UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), are pleased to invite applications for Digital Innovation for Development in Africa (DIDA) in 2020.
This two-stage GCRF call focuses on the impact and application of digital technologies for development in Africa. Stage one focusses on building Networks that bring together academics, industry, NGOs, policymakers and practitioners from Africa with UK partners.
These Networks are expected to build new relationships and stimulate novel research and innovation ideas and activities that will enable partners to apply for funding to deliver a co-developed and fully realised project in stage two. This call has three thematic areas of focus and applicants can apply to any strand.
Areas of focus
This call will support seed funding for Networks working within the following thematic areas (more information about each is contained in the call text):
- Digital Rights
- Smart Communities
- Digital Health
The seed-funded DIDA Networks should be inherently multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary. They should also aim to facilitate the development of partnerships between researchers, industry, NGOs, policymakers and practitioners.
This funding has been allocated from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. GCRF will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and will strengthen capability for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries, providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and will be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines.
Worth of Award
- It is expected that a total of £3M will be available for seed-funded DIDA Networks with individual projects up to a 12-month duration costing between £100,000 – £150,000.
- Once the awarded Networks have commenced, they will be eligible to apply to a second competitive call that will fund six to eight projects with total maximum funding of £19M over three years, costing between £1M to £3M each.
- For the first stage call, the seed fund Network must be led by a Network Leader (Principal
Investigator (PI)) based in a UK Research Organisation (RO) eligible to receive funding from UKRI, or, based in an equivalent eligible Research Organisation in an African country.
- The lead organisation will be responsible for the overall management of the grant including
control, disbursement and assurance of funds.
- An applicant (PI) may only lead to one application. The main thematic area being addressed must be highlighted in the proposal.
- They envisage that the proposal may bridge more than one of the thematic areas, however, the applicant must still indicate in the case for support which of the three is the most relevant to the proposal.
- Network co-leaders (co-investigators) may be based anywhere in the world, however, there
must be at least one African and one UK investigator listed on the submission.
- Further project partners may be based anywhere in the world, however, an organisation
should only be named as a project partner if it is providing specific contributions (either
direct or indirect) to the Network. Named partners should confirm these contributions in a
letter-headed letter of support.
- Proposals may be submitted by individuals who are not already established members of the
proposed host institution.
- In these circumstances, however, the RO should note the standard terms and condition of grant in that they are wholly responsible for the staff funded from the Grant, including Research Fellows, and accept all duties owed to and responsibilities for these staff, including, without limitation, their terms and conditions of employment, and their training and supervision, arising from the employer/employee relationship.
How to Apply
Applicants should consult the call guidance and the Je-S handbook for general
information on how to complete the proposal.
Expectations for second stage proposals
- Only successful proposals at the first stage will be invited to submit to the second stage of funding.
- The projects in the second stage could be either a research project, innovation
project or enhanced network building through a ‘Network Plus’ grant.
- Applicants in the first round should bear these expectations in mind when devising activities in the first round.
- Devolved funding is permitted within a Network Plus grant, which allows for a proportion of costs to be allocated by the Network to flexible and agile activities that can respond to
emerging priorities not outlined in the original submission.
- Full details of the scope, assessment criteria and submission process for the second stage proposals will be provided to successful Networks in spring 2020.
- This will be a competitive process and not all Networks will proceed to the next stage of funding.
- One or more seed fund Networks may choose to collaborate on a second stage submission.
- At the second stage, it is UKRI’s aim for seed-funded Networks wishing to submit a business-led proposal, that this will be possible by submitting to Innovate UK’s Innovation Funding Service (please note, this is not an option at the first stage).
Deadline: Applicants must submit a seed fund Network proposal by 16:00hrs (GMT) on November 12, 2019.