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FAQ: Call for proposals to support Africa’s Science Granting Councils in funding and managing research and innovation


1. What is the purpose of this call for proposals?  

This call intends to identify an organization with proven experience to support the councils in funding and managing research and innovation in areas aligned with their national development plans and priorities. 

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

This project aims to reinforce the capacity of councils in funding and managing research and innovation. An overarching research framework based on the Science Granting Councils Initiative theory of change was proposed to guide the councils and the collaborating technical agencies supporting their work in selecting the proposals to fund. The framework focuses on potential areas and activities linked to broad research objectives such as putting research findings into economic and social use, promoting private sector partnerships in research and innovation and enhancing gender equality and inclusivity.  

This framework is intended to be flexible to accommodate additional objectives and research areas to allow the councils to support research in priority sectors/themes linked to their national/regional priorities.  

3. What key points should the proposals address? 

The proposals should provide details about the approach that will be taken to determine the nature and scope of activities, the approach to training and technical support and gender equality and inclusivity. It should also address ethical considerations, potential mitigation measures, expected results over the duration of the project and more.  

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: 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? 

Requirements for project team members include:   

  • Knowledge of national science, technology and innovation systems in Africa. This includes the key actors (organizations), policies and roles of science granting councils in brokering, facilitating, and coordinating interactions among various actors, in addition to funding research.   

  • Experience working with Africa’s science granting councils, especially in the context of research and capacity strengthening.  

  • Experience managing research funds and programs, research methodologies and project monitoring.   

  • Experience synthesizing research results and developing knowledge outputs, including journal articles, reports, books and policy briefs.   

  • Ability to work in both English and French. Applications without both language capabilities will not be evaluated. 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 must the lead organization 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  

  • 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 26, 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 with successful applicants. Given the volume of applications expected, we will not provide comments to unsuccessful applicants.