EXCLUSIVE: TETFUND releases guidelines for accessing N7.5bn Research grants

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Olabisi Deji-Folutile

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has released the guideline for accessing N7.5bn National Research Fund (NRF) for researchers in Nigerian public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

A document, signed by TETFUND Executive Secretary, Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro, and exclusively obtained by FrankTalknow.com, indicated that researchers could start applying for the fund on June 22 while application closes on July 21 this year.

Bogoro said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration approved the fund for the 2020 TTFUND National Research Fund (NRF) Grants circle , The figure is almost a  a fifty per cent increase of the N3.9bn released in 2019 for the same project. Last year, 128 research projects were supported.  The TETFUND boss emphasized that only researchers in the nation’s public tertiary institutions are eligible to benefit from the research grant.

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To access the grants, Bogoro said Principal Investigators of the proposed research projects   must respond to the Call-for-Concept Notes. This, he said, will later be followed by the submission of full proposals by only those whose concepts notes have been evaluated and their research projects considered fundable.

The document shows that 28 thematic areas of research in three categories are being considered for the 2020 NRF Grant application.  The three categories are in sciences, engineering, technology and innovation;   humanities and social sciences; and cross cutting.

TETFUND boss said the agency encourages multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research projects, comprising researchers from various disciplines.  However, the Principal Investigator (PI) must be at professorial cadre in a university or chief lecturer in a polytechnic or college of education. The Principal Investigator is expected to lead the research team and be personally responsible and held accountable for the conduct of the research. Also, the PI must be institution based, with the PI institution regarded as the coordinating institution.

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He said that in line with the approval of board of trustees of TETFUND, additional members of the research team could be drawn from researchers in private tertiary institutions, research institutes, centres of excellence and the industry. This, he said, is consistent with the global best practices of involving non- governmental organisations and other non-state actors in research projects that are to address national needs.

The TETFUND boss said that the process of application is entirely on an online platform. The Principal Investigator is expected to visit nf.tetfund.gov.ng upon the opening of the portal where he or she will be closely guided on the preparation and final submission of the concept note. All the submitted concept notes will be evaluated by the National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee.

“The PIs of the successful concept of notion will be communicated to proceed to the preparation of the full proposals which will also be processed online. The PI and at least a member of the research team of an adjudged fundable proposal shall be invited to defend their proposal before the NRFSMC. Thereafter, the successful proposals for grants awards will be presented to the board of trustees of TETFUND for approval,” Bogoro added.

 

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