Strengthening management of research competitions and research on emerging technologies and development in Malawi
Launched in April 2015, the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) has been strengthening the capacities of science granting councils (SGCs) in 15 sub-Saharan African countries. The Initiative aims to achieve more effective research management practices among councils; strengthen the ability of councils to design and monitor research programs and formulate and implement policies based on robust science, technology, and innovation indicators; increase the ability of councils to manage research competitions and promote knowledge transfer to the private sector; and increase coordination and networking among councils.
The first phase of the SGCI was jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, IDRC, and South Africa’s National Research Foundation. In July 2018, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and IDRC agreed on a new five-year partnership to deepen and sustain the SGCI. It builds on previous achievements by providing research funds to enable the councils to manage research competitions and related activities.
This project of the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) of Malawi will run calls for research in two areas of national priority for socio-economic development, namely agricultural biotechnology and renewable energy. The calls will be run in collaboration with the science granting councils of Mozambique and Zambia in the case of renewable energy, and Zimbabwe in the case of agricultural biotechnology. The calls will prioritize multidisciplinary research, teams that include women scientists as co-investigators, and involvement of the private sector. Some funds will support early-career women researchers, as well as the mapping of the national research and development landscape focusing on higher education. Besides contributing research evidence to development challenges, a key outcome of this project is strengthening the knowledge of research systems management in NCST-Malawi and other national councils.