Request For Proposals For Provision Of Media Training For Post- Doctoral Researchers
1.1.1. About the African Academy of Sciences
The African Academy of Sciences (the AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation. The vision of the AAS is to transform lives through science, while its mission is to leverage resources for Science Technology and Innovation (STI) through excellence and thought leadership for Africa’s development.
Our tripartite mandate is: recognising excellence through the AAS’s highly prestigious fellowship, affiliates and award schemes; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s STI strategies and policies; and implementing key STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.
1.1.2. About the Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as The Royal Society, is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists, drawn from all areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. It is the science academy of the UK and of the Commonwealth. The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.
The three strategic priorities detailed in the Society’s current Strategic Plan are:
- Promoting excellence in science
- Supporting international scientific collaboration
- Demonstrating the importance of science to everyone
The Royal Society is based in Carlton House Terrace in London and also owns the Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire. The Society has one active wholly-owned trading subsidiary, RS Trading Limited. For further information about the Society’s structure please refer to the website: https://royalsociety.org/about-us/. Copies of recent financial statements can also be found on the website: https://royalsociety.org/about-us/funding-finances/financial-statements/
1.1.3. The AAS and the Royal Society Partnership
The African Academy of Sciences is working with the Royal Society on delivering the Future Leaders – African Independent Research (hereafter referred to as FLAIR) fellowship programme. The aim of the programme is to develop the next generation of leading African scientists by identifying and supporting talented early career researchers at host organisations based in Africa. In addition to providing the funding for the fellowship, the programme will also provide opportunities for training, mentoring and support to develop scientists who have the capacity to become Africa’s next generation of leading scientists.
The African Academy of Sciences and Royal Society are now seeking to identify an appropriate organisation/consultant to develop and deliver media training for the postdoctoral researchers. The course is intended to help FLAIR researchers to understand the media; develop an elevator pitch, spokesperson skills and the confidence to be effective in interviews with reporters on TV, radio or news stations and to pitch their research for improved coverage and awareness of science on the continent.
The African Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Royal Society (herein after referred to as the FLAIR partners), recently launched the FLAIR fellowship programme. The FLAIR fellowship programme provides support to talented early career scientists to develop independent research careers in an African institution. Research conducted by FLAIR fellows must respond to one or more global challenge areas associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FLAIR fellowships will be for a period of two years and are funded by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The FLAIR partners will appoint approximately 30 FLAIR fellows each year and this cohort will also be linked with other leading researchers supported by The African Academy of Sciences.
The programme will provide funding to enable talented early career scientists to conduct their research in an African institution. The programme will also provide a package of training and support to enable these researchers to become Africa’s next generation of research leaders. This training and support will include a mentorship scheme, collaboration and networking opportunities, and a series of training courses on topics including leadership effectiveness, media and communications, and scientific commercialisation.
The FLAIR partners are now seeking to contract an appropriate organisation to develop and deliver a media training course for the FLAIR postdoctoral researchers and a wider cohort of leading African early career researchers that will be delivered over a course of up to 3 days and up to three times in a period beginning in September 2019 to March 2021. The same training will be delivered to three different cohorts of early career researchers who will choose which of the three times to attend.
The training will be offered to FLAIR researchers in the first instance but may also be offered to a wider group of early career African scientists subsequently. The specifications include the development of a training programme and required materials, and in-country delivery of this training at venues in Africa. Delivery of the training programme may be through local representatives or partnership with local providers. The successful organisation may be expected to work with The African Academy of Sciences and Royal Society to review and improve the programme on a rolling basis.
Proposals are hereby invited for the provision of media training services for 15-20 participants. The organisation or consultant will provide high quality media and interview training to the early career researchers to equip them in the art of storytelling either for the purpose of pitching their research or writing for the media. The ultimate goal will be to provide researchers with the know how to convincingly pitch their research and demonstrate its impact, answer difficult questions, respond to topical issues in the media or manage a crisis.
To realise this, the training organisation/consultant will provide a media training course that caters or includes but is not limited to the following:
- A structured preparation process for media engagement outlined in training resources to enable the researchers to develop key messages, proof points, news angles, hooks, media insight and elevator pitches/interview skills
- A media engagement approach using worksheets that outlines how to identify and build relationships with journalists who report on the respective area of research for the FLAIR trainees
- Storytelling techniques that include finding a hook, writing a compelling pitch to an editor, defining different narrative structures and writing a publishable piece either as a feature or OpEd
- Tailored packaging for different media audiences and platforms, including broadcast, print, online and social media
- Social media training which includes creating relevant accounts, for example, Twitter
- Training that simulates real life interview scenarios to enable the researchers to understand how reporters think and work
- Communications materials and resources that the researchers can use in their daily work i.e. a how to guide
- Individual assessment and constructive feedback and learning points on strengths and weaknesses of participants.
These should include but not be limited to:
- Each participant to have developed at least 3-4 key messages about their respective research and reinforce them with credible and memorable examples tailored for different audiences
- Each participant to have developed a two-liner elevator pitch about their respective FLAIR fellowship
- A news hook and story structure that the trainer can help each respective participant to develop into a written piece for local or international media within a month after the first training
- During the course of the training, each respective participant should have at least one publishable OpEd in addition to a possible scheduled interview or other media engagement activities for local or international media
- Each participant to have opened a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn account and published at least four posts about their research by the end of the first training. The activity must continue
- Be aware of one’s voice, body language, clothing, and presentation style to suit the circumstances of the media/external encounter
- Understanding the media including opportunities to raise awareness of their research and their profile and mistakes to avoid
- Setting and directing the interview agenda proactively
- Dealing with confrontational journalists and handling sensitive topics and crisis interviews
- Maximising opportunities to raise awareness of their research and the ability to convince journalists of the news value. Researchers can be encouraged to build and maintain relationships with 2-3 journalists
- A list of activities that will be done during the up to three days of training.
- 3-day training delivery for 15-20 participants, delivered 3 different times of the year
- Provide trainees with reading material/notes
- Develop a training module which would be a copyright of the AAS
- Provide certificates of attendance to the trainees
- Produce a report on the training and recommendations on how to improve future trainings
- Provide a proposal that outlines the training plan/what the training will cover
- Publishable OpEds in addition to a possible scheduled interview or other media engagement activities for local or international media from some participants. The figure may be decided between the AAS and consultant
- Demonstrate competence in media training and crisis management
- Have vast experience of working and delivering media training in Africa
- As some of the training may be delivered in Francophone Africa, applicants who can demonstrate the ability to train in French will have an added advantage
- Demonstrate extensive experience in developing and implementing media training and the ability to provide the range of activities required
- Demonstrate resource capacity to deliver on the scope of work
- Demonstrate a portfolio of past work showcasing depth of content through Op-eds, high impact stories, feature stories, videos, podcasts, social media, etc
- Demonstrate a portfolio of key clients, detailing duration of relationships and features of success
Proposals from bidders should include a technical proposal and financial proposal:
Financial proposal (Score: 30/100): The financial proposal shall clearly indicate the total cost of offering the described media training to the AAS, to be disaggregated into the three as per how the training will be delivered to enable partial payments and/or scaling of services.
Technical proposal (Score 70/100): The technical proposal, not more than 10pages, shall be as per the criteria below:
Response will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Adequacy of the proposed work plan, methodology and deliverables, in responding to the terms of reference
Specific experience of the agency related to the assignment (Provide evidence of having undertaken similar assignments in the last 5 years by submitting at least five (5) reference letters of recommendations)
Qualifications and competence of the key staff for the assignment
Successful agencies will be shortlisted and invited to interview. Only successful finalists will be contacted.
This document is the property of the AAS and contains proprietary and confidential information. Recipients may use or reproduce the information detailed within this document and any other supporting information only to provide a response to this RFP.
The AAS makes no commitment to any consultant/service provider unless a contract has been awarded and signed by both parties. The AAS reserves the right to cease this exercise at any time. During the period of this activity, no contact should occur between any members of the supplier's staff and any member of the AAS staff in relation to this exercise other than through the designated contact points as detailed within this RFP. It is however recognized that pre-existing relationships if any, shall be respected.
The Agency is required to observe the AAS procurement ethical code of conduct which includes but is not limited to observing the highest standard of ethics in regard to corruption, collusion, conflict of interest and fraud. If the agency does not observe confidentiality or ethical practices, they shall be disqualified from any further work with the AAS.
Where appropriate, any costs for travel and subsistence must be clearly shown in the proposal.
Consultants should be aware that inappropriate publicity could have a serious effect upon the AAS’s business. The information contained within this document or subsequently made available to the consultant is deemed confidential and must not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the AAS unless required by law.
By submission of a proposal, the consultant warrants that the prices in the proposal have been arrived at independently, without consultation, communication, agreement or understanding for the purpose of restricting competition, as to any matter relating to such prices, with any other potential consultant or with any competitor.
It should be noted that this document relates to a Request for Proposal only and not a firm commitment from the AAS to enter into a contractual agreement. In addition, the AAS will not be held responsible for any costs associated with the production of a response to this Request for Proposal.
Proposals from bidders must include the following elements:
a) A covering letter introducing the submission
b) An executive summary not exceeding three (3) A4 pages providing an overview of your response to the scope of work citing previous experience and expertise
c) A proposal that outlines the training plan/what the training will cover
d) Reports will be expected after the training. The service provider must indicate what the media training report will cover and provide examples of a media training report they have compiled previously.
e) Detailed CVs of the trainer (s) outlining the relevant skills and experience
f) Details of at least 5 relevant references where similar assignments have been undertaken
g) Current business licenses where applicable
h) Valid VAT and PIN Certificate where applicable
i) Current valid Tax Compliance Certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority where applicable
j) Financial Proposal for the provision of the services. The financial proposal shall clearly indicate the total cost of offering the described media training to the AAS, to be disaggregated into the three as per how the training will be delivered and to enable partial payments and/or scaling of services. The Prices quoted should be i ncl usi ve of all taxes and delivery costs, must be in USD and shall remain valid for (120) days from the closing date of the tender.
k) Vendors are encouraged to include any additional information they believe demonstrates added value for the AAS within the scope of this project