African Union issues US$9 million research grant call

The second phase of the African Union Research Grants has been launched with a call for proposals for research into food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. US$9 million will be allocated for research this year, and more next year under the US$20 million initiative supported by the European Union.

More specifically, the 2016 grants valued at a total of US$9 million will support research into sustainable agricultural intensification with the topics being in ecological intensification approaches, research on animal and crop health, and research on appropriate use of soil, water, land and inputs management practices.

Individual research projects should cost between US$500,000 and US$1 million, and the financing rate is maximum 80% of the total eligible costs with the rest co-financed.

In an announcement posted on its website, the African Union Commission or AUC says the programme provides an opportunity to use science and technology as a tool for sustainable development, and to build and strengthen Africa’s science and technology capacities.

“The commission through the support of the European Union secured a sum of €17.5 million [US$19.6 million] under the EU Pan-African Programme to launch two calls for research proposals in Africa in 2016 and 2017,” states the call.

The overall objectives of the call are “to deploy science, technology and innovation in the agricultural sector as a tool for Africa’s sustainable economic growth through wealth creation and food and nutrition security as well as for political stability”, says the work programme.

The objectives will be achieved by supporting collaborative research that addresses critical issues facing African countries and contributes to sustainable development and the fight against poverty, and by enhancing intra-regional and North-South scientific collaboration.

And also by developing the AUC’s capacity to design, implement and monitor research funding programmes and establish the basis for a credible African framework programme for research and innovation that could attract additional funds from other sources.

Eligible applicants include national or regional science and technology organisations, research institutions, universities, government ministries or public institutions dealing with scientific research. Established science and technology networks are also eligible, providing that all members and the network headquarters are in eligible countries.

The deadline for submissions is 17 August 2016.