CALL FOR GRANT PROPOSALS UNDER THE SMALL GRANT SCHEME

1.0 Introduction

The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) was established by the Government of Malawi under section 5 of the Science and Technology Act No.16 of 2003. Its mission is to promote, support, co-ordinate and regulate the development and application of research, science, technology and innovation so as to create wealth in order to improve the quality of life. To execute its mission, the NCST runs a number of programmes and schemes through its established structure. These programmes and schemes are derived from its legal functions as stipulated in the said Act. One such scheme is the Small Grant Scheme which seeks to provide support either in part or in full in order to promote capacity building and information sharing endeavours related to research, science, technology and innovation for wealth creation, in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (III) and new vision, Malawi 2063. This scheme is demand-driven whose design is informed by stakeholders’ needs. The grant scheme provides funding support in the following areas;

(a) Dissertation Grant: aims to support research undertaken as part of an academic programme to qualify for a Master’s or a Doctorate Degree, provided that the topic of research is addressing any of the identified national research priorities as issued by NCST. The grant is primarily to support research. Funds will not be used to support course work.

(b) Travel Grant: aims to support applicants with travel grants to facilitate their participation in conferences/workshops/seminars, short courses, study tours and exchange visits within or outside Malawi so as to facilitate information sharing and capacity building. The support could cover travel costs including the cost of visas, registration and other applicable costs.

(c) Research Dissemination Grant: aims at supporting the organising of a research dissemination conference. The support shall be towards meeting the cost of conference advertisement, venue, refreshments/lunches, review of abstracts, and production of books of abstracts and conference proceedings.

(d) General Event Grant: aims at supporting institutions to organise events/activities related to other areas of research, science, technology and innovation, provided that such events are not of the same nature as the research dissemination conference.

(e) Production of Journals Grant: This grant aims at supporting the production of journals.

(f) ICT Equipment Grant: This grant supports towards the cost of the ICT equipment where a research related institution has indicated the need for such equipment assistance and upon establishment of NCST that an institution would function effectively with such an equipment.

(g) Technology Transfer and Commercialisation Grant: This grant supports the technology transfer and commercialisation efforts. It is provided to institutions or individuals that have developed technologies and would like to be facilitated for popularisation, transfer, replication and spinoffs

2.0 Grant Application Proposals

NCST has secured funding from the Government of Malawi towards the Science and Technology Fund. Part of the funding will be used to administer grants under this Small Grant Scheme. NCST is, therefore, calling for applications for project proposals in any of the areas under this Scheme.

3.0 Grant Amount

The grant offered through this scheme shall not exceed the value of MK3, 000,000.00. Therefore, the budget limit for project activities in each project proposal shall not be more than this amount.

4.0 Deadline for Receipt of Applications

The small grant scheme is designed to be administered throughout a given government fiscal year on competitive terms and on first-come and first-served basis. While applications can be submitted, received and reviewed any time in a given fiscal year, closure date for submissions and receipt of applications in the 2020/21 fiscal year is 30th May 2021. Applications received after this date shall not be considered.

5.0 Application Procedures and Guidelines

The application procedures and guidelines for each specified grant are contained in the Small Grant Scheme Procedures and Guidelines which are available on the NCST website (www.ncst.mw). Applicants are advised to access them on this website. Alternatively applicants may request them from the Office of the Director General using the address below.

6.0 Submission of the Application

Submission of complete application package containing the required documentation for the specified grant shall be made as both a hard and a soft copy to the following address;

Director General

National Commission for Science and Technology

Lingadzi House

First Floor

City Centre

Private Bag B303

Capital City

LILONGWE 3

Malawi

 

E-mail address: directorgeneral@ncst.mw

CALL FOR MASTA APPLICATIONS;

MASTA PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES;

PROFORMA FOR NOMINATION (INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP ACHIEVEMENT)  

To fill online go to: https://forms.gle/gzxwkkHfW6u1dJfVA;

PROFORMA FOR NOMINATION (INSTITUTION OR LABORATORY) 

To fill online go to: https://forms.gle/WQ7dB8JM4T2mfxpJA;

MASTA EVALUATION FORM

AwardsThe National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has organised the Research Grants Award Presentation Ceremony to be held on 5th February, 2021 at Bingu International Conference Centre.  The theme of the grants award presentation is “Research and Innovation for Socio-economic Development”. The grants to be awarded are for research projects in agriculture biotechnology and renewable energy with funding from the Science Granting Councils’ Initiative (SGCI), on the one hand,   and for projects in health systems operations research with funding from the Government of Malawi. The research projects fall within the identified national research priority areas in Malawi.

The grants award in agriculture biotechnology and renewable energy research is coming from the background of NCST’s participation in the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI)-an initiative that seeks to strengthen capacities of science granting councils in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In this initiative, NCST  is collaborating with the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) to manage research projects in agriculture biotechnology by giving support to researchers in their respective countries. NCST is also collaborating with the National Science and Technology Council of the Republic of Zambia and the Research Fund of Mozambique to manage research in renewable energy by giving support to researchers in their respective countries.  The management and support for research by the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) in agriculture biotechnology and renewable energy as identified national priority areas for research falls under the NCST’s  specific project that aims at strengthening the management of research competitions and research on emerging technologies and development in Malawi with the ultimate goal of supporting research and evidence-based policies that would contribute to socio-economic development.

While the grants under SGCI are jointly funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA), UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), the Malawi government, through NCST will provide funding for administrative oversight in the implementation of the projects.

Similarly, the grants award in health systems operations research comes from a purposefully instituted research grant scheme that is being managed through the partnership of the Department of Research in the Ministry of Health (DR-MOH) and the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST). This scheme has been instituted as part of the implementation efforts of the National Health Research Policy of December 2019. The Policy calls for the promotion and strengthening of health research governance structures at national and sub-national levels. Strengthened structures, such as district health offices and health facilities are pivotal for the conduct of quality health research in Malawi in order to generate evidence required to effectively inform the development of health and related policies and interventions. The effective implementation of such evidence-informed policies and interventions would ultimately result in improved health systems performance and peoples’ health and general well-being. This grant scheme has been established with funding from Malawi Government.

A total of twelve (12) grantees will be presented with various amounts of the research grants. The total amount of money in grants to be awarded at this ceremony is MK141, 417,020.   The ceremony will be co-officiated by the Minister of Education, Honourable Agnes Nyalonje, MP and the Minister of Health, Honourable Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP. The presentation ceremony will run from 07:30 am to 11:30 am. The ceremony will follow a hybrid set-up as other participants will attend virtually in order to limit the number of physical attendees. All Covid-19 preventive measures will be followed at the presentation ceremony.

The third Biodiversity Information Management Forum (BIMF) was held at Hippo view lodge, Liwonde Malawi from 8 to 9 December 2020 with the theme “Biodiversity data for national processes, species, Red lists and KBA Assessments”. BIMF provides a platform for biodiversity data holding institutions (researchers) and biodiversity data users to meet and discuss best management of Biodiversity data in order to contribute to sustainable development in the country. This year’s BIMF attracted several stakeholder from government institutions, non-governmental organisation and private sector.

Day 1 – November 18th, 2020

  1. Opening Session by VP 

Topic: 3rd National Research Dissemination Conference – Opening Session

Time: Nov 18, 2020 08:30 AM Malawian Time

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/98871786136

 

  1. Parallel Session 1 (ICT, Financial Technologies & Knowledge Management) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 1) – ICT, Financial Management & Knowledge Management

Time: Nov 18, 2020 01:30 PM Malawian Time

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/93074066132

 

  1. Parallel Session 2 (Education, Social Sciences & Humanities) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 2) – Education, Social Science & Humanities

Time: Nov 18, 2020 01:30 PM Malawian Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/93036183436

 

  1. Parallel Session 3 (Health & Population) 

 Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 3) – Health & Population

Time: Nov 18, 2020 01:30 PM Malawian Time 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97174026174

 

  1. Parallel Session 4 (Agriculture, Irrigation & Food Security) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 4) – Agriculture, Irrigation & Food Security

Time: Nov 18, 2020 01:30 PM Malawian Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87066048344?pwd=cExHUnQzMHlsT3YyYi95RUJsdkEvQT09

 Meeting ID: 870 6604 8344

Passcode: 188017

  1. Parallel Session 5 (Water, Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change & Natural Resources) _ Ajamali Account

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 5) – Water, Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change & Natural Resources

Time: Nov 18, 2020 01:30 PM Malawian Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/93027216648

 

  1. Open Exhibition – Innovation Exhibitions 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day One (Parallel Session 6) – Innovation Exhibition

Time: Nov 18, 2020 04:00 PM Johannesburg

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/99592122280

 

 

Day 2 – November 19th,2020

  1. Parallel Session 1 (Education, Social Sciences & Humanities) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 1) – Education, Social Science & Humanities

Time: Nov 19, 2020 09:00 AM Johannesburg

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97379014884

 

  1. Parallel Session 2 (ICT, Financial Technologies & Knowledge Management) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 2) – ICT, Financial Management & Knowledge Management

Time: Nov 19, 2020 09:00 AM Johannesburg 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/91865922771

 

  1. Parallel Session 3 (Health & Population) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 3) – Health & Population

Time: Nov 19, 2020 09:00 AM Harare, Pretoria 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/99200082159

 

  1. Parallel Session 4 (Agriculture, Irrigation &Food Security) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 4) – Agriculture, Irrigation & Food Security

Time: Nov 19, 2020 09:00 AM Johannesburg 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83538618711?pwd=VmRUSVc0ekJTbHQ5T3Zua0had1l4QT09 

Meeting ID: 835 3861 8711

Passcode: 162107

 

  1. Parallel Session 5 (Water, Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change & Natural Resources) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 5) – Water, Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change & Natural Resources

Time: Nov 19, 2020 09:00 AM Harare, Pretoria

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94804739529

 

  1. Parallel Session 6 (Skills Building Session) 

Topic: 3rd NRDC – Day Two (Parallel Session 6) – Skills Building Session

Time: Nov 19, 2020 11:00 AM Johannesburg

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/98344116154

 

 

group photo-mbs1The National Commission for Science and Technology, today, 26th October, received a donation of 8,050,000MK from the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) towards the 3rd National Research Dissemination Conference that the National Commission for Science and its partners are organizing.

The theme of the conference is “Research innovations and entrepreneurship towards a productive and resilient nation”.
The conference will take place at Sunbird Nkopola Hotel from 18th to 20th November, 2020.

 

The objective of the conference are as follows:
• Promote uptake of research results
• Provide a platform for researchers and innovators to showcase their work
• Promote collaboration, networking and partnership among researchers, innovators and other stakeholders
• Facilitate evidence-based policy decision making
• Promote knowledge exchange and transfer.

The conference will be hybrid in nature with some participants taking part in person while others will attend virtually.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairperson of NCST Prof Emmanuel Kaunda said the gesture by MBS in assisting NCST is true evidence of partnership to be embraced between partners.

The donation will go a long way towards easing the financial challenges being experienced towards the organization of the conference.

3RD NATIONAL RESEARCH DISSEMINATION CONFERENCE (NRDC)

 18th – 20th November 2020

                                                              Venue: Sunbird Nkopola Hotel, Mangochi

Preamble

The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) wishes to inform all stakeholders and invited researchers that the Third National Research and Dissemination Conference, whose theme is entitled “Research, innovation and entrepreneurship towards a productive and resilient nation” will now be held from 18th -20th November, 2020 at Sunbird Nkopola Hotel in Mangochi following its postponement from April 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The 3rd NRDC objectives are to:

  • Promote uptake of research results
  • Provide a platform for researchers and innovators to showcase their work
  • Promote collaboration, networking and partnerships among researchers, innovators and other stakeholders
  • Facilitate evidence based policy decision making
  • Promote knowledge exchange and transfer

Thematic Areas of Focus  

The NRDC shall fall under the following thematic areas which are also in-line with the Medium Term Development Strategy – MGDS III with a view to promote Research, Science and Technology as a key enabler of Vision 2063:

  • Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security
  • Water, Environment, Waste Management, Climate Change and Natural Resources
  • Education, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Health and Population
  • Energy, Transport and Engineering
  • ICT and Knowledge Management
  • Intellectual Property (IP), Entrepreneurship and Industry
  • Tourism
  • Financial Technology (Fin-tech)

Requirements

Presenters are being advised to submit full papers failing which they will not be allowed to present at the conference.

Furthermore, all participants and researchers shall be required to pay a registration fee of MK75,000.00 or 110 (US Dollars) while participating students shall pay MK40,000.00 which will cover the cost of lunch, refreshments, and venue to the following account.

Account Name             :           SE & T

Account Number          :           3337715

Bank                            :           National Bank of Malawi

Branch                         :           Capital City

SWIFT Code                :           NBMAMWMW 008

If you are paying in foreign currency, the deposit should be paid into the following Foreign Currency Domination Account:

Account Name             :           NCST FCDA

Account Number          :           1000413198

Bank                            :           National Bank of Malawi

Branch                         :           Capital City

SWIFT CODE              :           NBMAMWMW 008

Please remember to send your scanned participation fee deposit slip to nrdc@ncst.mw

Presenters and participants will be required to finance own accommodation, transport and subsistence allowances.

For confirmation and inquiries please write to gkadzamira@ncst.mw or call on +265 999 510 544 and Mr. Gausi email: hgausi@ncst.mw or call on +265 999 370 676

Please note that all COVID 19 precautionary measures will be adhered to.

Malawi government        nche      NBSIHIMwAPATA

MBS

Call Opening Date: 7th August 2020
Call Closing Date: 4th September 2020

1.0       BACKGROUND

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) of the Republic of Zambia, the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) of the Republic of Malawi and the Fundo Nacional de Investigação (FNI) of the Republic of Mozambique are Science Granting Councils (SGCs) participating in the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) for Sub Saharan Africa.

The SGCI seeks to strengthen the capacities of the participating SGCs in supporting research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to socio-economic development of the countries. The Initiative is jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA).

In contributing to their national research systems, the SGCs (in the three countries) secured a Grant from the International Development Research Centre under the auspices of the SGCI. The said Grant which aims at supporting research projects in Renewable Energy is based on a co-funding arrangement between the IDRC on one hand and the NSTC, NCST and FNI on the other.

2.0 RATIONALE AND SCOPE OF THE JOINT CALL

The demand for energy in the region has been rising due to economic activities in the countries, particularly in the mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Energy generation in the region relies almost entirely on hydropower, however, the recent droughts experienced in the region have caused serious electricity supply deficits. Governments are now actively seeking to enhance the renewable energy sector which has abundant renewable energy resources yet to be fully exploited. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) through its Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan recommends that member states must achieve energy security by closing the current supply/demand deficit in the power sector and enable future economic growth and industrialization through transitioning to and/or increasing the use of renewable energy sources and developing innovative ways of using energy to drive sustainable development. Renewable Energy is one of the identified National Research Priority Areas in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

To contribute towards efforts to enhance the renewable energy sector in the three countries, NSTC, NCST and FNI will fund collaborative research projects in renewable energy. The objective of this Trilateral Joint Call is to generate critical knowledge that will help in strategic development and utilization of energy sources to diversify the energy mix and accelerate achievement of the countries’ energy generation targets, increase industry competitiveness, improve service delivery and reduce poverty.

3.0 THEMATIC FOCUS

The researchers in the area of renewable energy in the three countries will collaborate to prepare joint research proposals in the priority areas named below. The NSTC, NCST and FNI will, therefore, co-fund demand-led, collaborative research projects that address issues of relevance in the following priority areas in which research project proposals are invited;

(a) Renewable energy resource efficiency

(b) Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT)

(C) Sustainability of renewable energy systems

(d) Management of renewable energy systems for social economic development

4.0 FUNDING LEVEL

The budget limit for project activities in each research proposal will be not more than MK22,560,000 for the research team in Malawi. The budget limit for project activities for the research team in Mozambique will not exceed 1 250 000MT while the budget limit for project activities for the research team in Zambia will be ZMW300,000.00. This means that a budget for one joint proposal will have three components: Budget for project activities for the research team in Malawi; a budget for project activities for the research team in Mozambique; and the budget for the research team in Zambia.  Collaborative research projects will be implemented for a period not exceeding twenty four months (24) months. Permissible budget items shall include the following:

  • Material costs, if they are directly linked to the research project, in particular material of enduring value, the cost of expendable items, field expenses, travel expenses or third party charges.
  • Direct costs incurred through the use of research infrastructure linked to the research.
  • Costs of organising conferences and workshops in connection with the funded research.
  • Costs of national and international co-operation and networking activities directly associated with the funded research.

Note:   Salaries of applicants, purchase of fixed assets, direct or indirect taxes including VAT, and overheads are not eligible costs.

5.0 APPLICATION GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY

The application guidelines and other requirements including eligibility criteria are downloadable from any of the following website and links;

6.0       SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF PROPOSALS

Submission of an application package should be in a form of electronic copy. The deadline for submission is 4th September, 2020. Application package shall include full proposal specified herein; Principal Investigator’s covering letter; letter of support from an institution of the Principal Investigator; and CVs of the Principal Investigators. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. When the full application package is duly completed save the document as last names of principal investigators-NSTC-NCST-FNI Call for Proposals 2020”. The electronic copy should be in PDF.

(a) The Joint full application package should be submitted electronically in the prescribed template to all of the following email addresses;

fmunthali@ncst.mw with a copy to mkachedwa@ncst.mw  at NCST; srf@nstc.org.zm with a copy to nstc@nstc.org.zm at NSTC; and uploaded on http://gms.fni.gov.mz/sistemamonitoria/ for the case of principal investigators from Mozambique under a heading “Full Proposal in Renewable Energy” clearly specified.

(b) All applications will be reviewed based on their quality and merit. A full proposal template is downloadable on any of the following website links:

 

Note: Principal investigators from Mozambique will have to first download the application template, fill it and then upload it on the FNI online system together with other required documents as specified herein.

(c) All documents (full research proposal, CV, detailed budget, letters of support) have to be submitted in PDF

(d) The review, selection of proposals and communication to applicants will done by 30 October 2020.

(e) All proposals will be received and processed in confidentiality with acknowledgment of intellectual property rights of the applicants.

(f) Decision of NSTC, NCST and FNI will be final.

7.0    ENQUIRIES

Any enquiries from researchers shall be directed as follows;

(a) Enquiries from researchers in Malawi should be directed to Frederick Munthali on fmunthali@ncst.mw (Tel No. 265 888 107 134) and Mike Kachedwa on mkachedwa@ncst.mw ( Tel No: 265 999 360 516);

(b) Enquiries from researchers in Zambia should be directed to Filipo Zulu on fzulu@nstc.org.zm (Tel No.260 211 257196) and Atridah Mulonga on amulonga@nstc.org.zm (260 211 255854).

(c) Enquiries from researchers from Mozambique should be directed to Dirce Madeira on madeira@fni.gov.mz (Tel No. 258-845-633807) and Edson Faria on edson.faria@fni.gov.mz (Tel No. 258-844-122705)

1.0 BACKGROUND
The Department of Research of the Ministry of Health (DR-MOH) and the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) are in partnership for the management of a small grant scheme to support research proposals in health systems operations research as one of the identified national research priority areas in Malawi.
This scheme has been instituted as part of the implementation efforts of the Health Research Policy of December 2019. The Policy calls for the promotion and strengthening of health research governance structures at national and sub-national levels. Strengthened structures, such as district health offices and health facilities, are pivotal for the conduct of quality health research in Malawi in order to generate evidence required to effectively inform the development of health and related policies and interventions. The effective implementation of such evidence-informed policies and interventions would ultimately result in improved health systems performance and peoples’ health and general well-being. This grant scheme has been established with funding from Malawi Government.

2.0 RATIONALE AND SCOPE OF THE CALL

Health systems in low income countries face the challenges of substantial socioeconomic and health inequalities, rapid globalisation and evolving disease burdens. Malawi being one of the low income countries is not spared from such challenges. District health offices and health facilities (be they central or district hospitals), are faced with health systems operational challenges that necessitate the conduct of health systems operations research at either health facility or district health office level. Such research would generate evidence base that is required to strengthen health systems and improve the delivery of healthcare in Malawi. The research findings would inform the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes that are of direct relevance to decision makers, district hospital management teams as well as health facility management teams in Malawi.

Health systems research addresses questions that are not disease-specific but concern issues that have implication on the performance of the health system as a whole. It is recognised that health systems are complex, and include not only formal health care delivery systems (public or private), but also include factors and elements such as governance, financing, health workforce, information systems, health education, community and individual action, the regulatory and legislative context and the existing and emerging social, economic and cultural circumstances. As such, the research questions under health systems research are generally situated within an understanding of these broader health system linkages and descriptions on how and why findings from such research have the potential to improve the health of the people.

3.0 THEMATIC FOCUS

Teams of members of staff at DHO or health facility level (be it at central or district hospital level) will prepare research proposals addressing an identified health systems related problem that is relevant to their scope of work at DHO or health facility level. The scheme will, therefore, fund demand-led, health systems operations research that addresses issue(s) of relevance that is specific to the research team’s institution

4.0 EXPECTED OUTCOMES
It is expected that outcome(s) of the projects will inform and improve the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes/practices that are of direct relevance and application to district health management teams, health facility management teams and policy makers.

5.0 FUNDING LEVEL

The Call for Research Proposals in Health Systems Operations Research at District Health Office Level or at Heath Facility Level is premised on small grant scheme. Therefore, the budget limit for project activities in a proposal will  not exceed K1,500,000. Research projects may include the following permissible budget items;
• Material costs, if they are directly linked to the research project (e.g, reagents/supplies), field expenses and other data collection costs that may be justified dependent on the nature of the research study.
• Direct costs incurred through the use of research infrastructure linked to the research.
• Cost of dissemination of the results connection with the funded research.

Note: Applicant’s salary top-up is not an eligible cost

6.0 ELIGIBILITY

(a) Each proposal must have at least one principal investigator as a main applicant based at DHO or at a public health facility. The Principal Investigator will bear the overall responsibility for the project, including its technical and administrative co-ordination as well as the timely delivery of scientific and financial reports.

(b) Each proposal should demonstrate that there is a research team that is led by a principal investigator. The size of the research team should be commensurate with the scope of the envisaged project activities with roles of each member of the team clearly described. The team should be composed of relevant staff from the DHO or public health facility. Where it is necessary and justified, the team may also include any relevant staff from a private health facility who would participate as a collaborator but such a collaborator should be from within the catchment area of the DHO/health facility of the principal investigator. Members of DHO research co-ordinating committees or health facility research co-ordinating committees are encouraged to take advantage of this small grant opportunity to apply.

(c) Support letters from the principal investigator’s DHO or head of a public health facility are a prerequisite. Such letters should signify DHO/health facility support and approval. Proposals without such approval will not be considered.

(d) The Grant will fund only health systems operations research that addresses an identified health systems problem of relevance to the DHO/health facility.

(e) Principal Investigator(s) at the point of application must fulfil the following requirements:
• Hold a primary appointment within DHO or at a public health facility (minimum of six months employment) and is still in employment at DHO or public health facility level;
• Be an individual that can command trust of his team members. Those with a track record of leadership ability in co-ordinating research related programmes may have an added advantage but it is not a must.
• Must be a holder of at least a master’s degree in any relevant field. Those holding an MBBS degree are also eligible to be PI.

Application guidelines are available on www.ncst.mw/healthsystemsgrant for eligibility and other application requirements.

7.0 SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF PROPOSALS
(a) The full proposals should be submitted electronically to both research@health.gov.mw and mohdoccentre@gmail.com with a copy to both ymwanza@ncst.mw and bnyambalo@gmail.com under subject heading: “Application for a Health Systems Operations Research Small Grant” clearly specified.
(b) All proposals must be submitted in the prescribed template and will be reviewed based on their quality and merit. A full proposal template is downloadable on www.ncst.mw/healthsystemsresearchgrant
(c) All documents (full research proposal, detailed CV and letters of support) have to be submitted in both PDF and MS Word files, while detailed budget should be in excel. Proposals should not exceed twelve pages (12), using 1.5 spacing and font size 12 Times New Roman (Refer to the proposal template for other details).
(d) Applicants will be required to submit full proposals which will be screened for completeness by NCST and DR-MOH before a rigorous confidential review by an independent panel of experts.
(e) Communication of the proposal review outcome to applicants will be made by 21st August, 2020.
(f) Decisions of the scheme managers will be final.

8.0 DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Monday, 7 August 2020 at 16:30 Malawi time.

9.0 CONTACT INFORMATION
Any enquiries from prospective applicants should be directed to either of the following;

• Dr. C. Mitambo (cmitambo@gmail.com; cell number:0999397913);
• Mr. Mike Kachedwa (mkachedwa@ncst.mw ; cell number 0999360516.

1.0 BACKGROUND
The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) of the Republic of Malawi and the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) are participating in Phase Two of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI). This continuation builds on Phase One’s SGCI objective of seeking to strengthen the capacities of Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to socio-economic development.
During this phase, NCST and RCZ as SGCs from Malawi and Zimbabwe respectively, will jointly administer a Grant aimed at strengthening Management of Research Competitions and Research on Emerging Technologies and Development in Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Grant will be used to support and manage research in Agricultural Biotechnology conducted in both Malawi and Zimbabwe under the auspices of the SGCI. The Initiative is jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

2.0 RATIONALE AND SCOPE OF THE JOINT CALL

The transition to knowledge-based economies has put the role of knowledge at the pinnacle of trade, investments, manufacturing and socio-economic development. In that regard, the contribution of the knowledge generating organisations, their linkages with the private sector and the potential for knowledge exchange and technology transfer has become central.

Recognising the importance of Agricultural Biotechnology to both Malawi and Zimbabwe and in order to promote the co-creation and exchange of knowledge to boost agricultural productivity in the two countries, the NCST and RCZ have instituted a Collaborative Research Grant in Agricultural Biotechnology. The Grant, in both Malawi and Zimbabwe, has been established with co-funding between the SGCI on one hand and NCST and RCZ on the other hand with the aim of supporting research projects in Agricultural Biotechnology as one of the identified National Research Priority Areas in the two countries.

3.0 THEMATIC FOCUS

Researchers in the area of Agriculture Biotechnology in the two countries will collaborate to prepare joint research proposals focusing specifically on either Plant Biotechnology with respect to Crops or/and Animal Biotechnology with focus on Livestock. The SGCI, NCST and RCZ will, therefore, co-fund demand-led, collaborative research projects that address issues of relevance in the area of Agricultural Biotechnology. Project proposals submitted under this call may include, but are not limited to, the following research areas:

  • Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience – Cotton Mealybug, Fall Army Worm and Large Grain Borer;
  • Breeding and Genetics –Multi-disciplinary in nature (Fish Breeding, Artificial Insemination and Molecular Breeding included);
  • Nutrition Research – (Soil Health, Fodder/ Pasture Research included); and
  • Microbial Research

4.0  EXPECTED OUTCOMES

It is expected that interventions of the projects will improve co-creation and exchange of knowledge to boost agricultural productivity in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Projects should also aim within their proposed duration to enhance the capacity of researchers in areas including biosafety and biotechnology research analysis skills.

5.0 FUNDING LEVEL

The budget limit for project activities in the proposal will be not more than MK22,560,000 for the research team in Malawi and budget limit for project activities for the research team in Zimbabwe will be USD30 000. This means that a budget for one joint proposal will have two components: Budget for project activities for the research team in Malawi and a budget for project activities for the research team in Zimbabwe. Collaborative research projects will be implemented for a period not exceeding twenty-six (26) months. Permissible budget items include the following:

  • Materials costs, if they are directly linked to the research project, in particular material of enduring value, the cost of expendable items, field expenses, travel expenses or third party charges.
  • Direct costs incurred through the use of research infrastructure linked to the research.
  • Costs of organising conferences and workshops in connection with the funded research.
  • Costs of national and international cooperation and networking activities directly associated with the funded research.

Note:   Salaries of applicants are not eligible costs.

6.0 ELIGIBILITY

Each proposal must have at least one Principal Investigator as a main applicant based in Malawi and one Principal Investigator as a main applicant based in Zimbabwe. These are the Principal Investigators on the Malawian and Zimbabwean sides, respectively. The Principal Investigators will bear the overall responsibility for the project, including its technical and administrative co-ordination as well as the timely delivery of scientific and financial reports.

Applications are open to bona fide researchers from public research and higher learning institutions in both Malawi and Zimbabwe. Researchers from the Private Sector and Non-profit Organisations registered in Malawi and Zimbabwe are eligible to apply but in collaboration with researchers in public research and higher learning institutions in both Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Support letters from the Malawi and Zimbabwe host institutions of the Principal Investigators are a prerequisite. Proposals without institutional approval through support letters will not be considered.

Application guidelines are available on www.ncst.mw/sgciphasetwo  and on www.rcz.ac.zw/sgciphasetwo for eligibility and other application requirements.

7.0 GENERAL WRITING GUIDELINES

NCST and RCZ particularly encourage collaborative research projects across institutions, disciplines and individuals. The following should be taken into consideration.

i) Proposals should be well presented meeting known scientific and commercialisation potential criteria.

ii) The management structure should be well defined as well as a clear sustainability plan.

iii) Applicants should “make the case”, i.e. to explain the steps that led to the proposed research concept and focus.

iv) Demonstrate the strategic value of the research to Malawi and Zimbabwe and the Region.

v) Demonstrate commercialisation potential, research capacity building and a description of how gender and diversity will be included in the implementation of proposed projects.

vi) Budget should not be inflated and/or expenses should be adequately justified.

vii) Applicants should declare originality of their work and sign off to confirm ownership.

8.0 SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF PROPOSALS

i) The full proposals should be submitted electronically to both directorgeneral@ncst.mw and technical@rcz.ac.zw with a copy to lkampira@ncst.mw  and mkachedwa@ncst.mw  at NCST and a copy to cmpofu@rcz.ac.zw  and programmescoordinator@rcz.ac.zw at RCZ with the subject heading: “Full Proposal in Agricultural Biotechnology Research” clearly specified.

ii) All proposals must be submitted in the prescribed template and will be reviewed based on their quality and merit. A full proposal template is downloadable on ncst.mw/sgciphasetwo and on www.rcz.ac.zw/sgciphasetwo.

iii) All documents (full research proposal, annexes, etc.) have to be submitted in both PDF and MS Word files, using 1.5 spacing and font size 12 Times New Roman.

iv) Applicants will be required to submit full proposals which will be screened for completeness by both NCST and RCZ before a rigorous confidential review by an independent panel of experts.

v) The evaluation and selection of proposals will comprise verification of the proposal eligibility, short listing of reviewed research proposals and communication of the review outcomes to applicants by 30 September 2020.

vi) All proposals will be received and processed in confidentiality and with complete acknowledgment of Intellectual Property Rights of the proponents.

vii) NCST and RCZ’s decisions will be final.

9.0 DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

Monday, 3 August 2020 at 16:30 Central Africa Time.

1.0 CONTACT INFORMATION

Any enquiries from Malawi researchers should be directed to lkampira@ncst.mw  and mkachedwa@ncst.mw while enquiries from Zimbabwe researchers should be sent to cmpofu@rcz.ac.zw and programmescoordinator@rcz.ac.zw .