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FAQ for call for project proposals: Strengthening the capacities of Science Granting Councils in Gender and Inclusivity

Eligibility and application details

1. What is this call for proposals about?

This call intends to identify an organization that will support strengthening the capacities of science granting councils in gender and inclusivity. The project proposed by the selected organization will support councils to promote research environments and science, technology and innovation policies and practices that are gender transformative and inclusive.

2. What is the thematic area of focus of the proposals?

The goal of the project on gender equality and inclusivity is to reinforce the capacity of science granting councils to mainstream gender equality and inclusivity into science, technology and innovation. The ongoing work of the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) on gender equality and inclusivity will be deepened, and science granting councils will be supported to implement the knowledge and lessons acquired in the current phase of the initiative. Achieving this goal could include work in three broad areas:

  • promoting the equality and status of women in research;
  • promoting diversity and inclusivity beyond gender equality in research; and
  • promoting gender, inclusivity and other forms of intersectionality dimensions in research design and content.

3. What key points should the proposals address?

Proposals should address the three broad areas of intervention, namely:

  • the equality and status of women in research and science, technology and innovation systems (which could include women in the councils as well as women leading or participating in research, amongst others);
  • diversity and inclusivity beyond gender equality; and
  • gender, inclusivity and other intersectionality dimensions in research design and content.

Besides the science granting councils themselves, the selected organization will be expected to work closely with other SGCI grantees supporting the councils; the SGCI monitoring, evaluation and learning consultant; the Initiative Management Team and other relevant groups such as the Gender Working Group of the Global Research Council.

Please refer to the call document for more details and context on the potential objectives and approach. Applicants are expected to use the call information as a guide to develop their proposals and should not be limited to the key points. Originality and creativity are key evaluation criteria.

4. Which countries are the focus of this call?   

The project will be implemented in the following countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

5. Who is eligible to apply (as an individual organization or to lead a consortium)?  

African organizations (organizations with independent legal registration in an African country) may submit proposals as an individual organization or as the lead organization of a consortium. IDRC will enter into an agreement with the lead organization.

6. What is meant by “individual organizations”? 

Individual organizations may be non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, universities, academic institutions, research institutions, think tanks, private sector (for profit) organizations or private foundations (not for profit).

7. What is meant by “consortia”? Who can be a member of a consortium?

Consortia are groups of organizations that collaborate to submit a proposal for funding and to implement the project.  

Proposals from consortia must name one lead organization. The lead organization must be an African organization (organizations with independent legal registration in an African country). 

Consortium members may include other African organizations; national, regional, or international offices of multilateral organizations or international NGOs; or other organizations from outside Africa.   

Fair and equitable partnerships must be established among consortia members.

8. What are the requirements for the project team members?

Project team members should possess the following:

  • knowledge of gender and inclusivity in the context of national science, technology and innovation systems in Africa, including the key actors (organizations), policies and the roles of science granting councils in brokering, facilitating, funding and coordinating the interactions amongst the various actors;
  • expertise and experience (supported by relevant publications) in the use of gender and inclusivity approaches in the development/review of science, technology and innovation and related policies, as well as policy engagement approaches, preferably within the context of sub-Saharan Africa;
  • experience working with public sector science, technology and innovation organizations in Africa (especially science granting councils) in the context of capacity strengthening; and
  • the ability to work in both English and French is a requirement and applications without both language capabilities will not be evaluated. The ability to work in Portuguese will be an added advantage.

9. What are the criteria for a lead organization?  

  • ability to manage a large-scale grant from a financial and operational point of view;
  • presence in the field;
  • thematic experience in the subject of the proposal;  
  • ability to coordinate multiple partners and members of a consortia (if applying as a consortium); and
  • an independent, legally incorporated entity capable of contracting in its own right and name.

10. What documentation does the lead organization need to provide to IDRC to verify its legal status? 

A copy of (or internet link to) the legal documentation will be required to confirm the lead organization's creation and independent legal status. The documentation provided to IDRC should clearly indicate the name of the institution. Documentation in a language other than English or French requires a certified translation. 

Legal documentation varies depending on the location and type of organization. By way of illustration, this legal documentation may include: 

  • letters patent; 
  • articles of incorporation; 
  • articles of association; 
  • certificates of incorporation;  
  • certificates of registration; or  
  • proof issued by government authorities for private sector/non-governmental organizations.

11. May an organization with a pending registration in an eligible country apply to a call?

No. Organizations must already be registered or incorporated in an eligible country.

12. My organization has a national/regional office in an African country, but our headquarters are outside Africa. May I apply as an individual organization or lead a consortium?

No. You are welcome to participate as a member of a consortium, but not individually or as a lead.

13. May consortia include national governments?  

No, however applicants are encouraged to include national governments as strategic partners in their projects.

14. Do consortia need to include Canadian organizations?   


15. Should partners be in the same geographical region?  

Not necessarily. Consortium partners may be located in various geographical regions.

16. When is the submission deadline?

Proposals should be submitted by August 5, 2022 (17:00 East African Time).

Proposals should be submitted electronically to the secretariat of the Science Granting Councils Initiative at

17. What language should be used for the proposal?

Proposals must be submitted in English.

The ability to work in both English and French is a requirement and applications without both language capabilities will not be evaluated. Ability to work in Portuguese will be an added advantage.

18. May I contact someone if I have questions about the call for proposals?  

The call document and this FAQ page should address most relevant application questions and are updated regularly. However, if additional technical questions or difficulties arise, please contact

19. Will applicants receive feedback on their application? 

IDRC will only share feedback on the selected proposals with successful applicants. Given the volume of applications expected, please note that we will not provide comments to unsuccessful applicants.