The Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) is an African-led initiative with the objective of strengthening science, technology and engineering capability in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) to further its socio-economic transformation. PASET established a Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) to contribute towards the training of a critical mass of PhD and post-doctoral candidates, and support research and innovation in priority thematic areas: ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence; food security and agribusiness; minerals, mining and materials engineering; energy including renewable; and climate change. The primary objective is to strengthen institutional capacity for quality and sustainable doctoral training, research and innovation in transformative technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It is currently funded by contributions from African governments, the World Bank and the Government of Korea; and managed by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, as the RSIF Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). icipe (www.icipe.org) is a non-profit research and development organization that was established in 1970 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with country offices in Ethiopia, Uganda and Somalia. In 2018, icipe was competitively selected by the World Bank and PASET to serve as the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) of RSIF with a mandate that includes overall coordination planning, monitoring and evaluation of RSIF activities including management of PhD scholarships, and research and innovation grants.
The Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) competitive grants complement the PASET-RSIF Ph.D. training scholarships. These grants support knowledge generation, promote scientific excellence and encourage the use of knowledge for development impact in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Additionally, PASET-RSIF grants present its recipients with opportunities to reach out to and create synergies with national research funds.
Collaboration with international partners and private sector partners is highly encouraged across all the grants.
PASET-RSIF Institutional Innovation Capacity Building Program (ICBP) Grants: This grant aims to support the AHUs in the development of a conducive environment for university-industry partnerships. It supports the development of an institutional framework to enhance the innovation ecosystem within the universities thus increasing the investment of private sector in Research and Development projects to encourage commercialization of these innovations.
The call is open to the PASET-RSIF African Host Universities and their partners from private sector, business incubators, accelerators, or technology hubs in SSA and International partners with experience in innovation capacity development, including commercialization of knowledge.
PASET-RSIF will award of up to USD 50,000 per grant for a period of up to 2 years from the time of award. The AHUs are required to provide matching funds for successful implementation of the projects.
The first Call for Proposal for this grant is NOW OPEN
Proposal Submission Deadline : Midnight SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 (EAT)
PASET-RSIF Cooperability Grants: These grants are awarded to faculties of AHUs with an aim of encouraging public-private partnerships. Researchers from the AHUs are required to establish partnerships with private sector and international partners who have experience in commercialization of innovative research ideas. The grants support the opening of new companies/ spin off companies as a result of innovative scientific research ideas translated to the market ultimately contributing to economic growth and increase job opportunities. Partnering private companies will be required to provide co-financing to the projects and support the development of innovative, market -oriented goods, services or technologies with potential for commercialization.
The Call is open to researchers and faculty involved in the PASET-RSIF Ph.D. program at the RSIF Host Universities and their partners from private sector; and International Partners preferably with experience in innovation development and commercialization of knowledge.
RSIF will award up to USD 50,000 per grant to be implemented for a period of up to 3 years. Matching funds will be required from private sector partners for successful implementation of the grant projects.
The first Call for Proposal for this grant will be launched in November, 2019
PASET-RSIF Research Awards (RSIF-RA): These grants are awarded competitively to faculty personnel engaged in PhD training in PASET RSIF selected African Host Universities (AHUs). The grants enable faculty members to advance their research and to help their PhD students generate exceptional research results with the potential for commercialization.
The projects will be implemented for 3 years from the time of award.
Eligible applicants are (a)outstanding faculty members from PASET-RSIF AHUs participating as teachers and mentors in the Ph.D. program for doctoral students; and (b) International Partners as collaborators.
Budget: PASET-RSIF will provide an award of up to USD 90,000. For sustainability and ownership, the AHUs and /or International Partners are required to provide matching funds for successful implementation of the projects.
The first Call for Proposal for this grant will be launched in October, 2019.
PASET-RSIF Junior Investigator Research Award (RSIF JIRA): These grants are awarded to PASET-RSIF PhD graduates that hold a permanent or post-doctoral position in PASET-RSIF AHUs or any other university / research centre in SSA. The grant aims to promote research excellence among young researchers that propose joint research projects in collaboration with international partners preferably scientists from African Scientific Diaspora engaged in prominent international research institutions.
Only PASET-RSIF PhD graduates that hold a permanent or post-doctoral position in University or research centre in SSA and their international partner collaborators are eligible to apply for this grant. RSIF will award up to USD 80,000 per grant to be implemented for a period of up to 2 years from the time of award.
The first Call for Proposal for this grant will be launched in March 2021
Overview of the Grant Award Process
Proposal Submission Deadline : Midnight SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 (EAT)
- Complete the online application and submit together with the required supporting documents via the online system HERE.
- The online system will accept the following file types doc, docx, pdf, rtf, zip, rar, jpg, jpeg, png, bmp, tif. The maximum file size accepted for any single file is 5 MB.
- Reference the Proposal Guidelines and Instructions to Applicants document for guidance in completing your application. Should there be any challenges navigating the application system, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a list of the call documents required for completion of the application:
- Call for proposals- RSIF ICBP Grant (English) or (French)
- Proposal Guidelines and Instructions to Applicants (English) or (French)
- RSIF Research and Innovations Grant Manual and Procedures 2019 (English)
- Proposal Budget Template
- Results Matrix Template
- Environmental and Social Impact Screening Tools
- Sample letter of Support- Host University (English) or (French)
- Sample letter of Support Partners (English) or(French)
Please check one more time if your application fulfills formal eligibility requirements
Who is eligible to apply for the RSIF ICBP Grant?
The call is open only to the RSIF African Host Universities in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and their partners from private sector, business incubators, accelerators, or technology hubs in SSA and International partners with experience in innovation capacity development, including commercialization of knowledge.
Which are the RSIF Host Universities in SSA?
RSIF has competitively selected 11 African Host Universities to offer PhD programs aligned to PASET Priority Thematic Areas. Visit the websites below to learn more about each of the RSIF African Host Universities and the eligible PhD Programs
- University of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Cote d’Ivoire/ Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Change Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (CCBAD), http://www.wascal-ci.org/
- University of Gaston Berger, Senegal/ Africa Center of Excellence for Mathematics, Informatics, and ICT (MITIC), http://www.ceamitic.sn/index.php
- Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania/ Africa Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals in Southern and Eastern Africa (SACIDS) http://www.sacids.org/
- The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Tanzania, https://www.nm-aist.ac.tz/
- University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, PhD Program in Petroleum and Gas Engineering / Energy Economics, http://www.aceuniport.org/index.php?lang=en
- University of Nairobi, Kenya , PhD Program in Physics, http://physics.uonbi.ac.ke//uon_degrees_details/1014
- University of Ghana, PhD. Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy/Agribusiness, https://www.ug.edu.gh/aea/
- University of Rwanda, PhD in Internet of Things: Embedded Computing Systems https://aceiot.ur.ac.rw/?q=content/phd-studies
- Bayero University, Nigeria, PhD Program in Natural Resource Management and Climate Change, http://www.cda-buk.edu.ng/
- Kenyatta University, Kenya PhD Program in Materials Science, http://spas.ku.ac.ke/index.php/departments/department-of-physics
- African University of Science and Technology, Nigeria, Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI), PhD program in Material Science, https://www.pami.aust.edu.ng/
Who should the lead applicant be?
The lead applicant shall be a qualified individual from any department in the Africa Host University. He/She should have relevant experience in innovation capacity development and should have the passion to lead the development of an innovation- enabling environment at the African Host University.
How many applications can be submitted by each African Host University?
Each African Host University shall make only one application.
In which language should the proposals be submitted?
Proposals can be submitted in English or French.
Which partnerships are required for making an application to the RSIF ICBP Grant?
Lead applicants are expected to establish partnerships with either local business incubators, accelerators, technology hubs in SSA or a private sector company in the PASET Priority areas and with international partners experienced in innovation capacity development, technology transfer and commercialization of knowledge. The team shall jointly apply for the RSIF ICBP Grant.
Is there a preference on the type of international partners i.e whether industrial or academic?
No, the strength of the proposal will be assessed by quality of the team and the contribution of the partners proposed for the successful implementation of the activities.
Can Universities work with their existing internal incubators work or only external incubators are allowed?
Yes, it is acceptable to work with University based internal incubators, however the applicants need to work towards establishing more partnerships outside academic circles as a way of moving research outputs beyond knowledge generation and encourage its uptake in the market by fostering more university-industry partnerships.
Can partners come from outside SSA region?
Yes, applicants are encouraged to engage with international partners beyond Africa with experience in innovation development, commercialization of knowledge and technology transfer.
Can industry partners be identified to be part of the proposal partnership/ consortium?
Yes, industry partners play a key advisory role on the market needs as well as link academia to market while supporting the commercialization of research outputs.
What are the PASET Priority Thematic Areas?
The RSIF priority areas are identified by PASET Executive Board and these are:
- ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence;
- Food security and agribusiness;
- Minerals, mining and materials engineering;
- Energy including renewables; and
- Climate change
How do I structure my proposal?
Refer to the Proposal Guidelines and Instructions to Applicants for guidance on how to write the proposal and other related documents. More information on the Call requirements can be obtained from the detailed Call for Proposal Document.
How much funding is available from RSIF for the ICBP Grant?
RSIF will issue 6 grants of up to $50,000 per grant to competitively selected proposals. Kindly refer to the Proposal Guidelines and Instructions to Applicants for details on allowable costs.
Are there any ineligible cost items for funding?
Yes, the grant will not support physical infrastructure development. Applicants are encouraged to review the ‘Proposal Guidelines and Instructions to Applicants Document” available on the website for more details on allowable budget lines and ceilings.
Is matching funding mandatory for this grant?
Yes, the grant requires matching funding from the African Host University either in cash or in kind in line with the conditions of the Call.
Can the grant be used to support an ongoing process of development / strengthening of University IP policy?
Yes, one of the objectives of the Call is to support the development or strengthening of key innovation related University Policies including IP policy which is pivotal to innovation development.
Can the grant be used in activities that will help to strengthen the skill development of researchers and faculty to encourage more commercialization of research outcomes rather than focusing more on publishing?
Yes, activities related to capacity strengthening of entrepreneurial and innovation skills are within the scope of the grant. Applicants are encouraged to propose such activities as they deem fit.
How do I apply for the grant?
To apply for the RSIF ICBP Grant, complete the ONLINE application and submit the required supporting documents via HERE
When is the deadline for submitting applications?
All applications should be submitted by midnight September 30, 2019, EAT. Late applications will not be considered.
How will applicants be notified on the status of their proposal?
Letters rejecting or accepting proposals with statements of opinion will be sent to all applicants within three months after the application deadline. Summaries of successful proposals will be published on the RSIF website.
Does the application portal accept partial submission of applications?
No, currently the system does not allow applicants to make an application progressively. Applicants are encouraged to reference the ‘Documents submission Checklist” available on the website and ensure all the required information is available to facilitate a one-time application and submission.
Who can I contact if I have more information about the RSIF grants?
Please send any questions via email to Cynthia Orang’o, Research & Innovations Grants Officer at email@example.com or Telephone: +254 20 8632780 ( ext 2438)