COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund 2020 for African Researchers

COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund 2020

COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund 2020

COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund 2020

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI), South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Newton Fund, and SGCI participating councils across 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are pleased to announce the COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund. The Rapid Grant Fund seeks to contribute to the African regional and continental response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Application Deadline:
17th June, 2020

About the Award:

  • For the Research Strand (1) and applicable only to Nigeria and South Africa, only ARUA member universities will be eligible to participate. Non-ARUA universities from South Africa and Nigeria may collaborate with ARUA members, and any other universities across the countries above mentioned to participate in this call. In the context of implementing the SGCI and to build on existing continental networks, this call is focused on ARUA universities who,through the ARUA Centres of Excellence Initiative and additional collaborative research initiatives, have collectively been working together with counterparts in the ARUA network to respond to COVID-19.
  • For the two Strands on Science Engagement [(2) and (3)], practitioners across all the 17 countries, including from Nigeria and South Africa may apply.
The Rapid Grant Fund is administered by the NRF South Africa, and has initial total funding of up to USD4.75million, with scope for additional funding from international funders and some SGCs. A grant recipients’ workshop, budgeted separately from the stipulations in this document, will be hosted after 24 months, following commencement of funded projects, to provide an opportunity for evaluation and learning amongst grant recipients and funding partners.

Type: Research


  • This call covers three strands: i) research, ii) science engagement: call to science and health journalists and communicators, and iii) science engagement: call to science advisers.
  • Researchers and science engagement practitioners from the following countries are eligible to apply: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and in the context of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Nigeria and South Africa. For the research strand and applicable only to Nigeria and South Africa, only ARUA member universities will be eligible to participate. For the two strands on science engagement, practitioners across all the countries, including Nigeria and South Africa may apply.
  • Applications from women applicants, people living with disabilities and first responders to COVID-19, as principal investigators are encouraged. In addition, diversity, including sex and gender differences, exist across all COVID-19 dimensions. Research and science engagement proposals must demonstrate considerations of diversity, including sex as a biological variable and gender as a socio-cultural factor in research projects and in science engagement approaches.

Eligible Countries: African countries

Number of Awards:
Not specified

Value of Award: The maximum amount per grant for a maximum period of 24 months is USD100 000.

How to Apply: Applications must be submitted on the NRF Online Submission System: Applications should be submitted in English or French. Incomplete applications and applications received after the closing date (Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 24:00 Central Africa Time (CAT) will not be considered for reviews and evaluation.

The framework and application guidelines, application templates, and additional call documents are available under Documents of this page.
It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.

Visit Award Webpage for Details

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