Request for Collaborative Research Fund Proposals (RFPs) in the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Agriculture and Health Service Delivery in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe
The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) of the Republic of Malawi, the National Science and Technology Council of Zambia (NSTC) and the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) are participating in the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) Phase II-plus. During this phase, NCST, NSTC and RCZ are jointly administering a Grant aimed at managing collaborative research calls in the application of artificial intelligence in agricultural and health service delivery in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Initiative is funded by the African Centre for Technology Studies.
Under this collaborative agreement, NCST, NSTC and RCZ purpose to strengthen research collaborations between researchers in the three countries on application of Artificial Intelligence in agriculture and delivery of health services. It is the vision of this joint collaboration to strengthen the sustainability of health and agricultural systems through artificial intelligence in pursuance of sustainable economies and societies.
2.0 RATIONALE AND SCOPE OF THE JOINT CALL
In a bid to promote the utilisation of emerging technologies in the socio-economic development of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe there is need to leverage these technologies on our existing capacities so as to improve livelihoods. Research collaborations on artificial intelligence in health and agriculture can drive innovation, solve real-world challenges, and bridge the gap between research and implementation. In that regard, the contribution of artificial intelligence in generating sectoral and organizational efficacies and efficiencies is key to developing nations which seek immediate solutions their health and agriculture systems. By bringing together experts from various national boundaries, diverging fields and involving industry stakeholders from the three countries in the research process, it is envisaged that this programme can develop more effective and practical artificial intelligence based solutions that have the potential to transform the health and agriculture sectors of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
3.0 THEMATIC FOCUS
Researchers in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning directed to health and agriculture in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe will collaborate to prepare trilateral research proposals focusing on either artificial intelligence application in health systems and agriculture. Project proposals submitted under this call may include, but are not limited to, the following research areas:
- Value addition and precision farming;
- Yield production improvements;
- Nutrition Research;
- Microbial Research;
- Medical imaging and diagnostics;
- Precision medicine;
- Healthcare operations and management; and
- Drug discovery and development.
4.0 EXPECTED OUTCOMES
It is expected that interventions of the projects will improve the utilization of emergent technologies in the above stated areas of health and agriculture sector of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Projects should also aim within their proposed duration to enhance the capacity of researchers and relevant sectors in the practicability of artificial intelligence.
5.0 FUNDING LEVEL
The budget limit for project activities in the proposal will be not more than the local equivalent of USD 45,000.00for the research team in Malawi and Zambia, while in Zimbabwe the budget limit for project activities will be USD 45,000.00. Budget modalities will include three separate budgets, one for each team representative of their respective countries. Collaborative research projects will be implemented for a period not exceeding nineteen months (19 months) from 1st October 2023 to 31st July, 2025. Permissible budget items include the following:
- Material costs, if they are directly linked to the research project, in particular material of enduring value, the cost of expendable items, field expenses, travel expenses or third party charges.
- Direct costs incurred through the use of research infrastructure linked to the research.
- Costs of organizing conferences and workshops in connection with the funded research.
- Costs of national and international cooperation and networking activities directly associated with the funded research.
The mode of application and submission of the full application package (i.e with all the required attachments) shall primarily be through the web-based online grants management system of both NCST at www.grants.ncst.mw; RCZ at https://rczgrants.org/ and NSTC at https://nstcms.nstc.org.zm/web/ . Application packages submitted via email will NOT be accepted under this Grant scheme.
Any enquiries from Malawi researchers should be directed to Mr Kondwani Gondwe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enquiries from Zimbabwe researchers should be sent to Ms Zolisa Gumede at email@example.com .Enquiries from Zambia should be sent to Atridah Mulonga on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call Closing Date: 28th August, 2023
For more details, download the full call details below.