LIRA UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS FUND REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

SECTION A: BACKGROUND

A1. Funding opportunity description

Lira University received her first funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda to the value of Ugx. 500 Million to support high-impact Research and Innovations for the Financial Year 2023/24. The fund demonstrates the commitment by H.E. the President of The Republic of Uganda to Strengthening Research in Higher Institutions as a strategy for realizing Vision 2040. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. The fund is therefore aimed at supporting the Lira University Research Agenda as spelled out in the Lira University Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (2023-2028). Lira University Directorate of Graduate Training and Research through the Grants Management Unit therefore announces the Request for Applications (RFA) for Research and Innovation for the FY 2023/2024. Researchers and innovators with original ideas that demonstrate a clear link to key thematic areas of the Lira University Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (2023-2028) are encouraged to apply.

A2. Scope of Research and Innovation The proposed research and innovation should fall in one of the following thematic areas which is in line with the Lira University Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (2023-2028):

a) Theme 1: Health and health system

b) Theme 2: Food and Nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture

c) Theme 3: Basic sciences and applied Technology

d) Theme 4: Governance, human rights, and economic management

e) Theme 5: Education and Education System

f) Theme 6: Climate change g) Theme: Gender, performing art and culture

h) Theme: Artificial intelligence

i) Theme 9: Biotechnology

A3. Categories and size of grants to be issued Grants will be issued in the following categories: CATEGORY APPROX. No. OF GRANT AMOUNT (UGX) TOTAL VALUE Faculty-Led Research & Innovations 14 Max 20,000,000 280,000,000 Student-Led Research & Innovation 15 Max. 5,000,000 75,000,000 TOTAL 29 25,000,000 355,000,000

Note: The Grants Management Committee reserves the right to determine/change the number and size of awards based on prevailing circumstances informed by demand, quality of applications, availability of funds, and level of utilization of funds by grantees.

SECTION B: ELIGIBILITY

B1. Guidelines for Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, a research team should meet the following criteria:

1. The Principal Investigator (PI) should be an academic or research staff of Lira University on a permanent or full-time contract or a senior staff member from one of the administrative units linked to research (Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training). Students can be PIs subject to item 7

2. The PI should be actively in service (not on study leave or sabbatical leave)

3. The PI should obtain a letter of support from his/her department/school or College (any one of the three)

4. The PI should attach a copy of his/her appointment letter or most recent letter of promotion issued by the Directorate of Human Resources of Lira University.

5. A researcher cannot be a PI on more than one application but it is allowable for a person to be on multiple applying teams

6. Researchers from Lira University are encouraged to collaborate with resource persons from civil society organizations, government sectors, other universities within Uganda, independent research institutions, businesses and industry as part of their teams; in such cases, the external team members will provide a letter of support from their institution to be included as an attachment Page 3 of 6 7.

Student grants will be awarded under the academic mentorship programme. The student should route their applications through a mentor (Academic staff) for accountability

8. The proposal must have outputs such as working papers published in the Lira University Review (LUREV), Peer peer-reviewed journals, policy statements/briefs, creative products, innovation materials, demonstrable community outreach activities, manuscripts, etc. SECTION C: GRANT SELECTION CRITERIA The submitted proposal should meet the following broadly defined criteria to be accepted for funding in the FY 2023/2024:

C1. Relevance

Proposals should be in line with the priority areas (LU SRIA). The proposal should clearly demonstrate how it would contribute to the strengthening of research excellence and innovation development/commercialization (innovation grants) of Lira University (LU).

C2. Innovation

The proposal should clearly define the unique research idea, product or technology and the scientific or technological challenge it is addressing. The Fund will preferably award proposals with a focus on applied research. For innovation grants, the proposal should clearly define the quality and originality of the innovative idea and its potential for future commercialization.

C3. Impact

The proposal should indicate how it will provide the value-added towards the country’s strategies and socio-economic impact to improve the quality of life of the intended beneficiaries.

C4. Feasibility

The proposal should either demonstrate the capacity of Lira University to support the research based on the available human resources and research facilities. Or the researchers are partnering or collaborating with another institution. The proposal must demonstrate the capacity of the partner institutions to contribute towards the research excellence and innovation capacity of the research teams and Host Institutions. Page 4 of 6

C5: Team Composition

The proposal must clearly define the roles of each partner, and how collaboration will be done with other faculty at the University for Successful Project Implementation. CVs showing Qualification of project team members will be required. The proposal should demonstrate how men and women may be affected by the project and its results. It should ensure equitable participation of men and women and inclusiveness of persons with disabilities and minority groups if possible Note: The Grants Management Committee reserves the right to tailor this selection criteria based on the prevailing circumstances informed by demand, quality of applications, availability of funds, and level of utilization of funds by grantees. SECTION D: THE GRANT PROCESS

D1. Submission of applications

Applications will open on Monday 11th September 2023. Submission of applications will be done in hard copy to the Directorate of Graduate Training and Research Secretariat along with a soft copy to the email: grants@lirauni.ac.ug. Applicants must first register on the grants website and create an account in order to access the application form. The Grants Committee will not consider applications submitted by any other means. Applicants are therefore advised to prepare their submissions on time. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 4 th October 2023.

D2. Application form

The application form is available online at the following link: …………………………. Applicants should download a PDF/MS Word version of the form for filling in the domains before submitting a hard copy to the office of the Secretariat along with a soft copy to the email: grants@lirauni.ac.ug

D3. Rules governing applications

All applications should be written in English. All applications should be submitted via the above mentioned channels. Complete applications must be submitted not later than 5:00 p.m. East African Time on the closing date. No submissions after the closure of applications will be accepted. Any attempt at solicitation of acceptance beyond this date will not be entertained. The Grants Committee bears no responsibility for submissions that are not completed in time and incomplete submissions will not be considered. If none of the submitted applications meets the requirements to receive a grant, the call may be reopened at the sole discretion of the Grants Management Committee. An individual researcher should not submit more than ONE application as a principal investigator. However, it is allowable for a PI on a submitted project to be a team member on Page 5 of 6 other submitted projects. Participants agree to assume any and all risks and to waive claims against Lira University and the Grants Management Committee for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in this grant implementation.

D4. Applicant support

Sensitization: The Grant Management Committee will hold a Zoom-based public meeting on Monday 18th September 2023 to present key aspects of the grant. Applicants will have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain answers/clarifications regarding this RFP or any part of the application process. D5.

Review of applications

A three (3) step application evaluation process will be used:

Step 1: This will involve determination of eligibility. This will be conducted by the Grant Management Committee Secretariat to select only those applications that fit within the eligibility criteria specified in sub-section B1 of this document.

Step 2: It will involve a detailed technical review, undertaken by an independent team of credible reviewers (Ugandan and international) appointed by the Grant Management Committee and aligned to the technical expertise required of the different applications. The review process will take a cross-disciplinary approach in which to subject matter experts, reviewers from other disciplines that align with the core-discipline of the research idea will be engaged. Reviewers will score the applications based on standardized criteria. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. A shortlist of the best proposals will be provided to the Grant Management Committee.

Step 3: This will be the final phase of the review. The Grant Management Committee will select from the best-scoring proposals the ones to be funded. This will be strongly guided by the scores and recommendations from Step 2. However, the Grant Management Committee will consider additional aspects like a clear link to the Lira University Research and Innovation Agenda as well as the impact within the relevant sector, equity between Faculties, consideration of gender and junior faculty, the budgets, and the funds available.

D6. Notification of successful applicants

Successful applicants will be informed by email to their designated point of contact. Successful teams will also be profiled on the Lira University Website. Researchers should be cognizant of the Page 6 of 6 fact that not all research applicants should expect to be funded – this is a normal part of grant processes. The Grant Management Committee will be as impartial and as technical as possible in the selection process to ensure that the best projects win. Not winning a grant should therefore not be construed as being a result of an unfair selection process. Grant Management Committee members have sworn an oath of impartiality and readiness to serve with diligence.

D7. Post-award processes

The post-ward processes will follow those underscored in the Lira Research and Innovation Policy and Grant Management Manual. These will include:

Induction: A brief post-award induction either in-person or online will organized for all successful applicants. The induction will be mandatory before signing the contracts

Contacting: The Grant Management Committee will execute an agreement with the awardees on the terms and conditions of the award.

Capacity building: The Directorate of Graduate Training and Research and the Grants Management Unit will organize a series of research capacity-building workshops to support all successful applicants in executing their research and innovation plans.

Release of funds: Release of funds will be in phases incumbent on proper accountability and demonstration of milestones achieved in the previous payment phase.

Accountability and Reporting: Awardee researchers will provide interim reports every three (3) months using a standard reporting form that will be provided by the Grant Management Committee.

D8. Grant timeline

S/N MILESTONES DATE 1. Issuance of RFA Monday, 11th September 2023 2. Sensitization of Prospecting Applicants Monday, 18th September 2023 3. Closing Date for Applications Wednesday, 11th October 2023 4. Review and Evaluation Wednesday, 25th October 2023 5. Award Notification Thursday, 2nd November 2023 6. Induction Wednesday, 15th November 2023