By Our Reporter
The Ministry of Education Science and Technology has established a Research Scheme for young university researchers who are 40 years and below.
The ministry through National Research Fund (NRF) will give out grants to young researchers working in Kenya and willing to start or continue their research works in the country.
The scheme to be known as “Young Research Grants” allows the researchers to be funded for their research activities conducted in the country.
According to the Acting Chief Executive of NRF, Jemimah Onsare to be considered for the grants, one must be 40 years at the date of proposal submission, must have obtained a Post-graduate degree within the five years preceding proposal submission from internationally recognised institution, and more importantly, must have published at least three scientific papers in any of the most cited journals.
“We will also have Reintegration Grants which will be directed towards young Kenyan researchers who have obtained their PhD degrees from reputable international universities or research centres returning to continue their research career in Kenya. It will be a three-year fund that would allow the researchers to be re-integrated into Kenya Science Technology and Innovation community,” stated Onsare.
In order to apply for this grant, it is required that the Principal Investigator satisfies that the applicant is 50 years and below at the date of submitting the proposal; must have obtained a Post-graduate degree within the five years preceding proposal submission from an internationally recognised institution.
The applicant must have published at least three scientific papers in any of the most cited journals. For potential researchers in the diaspora they must demonstrate commitment to return to Kenya to further their careers while working within his/her institution.
There will also be “Basic and Applied Research Grants” which will be directed towards any Kenyan don or group of researchers at all ages and all disciplines who are willing to participate in an innovative, competitive and high quality research in Kenya.
“Any researcher or group of researchers in Kenya can apply for this grant, and the Principal Investigator of the research team shall hold at least a PhD degree,” said NRF boss.
The NRF Chief Executive said the function of the Fund is to mobilise resources for the Kenya National Innovation Agency from the Government, the private sector, venture capital, development partners and others sources.
“The NRF is to allocate funds for research and promote multi-disciplinary collaboration among universities and research institutions; provide financial support for participation in international scientific activities through maintaining membership to appropriate international scientific organisations; performing the monitoring and evaluation of the results and impact of the research activities financed out of the Fund,” explained Onsare.
Addressing Vice Chancellors, their deputies, heads of research institutions among other high ranking Ministry of Education officials during the launch of NRF Strategic Plan (2017/2022), the chairman of the Fund, Tirop Kosgey said the Plan outlines the priority programmes to be pursued in the next five years by the triple helix complex comprising the Government, Academia and the Industry to harness generation of knowledge through research and subsequent transformation of research outputs.
“This will lead to sustainable economic growth and realisation of the country’s ultimate goal. The Plan seeks to prioritise policies, programmes and projects that support the utilisation of research, technology and innovation to reduce poverty and inequality through effective funding,” said Mr Tirop at a function held at a Nairobi hotel.