedicated to enhancing the contribution of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development in the world’s least developed countries.

The UN Technology Bank became operational in 2018 and serves the 47 least developed countries (LDCs) and former least developed countries for up to five years after their graduation from the category. According to the UN, LCDs are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets.


Headquartered in Gebze, Turkey, the UN Technology Bank actively engages with national, regional and international partners to deliver its programme and projects which strengthen science, technology and innovation capacity in least developed countries. The UN Technology Bank supports national and regional technological efforts, reinforces partnerships across sectors and helps nations identify and use appropriate technologies to transform their economies and improve livelihoods.