Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund
Supported by the Government of the Republic of Uganda

Grant Guidelines and Request for Applications (RFA)
 

Round 1, No. 1, Financial Year 2019/2020

SECTION A: BACKGROUND INFORMATION              Grant Guideline & RFA    Full Application Form

A1. Funding opportunity description

Makerere University has received special funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. The fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. The fund is therefore aimed at complementing available research funding to address unfunded priorities critical to accelerating development across different sectors of the economy in Uganda. This Financial Year (2019/20), Makerere University expects to receive a total of 30 Billion Uganda shillings (equivalent to US$ 8,100,000) under the Government Research and Innovation Fund (RIF). Of this, 15 Billion Uganda shillings has been disbursed by the Ministry of Finance and is already on the Makerere University Account. To ensure continuity, the Government has committed to provide this funding for atleast three Financial Years. The University Management has responded promptly: A Framework for Management of the Government Research and Management Funds has been developed. A multi-sectoral Grants Management Committee has been appointed after wide consultations with the Colleges and has received the Terms of Reference. Available funds are obligated to be spent within the current Financial Year, with actionable results that speak to national priorities. The Grants Management Committee therefore plans to source, vet, select and issue grants to teams that demonstrate a clear link to Government and its implementing partners’ key development research gaps.

A2. Background

To transition to middle-income countries, low-income countries must increasingly invest in research and innovations that provide solutions to persistent development challenges. Universities should be at the fore-front of driving this research agenda. The Government of Uganda drafted the 2nd National Development Plan (NDP) (2015-2020), specifying key areas of development investments needed to take the country to the next level. Resulting from this plan, different sectors have developed their Sectoral Development Plans (e.g. the Health Sector Development Plan 2015-2020 and the Agriculture Sector Development Plan (2015-2020). However, the NDP and sector specific strategic plans require research to fill critical gaps, especially to provide evidence of what works and what does not. The main objective of the Government fund is to support R&I initiatives that contribute to better delivery of National Development initiatives in all sectors critical to the economy, guided by the key national and sector-specific development plans.

A3. Scope and Technical Description of the Research and Innovation Grant

The Government R&I Grant will cover all technical disciplines in Makerere University as long as the research questions align with national priorities. The technical disciplines covered by all the colleges at Makerere University will therefore be included in the research grant. Particular attention will be paid to areas of need for which there has not been any funding (unfunded priorities), for which funding has been inadequate, or for which available funding only covers one or a few of the components needed to inform development initiatives in a holistic way. This grant is not primarily meant to supplement existing research projects that already have funding from other sources. However, researchers can apply on the platform of existing projects if there is a strong justification of need. The researchers should provide a clear demonstration that there are important funding gaps in the current research project and a justification of why addressing these gaps is crucial. The deliverables expected to accrue from the added funding over and above the existing funding must be brought out clearly. This grant also emphasizes a multi-sectoral approach to research and innovation. Research groups are therefore encouraged to work with researchers from other sectors that complement their technical focus.

A4. Categories and size of grants to be issued:

Grants will be issued in the following categories:

Categories Amount   (Ug Shs) Approximate No. of Projects*
Category 1 Up to 350,000,000/= Approx. 30
Category 2 Up to 150,000,000/= Approx. 50
Category 3 Up to 100,000,000/= Approx. 40
Category 4a Up to 50,000,000/= Approx. 30
Category 4b  (Junior Faculty)** Up to 50,000,000/= Approx. 30


Note:

* The R&I Grants Management Committee reserves the right to determine/change the number and size of awards based on prevailing circumstances informed by demand, quality of applications, and availability of funds and level of utilization of funds by grantees.

** Although Junior Researchers can apply as PIs in any of the categories listed above, this sub-category is specifically earmarked for Junior Faculty. Junior Faculty are not defined by age, but by rank and research experience. They are defined as researchers at the rank of Lecturer and below or researchers with less than 5 years of experience in research/innovation or less than 2 years as independent researchers/innovators, or have never been PIs for a research/innovation project greater than US$ 100,000 (or 365 Million Uganda Shillings).

A5. Grant principles

This grant is guided by the following principles:

  • A commitment to results and impact: This grant is committed to results and impact. The expectation is that researchers will address the most pressing development issues and that the findings generated from the research and innovation activities supported by this grant will be of use to policy makers, program implementers or the private sector. Research teams ought to demonstrate attainment of tangible and useful deliverables within 1 year of implementation, including projects that require multi-year funding.
  • Equity and inclusion: Measures will be taken to ensure that all colleges will benefit from the fund. The GMC will also ensure that women researchers and junior faculty are well represented in the grant portfolio. However, equity will not mean equal allocation, because the nature, capacity and cost of research and innovation initiatives differs markedly across disciplines.
  • Multi-disciplinarity: The development challenges we are seeking to solve require more than the effort of one sector. It is therefore important that researchers demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach to the research-translation continuum, reflected through the problems selected, the technical proposals, and their team composition.
  • Accountability and utilization of funds: To protect the University’s and the researchers’ reputation and ensure continuity of this funding, accountability for the Research and Innovation grant funds will be of utmost importance. All funds disbursed will need to be accounted for within the present financial year, to acceptable standards of both financial and implementation accountability. The GMC will therefore regularly track all awardees to ensure that deliverables are met and that disbursed funds are accounted for in a timely manner. Researchers with substantial accountability arrears and those who do not utilize allocated funds will in the absence of an acceptable justification be temporarily stopped from accessing these funds in the future.

SECTION B: ELIGIBILITY                          Grant Guideline & RFA        Full Application Form

B1. Guidelines for Eligibility

This grant targets researchers and innovators from Makerere University. This includes Makerere University appointed academic staff (Assistant Lecturers, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors) and research staff who hold a valid and current appointment (research fellows and senior research fellows). Academic staff from all academic colleges of Makerere University are eligible to apply as well as senior staff from the following administrative units (Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training). Individual researchers or research teams will be required to have a letter of support from the Head of the Department under which the lead researcher is tenured. Researchers from other institutions of higher learning are not eligible to apply as principal investigators. However, researchers from other institutions can be included as co-investigators or resource persons. In such cases, their role on the team in terms of the expertise they add ought to be clearly articulated. The Government Research Grants are targeted for staff and not students. Students’ research proposals will therefore not be funded under these grants. However, students may be part of a research team. Collaboration with research personnel with a minimum of a master’s degree from civil society organizations, independent research institutions, business and industry is encouraged. To be eligible for funding therefore, a research team should meet the following criteria:This grant targets researchers and innovators from Makerere University. This includes Makerere University appointed academic staff (Assistant Lecturers, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors) and research staff who hold a valid and current appointment (research fellows and senior research fellows). Academic staff from all academic colleges of Makerere University are eligible to apply as well as senior staff from the following administrative units (Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training). Individual researchers or research teams will be required to have a letter of support from the Head of the Department under which the lead researcher is tenured. Researchers from other institutions of higher learning are not eligible to apply as principal investigators. However, researchers from other institutions can be included as co-investigators or resource persons. In such cases, their role on the team in terms of the expertise they add ought to be clearly articulated. The Government Research Grants are targeted for staff and not students. Students’ research proposals will therefore not be funded under these grants. However, students may be part of a research team. Collaboration with research personnel with a minimum of a master’s degree from civil society organizations, independent research institutions, business and industry is encouraged. To be eligible for funding therefore, a research team should meet the following criteria:

(i) The Principal Investigator (PI) should be an academic or research staff of Makerere University on permanent or fulltime contract or a senior staff member from one of the administrative units linked to research (Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT))

(ii) The PI should be actively in service (not on study leave or sabbatical leave)

(iii) The PI should obtain a letter of support from his/her department/school or College (any one of the three)

(iv) The PI should attach a copy of his/her appointment letter or most-recent letter of promotion issued by the Directorate of Human Resource of Makerere University

(v) A researcher cannot be a PI on more than TWO applications but it is allowable for any person (PI or not) to be on multiple applying teams for up to three applications maximum.

(vi) Researchers from Makerere University are encouraged to collaborate with resource persons from civil society organizations, government sectors, other universities within and outside Uganda, independent research institutions, business and industry as part of their teams; in such cases, the external team members will provide a letter of support from their institution to be included as an attachment
Research fellows working in projects within academic units but are not appointed centrally by Makerere University are not eligible to apply as PIs but may be part of a research team. Students in general are not eligible to apply as PIs but may be part of the research team.

SECTION C: GRANT GUIDELINES                  Grant Guideline & RFA  Full Application Form

C1. The research problem
The Government Research and Innovation Grant is meant to fill research gaps arising from development priorities of government and it’s implementing partners. Only research problems that align with national or relevant priorities will be funded. We are therefore looking for problems that have a clear link to the national development plan or their relevant sector development plans, or the sustainable development goals. The proposed solution (research or innovation) must be articulated clearly including the knowledge or intervention gap it is trying to address. Research problems will also be assessed on the basis of their responsiveness to the needs of government, industry and academia. Three broad types of research gaps are anticipated: 1) Those that need primary research to fill a critical knowledge gap, 2) Those that need an innovation (technology or approach) to address a critical pain point or community need, and 3) Those that target research or innovation (R&I) ecosystem enhancement to overcome a major barrier that prevents high-value research from being conducted.  For projects that require research, the research problem (i.e. the discrepancy between the current knowledge and the desired knowledge) should be clearly articulated. For projects that are innovation-based, a clear articulation of the stakeholder need/pain-point that needs the solution should be articulated. For projects that require ecosystem enhancement, the discrepancy between the existing level of capacity for research services and the desired capacity should be clearly articulated.


C2. The proposed solution

Researchers will be expected to clearly articulate the objectives of the planned research and the proposed solutions. Researchers should also describe the critical content of the solution (i.e. the ‘research methodology’ for projects that are primarily research, or the ‘technical approach’ for projects that are innovation based, or the content of the ecosystem enhancement for projects targeting R&I ecosystem enhancement.  Researchers will also defend the relevance of the proposed solution to addressing key strategic development outcomes of their respective sector. For research-based and ecosystem-enhancement based-projects, solutions derived from already existing research proposals or concepts based on an earlier identified need by the department will be at an added advantage. For innovation-based projects, solutions that are beyond the ideation stage of development, with a scientifically proven prototype ready for testing or piloting will be at an added advantage. As a key evaluation criterion, researchers should also demonstrate that the research is feasible and will result in tangible results within one (1) year of execution. Research projects that require multi-year implementation will only be considered if they can show actionable intermediate results attainable within 1 implementation year. Apart from a summary of the proposed approach, researchers will provide a more detailed description of their technical approach to enable a robust assessment of the rigor of the proposed technical approach. For research-based projects, researchers should describe clearly but concisely the methods proposed, demonstrating scientific merit and rigor. For innovation-based projects, researchers should describe concisely the design approach to be used and the stage of the solution proposed. For R&I ecosystem enhancement-based projects, a description of the content of the enhancement (e.g. specialized training activities OR specialized equipment to be procured, its installation, specialized training in its use) should be provided. (Note: Training in basic research skills or procurement of simple equipment that is routinely needed for research shall not be considered unless it is part of a holistic system upgrade. PhD or Master’s training is also excluded as this is not a training grant).

C3. Outputs, outcomes and impact

Researchers will be expected to describe clearly the outputs anticipated to arise from their research projects. Outputs are the immediate tangible results of the research or innovation activities undertaken. Beyond outputs, applicants will provide information on the anticipated outcomes and impacts of the solution they propose. The target populations (primary and secondary) to be involved in and impacted by the research should be clearly described as well as the anticipated reach of the outcomes and impacts stated. Since this funding is specific to the current financial year, projects must demonstrate clearly the deliverables they expect to arise out of the program within one year and those deliverables should reflect the level of investment made. Researchers are expected to propose impactful but realistic deliverables. 
Often times, research and innovation projects require more than one year of implementation to effectively answer the required study questions. However, since the available funding has been committed for one Financial Year, all proposed projects including multi-year projects must articulate clearly the deliverables expected to be attained within one (1) year and such deliverables should be commensurate with the investment made. In the current round of grants, research proposals will not receive grants that span more than one year. However, cognizant of the fact that some projects will require longer implementation timelines, Round 2 and Round 3 funding will be provided for in the subsequent years in addition to Round 1 funding for new projects. Projects wishing to attract Round 2 and 3 funding will compete for this funding with fresh applications in the subsequent years.

C4. Team composition
Researchers may apply individually or in teams. Team applications will be at an added advantage over individual applications especially for the larger grant categories but this will not be absolute. Individuals or teams should demonstrate that they have the technical expertise to execute the planned study. Team composition should also ensure that disciplines relevant to the proposed research question/innovation challenge are represented. For research areas where a multi-sectoral/multi-disciplinary approach is clearly needed, the extent to which the composition of the team covers the different pertinent sectors/disciplines will be important. Teams that include an industry, business, sector or implementing agency partner will have a slight added advantage.

C5. Provision for capacity development
Research and innovations that include a capacity-building component will be at an advantage. Researchers should articulate how they expect their research project to build capacity for stakeholders. Examples could include mentorship of junior researchers, training of investigators, students or research fellows or capacity building for research assistants. Co-designing of the research methodology or participation in field implementation, data management or analysis are other possible avenues for capacity building. Projects may include provisions for students to benefit from the research process and may even involve teams of students from different academic disciplines working together. 

C6. Sustainability/Scalability
For research and innovation initiatives that are expected to run longer than 3 years, researchers will be expected to articulate the sustainability of their projects beyond the funding available under this initiative. Sustainability may also mean the availability of co-funding for a project. However for projects that have already received or anticipate funding from elsewhere, researchers should clearly articulate the funding gap they intend to cover with the government grant. Regarding scalability, researchers will be expected to articulate how the findings of their project will be disseminated to achieve impact at scale. For projects that are primarily research based, this will include a clear description of the knowledge translation and dissemination plan to stakeholders in the relevant sector as well as a clear description of the knowledge products to arise from the study (e.g. policy briefs, knowledge briefs, publications etc.). Research without a clear link to dissemination or policy/program impact will not be funded. For innovation projects, researchers ought to articulate the scaling strategy, including linkage to scaling partners within the industry (for commercially viable enterprises), or within the relevant public sectors (for innovations targeted to the public) or within relevant implementing partners (for social enterprises). Innovations targeting commercial interest should demonstrate the anticipated commercial potential, the demand, anticipated patents/copy-rights/industrial design claims/trademarks if applicable as well as the path to commercialization. Innovations targeting social impact should demonstrate the user-needs and the path to scale. Teams that have the necessary connections to sector ministries, implementing partner agencies (e.g. NGOs) or industry partners as potential scaling platforms should articulate these connections.

C7. Ethical implications and Environmental Impact
For research or innovation projects involving human subjects, researchers should clearly articulate the anticipated ethical challenges, how subjects will be protected and how they will obtain the relevant ethical certifications. If your research involves animal subjects, in what ways are animal subjects involved and how will the animals be protected? How will animal welfare be ensured? For research that involves changes to the physical environment, researchers should explain the measures to be put in place to ensure minimal damage to the environment, and to monitor and act on such damage.

C8. Conflict of interest declaration
Researchers will declare if there is any conflict of interest regarding their project e.g. if it is co-funded by an industry partner that may compromise the impartiality of the team or the outcomes of the study. Teams with strong linkages to GMC members should declare this so that it is duly addressed during the selection process.

C9. Budget 
Researchers will prepare a summary budget for their project. Budgets should be submitted in the official currency (Uganda Shillings).  Because these are university funds, academic units (Departments, Schools and Colleges) will not charge institutional overheads to any of the research funds. Budgets should not spread beyond one Financial Year. Projects requiring multi-year implementation should indicate so in the application. However, such projects should only provide a budget for one Financial Year. Multi-year budgets will only be funded to the extent needed for this financial year and within the grant caps indicated in the grant categories. Failure to articulate a one (1) year budget might lead to disqualification. The budgets will include the following sections:

– 1.0 Personnel costs
– 2.0 Travel
– 3.0 Supplies and services
– 4.0 Equipment
5.0 Program activity costs
– 6.0 Dissemination

Under Personnel costs, applicants should not budget for ‘Salaries’ for staff who are paid a salary by Makerere University or another Government of Uganda institution (whether on permanent or contract terms) as this would constitute double payment from government funds. However, salaries can be included for critical project staff that are not paid by Makerere or the Government of Uganda e.g. Project Coordinators. Researchers can budget for ‘activity-based’ or ‘level-of-effort-based’ costs for all key project personnel (even for Makerere paid or external resource persons) in form of Allowances. Personnel costs excluding field research assistants should not exceed 33% of the budget. Field research assistants if needed should be included under ‘Program Activity Costs’. All salaries and all repetitive allowances will be subject to mandatory statutory deductions at source, to pay the relevant taxes. In addition to the summary budget, research teams will be required to attach a detailed budget that breaks down all expenditure line items, as well as a budget justification that explains the rationale behind the different budget items. Teams that do not attach a detailed budget and budget justification might not be evaluated.

C10. Workplan
Researchers will provide a series of milestones for the project clearly demonstrating the deliverables expected at each point. These will be used as the basis for tracking implementation of activities towards project goals and outputs. Given the time implications of the awards, it will be important that researchers commit to a clear time-bound set of deliverables all achievable within one year for the main deliverable targeted during the current period of funding. Failure to articulate a one (1) year plan will imply inability to utilize the grant funds within one (1) year.

SECTION D: THE GRANT PROCESS         Grant Guideline & RFA  Full Application Form

D1. Submission of Applications

For the present round, applications will open on Monday 26th August 2019. Submission of applications will be done via an online platform: https://rif.mak.ac.ug . Applicants must first register in order to access the online application form. The Grants Committee will not consider applications submitted by any other means. Applicants are therefore advised to prepare their submissions on-time. If an applicant experiences any challenges in the submission process, they should send an email to: info@rif.mak.ac.ug .

D2. Application form

The application form is available online at the following link: https://rif.mak.ac.ug/application. Because it is a short one-step application, applicants should read and understand all the key requirements of the different sections of the form so as to provide all the critical information required within the word limit provided. All entries will be conducted on-line. However, applicants can down-load a PDF/MS Word version of the form to enable preparations before filling in the domains. Applicants can also copy and paste information into the web-based application domains.

D3. Rules governing applications

All applications should be written in English. All applications should be submitted via the online portal mentioned above. Complete applications must be submitted not later than 11.59pm East African Time on the closing date. No submissions after closure of applications will be accepted. Any attempt at solicitation of acceptance beyond this date will not be entertained and might lead to a disciplinary complaint. The Grants Committee bears no responsibility for submissions that are not completed in time and incomplete submissions will not be considered. If no application meets the required threshold to receive a grant, the call may be reopened at the sole discretion of the Grants Management Committee. An individual researcher should not submit more than two applications as a principal investigator. However, it is allowable for a PI on a submitted project to be a co-investigator on up to two other submitted projects.

Participants agree to assume any and all risks, and waive claims against Makerere University and the Grants Management Committee for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in this grant implementation.

D4. Applicant support

Sensitization: The GMC will hold a public meeting at Makerere University Main Hall on Friday 23/08/2019 to present key aspects of the grant. Subsequent sessions will be held with the Colleges on dates to be provided.

Q&A: Applicants will have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain answers/clarifications regarding this RFP or any part of the application process. The question submission period will run from Monday 26/08/2019 to Monday 02/09/2019. Questions should be submitted to info@rif.mak.ac.ug. The Questions and Answers will be posted on the FAQ section on the platform website https://rif.mak.ac.ug  by Wednesday 4/09/2019.

Webinar: The Grants Management Committee will host a public webinar on Friday 6/09/2019 as a support opportunity for potential applicants needing additional support. College level sensitization activities may also be conducted.

D5. Review of applications

A three (3) step application evaluation process will be used. Step 1 will involve determination of eligibility. This will be conducted by the Grants Management Committee Secretariat to select only those applications that fit within the eligibility criteria specified in sub-section B1 of this document. Step 2 will involve an independent team of credible reviewers (Ugandan and international) appointed by the Grants Management Committee and aligned to the technical expertise required of the different applications. The review process will take a cross-disciplinary approach in which in addition to subject matter experts, reviewers from other disciplines that align with the core-discipline of the research idea will be engaged. Reviewers will conduct an electronic scoring of the applications based on standardized criteria. This step of the review process will therefore focus on the technical merit of the solution and its complementarity with other sectors. Each proposal will be reviewed by atleast 2 reviewers. A shortlist of the best proposals will be provided to the Grants Management Committee. Step 3 of the application will involve the GMC which will select from the best scoring proposals the ones to be funded. This will be strongly guided by the scores and recommendations from Step 2. However, the GMC will consider additional aspects like clear link to impact within the relevant sector, equity between Colleges, consideration of gender and junior faculty, and the number of grants available within different award categories.

D6. Evaluation criteria

The following evaluation criterial will be used:

Category

Criterion

Score

1. The problem

Clear articulation of the problem i.e. the knowledge gap (for research-bashed projects) or the stakeholder need (for innovation based projects)

5

Clear articulation of the problem’s alignment to national priorities within the relevant sector development plans or the NDP or the SDGs

10

 

2. The proposed solution

A clear match between the proposed solution and the problem it addresses

10

Innovativeness of the idea

5

3. Technical approach and methodology

Clear objectives

5

Clear articulation of the methodology; Sound scientific basis and appropriateness of the methodology to the research questions

20

4. Feasibility

The project is viable and easily implementable, with significant results achievable within 1 year

5

Is the budget realistic and are the budget items rational?

5

5. Anticipated results/Impact

Clear articulation of results: Outputs and anticipated outcomes; Anticipated impact (optional given the time duration)

5

Are there clear deliverables to show within 1 year and the deliverables are convincing?

5

6. Dissemination plan and scalability

Clear articulation of a dissemination plan and potential impact on policy or program actions

5

Clear demonstration of potential for scaling, commercialization (for projects with a commercial orientation) and sustainability

5

7. Team composition

The research team has adequate technical capacity/expertise to execute the project including multi-sectorality where needed

6

Empowerment: Balance of gender; involvement of young researchers/Junior Faculty

4

8. Capacity building

Provision for capacity building for younger researchers/Junior Faculty

3

Other ways in which the unit will be strengthened

2

 

Total score

___/100

D7. Notification of successful applicants

After selection, successful applicants will be informed by email or telephone to their designated point of contact. Successful teams will also be profiled on the grants website: http://rif.mak.ac.ug. The GMC expects that researchers are cognizant of the fact that not all research applicants should expect to be funded and that this is a normal part of grants processes. The GMC will be as impartial and as technical as possible in the selection process to ensure that the best projects win. Not winning a grant should therefore not be construed as being a result of victimization or un-professional selection processes. GMC members have sworn an oath of impartiality and readiness to serve with diligence.

D8. Tracking your application

The grant website will contain information on the status of the applications at the different stages. Tracking will be provided for the entire batch of applications and not for individual applications

D9. Post award processes
Due to the urgent need to produce results and ensure accountability, the GMC and its Secretariat will conduct a series of post-award activities to awardees. While these will target as little interference as possible, they will be focused on ensuring that set milestones are achieved, the evidence of anticipated deliverables is available and that funds are accounted for in time. In particular, support processes will include:

  • Induction: A brief post award induction
  • Contracting: The GMC will execute an agreement with the awardees on the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Capacity building: The GMC Secretariat will provide inductive orientation for researchers (open to both awardees and non-awardees) on 1) Research project management; 2) Financial Management; 3) Research Leadership; 4) Gender and inclusiveness in research and 5) Research translation for impact. Schedules of these trainings will be made available in due course. These courses will also be made continually available for long term capacity building.
  • Release of funds: Release of funds will be in phases incumbent on proper accountability and demonstration of milestones achieved in the previous payment phase.
  • Tracking of deliverables, performance and accountability: The Grant Secretariat will conduct continuous checks on awardee teams to ensure deliverables are met, funds are utilized, and releases are accounted for. Consistent failure to demonstrate deliverables or utilize funds might lead to issuance of unspent balances to other grantees. Therefore for the avoidance of large amounts of unspent balances, the GMC will maintain dynamic tracking of performance of projects and might decide to reallocate non-performing awards to those that need them.
  • Reporting: Awardee researchers will provide interim reports every three (3) months using a standard reporting form that will be provided by the GMC

    D10. Intellectual property

    Intellectual Property derived through the Government grants will be owned jointly by the awardee Teams and Makerere University. All awardee teams grant to Makerere University and the Government of Uganda are non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to use any resultant or derived intellectual property (e.g. product, service, or technology) that will be developed using the Government grants for development work of public benefit without encumbrance. However for projects that have a commercial value, researchers will clearly delineate any intellectual property included that is their creation. The GMC will undertake a determination of what percentage of stake the university will claim on the basis of its investment into the idea. Notwithstanding this, the researchers retain the bulk of the claim to intellectual property arising from their project. All proceeds accruing from commercialization of IP generated via government grants, following the conclusion of the grant period will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis amongst the parties, but with the researchers taking a controlling stake.

    D11. Grant timeline

    Milestone

    Dates

    1.     Researcher sensitization meeting

    Friday 23/08/2019

    2.     Issuance of RFP

    Monday 26/08/2019

    3.     Q&A period

    Monday 26/08/2019 to Monday 02/09/2019

    4.     Posting of FAQs

    Wednesday 4/09/2019

    5.     Researcher Webinar

    Friday 6/09/2019

    6.     Closing date for applications

    Friday 13/09/2019

    7.     Selection – stage 1

    Monday 16/09/2019 to Wednesday 18/09/2019

    8.     Selection – stage 2

    Thursday 19/09/2019 to Friday 04/10/2019

    9.     Selection – stage 3

    Monday 7/10/2019 to Friday 11/10/10

    10.  Award notification

    Friday 11/10/2019

    11.  Induction

    Tuesday 15th October 2019

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the period of performance for this grant?

    The current funding is for one Financial Year. It runs from 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

    Researchers need to ensure good Science. Good science takes time. Will the current tight timelines allow for good science?

    Available funds must be utilized in the current financial year. Researchers are encouraged to focus on a few objectives that can be met within this year. Subsequent objectives can be addressed in the following years

    Often times, Institutional/Ethics review boards take a substantial amount of time which cuts back the implementation time. How will research be accomplished with these tight timeframes?

    Researchers are encouraged to submit their proposals for ethical review as soon as possible. They can budget for expedited reviews for projects that meet the criteria. It is also encouraged that the academic units increase the capacity for their IRBs so that reviews do not have to take 3 months

    How will the GMC ensure that they do a good job with all the concurrent roles and responsibilities they have at the moment?

    The GMC Framework document allows the GMC to identify other members of staff to help it on specific tasks. The GMC is also establishing a Secretariat with technical staff to support it in its work

    With these grants, are we following the financial year or the calendar year?

    We are following the Financial Year: 1st July to 30th June

    Are there possibilities of flagging the research deliverables as we go along instead of waiting for the end? This will increase our research presence.

    In the spirit of maximizing research dissemination for impact, the GMC encourages researchers to continually share deliverables in the process of implementing their projects. The GMC Secretariat will also set up a mechanism for tracking all research projects awarded in this grant, which will also include an aspect of continuous tracking of deliverables and profiling of projects and their outputs.

    What measures have been put in place to control ‘parasitic researchers and leaders who want to be on every proposal?

    One cannot be a PI on more than two projects. One cannot be a member of more than 3 teams. For PIs, the 3 teams include the one or two projects for which they are PIs

    How will issues of delays in procurement be addressed now that we have tight deadlines?

    The Office of the DVF (F&A) will try as much as possible to support the GMC/GMC Secretariat to overcome the bottlenecks caused by bureaucracy and to expedite processes related to this grant provided all activities are within the law. Researchers are however advised to identify all procurement needs as soon as they receive the grant and to submit them immediately

    Is it possible that this fund can co-fund some projects where Makerere is required by donors to provide cost-share funding?

    Yes. The GMC will make provisions to pay obligations by Makerere University in form of subscriptions to key research networks or meeting the costs of cost-share requirements for projects. This will be through a special application to the GMC through the DVC F&A which will be given consideration by the GMC

    Is there a possibility of allowing more time for researches that have experiments and may require more than one year?

    Available funding cannot be held beyond the current Financial Year. All unspent funds will be relinquished back to the Treasury. Researchers are therefore advised to identify projects that can be completed within the current FY. Multi-year projects should identify aspects that can be completed within this FY, and indicate tangible deliverables. They can then apply and compete for follow-on funding next year

    Can money be committed and kept if it is not spent within the timelines?

    No, we cannot keep money in commitments for subsequent Financial Years. Researchers should spend their funds within this FY. This is the requirement by the Financial Regulations of Uganda

    Are students who are staff members eligible for funding?

    Students who are staff members are eligible to apply as PIs provided they are not on study leave. If they are on study leave, it is allowable for them to be part of a team

    Are female staff on maternity leave eligible to apply as PIs?

    Yes. Maternity leave is a short term leave and is not a deterrent for someone to apply as a PI

    Will the presentation be available to the participants?

    Yes. The presentation is available on the grants web-site

    Is there a plan for the GMC to prepare all Colleges and faculty members for next year’s call?

    Yes. Next year’s call will be prepared and released in advance. The GMC is now in the process of consultations with stakeholders to develop a research agenda that will form the basis for next year’s call. It is anticipated that the subsequent call will be out atleast 3 months before the start of the Financial Year

    How will funds be managed? Where will they go and how will they be disbursed?

    Funds will be managed centrally by the GMC Secretariat. The Secretariat will be staffed with competent research support staff and administrators. Research funds will be disbursed to PIs. However, payments to suppliers will be done centrally, using standard procurement processes. All statutory deductions will be done centrally before payments to the researchers are effected.

    Why not decentralize funds to Colleges? This will build capacity for the Colleges too.

    Introducing many layers might increase bureaucratic processes and might make it more difficult to track performance and accountability. These funds will therefore be disbursed and managed centrally

    Will it be possible to use some of these funds to buy equipment and set up laboratories for research?

    Yes. Researchers can budget for key equipment for their projects. The 3 types of fundable research problems include an option for projects that focus on ‘research ecosystem enhancement and capacity building’ for the research unit. Researchers can therefore focus on procurement of special equipment that will substantially increase their readiness to do a certain type of research that is critical to national development in the future. They should clearly show the outcome of such an investment in terms of the potential is creates by implementing the stated capacity enhancement goals

    Will researchers from other institutions be paid a salary?

    Investigators from outside Makerere University can be paid a salary if they are not in any office where they receive a Government of Uganda Salary. Otherwise, all other investigators can receive duty facilitation allowances based on Level of Effort.

    Can researchers from Makerere University earn allowances?

    Several PIs and investigators have been contacting the GMC asking about the inclusion of monthly retainers for the time they will spend in managing their research projects. The GMC would like to make it categorically clear to all researchers that they should not budget for management costs for Makerere University paid staff on projects because of the implications this has on our employment terms as Makerere University staff. Given that we are government employees and our terms of service for which we are paid a university salary include responsibilities for teaching, research and community service, we are not entitled to additional claims on time spent in managing these grants, especially since this is a government grant. However, PIs can budget for per-diems for the days when they are involved in field work.

    Applicants who have already submitted their proposals will be contacted to amend their budgets in the event that the application is successful.

    Will selection of proposals not be based on names of team members? How fair will the proposal review and selection process/procedure be?

    The review will be independent. Each proposal will be reviewed by 3 reviewers: 1 internal Reviewer and 2 external reviewers. All reviewers will be vetted. Reviews will be discipline specific but will include a cross-sectoral lens. All reviews will be anonymous. Reviewers will be requested to provide review comments to researchers

    Is it possible to run a one day capacity building workshop for women and young faculty sharing about this opportunity?

    The GMC Secretariat will make it a priority to use its platform to build research capacity for young researchers. Various research capacity building courses will be developed and run

    For the sake of young faculty, can the grant be re-categorized?

    Category 4 of the research grants is split into two parts: 4a) and 4b). Category 4b) is ring-fenced for young researchers only.

    Can young researchers apply for other grant categories?

    Yes, young researchers can apply for all other grant categories, although category 4b) is ring-fenced for them. They can even apply for the top-most category. Selection will be through competition.

    At which level will equity be considered; College, School, Department or Team members?

    Equity will be considered at College level. All Colleges will benefit from the grant. However, ‘equity’ does not mean ‘equality’. Academic units with higher capacity resulting into better quality proposals will receive more funding than those that submit lower quality proposals

    If the team members are from different Schools, what determines where the project belongs?

    The academic unit to which the PI belongs

    Grant timeline

    Friday, 23rd Aug 2019

    Researcher sensitization meeting

    Monday, 26th Aug 19

    Issuance of RFA

    Monday 26 Aug to Monday 02 Sept 2019

    Q&A

    Wednesday 4th Sept 2019

    Posting of FAQs

    Friday 6th Sept 2019

    Researcher Webinar

    Friday 20th Sept 2019

    Closing date for applications. 

    Monday 23th to Friday 27th Sept 2019

    Selection – stage 1

    Monday 30th Sept to Friday 11th Oct 2019

    Selection – stage 2

    Friday 18th Oct 2019

    Award notification

    Friday 25th Oct 2019

    Induction

    Email

    info@rif.mak.ac.ug

    Schools

    Students Over

    Colleges

    Years Established

    Get In Touch

    Makerere University
    Research and Innovation Grants Management Committee
    Secretariat
    P.0.Box 7062, Kampala Uganda
    Suite 3.6 Central Teaching Facility (CTF) 1
    Telephone: +256 772 470 626

    Email RIF: info@rif.mak.ac.ug