The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to its mission of “Catalysing Africa’s Economic Transformation by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health and the implementation of progressive policies that together creates economic opportunities for all”. The foundation provides a platform for in-depth analysis of various economic, political and health challenges in Cameroon and across the African continent. It seeks to prescribe, via high quality research evidence, appropriate public policies needed for the growth and development of Cameroon in particular, and Africa at large.
With the aim of promoting health research and research-driven health policies in Cameroon, the Foundation with support from its partners, is launching the health research grant initiative. The award of grants shall be competitive. Grant applications shall be submitted via an online application portal, with the deadline of applications set for 20 September 2021 at 11:59 PM (GMT + 1).
Increasingly, the demand for public health research is threatening in the habits of expert and public leaders to construct evidence-based policies in developing countries like Cameroon. Persistent weakness to develop strong impactful research include lack of fundings, data and qualified researchers, making health research execution slow and less evidence-based policies. Layered with the Covid 19 pandemic, the call for a better surveillance system of infectious diseases makes us believe that a call on more research investigations and publications on health issues, is needed to remove the barrier of under developed and poor health policy in developing countries like Cameroon.
The Foretia Foundation has been tackling many of these challenges by focusing on current public health issues and advocating for innovative, research guided health related policies. Recently, the health division of the Nkafu policy institute has been inactive in conducting research and publish in peer review due to insufficient fundings. This main driver is what guides the Nkafu policy institute to lunch a seed grant for strong and impactful public health research proposals of any health aspect, amongst the health team. The call for proposal will identify impactful research proposals that can be fund and publish in peer reviews. Through this seed grant, we intend to fund five research projects, that aim to foster health policy impact in Cameroon.
ELIGIBILITY TO THE GRANT PROPOSAL SUBMISSION
Applicants must fulfil the conditions listed below to be considered eligible for the health research grant. Applicants who do not meet these criteria shall have their applications automatically rejected. The criteria are as follows:
- Be a member of the Nkafu Policy Health Division.
- All proposals must identify potential innovative health areas that might help to develop impactful policies in Cameroun.
This funding opportunity aims to generate new scientific evidence on critical health issues that will inform policy and practice in Cameroon.
AREAS OF FOCUS
The proposal can focus on any research topic in health care, public health and policy.
The grant proposal will last for six months going from the 1st of October 2021 to the 31st of March 2022.
SCOPE OF FUNDING
- Funds provided shall be up to a maximum of 500.000 FCFA per research project.
- Grants shall be provided based on the specific requirements of the project, after proper assessment of the estimated research budget presented by the applicant.
- Grants shall be provided to cover only direct cost arising from the research project. Indirect costs such as those related to feeding or housing shall NOT be covered by the grant.
- Funding shall be provided for research projects which could be completed within a period of Six months. Applicants shall therefore, in the course of requesting for the grant, provide a concise outline of the major research activities to be carried out (and their respective costs) over a well-defined time period.
- If approved, grants given will tie exactly with the sum demanded by the applicant. There shall be no room for a potential increase in the amount provided as grant during the course of the research work. Applicants are therefore encouraged to properly assess their budget prior to applying for the grant.
- The approved funding shall be paid out into the electronic bank account of the grantee, against the signature of a voucher, and agreement to the terms and conditions attached to the grant received (See Terms and Conditions).
- Funds shall be paid out in two instalments, at the beginning of the research project, and three months later.
- A concise financial report justifying various expenses, shall be required at the end of each major phase of their research work, as outlined in the research proposal.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Applicants are encouraged to properly read and familiarize themselves with the eligibility criteria prior to applying. Deadline for the applications is scheduled for the 20th of September at 11:59 PM (GMT + 1). The application process shall consist of filling an online application form with basic personal, academic and professional information, as well as uploading certain outstanding documents. These documents shall constitute a considerable portion of the assessment aimed at determining whether or not applicants deserve to receive funding from the health research grant initiative. Applicants are therefore advised to develop and revise them before submission. The documents include:
- A concise, well written research proposal/protocol, with a well-defined research timeline of activities and budget
- A motivation letter pointing out the reason(s) for which the candidate believes his/her research project should be funded by the grant, and the potential impact their research could have on health care or health policy in Cameroon (500 words maximum).
- The most recent version of the applicant’s curriculum vitae (CV)/resume.
Applicants will also be required to submit:
- A copy of their highest degree certificate for graduates, or a copy of a school attendance certificate for students.
- A copy of the photo page of a valid identification document (national identity card or passport).
Applicants can always save their incomplete application form and return to it later. Applicants are advised to download the application form and get all the aforementioned documentation ready, before they begin the application process. Once an application form has been completed and submitted, no further modifications shall be possible. Upon submission, applicants shall receive a confirmatory email.
NB: Incomplete application files, or applications from individuals that do not meet the eligibility criteria shall be automatically rejected. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they have submitted all the necessary files required, or that they meet all the eligibility criteria.
The ethical challenges of conducting public health research will be a major consideration for applicants. All applicants will be expected to acquire ethical approval for their research from a recognised institutional review board. Further details on ethical considerations should be included in the proposal.
REVIEW AND SELECTION
Review of application files hall be done by the Foundation’s health research team, under the supervision of board chair. Selection criteria taken into consideration will include the following:
- Feasibility: How feasibility is the research project in achieving its objectives?
- Principal investigator: is the principal investigator qualified for the grant? How credible is the application file of the applicant for the research project to be realised?
- Significance: The potential impact of the research project on pressing health care and health policy related challenges in Cameroon. As earlier mentioned, this remains the primary goal of the grant. What will be the value added of the propose research to existing knowledge? Consequently, research projects that meet up this criterion are preferred.
- Methodology: Proposed research methodologies should be of a standard such that final papers will be publishable in peer-reviewed academic journals or presented in conferences. Robust innovative methodologies that advance health research are encouraged. Primary and/or secondary data collection approaches will be considered.
INFORMATION IN CASE OF SELECTION
Results regarding funding approval shall be available by October 2021. Only selected applicants shall be contacted by the foundation.
Correspondence between the Foundation and grantees shall be done exclusively via their listed email addresses. Applicants are therefore encouraged to ensure that the email address provided during the application is valid and active.
If selected, successful applicants shall receive directives on how to accept the grant by email. They are therefore advised to check their e-mails frequently, starting from the moment they are notified that their research project has been approved for funding. Applicants have one to accept the grant following the reception of this email after which the grant shall be automatically and permanently suspended.
Funding received form the health research grant initiative, is linked to certain additional obligations which the Foundation deems very important. Grantees are expected to meet up with these obligations. Failure to do so may lead to a temporal or a definitive suspension of the research funding. These include;
- Grantees will be expected to present the findings of their research work at a special research symposium organised by the foundation in March 2022.
- Grantees will be required to prepare and submit an abstract of their work in national and international conferences.
- Grantees will be required to work and collaborate fully with the foundation’s health research team, to ensure successful completion of the research projects.
- They will be expected to acknowledge the support and funding provided by the foundation during publication of the research work in any peer review journal.
- They will be required to provide reports at the end of each major phase of their research project as indicated in the research timeline.
INFORMATION AND QUERIES
For further information and questions regarding the health research grant, please contact the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation via:
Tel: (+237) 222 31 15 84 / (+237) 654 86 72 54