Request for Proposals for Consultancy Services as Project Manager for Advising on the Development Process of the First Technical Draft of the Good Research Management Practice (GRMP) Standard
The African Academy of Sciences (the AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation whose vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. The AAS’s tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through the AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship, Affiliates and award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.
Transformed lives through science.
Leverage resources through research excellence and thought leadership for sustainable development.
Introduction to the Research Management Programme in Africa (ReMPro Africa)
The Research Management Programme in Africa (ReMPro Africa) is an initiative of the AAS that aims to fill critical gaps in the African research ecosystem to support a vibrant research culture and leadership at universities and research institutions. ReMPro Africa overall aims to transform research management at institutional level by addressing four key interconnected strands, namely, leadership, sustainability, individual capacity development, and standards.
Although Research Management is a core component of the research ecosystem in Africa, it is set against a backdrop of fragmented research policies, deficient research strategies, competing funder priorities, and lack of specialist research management.
Scoping studies undertaken demonstrate that research management is very unevenly developed in Africa. Generally, there is still no common understanding of what research management entails and its functions are not always understood or appreciated at institutional level. Whilst some institutions have produced models of excellence, there is no standard way of defining the research management functions which poses challenges for institutions trying to setup systems.
Scope and objectives of the Assignment
The AAS has initiated the development of an innovative standard for Good Research Management Practice (GRMP) whose aim is to standardize the research management ecosystem on the African continent. The GRMP standard will be developed in collaboration with the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO).
The AAS is required to submit the First Technical Draft of the GRMP Standard to ARSO, which will be discussed through its Technical Harmonization Committee (THC) and eventually approved by ARSO Technical Management Committee (TMC) as an African Standard.
The First Technical Draft of the GRMP standard will be developed by the Technical Author (appointed by the AAS) and reviewed by the Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) of research management stakeholders (established by the AAS) before its submission to the ARSO.
The AAS, through consultative workshops with various research management stakeholders, has developed a draft document which comprises the desired structure and components for the Good Research Management Practice (GRMP) Standard.
The AAS is seeking a Project Manager to advise on the process for the development of the First Technical Draft of the new standard for GRMP, to ensure that the draft is of suitable quality for submission to the African Organisation for Standardisation – (ARSO) Technical Harmonisation Committee, and consideration was made to the relevant standards landscape in which this new standard would operate.
The Project Manager for GRMP is expected to:
- Manage the development process for the First Technical Draft document of the GRMP standard to the level that is acceptable by ARSO.
- Conduct the Technical Author training
- Facilitate Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) meetings and manage the consensus- building process
- Review the First Technical Draft document developed by the Technical Author and advise to The AAS whether the document is written and edited in line with applicable rules for drafting international standards (e.g. ARSO and ISO rules).
Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) Meetings
Before its official submission to the ARSO, The First Technical Draft of the GRMP Standard developed by the Technical Author will be reviewed by the Technical Sub-Committees (TSC) of research management stakeholders which will be established by the AAS. The Project Manager will be responsible for facilitating the TSC meetings. It is planned that there will be TWO virtual TSC meetings in March and April 2020. However, physical TSC meetings may also be scheduled in lieu of virtual meetings as may be required.
Competent Project Manager should fulfill the following requirements:
- Knowledge of international standard development process E.g.: ISO/IEC GUIDE 2:2004; Standardization and related activities
- Broad understanding of current pan-African standards and international guidelines for the conduct of research.
- Excellent project management skills in an international work environment
- Excellent skills in conducting high level stakeholder meetings (either physically or virtually).
Pre-Bid Webinar Conference
All interested consultants will be invited for a pre-bid webinar conference on 22nd November 2019 at 1200hrs (East African Time). During the conference, representatives of the AAS ReMPro Africa will provide clarification on the terms of reference after which bidders are expected to submit proposals for consideration.
To confirm that you will submit proposal and/or participate at the pre-bid webinar conference please RSVP by 12.00h (East African Time) 14th November 2019 using the link below:
Proposal Submission Guidelines
Your RFP response must include the following elements:
- A covering letter introducing the submission.
- 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.
- An outline of the relevant skills and experience that will be brought to the contract including the names of key individuals with copies of their CVs. This must include all team members who will be working on the initiative.
- Current business licenses
- VAT and PIN Certificate where applicable.
- Financial Proposal for the provision of the services. This should include detailed costings that tie to the elements of your strategy to deliver this contract. Also, to include day rates and number of days for each person plus clearly articulated other expenses.
Responses will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Adequacy of the proposed work plan, methodology and deliverables, in responding
to the terms of reference
Broad understanding of current pan-African standards and international guidelines for the conduct of research.
Knowledge of international standard development process E.g.: the ISO/IEC
GUIDE 2:2004; Standardization and related activities
Project management skills in an international work environment with demonstrable
skills in conducting high-level stakeholder meetings either physically or virtually.
The RFP 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.
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.
The process of developing the standard began in January 2019 in which an initial draft framework for a GRMP standard was developed based on a literature review of published and grey literature, including various institutional standards, ISO standards and with reference to the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) standard. This was followed by a series of stakeholder consultation workshops held in Nairobi, Kenya, in February 2019, Accra, Ghana in May 2019 and the last one in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2019. The workshops brought together institutional leadership, funders, researchers, program managers, research managers and administrators from various institutions across Africa and the globe; to deliberate and define scope, breadth & depth of the GRMP Standard. The development of a new standard for GRMP forms part of a larger Global Grant Community (GGC) initiative. Further information on Global Grant Community is provided below:
About Global Grant Community
The Global Grant Community (GGC) serves as a global platform to promote transparency and strengthen the governance of grant funding and management worldwide. Currently, the GGC comprises of the following:
- The Global Grant Community Portal : which is an online pre-certification assessment tool (https://www.aasciences.africa/ggc) developed in order to facilitate organizations to undertake the pre-certification assessment for their compliance to the requirements of either the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) standard or the Good Research Management Practice (GRMP) standard.
- The Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) Standard: Which provides requirements for organizations to demonstrate that they have established, implemented and maintain a robust grant governance system. The GFGP standard was approved in June 2018, and organizations can now be certified by competent Certification Bodies for their compliance to the requirements of the GFGP Standard.
- The Good Research Management Practice standard: Which will provide requirements to be met by universities and research institutions for establishing, implementing and maintaining a robust research management system to support their research enterprise. The development of this new and innovative standard is underway in collaboration with the African Organization for Standardization.