Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

General Principles for Accessing Grants

  1. The Fund will regularly publish and publicize its grant portfolio.
  2. All requests for applications (RFA) shall be published in national print and electronic media with wide circulation.
  3. NRF shall provide a unique code of reference for each application.
  4. Adequate time shall be provided for the RFAs as specified in the call.
  5. For each RFA, detailed guidelines shall be provided.
  6. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) site shall be maintained on the NRF’s website.
  7. All submissions shall be filed and treated as confidential documents by the Fund.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Types of Submissions

Expression of Interest

  1. NRF may request for submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) in advance of submission of a full proposal where applicable.
  2. An expression of interest shall not be binding.
  3. An expression of interest shall contain sufficient information on the nature of the call, type, budget, mode of submission among other details as the Board of Trustees may decide.
  4. EoIs may be reviewed internally or externally
  5. EoIs shall not be used to make funding decisions.

Concept Notes

  1. The Fund may request applicants to submit concept notes in advance of submission of a full proposal. The purpose of the concept notes shall be to:
    • Reduce the proposers’ unnecessary effort in proposal preparation when the chance of success is very small;
    • Increase the overall quality of the full submission.
  2. NRF shall specify the content and submission requirements when concept notes are being submitted.
  3. The following types of decisions may be reached by the Fund upon submission of concept notes:
    • Accept for full proposal development
    • Reject the concept note
  4. The Boards decision is final and shall be communicated to the applicants.

Full Proposal

  1. Calls shall contain proposal preparation instructions.
  2. The full proposal shall comprise of both technical and financial information and will have the following:
    • The objectives and significance of the proposed work,
    • The suitability of the research methods,
    • The qualification of the investigator(s)
    • The outputs of the research project,
    • The project budget.
  3. Privileged or proprietary information shall be clearly marked as privileged/proprietary.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

How to Submit Applications

  1. Proposals will be submitted in both hard and soft copies.
  2. Soft copies of the research proposals shall be submitted electronically in a prescribed format.
  3. Proposals so submitted shall be duly certified by the Head of the Institution to the address provided by the Fund.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Application Processing and Review

Merit Review Principles and Criteria

  1. The Fund will adopt a merit review process that is fair and transparent.
  2. Assessment and evaluation of proposed projects shall be based on appropriate metrics.

Selection of Merit Reviewers

The Fund will maintain a pool of both national and international subject specialists from among whom merit reviewers will be selected.

Award and release of Funds-Financial management

The following rules of engagement shall prevail in award recommendations:

  1. The Management shall make recommendations for award of research grants.
  2. The Board will consider and approve recommendations of the Management.
  3. Upon approval communication shall be made to both successful and unsuccessful candidates on the outcome of the evaluations.
  4. The decision of the NRF Board shall be final.
  5. Successful Applicants shall receive notification of the award and will be provided with;
    • A Letter of Offer
    • A Contract
  6. The contract will specify the terms and conditions project implementation.
  7. Disbursement of project funds shall be subject to available budget.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Renewal of Grants

  1. No grant will be renewed automatically.
  2. Support beyond the term originally approved by the NRF Board of Trustees will be dependent upon submission and approval of a renewal application for a new grant.
  3. All recommended applications must be approved by the Board of Trustee before funds are made available.
  4. If the renewal request is approved, a new approval must be drawn in line with existing terms and conditions

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Un-Obligated Funds

  1. Any unspent funds remaining at the end of each grant year may be carried over to the following year by the Institutions and authority for such shall be sought from the Fund.
  2. Unexpended funds remaining at the termination of the grant will be surrendered to the Fund.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Extension of Term

  1. A no-cost extension for the research project may be approved when requested and justified in writing.
  2. A request for an extension must include:
    • The amount of money to be carried into the extension period;
    • A statement of why the funds were not used in the original grant period;
    • A statement of how the funds will be used during the extension;
    • A report of the research progress and budget for the previous year, on forms provided by the NRF.
    • A request for an extension must be made at least 30 days before the termination date of a grant.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Additional Funding

Once total budget is disbursed no additional funding should be sought unless such a request is made under exceptional circumstances and must be in writing to the Board.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Transfer of a Grant

  1. The Funds are not transferable to another institution or person (s) unless the PI is deceased, fired on criminal grounds or incapacitated to continue with the work.
  2. Researchers are obliged to undertake and complete the project under conditions which the grant has been offered.

Guidelines for Accessing the National Research Fund

Eligible Expenditure Categories

Eligible Expenditure

Researchers may request for funds for the following categories of expenditure:

  1. Daily Subsistence Allowance for field activitiesfor professional and non-professional personnel;
  2. Research equipment;
  3. Consumables;
  4. Essential infrastructure/upgrading;
  5. Costs of prototype production;
  6. Project management costs must not exceed 7.5%;
  7. Project mobility costs must not exceed 20% of the total budget.

Other Expenses

Any other expenditure directly related to the cost of conducting the proposed research may be requested for in the application for a grant.