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DELTAS Africa Phase II Call for Proposals

Funding Call Details

Deadline:
DELTAS Africa Phase II Call for Applications

FULL APPLICATION DEADLINE | AUGUST 28, 2020 | 1700Hrs East African Time (EAT)


 

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DELTAS Africa invites applications for health-, social-, and sustainable development-focused, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary scientific programmes aligned to the initiative’s strategic areas and key outcomes – taking into consideration pressing local, national and regional research needs, resources, priorities and existing capacity. This flexible approach is intended to encourage innovation by supporting alternative activities and processes, within the remit of the initiative.

The primary location of proposed programmes must be in Africa, and full applications are invited from universities and research institutions based in Africa; institutions outside Africa are invited to collaborate on applications led by an African institution. Applications that strongly support and commit to safeguarding and diverse workplaces, balance excellence with equity in selection of partner and collaborating institutions and recruitment of trainees, and which can demonstrate value for money, risk management and ability to build strong research cultures and environments are strongly encouraged. Awards will be made for up to five years, with opportunities for competitive renewal anticipated after this period subject to continued funding of the programme.

Applications must be submitted on the AAS online grants management system (Ishango).

Application forms, guidance notes and links to other relevant documents are available on the side panel on the right side of this page.

 

Aims

The underpinning aim of DELTAS Africa II is to build a critical mass of globally-competitive African research leaders and strong research outputs that address local challenges and contexts, and of global relevance, strengtheining research capacity and translating research outputs to impacts over the medium to long-term, as espoused in the DELTAS Africa Theory of Change. Research studies supported by DELTAS Africa II are expected to lead to the following outcomes and outputs:

  • DELTAS Africa II programmes produce high quality scientific output measured by diverse outputs including publishing, the winning of competitive grants, citations and translations of research through policy, public and community  engagement.
  • Every DELTAS Africa Programme will have a specific influence on health or social policy or practice at national/regional level; or has an output directly translated into a tangible health or social influence, wellbeing and sustainable development.
  • A cumulative total of at least 1,500 African researchers will have been trained by 2025 (this includes DELTAS AfricaI) with about 50% of DELTAS Africa trainees being female.

Institutions hosting a DELTAS Africa initiative commit to greater support, with options including complementary and co-funding support; creation of new posts for researchers and career pathways; infrastructure; and research culture initiatives.

 

Theory of Change

To achieve its vision, DELTAS Africa will fund programmes that address all four strategic areas of the Theory of Change i.e.

  • Scientific Quality
  • Research Leadership
  • Research Management,Culture and Infrastructure
  • Scientific Citizenship

These strategic areas have been recognised as necessary for strengthening, sustaining, attracting and retaining excellence in research. Within each strategic area, the initiative identifies several key outcomes; these key outcomes can be considered as descriptions of capacities required for that strategic area to function well.

The objectives of DELTAS Africa are aligned to the strategic areas. They are:

1. The full application submission window

The application template will be available on starting Friday June 5, 2020 at 1300hrs East African Time and expire on August 28, 2020 at 1700 hrs East African Time. 

2. The application templates

The application format consists of two parts:

  • The online application template that carries the full description of the proposed programme and details about the consortium;
  • The financial proposal which is an MS Excel template that outlines the financial resources needed to execute the proposed programme.

The two templates should show clear linkages to each other to enable a full understanding of the proposed programme. Both forms should be submitted online within the application window.

3. Initiation of the Good Financial Grants Practice (GFGP)

The African Academy of Sciences will also engage you to start the lead institution’s path towards GFGP assessment and eventual certification, if this has not already been done.  It is anticipated that the GFGP pre-certification assessment should be complete within the full application window. This process shall be initiated through you to enable the Academy establish linkages with the most appropriate team within your institution that will carry this process through until completion.  You will be kept informed of the progress of this activity at all times.  If your institution has already completed the pre-certification assessment, is already certified, or on the path to certification, customized assessment will be undertaken as feasible. For any support needed or information required, the Global Grant Community (GGC) helpdesk team will be available on globalgrantcommunity@aasciences.africa to assist you.

4. Reviewers comments

The DELTAS Africa team will share comments made by reviewers on your preliminary application for your consideration as you elaborate the full proposal. Anonymized comments, where provided, shall be made available to you by June 30, 2020 via the email associated with your DELTAS Africa II preliminary application. 

5. Enquiries

Send your enquiries or requests for support to deltas@aasciences.africa. The helpdesk operates Monday to Thursday from 0800 hrs – 1700 hrs East African Time and on Friday from 0800hrs – 1300 hrs East African Time. 

The DELTAS Africa team wishes you all the best as you embark on this stage of proposal elaboration, and we look forward to offering the support needed for you to submit your full proposal successfully within the timelines stipulated.

NB: Download Guidance Notes

Institutional Eligibility

Lead Institutions

Awards will be made to the Lead Institution. The Lead Institution of each successful DELTAS Africa II programme or network must:-

  1. Be based in Africa.
  2. Have strong collaborative links to institutional partners and collaborators within sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Maghreb regions
  3. Be a legal entity

DELTAS Africa II supports large grants and the likelihood that multiple awards will be made to a single lead institution is low.  Lead Institutions are advised to maximize their bid by submitting a limited number of high-quality applications.  

The lead institution will be responsible for overall funds management, accountability and reporting on behalf of the entire consortium they will be required to be compliant at the Good Financial Grants Practice (GFGP) Gold Level Standard or higher.  See link to the Global Grant Community for more details

Partners and Collaborating Institutions

A partner is an institution that will carry out a well-defined work package and will receive a significant budget and be GFGP compliant. Partner institutions are required to be compliant at the GFGP Silver Level Standard, at the start of the grant, and to commit to work towards achieving the gold status or higher in due course.

A collaborator can be other institutions that support delivery of the research objectives but are not receiving budgets

Eligible institutions will typically be universities or research institutions, which are legal entities.

Individual Eligibility

Lead Applicant

A lead applicant must:

  • Be able to demonstrate a strong personal link to an African country through citizenship or legal residency.
  • Be an established research leader of international stature as demonstrated by publications and leadership record;
  • Be based at the Lead Institution for the duration of the grant and to be responsible for leading the overall management of the programme;
  • Have a primary academic affiliation to the Lead Institution; and

Co-applicants

Co-applicants are named individuals who represent Institutional Partners on the programme. Co-applicants and Institutional Partners may be based at any sub-Saharan, North Africa or Maghreb region or international location; however, the focus of the programme must remain in Africa.

Consortia Eligibility

All consortia are expected to be made up of between 3-8 institutions, a minimum of 3 must be African institutions.  Applicants are advised to carefully consider the number of partner institutions. 

Selecting partners:

A lead institution can come from any of the five regions of the continent (East, West, Central, Southern, North) and the lead will choose their partner institutions (with minimum of three African institutions) based on the research projects/work packages to be implemented by the partner institution. To ensure equity, it is strongly recommended that the lead applicant take account of regional and economic diversity when selecting partners. For example, consider World Bank classifications based on country GDP i.e. Africa can be divided into three categories:  Upper middle income, ii) Lower Middle income and iii) Low income countries

(https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups).

Northern/High-income country partners:

As stated above applicants can include a max of 8 budget receiving partners, three of which must be African institutions. Applicants can include a maximum of three Northern partners (Europe, USA, Japan or other high-income countries) who can receive budgets, but total budget allocated to Northern partners cannot exceed 10% of entire DELTAS Africa budget.

Applicants are advised to carefully consider the number of collaborators, so consortia are manageable and realistic, in proportion to the work plan and budget. We advise that great care is taken in selecting partners and collaborators and that their contribution and expectation is clear.

NB: Download Guidance Notes

The DELTAS Africa II call shall receive applications for research in all priority areas including the broad underpinnings of social sciences and inter/transdisciplinary research particularly the nexus of health, food/nutrition, energy, and climate change/environment. Key focus areas could include but not limited to:

  • Major infectious diseases Including vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, discovery, translational and implementation and social sciences
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases and ONE Health The 20 WHO listed NTDs including a focus on R&D from discovery, translational, implementation and social sciences
  • Anti-Microbial Resistance   
  • Non-communicable Diseases
    ncluding Cancer, Diabetes, CVD, stroke, Hypertension, metabolic diseases and their interphase with infectious diseases
  • Mental health
    Including from basic neurosciences research to innovative approaches to delivery of mental health interventions in low resource settings
  • Clinical research
    Including applied, patient-oriented research for infectious diseases and NCDs, health systems and co-morbidities, but excluding late phase clinical trials
  • Accidents, injury, disability, snake bite
    Including prevention, treatment, technology and innovation
  • Implementation research, health systems research, public health research
    Including delivery and operational science for vaccines, drugs and diagnostics and other interventions as well as prevention and social care through the life course.
  • Social sciences and humanities
  • Climate Change and Planetary Health
    Including cross-disciplinary research the nexus of climate/environmental factors urbanisation and human pathogens

NB: Download Guidance Notes

A. Data information and sharing

Open Science and Open Publishing provides additional value-added opportunities for AAS funded research and grants. Applicants for DELTAS Africa II are required to demonstrate how their programmes will contribute to these initiatives as a means of advancing scientific knowledge for Africa’s development and comply with data protection measures.

B. DELTAS Africa Community of Practice

The long-term vision of DELTAS Africa is to develop a critical mass of globally-competitive researchers and research leaders who will develop and drive a locally relevant research agenda for the continent and positively influence Africa’s development. The AAS envisages a thriving community of DELTAS Africa alumni that contributes to Africa’s development in various roles especially as research leaders in their own rights. Applicants for DELTAS Africa II are required to state how they plan to track the progress and professional development of trained researchers and scientists and to ensure all beneficiaries of DELTAS Africa grants are active members of the anticipated thriving DELTAS Africa Community of Practice.

C. Diversity and Inclusion

Leadership by women will be particularly encouraged both as lead and/or co-applicants. Merit will be the key criterion, however gender diversity regarding consortia leadership is encouraged i.e. networks will be strongly encouraged to consider gender of PIs/Co-PIs when considering partners. Other aspects of diversity and inclusion such as age and disability and people from minority or other disadvantaged groups are also encouraged.

D. Human and Animal Subjects

The AAS will make available the AAS policies on use of human subjects and use of animals in research for applicants. The AAS also recommends applicants to consult and adhere to the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (CIOMS)(https://cioms.ch/shop/product/international-ethical-guidelines-for-biomedical-research-involving-human-subjects-2/) AAS will ensure any animal research funded through the DELTAS Africa II awards follows the principles of the UK Home Office Legislation, complies with all local legislation and ethical review procedures and meets the 3Rs standard (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement of animals as required). The AAS will have a mechanism in place to ensure that any animal research, funded through the DELTAS Africa  II awards, has an appropriate level of review e.g. by approaching the NC3Rs to support the reviews before we make the final awards (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/). The AAS will also develop mechanisms for regular reviews of use of human subjects and animal use as networks recruit new fellows and formulate new projects over the five year period. This will include site visits to ascertain the state of animal welfare, approvals from ethics review boards and existence of institutional animal use and welfare policies, and policies on human participants in research.

E. Programme Risks and Audit

The AAS believes that its funded programmes must be conducted in an environment where there is a strong programme risk management culture, including health and safety measures. Applicants for DELTAS Africa II are required to demonstrate how they plan to build a programme risk management culture and implement health and safety measures within their consortia to ensure successful delivery of their programmes if successful.

F. Research Alignment to Country/Regional Needs

Applicants will have to demonstrate that their research is aligned to country or regional needs. This is particularly important as DELTAS Africa II plans to fund a mix of discovery, translational and applied sciences, so the applicants need to demonstrate that they are meeting a need identified through wide stakeholder and community engagement, and that there is strategic level endorsement of the application. Therefore, at the full application stage we will request strong letters of support beyond the institutions e.g. from Ministries of Health or from policy think tanks, scientific, economic and social commissions with advisory role to governments, confirming strategic level alignment of proposed studies with national priorities. 

G. Research Culture

DELTAS Africa II will lay strong emphasis on improving research culture on the continent. DELTAS Africa II programmes and research must be carried out in environments which are conducive, devoid of any form of intimidation, bullying, harassment or any other form of encumbrances for fellows and all other participants. Therefore, issues around safeguarding are priority and applicants will be required to provide details on strategies and commitments towards building a strong research culture, monitoring its performance, reporting cases of any breaches and corrective actions. We will make available copies of the AAS Statement on Safeguarding.

H. Supervision

Full applications will be expected to demonstrate strong governance and supervisory structures and should indicate the ratio of supervisors to students. Where prospective supervisors have been identified, they will need to demonstrate a strong research background and track record in supervising and mentoring people in their scientific area, including information on significant publications.

NB: Download Guidance Notes

A. Average Cost

DELTAS Africa II aims to provide substantial support for ambitious programmes which develop the careers of potential leaders through world class research. While there is no predetermined cap, as a guideline most awards would be expected to be in the range of US$ 3-6 million over five years and applicants should be aware that the AAS team will undertake a rigorous budget challenge when determining those to be invited to submit full applications. An even more stringent budget challenge will be undertaken when reviewing full applications

While the budget period is indicated as 5 years, proposals may include cohorts of fellows continuing beyond the end of the award if appropriate for the programme strategy, provided co-funding or additional funding streams are secured for this purpose from other sources.

B. Budgeting Guidelines

An appropriate budget shall be developed with consideration to the guidelines below;

a) Allowability

Please see a detailed description of allowable and disallowable costs here:

https://www.aasciences.africa/policies/aas-cost-guidelines

b) Value for money by ensuring that there will be optimal use of the resources to achieve the intended outcomes.

The budget provisions must consider the economy, efficiency, and cost- effectiveness.

c) Accuracy and completeness

All costs included in the budget template are expected to be complete and accurate. Please ensure to include all possible cost inputs to each programme objective.

d) Reasonability

There should be a written justification for the costs requested in your budget template. The justifications should be based on market rates and experience and supported by at least three quotation for large items.

e) Allowable Currency

 Allowable currencies for budget preparations are United States Dollars, British Pound and Euros.

It is expected that the grantee will factor in the multi-year changes that they see as likely to occur in the life of the grant. This includes reasonable inflation rates supported by country data or equivalent. However, the AAS will set a cap on inflation.

NB: Download Budget Guidelines