SGCI-DFG partnership funds three multilateral projects of African research teams until 2024

Kick-off meeting of SGCI collaborative research projects on the sidelines of the SGCI Annual Forum 2021 marks the launch of three multilateral projects of African research teams until 2024.

(06.12.21) The Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) was founded in 2015 with the aim of strengthening the participating science funding organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa, currently 16 in number, by means of joint capacity building and coordinated funding activities. The aim of the initiative is to support research and policy, thereby promoting the social and economic development of the region.

Since November 2019, the DFG has been one of the SGCI’s funding bodies, in particular supporting the expansion of network-building measures to establish regional calls for proposals for research project funding. In this context, the design and implementation of South-South scientific collaborations between Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in Sub-Saharan Africa will be strengthened, which can bring together expertise and budgets in a mostly underfunded scientific landscape.

Accordingly, a total of seven multilateral projects by African research teams were funded during the first SGCI funding phase (2015-2019). In July 2020, the SGCI and the DFG, in the framework of their partnership, issued a call for proposals to continue these projects during the second SGCI funding phase (2020-2023). The deadline for proposals ended on 30 November 2020. In the meantime, two bilateral projects involving researchers from Mozambique and Namibia, and Senegal and Burkina Faso, as well as one trilateral project by scientists from Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda were approved.

In a virtual kick-off meeting on the sidelines of the SGCI Annual Forum 2021 on 15 November 2021, the principal investigators of the three funded projects presented their project objectives and guiding research questions including the additional scientific added value through the continuation of the projects. They also provided insights into their project concepts and outlined plans for possible continued collaboration beyond the three-year funding period. However, not only the research teams presented themselves and their work, but also the SGCs of the participating seven countries introduced their granting processes and informed the researchers about their plans for monitoring the funded projects and their reporting requirements.

Currently, the seven SGCs involved are working on drafting and signing the grant agreements. This process will most likely be completed by the end of this year, so that the three projects will start their research activities in January 2022 for a three-year period until 2024.