NCST Small Grants Scheme

1.0 Introduction

The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) was established under section 5 of the Science and Technology Act No.16 of 2003. The mandate of NCST is to advise Government and other stakeholders on all science and technology matters in order to achieve a science and technology-led development. Its mission is to promote, support, co-ordinate and regulate the development and application of science, technology and innovation so as to create wealth in order to improve the quality of life. To execute its mandate and 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 Science and Technology 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. This scheme is demand-driven. Its design is informed by stakeholders’ needs that were identified through a national survey that was carried out by NCST.

In pursuit of its mission and mandate and as per the provisions in the said Act, the NCST is pleased to inform the general public and all stakeholders of the establishment and availability of this small grant scheme. The grant scheme covers a wide range of areas as stipulated below:

  • 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. While the emphasis is on supporting research related training through dissertations for masters and doctorate degrees, consideration may be made under exceptional circumstances to support a research project for a bachelor’s degree provided that such a project is addressing an identified research priority as set by NCST.
  • 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: This aims at supporting the organising of the research dissemination conferences. 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

  • 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 that is described in section 3.2.3.
  • Production of Journals Grant: This grant aims at supporting the production of journals
  • 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. If it is established that the institution would function effectively with such equipment, NCST shall consider funding such a request/application.
  • Technology Transfer and Commercialisation Grant: This grant supports the technology transfer and commercialisation efforts. It will be provided to institutions or individuals that have developed technologies and would like to be facilitated for popularisation, transfer, replication and spinoffs.

2.0 Periodicity

  • The small grant scheme is designed to be administered throughout a given fiscal year on competitive terms and on first-come and first-served basis. In administering this scheme, NCST as a Government body, shall follow the government fiscal year that runs from 1st July to 30 June.
  • While applications can be submitted, received and reviewed any time in a given fiscal year, closure date for submissions and receipt of applications shall be 30th May in a given fiscal year.
  • Offer of a grant shall automatically lapse on the last date of the fiscal year during which a grant has been offered.
  • A grant offered in one fiscal year shall not be carried over to another fiscal year.
  • Any unused grant shall be retained by NCST.

3.0 Grant Amount

  • The grant offered through this scheme shall not exceed the value of MK3,000,000.00
  • The NCST reserves the right to review this maximum value from time to time.


 4.0      Submission of the Application

Before making submission, applicants are advised to reference the following documents and research priorities in form of the research agendas as identified by various technical committees:

Submission of applications 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



Tel: 265 1771 550

Fax: 265 1772 431