The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) was established under the Science and Technology Act No.16 of 2003 with the mandate to advise the 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 research, science, technology and innovation so as to create wealth in order to improve the quality of life.  By its mandate and mission, NCST has secured a research grant from the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) one of the Collaborating Technical Agencies (CTAs) of Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Sub-Saharan Africa. This Grant will enable the Commission to support and manage research and innovation projects in climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions. The SGCI is supported by a consortium of funders, namely; Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), NORAD and German Research Foundation.


Climate change is affecting every region on earth in different ways. Existing evidence confirms an unprecedented rise in the incidence of climate-led stressors, which are increasing with additional warming, including, but not limited to heat waves, longer warm seasons, shorter cold seasons, more intense rainfall and associated flooding, erratic rainfall, more intense drought, severe storms, land-slides, sea level rise, wildfires, and desertification. These stressors have exacerbated exposure to conditions such as non-optimal temperatures (especially heat), reduced air quality, food and water systems disruption, migration and internal displacements, resource conflicts, disrupted healthcare systems, and changes in infectious agents. Apparently, most of these effects have been pronounced in the less developed countries, which have not contributed to its cause.

These climate shifts will continue to worsen in many places for decades to come. This calls for urgent attention to identify effective management practices that can mitigate public risks and consequences due to climate change through Research and Development. Research and Development in climate change will assist to mitigate the impact of climate change by improving disaster response, prediction models of climatic changes and expected effects and mitigation and optimizing resource management. The call will assist to support economic resilience, develop environmental sustainability and reduce vulnerabilities among communities.


Research and innovation project proposals that demonstrate public and private partnership in the following areas will be supported;

  • Modelling climate change and its impact
  • Climate smart infrastructure development
  • Indigenous knowledge and climate change
  • Models for disaster preparedness
  • Value addition to gene pool


i. Cross-cutting considerations

The proposal should demonstrate how sex, gender equality and inclusivity, public-private partnerships, risk management and intellectual property issues will be addressed in the project. Research projects led by female principal investigators are strongly encouraged. More weight will be given to a team that has female co-investigators during the review and selection process of the projects.

ii. Results and Dissemination

Applicants should clearly define the major outputs expected from the research project and describe how the research findings will be disseminated or used. Who are the target audience/ beneficiaries? How will the findings be used to influence policy and practice?  What media engagements plans are envisaged? Indicate how open access will be fostered. Relate the specific dissemination method/approach to the target audience and briefly explain the rationale for the choice of the approach.

iii. Team composition from applicant organizations

All individuals who make a significant contribution to the intellectual direction of the research, and who may have some responsibility for financial aspects of the project should be listed. Team members from applicant organisations should be included. It is important to include the field of expertise of each individual, as well as the percentage of their professional time committed to the project. CVs of the research team members should be included and each one of them should not be more than 5 pages. Letters of support from the institutions of the Principal Investigator should be included.

iv. Budget

The budget should include an explanation and justification for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet. The maximum budget must not exceed the grant value. Presentation of detailed budgets is a must. Any allowable costs should include a clarification and a justification. All rates to be used for the budgeting purpose are the ones acceptable by the respective institutions of the Principal Investigators hosting the projects.  Some of the project downstream budgetary items could include the following:

  • Research specific costs including cost of equipment (55%);
  • Costs associated with human resources (10%);
  • Capacity building e.g. postgraduate (20%);
  • Local travel (5%);
  • Technical monitoring and evaluation (5%); and
  • Dissemination of research results (5%).

Provide a chart of key activities, timelines and key milestones.

vi. Ethical clearance

Where the project involves human participants and animal subjects, the Principal Investigator shall obtain ethical clearance from an appropriate NCST designated research ethics committee before any grant disbursement and implementation of the project. NCST will also ensure that the ethically cleared research projects have been inspected for ethical compliance in the field besides the ordinary monitoring and evaluation.

vii. Project Governance

Briefly describe the project’s governance. What is the make-up of the research team, their background, and their specific responsibilities in the project under consideration?  Describe any plans for partnerships with other colleges or research centers. How will the project’s beneficiaries or the private sector be involved in its planning, management, and execution?

NB: The project team composition should include early career researchers, women and young innovators.


The maximum grant value for each research project proposal is K30,000,000. Each research project will be implemented for a period not exceeding seventeen months (17 months) from 1st December 2023 to 30th March 2025. 

Permissible budget items 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 co-operation and networking activities directly associated with the funded research.

Note: Salaries of PIs and other human resources involved in the implementation of the project are not eligible costs.


(a) Each proposal must have a principal investigator as a main applicant, based in Malawi. 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) Applicants should be from public and private research and higher learning institutions in Malawi. Support letters from the host institutions of the Principal Investigators is a prerequisite. Proposals without institutional approval through support letters will not be considered;

(c) The Grant will fund only applied research projects in the listed thematic areas. Research proposals shall need to demonstrate the application of scientific principles or basic scientific discoveries to solve real life challenges. Basic or purely theoretical research will not be considered.

(d) The Principal Investigator at the point of application must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The minimum qualification of the PI is a PhD.
  • Hold a primary appointment in a local publicly or privately funded institution (Minimum of 12 months employment with the local institution);
  • Have done previous research in any of the focus thematic areas and have some results published;
  • Be an independent Principal Investigator with a track record of leadership ability in co-ordinating research programmes; and
  • Providing mentorship to research teams, as well as having productive research outcomes.

(e) The project management team should comprise of atleast 30 percent female members; and

(f)The project team should include atleast one early career researcher and atleast one young innovator.


Applicants are expected to pay particular attention to all the details provided in the Guidelines. Applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed proposal template that can be obtained from:
  • Project team member’s CVs; workplan; and budget.
  • Where the applicant is affiliated to an institution, a support letter from their institution.

All attachments must be in PDF format.

The mode of application and submission of the full application package (i.e. with all the required attachments) shall primarily be through the web-based online grants management system of both NCST at; research proposals submitted via email will NOT be accepted under this Grant scheme.


The set deadline for submission of proposals is 8th November 2023 at 16:30 Central Africa Time.


Any enquiries from Malawi researchers should be directed to