With the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), UNESCO-TWAS launched a new programme to strengthen the capacity of African countries lagging in science and technology. The programme is aimed at young scientists who are getting established in their country or are about to return home to an academic position. Grants are awarded to promising high-level research projects in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Earth sciences, Engineering, Information Computer Technology, Mathematics, Medical Sciences and Physics carried out in African countries lagging in science and technology identified by TWAS.
Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Information Computer Technology, Mathematics, Medical Sciences and Physics
The Seed Grant for New African Principal Investigators (SG-NAPI) was established in response to the needs of researchers in developing countries, particularly those attached to institutions that lack appropriate research facilities. Under this scheme, grants can be awarded for research projects in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Information Computer Technology, Mathematics, Medical Sciences and Physics to Principal Investigators in the African countries lagging in science and technology identified by TWAS, to enable them to purchase the research facilities they need to enhance their productivity.
The Seed Grant for New African Principal Investigators (SG-NAPI) aims to support early-career scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa, with particular emphasis on Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Seed Grant for New African Principal Investigators (SG-NAPI) is fully funded by The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
- SG-NAPI Grants are awarded to high-level promising research projects in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Information Computer Technology, Mathematics, Medical Sciences and Physics carried out by Principal Investigators (PI) in the African countries lagging in science and technology identified by TWAS.
- Research Grants to research units amount to a maximum of USD 67,700.
- The grants, which are normally provided for a period of 24 months, may be used to purchase scientific equipment, consumables, which can include fieldwork partially and maintenance of equipment and specialized literature (textbooks and proceedings only). The grant does not cover salaries of the Principal Investigator or travel expenses unless they are clearly related to one of the conference and/or mobility components mentioned below. Please note that the purchase of fuel, fees for experts or consultants, laptops, tablets, drones and laboratory animals is not supported.
- Awarded PIs may also support MSc student as part of the project, request funding for international conference grant, industrial link grant, mobility grant and open access publication grant. Full details of each component are laid out in the guidelines.
- The programme has an additional component which seeks to enhance the productivity of female scientists returning to academia after a maternity leave, scientist-after-child grant. Full details of this component can be found in the guidelines.
- Applying Principal Investigators must be nationals of an eligible country, who holds a PhD and has good research experience. The grant should operate within a university or a research institution in one of the African countries lagging in science and technology.
- The PI must be 40 or under. Any applicant turning 41 in the year of application is not eligible.
- The PI must have obtained their Ph.D. within the last 5 years in a country other than their home country.
- The PI must have returned to their home country (refer to list in the guidelines) within the last 36 months or will return home before the end of 2023.
- The PI must hold, be offered or be in the process of accepting a position at an academic and/or research institution (including international research centers) in their home country.
- The PI must be national of an eligible African country that is lagging in science and technology (refer to list in the giudelines).
- Applicant must at the time of application NOT have an active research grant with TWAS or OWSD Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) Fellowship.
- Applications from women scientists and those working in Least Developed Countries are especially encouraged.
- The applicant must submit a strong Research Proposal, you may find further information on how to write a strong proposal by visiting AuthorAID.
- Please be advised that applicants may apply for only one programme per calendar year in the TWAS and OWSD portfolio. Applicants will not be eligible to visit another institution in that year under the TWAS Visiting Scientists the Visiting Professor programmes. One exception: The head of an institution who invites an external scholar to share his/her expertise under the TWAS Visiting Professor programme or the TWAS Visiting Expert programme may still apply for another programme.
- If selected, a trilateral written agreement is drawn up between TWAS, the Principal Investigator and the home institution. The institution undertakes to administer the grant according to the agreement and to provide laboratory space, salaries and other facilities necessary for the project. Equipment, consumables and literature provided for the project through the SG-NAPI grant programme remain the property of the home institution after the project is completed.
- In general, the grant funds are kept at TWAS for the purchase of items requested by the grant holder. TWAS places the orders with the supplier(s) upon receipt of proforma invoices submitted by the grant holder in accordance with the approved itemized budget.
- The agreement will also provide details on how to activate other benefits of the grant such as support for MSc students, international conference grant, industrial link grant, mobility grant, open access publication grant and scientist-after-child grant.
- Grant holders must submit a final report within one year from the date of the last purchase.
How to apply
- Ensure that you have read and fully understood the guidelines.
- SG-NAPI grant applications, once the call opens will need to be submitted online by clicking on the “Apply Now” link at the bottom of this page. Please note the link will only be active once the call opens and not before (or after it is closed).
- Please note that a researcher may only submit one application at a time and for only one kind of grant (as an individual applicant, as a research unit, IsDB or the OWSD Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) Fellowship). Applicants cannot apply for other TWAS programmes i.e. Postdoctoral, Visiting Scholar and Visiting Researcher programme within the same year in order to be present in their home country throughout the duration of the grant.
- For any queries please contact the TWAS SG-NAPI Grants office, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
When to apply
- The deadline for receiving applications will be updated once decided. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the deadline but submit the application as early as you can to enable us to process your application as quickly as possible.
- Please note that the assignment meetings of the SG-NAPI Grants Committee will be held by the end of the year. Applicants will be notified of the outcome shortly after the meeting.
- Any PI currently holding an award for any TWAS programme may not apply before completing the current award.