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Science for Africa Foundation Grant Funding Policies

Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) makes available relevant grant funding policies to applicants and grantees for compliance and guidance. .

SFA Foundation grant funding policies provide guidance for activities and costs as you write out your application. The policies should be read together with the SFA Foundation call for application or request for proposal that you are responding to.

SFA Foundation grant funding policies are a part of your award and should be read together with your grant terms and conditions and award letter. Any changes to grant funding policies shall be made available to you, and compliance to policy updates also becomes a term and condition of award.

Acceptance of Grant Policy

1.0 Purpose

To provide guidelines to individuals and institutions accepting approved grants from the Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation). Acceptance of a grant activates the grant.

2.0 Policy Statement

Individuals and institutions are free to accept or reject grants from SFA Foundation. This will require formal communication of acceptance or rejection of a grant notification.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 Accepting the grant
  1. The requirement is to formally accept the award notification through an authorised signatory signing the Grants Start Certificate, unless stated otherwise in the Award Letter or Contract. The Grant Start Certificate requires the institution to provide:
    • Formal acceptance of the grant conditions
    • Confirmation of actual start date
    • The time frame for accepting the grant.
  2. Authorized signatories are individuals of senior authority in the grant receiving institution such as the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academics, Provost, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Research or equivalent. See the SFA Foundation Policy on Undertaking for more details.
  3. The Grant Start Certificate duly executed shall be emailed back to the relevant Programme Manager.
  4. No payments may be made on a grant until the Grant Start Certificate is received. Generally, expenses incurred before the official start date shall not be considered.
3.2 Accepting the grant
  1. Normally, an executed Grants Start Certificate will be returned to SFA Foundation at most three (3) months after receipt of the Award Letter or Contract
  2. Grantees can also defer the grant start date for a maximum of six (6) months from the date of the Award Letter or Contract
  3. Should the grantee need to defer the grant start for a period exceeding six (6) months from the date of the Award Letter or Contract, this intention with justification should be formally communicated to the relevant Programme Manager for consideration.
3.3 Rejecting the grant
  1. Individuals and institutions rejecting SFA Foundation grants are required to send a formal notification of this intention to the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager.
  2. If no response is received from the prospective grantee six (6) months from the date of the Award Letter or Contract, the grant shall be considered rejected.
Related Policy: Policy on undertaking
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

End of Grant Report Policy

1.0 Purpose

This policy provides guidelines for the provision of grant information at the end of the grant period of grants funded by Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation. This information is useful to evaluate if the grant achieved its intended objectives.

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation requires an end of grant report to ensure that the research has been carried out in accordance with its remit and enables SFA Foundation to review the outputs and outcomes of recently completed research, assess the quality of the innovation or research undertaken and identify important questions raised. 2.1 Sanctions for Non-submission of End of Grant Reports
In cases where an end of grant report is not received within four months of the grant end date, the grantee responsible for the report is automatically barred from applying for further SFA Foundation funding until the outstanding report is received.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 Timing of the End of Grant Report
The end of grant report must be received within three months of the end date of the grant. For split administration grants, only one end of grant report is required.
3.2 10 per cent Retention at End of Grant
SFA Foundation will normally retain 10% of the Grant until:-
  1. An End of Grant Report and an End of Grant Spend Report have been completed and returned to SFA Foundation;
  2. Research papers supported in whole or in part by the grant have been confirmed to be compliant with the SFA Foundation’s Open Access policy, unless the SFA Foundation agrees otherwise.
The 10 per cent retention rule applies to all SFA Foundation grants unless otherwise specified in the grant letter.

3.2.1 Exclusions:
Grants for the personal support of SFA Foundation funded trainees and expenses associated with their personal support, shall be reimbursed as normal.
3.3 Split Administration Grants
For holders of split administration grants (i.e. where funds for the research are granted to two or more institutions) the following principles apply:
  1. Regardless of the number of split administration grantees, only one end of grant report is required.
  2. Where the components of the split administration grant are not co-terminous, the end of grant report should be submitted by the principal investigator whose work has the later end.
Related Policy: Grant terms & conditions and End of Grant policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Intellectual Property and Commercialization

1.0 Purpose

This policy exists to ensure that there is clear guidance and understanding among Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation and its partners, consultants, applicants and funded researchers on issues of intellectual property and commercial exploitation. SFA Foundation considers it desirable to encourage, where appropriate, scientifically productive relationships between SFA Foundation-funded researchers and commercial institutions, but also wishes to ensure that the intellectual integrity of its funded researchers and their freedom to carry out curiosity-driven research are not compromised by such relationships.

2.0 Policy Statement

Any entity (institution or individual) in receipt of funding from SFA Foundation must ensure that the terms of the agreement do not compromise its ability, or that of its staff, partners and consultants to adhere to the SFA Foundation conditions with respect to the use and/or publication of data/information coming out of the funding and intellectual property. This include but not limited to:-
  • Issues of ownership for IP generated during SFA Foundation funded projects;
  • Commercial exploitation and the role of SFA Foundation in supporting this process;
  • Co-ownership between SFA Foundation and SFA Foundation funded innovators/researchers.

3.0 Applicant Obligations

  1. The applicant must disclose proprietary information in their full application in order to provide the most comprehensive picture of their proposed research;
  2. Applicants should note that their proposals (and any supplementary information provided) will be made available to staff of SFA Foundation, referees and external advisers for the purposes of peer-review and due diligence.

3.1 Issues of ownership
  1. Commercial agreements may contain clauses which conflict with the SFA Foundation grant conditions, e.g. restricting the grant holder’s ability to publish;
  2. Material transfer agreements may give ownership rights to the provider over SFA Foundation- funded IP or restrict the grant holder’s ability to publish.


3.2 Issues of commercial exploitation
  1. SFA Foundation-funded research being used to further develop or exemplify a patent application, thereby adding to the value of the patent
  2. While eligibility may be a main issue in new applications, potential exploitation or breach of IP/exploitation may arise in previously awarded applications.


3.3 Issues of commercial exploitation
Co-ownership between SFA Foundation and SFA Foundation funded Innovators/ Researchers If a patent has been filed on the basis of SFA Foundation-funded research, then SFA Foundation should be informed, as it may be entitled to negotiate a revenue share. If the institution has no firm intention or plan to exploit, then SFA Foundation might be interested in taking it forward

3.4 Patents pending
Applicants will sometimes indicate that a patent connected with their research is pending, or that they intend to file a patent in relation to the proposed research. Such applicants must indicate, where they have not been clearly requested by SFA Foundation in the grant application that “Applicant wish to or is expected to file a patent in relation to the proposed research’’.

4.0 IP during the Awarding and Implementation Stages
  1. The Programme Manager should indicate to the Grants Officer all agreements concerning IP entered into with a potential grantee during the due diligence stage for inclusion in the award letter’
  2. Any financial expenses that may incurred in the process of developing an IP should have a corresponding budget set aside and held at the SFA Foundation secretariat, unless the grants’ sole purpose is for the development of an IP;
  3. The Programme Manager will continue to monitor potential for IP across the projects through scheduled project reports or unscheduled communication from the projects. Where budgets for the development of IP were not set aside at the beginning of the grant, additional funding or virement can be considered to cover allowable expenses related to IP development.
Related Policy: Grant terms & conditions and End of Grant policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Non-financial Research Misconduct

1.0 Purpose

This policy provides guidelines for handling non-financial research misconduct. For the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation, research misconduct is considered a breach of grant conditions and dishonest practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all SFA Foundation funded research and all proposals submitted for research funding.

3.0 Definitions

Non-financial research misconduct is the fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.

3.1 Exclusions
Research misconduct destroys the integrity or honesty of the research record. This sets it apart from other improper activities that may occur in research settings such as:-
  1. Honest error or differences of opinion;
  2. Authorship disputes unless they include plagiarism;
  3. Financial conflicts of interest;
  4. Misuse of grant funds.

4.0 ENFORCEMENT OF POLICY

This policy will be enforced and updated by the SFA Foundation Programme Manager.

5.0 POLICY STATEMENT

All persons taking part in SFA Foundation funded research must affirm and document compliance with the principles and standards outlined in this section and those specified in the statements of undertaking signed by the grant holder.

5.1 Research Misconduct
  1. ) Fabrication:
    Making up data or results and recording or reporting them. For example, using fake names and information to support scientific claims.
  2. ) Falsification:
    Manipulation of research materials, equipment or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research method.
  3. ) Plagiarism:
    The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit via full citation. This includes claiming undeserved authorship, excluding material contributors from co-authorship, including non-contributors and authors or submitting multi-author papers to authors without consensus of all named authors. Plagiarism does not include authorship or credit disputes.
  4. ) Misrepresentation:
    This includes misrepresentation of data, interests, qualifications and interests in the following two ways:-
    • Misrepresentation of data, such as by suppression of relevant findings, or knowingly, recklessly or by gross negligence presenting a flawed data interpretation;
    • Undisclosed duplication of publication, including duplicate submission of manuscripts for publication;
    • Misrepresentation of interests, including failure to declare material interests either of the researcher or of the research funders;
    • Misrepresentation of qualifications and/or experience, including claiming or implying qualifications or experience not held;
    • Misrepresentation of involvement, such as inappropriate claims to authorship and/or attribution of work where there has been no significant contribution, or the denial of authorship where an author has made a significant contribution.
  5. ) Breach of duty of care:
    1. Disclosing improperly the identity of individuals or groups involved in research without their consent, or any other breach of confidentiality;
    2. Placing any of those involved in research in danger, whether as subjects, participants or associated individuals, without their prior consent, and without appropriate safeguards even with consent (this includes reputational danger where that can be predicted);
    3. Not taking all reasonable care to ensure that the risks and dangers, the broad objectives and the sponsors of the research are known to participants or their legal representatives, and/or to ensure appropriate informed consent is obtained properly, explicitly and transparently;
    4. Not observing legal and reasonable ethical requirements or obligations of care for human or animal subjects, human organs or tissue used in research, or for the protection of the environment;
    5. Improper conduct in peer review of research proposals or results including manuscripts submitted for publication). This includes failure to disclose conflicts of interest; inadequate disclosure of clearly limited competence; misappropriation of the content; and breach of confidentiality or abuse of material provided in confidence for peer review purposes;
    6. Breach of any express or implied confidentiality provision including provisions relating to externally awarded funding or research involving external organisations.
  6. ) Failure to comply with ethical, legislative and regulatory requirements: Failure to meet ethical, legal and professional standards may also comprise failure to declare competing interests; misrepresentation of involvement or authorship; misrepresentation of interests; breach of confidentiality; lack of informed consent; misuse of personal data; and abuse of research subjects or materials.
  7. ) Improper dealing with allegations of misconduct includes: failure to address possible infringements, including attempts to cover up misconduct or reprisals against whistle-blowers; and/or Failure to deal appropriately with malicious allegations, which should be handled formally as breaches of good conduct.
5.2 Research Compliance
  1. ) Research involving human participants must be conducted in a manner that demonstrates, protects and preserves respect for persons, concern for the welfare of individuals, families and communities, and justice. Please refer to the SFA Foundation Policy on Humans in Research for more information;
  2. ) Research involving animals must be conducted in a manner that ensures their humane care and treatment. Please refer to the SFA Foundation Policy on Use of Animals in Medical and Veterinary Research for more information;
  3. ) Certain research endeavours, including but not limited to research with recombinant DNA, biohazards, and genetically modified organisms, may be subject to enhanced regulation and oversight.
5.3 Principles for Administrative Action

When handling reports on research misconduct, the following principles shall apply:-
  1. ) Ownership
    SFA Foundation will rely on the researcher's home institution to make the initial response to allegations of research misconduct and will usually refer allegations of research misconduct made directly to the SFA Foundation to the appropriate research institution. However, at any time, the SFA Foundation may proceed with its own inquiry or investigation. Circumstances in which SFA Foundation may elect not to defer to the research institution include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • SFA Foundation determines the institution is not prepared to handle the allegation in a manner consistent with this policy;
    • SFA Foundation’s involvement is needed to protect the public interest, including public health and safety;
    • The allegation involves an entity of sufficiently small size (or an individual) that it cannot reasonably conduct the investigation.
  2. ) Flexibility
    Every case is different, so the process is adaptable and has built into it, opportunities for consultation between SFA Foundation and the research’s home institution to agree on a course of action.
  3. ) Consistency
    This is important when deciding sanctions (which should be informed by precedent if any) and also when applying this procedure in proportion to the type of misconduct.
  4. ) Confidentiality
    Documents relating to a case should not be stored on insecure and/or external storage devices. The e-mailing of documentation should be avoided as far as possible. When e-mailing is unavoidable, recipients should be asked to delete the contents from their inboxes once all emails relating to a case are archived on a secure server.
  5. ) Speed
    It is important to act as quickly as possible in these cases, to minimise uncertainty and establish clarity.
  6. ) Communication
    Programme Management will identify who needs to be kept informed at an early stage of the process. This may or may not include the applicant/grant-holder and/or their institution, depending upon the circumstances.

6.0 PROCEDURE

A breach occurs if the grant holder/host institution fails to abide by the application procedures/grant conditions/undertakings or engages in research misconduct as outlined in section 5 above. Cases of research misconduct may not necessarily relate directly to SFA Foundation funded research: where an allegation of research misconduct is made against an SFA Foundation grant holder, this process applies. There is also a ‘miscellaneous’ category to be dealt with by this process: for example, where an applicant has acted inappropriately towards a member of SFA Foundation staff.

6.1 Research Misconduct Reporting

In order to make a research misconduct report, the following conditions should be in place:-
  1. ) There is a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community;
  2. ) The misconduct is committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly;
  3. ) The allegation can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
6.2 Reporting and Verification Process

6.2.1 Notification

The means by which SFA Foundation is notified of cases research misconduct varies and so the initial SFA Foundation contact must ensure that the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager is notified. The Programme Manager will monitor the case and ensure the following are notified:-
  1. The Director of Programmes;
  2. The Head of Finance and Grants;
  3. Legal and Compliance Officer.
6.2.2 Preliminary review

As soon as possible after notification, a meeting will be convened by the SFA Foundation Programme Manager to conduct a preliminary review of the case to determine:
  1. ) The facts as reported;
  2. ) The nature of the case: is it appropriate for it to be dealt with using this process?
  3. ) Which grants/applications are affected and what action, if any, should be taken in relation to them (normally applications should continue to be processed as normal and grants should be managed in the usual way pending the outcome of the investigation);
  4. ) Whether the grant holders’ host institution should be informed;
  5. ) The appropriate contact at the institution;
  6. ) Next steps, including:-
    • what further information is required and who should be asked for it, by whom;
    • contact with the institution (whether, who, about what);
    • contact with the awardee (whether, who, about what);
    • timescale and responsibility for identified actions.
It is at this stage that consideration should be given to whether the Head of Finance and Grants and the Legal and Compliance Officer should be further advised of/involved in the case (i.e. if it is possible that the case will involve legal action on either side; or if there are audit implications).

6.2.3 Investigation

It is generally an institution’s responsibility to investigate allegations of misconduct made against its staff and so investigations will usually be conducted by the institution, during which time the SFA Foundation should keep a watching brief. A member of SFA Foundation staff should be designated to act as a point of contact with the institution during the investigation.

In other, exceptional, cases of research misconduct the SFA Foundation may wish to undertake its own investigation into allegations that concern SFA Foundation-funded researchers. If so, the general process to be followed is outlined below:-
  1. ) The Programme Manager will co-ordinate the preliminary review of the case; any necessary investigation; and any actions taken as a result, including the imposition of sanctions;
  2. ) All of the above take place in consultation with the Director of Programmes and if necessary, legal advice will be sought;
  3. ) Confidentiality is maintained throughout the process and access to documents is restricted;
  4. ) The process of review and investigation is undertaken in a timely manner, with deadlines set at each stage of the process.
6.3 Outcome

An institution’s or SFA Foundation investigation will usually either conclude that there is no case to answer, in which case the respondent is deemed to be “innocent of all charges” and the status quo ante will prevail, or that there is a case to answer, in which case disciplinary action will be taken. Some respondents choose to resign at this point. Great care should be taken when reporting the outcome of such cases to avoid suggesting that the respondent has been “found guilty” of misconduct. It may be necessary to transfer a grant to a new PI, using the standard procedure.
6.4 Actions in conclusion
  1. ) Send a formal letter to the institution thanking them for keeping the SFA Foundation informed of events;
  2. ) Noting the outcome of the investigation/disciplinary proceedings;
  3. ) Confirming action taken by the SFA Foundation (e.g. removal of individual from grant records);
  4. ) Requesting any necessary action (e.g. submission of an End of Grant Spend Report);
  5. ) Amend and update grant holder details on the SFA Foundation Grant Management System (GMS);
  6. ) Make a note on the online record; referees’ database (otherwise known as ‘barring’);
  7. ) Remove any documentation relating to the case from insecure storage such as email inboxes or desktop files other than an explanatory note.
6.5 Appeals

There is no appeals process. However, consideration should be given to reporting the matter to the Executive Director/Executive Management level if appropriate.
6.6 Sanctions

The sanctions specified by the SFA Foundation “may include, but are not restricted to”:
  1. ) Appropriate steps to correct the research record;
  2. ) Letter of reprimand;
  3. ) Withdrawal of funding;
  4. ) Withdrawal or correction of pending or published abstracts and papers emanating from the research in question;
  5. ) Changes to the staffing of the particular project;
  6. ) Special monitoring of future work;
  7. ) Barring of the SFA Foundation-funded researcher from applying for SFA Foundation funds for a given period;
  8. ) Repayment of grant plus interest at the SFA Foundation’s discretion;
    • Discussion with the host institution on the implementation of appropriate disciplinary procedures.
The appropriate sanction should be agreed by Programme management with Programme management keeping records to assist with maintaining consistency. The timescale of the sanction should be specified.

6.7 Whistle Blowing

A whistle blower is an individual who makes an allegation or demonstrates an intent to make an allegation (or what is perceived to be an allegation) while a member of the institution at which the alleged scientific misconduct has occurred. A whistle blower who makes a report on SFA Foundation funded research and wishes to remain anonymous will be granted conditional anonymity unless there are overriding legal or investigatory requirement, upon which the whistle blower will be notified beforehand.
6.7.1 Grant Host Institution’s Duties to the Whistle Blower
  1. ) An individual or institution must not retaliate against any person making protected disclosures and should not engage in prohibited obstruction of investigations of research misconduct contrary to SFA Foundation Grants and Conditions;
  2. ) Institutions have a duty not to tolerate or engage in retaliation against good faith whistle blowers and hold accountable those who retaliate;
  3. ) Institutions have a duty to provide fair and objective procedures for examining and resolving complaints, disputes, and allegations of research misconduct. In cases of alleged retaliation that are not resolved through institutional intervention, whistle blowers should have an opportunity to defend themselves in a proceeding where they can present witnesses and confront those they charge with retaliation against them, except when they violate rules of confidentiality;
  4. ) Institutions have a duty to follow procedures that are not tainted by partiality arising from personal or institutional conflict of interest or other sources of bias;
  5. ) Institutions have a duty to elicit and evaluate fully and objectively information about concerns raised by whistle blowers;
  6. ) Institutions have a duty to handle cases involving alleged research misconduct as expeditiously as possible without compromising responsible resolutions;
  7. ) At the conclusion of the proceedings, institutions have a responsibility to credit promptly-in public and/or in private as appropriate those whose allegations are substantiated.
6.7.2 A Whistle Blower’s Responsibilities
  1. ) Whistle blowers and other witnesses to possible research misconduct have a responsibility to raise their concerns honourably and with foundation and avoid false statements and unlawful behaviour;
  2. ) Whistle blowers have a responsibility to participate honourably in such procedures by respecting the serious consequences for those they accuse of misconduct;
  3. ) Whistle blowers have a responsibility to act within legitimate institutional channels when raising concerns about integrity of research;
  4. ) Whistle blowers have a responsibility to facilitate expeditious resolution of cases by good faith participation in misconduct procedure.

Participant Travel and Expense Policy

1.0 Purpose

This policy is intended enable the stewardship of Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation resources while providing financial support for major travel-related expenses for persons invited to SFA Foundation sponsored events or meetings.

2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 Specific Participant Responsibilities

Participants are responsible for reading and understanding this policy before incurring expenses. Expenses not expressly covered in this policy are not eligible for reimbursement.

2.2 Expense Reimbursement

Expenses are not eligible for reimbursement if they are incurred because the participant chose to decline SFA Foundation provided meals, lodging, airfare, or ground transportation.

2.3 Travel Arrangements

The SFA Foundation events team will book and pay for all arrangements with the exception of travel that combines SFA Foundation and non-SFA Foundation business.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

  1. ) For eligible out-of-pocket expenses incurred while participating in an SFA Foundation sponsored event, the participant is solely responsible for promptly submitting their reimbursement claim and providing documentation to verify each expense;
  2. ) The expense claim should be submitted to the SFA Foundation Programme Manager within 30 days of the meeting. SFA Foundation will cover the cost of wire transfer but will not be responsible for costs charged by the receiving bank;
  3. ) Foreign currencies reimbursed in U.S. dollars will be exchanged using the Oanda exchange rate platform on the day the expense occurred or the actual transaction rate if supported by forex receipt;
  4. ) Receipts must provide proof of payment;
  5. ) When submitting an expense claim, these participants must completely and accurately provide the following information regarding the beneficiary’s bank: Name of bank, street address of bank, SWIFT/BIC code of bank, beneficiary’s account number (IBAN for beneficiary’s account name, desired reimbursement currency type;
  6. ) Air transportation: economy class is standard policy for all flights;
  7. ) Ground transportation:
    • Taxis, public transportation, and airport shuttles are reimbursable so long as they are supported by valid expense documentation. Fees incurred due to cancelations, delays, or missed appointments that can be attributed to the traveler’s negligence are not eligible for reimbursement;
    • Use of personal vehicle must be pre-authorized by the SFA Foundation events team, proper mileage must be determined by disclosing the location of origin, claim reimbursement will be calculated using mileage rate equivalent to Automobile Association (Kenya), or similar local agency. There will be no further liability on the part of SFA Foundation in the event of any accident or loss while the personal vehicle is used;
  8. ) Accommodation: all lodging must be arranged through SFA Foundation. In circumstances where SFA Foundation is unable to secure such reservations, an SFA Foundation representative will direct the participant to arrange their own accommodation within existing guidelines;
    • All other incidental expenses incurred, such as telephone, movies, mini bar, and laundry, are not eligible for reimbursement;
    • Accommodation expenses incurred for personal guests are not eligible for reimbursement;
    • Lodging for early or extended stays in conjunction with an SFA Foundation sponsored event or meeting are not eligible for reimbursement;
  9. ) Meals: SFA Foundation will strive to provide meals throughout the duration of the meeting or event. Expenses incurred because the participant chooses to decline an SFA Foundation provided meal are not eligible for reimbursement. Meals not provided at the meeting, such as en route to and from the location, are eligible for reimbursement within guidelines;
    • If the participant pays for a reimbursement-eligible meal that includes multiple diners, reimbursement maximums will be based on the total number of qualified SFA Foundation participants.
  10. ) Combining travel: If participants need to fly from or return to a different location other than the “home city”, the SFA Foundation events team will provide a benchmark quote, from home city to the meeting and return. If the participants requested travel need costs are equal or less than this benchmark, SFA Foundation will approve this exception. If the cost is greater than the benchmark, participants will cater for the additional cost.
  11. ) Travel related logistics: Transportation of personal guests and/or transportation in lieu of SFA Foundation arranged transportation is not eligible for reimbursement and must be arranged by the participant.
    • Participants are advised to take care of their travel insurance prior to travelling.
    • The participant is responsible for investigating applicable immigration rules and obtaining a passport and appropriate visas at own cost.
    • Reimbursement or cost allocation for visa costs shall be provided by SFA Foundation staff according to the specific requirement of each event.
    • All inoculations should be catered for by individuals. This is not eligible for reimbursement.
    • SFA Foundation does not reimburse or provide insurance for lost, stolen, or delayed baggage or to replace items affected by such incidents. Participants must work with the airline to locate items and/or file any necessary claims.
    • Fees from airlines that charge for the first checked bag are eligible for reimbursement. Fees from airlines to check bags beyond the first one or for other items, such as overweight baggage, are not eligible for reimbursement.

4.0 PROCEDURE FOR REIMBURSEMENT

  1. ) The participant should complete the reimbursement claim form within 30 days of the event;
  2. ) Attach the pre-trip quotation to the participant reimbursement claim form along with the boarding pass and original receipt and submit to the identified SFA Foundation representative;
  3. ) The amount eligible for reimbursement is equal to the lower of the following:
    • the price quotation received from the SFA Foundation events team;
    • the actual cost of the ticket (as stated on the receipt).
Note: The SFA Foundation do not reimburse the value of mileage or reward programs. Only the actual amount paid for the ticket when using such programs is eligible for reimbursement.
Related Policy: Extensions Involving Additional Costs and End of Grant Report
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Assets and Equipment

1.0 Purpose

During making awards and implementing Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation research programmes, SFA Foundation funds are used to procure research equipment and other assets in support of research projects implementation. This policy describes eligible costs related to research equipment and assets purchase, and how such equipment and assets will be handled during and at project completion.

2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 Eligible Costs

  1. ) Justified equipment items essential to the project;
  2. ) No restrictions on the amount or type of equipment, unless specified on the relevant scheme information;
  3. ) Equipment upgrades if essential to the project and the upgraded equipment will be used primarily for an SFA Foundation award;
  4. ) Leasing or maintenance if it is better value than buying the equipment, satisfies requirement needs and the host institution’s procurement policies and procurement department has approved this approach;
  5. ) Costs should cover all necessary items, including delivery, installation, training, maintenance and insurance;
  6. ) Discounted/negotiated prices, rather than list prices, should be quoted wherever possible;
  7. ) Costs of equipment for medical and veterinary research should be quoted inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT);
  8. ) In certain circumstances, a contribution may be required from the grantee institution and/or other sources.


2.2 Ineligible Costs

  1. ) Replacement of SFA Foundation funded equipment that has been stolen, damaged or destroyed during its useful lifetime.
2.3 Contributions from Grantee Institutions and Other Sources

  1. ) Applicants must provide details of all other sources of contributions to SFA Foundation;
  2. ) Contributions are not limited to cash and can include benefits in kind, such as refurbishment or the underwriting of a key support post;
  3. ) If a significant proportion of potential users of the equipment are not funded by SFA Foundation, SFA Foundation expects the grantee institution to obtain additional contributions from an alternative source. This should be in proportion to the amount of time it will be used for each purpose;
  4. ) Where contributions are from commercial sources:
    • SFA Foundation’s contribution towards the equipment cost should be proportionate to the amount of time it will be used for non-commercial academic research; and
    • no commercial conditions must be attached to SFA Foundation funded use of the equipment.
2.4 Equipment Maintenance

  1. ) SFA Foundation will provide maintenance costs for new equipment requested, normally in proportion to The SFA Foundation’s funding of that equipment;
  2. ) Maintenance costs for existing equipment over five years old (or that will become five years old during the lifespan of the grant), whether originally funded by SFA Foundation or another source, will be provided if the equipment is essential to the proposed research and it is cost effective to keep maintaining it;
  3. ) Maintenance charges may not be requested where there is a mechanism in place to recoup maintenance costs through access charges;
  4. ) Equipment should be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty for the first year after its purchase. For the remaining period of the grant, SFA Foundation will cover reasonable maintenance costs for assets purchased under the SFA Foundation grant;
2.5 Ownership, Permitted Use and Disposal

  1. ) Equipment funded by SFA Foundation is awarded to the grantee institution specifically for the grantee’s research; written permission must be obtained to use the equipment for any other purpose (including to charge, hire, lend or dispose of it) whilst the grant is active;
  2. ) Once the grant has ended, ownership of assets and equipment fully purchased by SFA Foundation shall be decided in writing by SFA Foundation. Under the circumstances where the ownership of asset or equipment is transferred to the grantee, SFA Foundation is at liberty to set conditions to the grantee organization on the use of the equipment;
  3. ) If the lead investigator moves to another institution within the same country during the award period, or within three years after end or termination of the award, SFA Foundation reserves the right to require that the equipment be transferred with him or her. This excludes Multi- user equipment items awarded specifically to provide departmental infrastructural support. These cannot be transferred from the grantee institution to which they were awarded. See the SFA Foundation Transfer of Grants and Equipment Policy for more details;
  4. ) Where a piece of equipment to be transferred was only partially funded by the SFA Foundation, the grant holder and the institutions concerned should come to an amicable arrangement acceptable to SFA Foundation;
  5. ) When a request is made by the grantee to sell equipment during the lifetime of a grant, the grantee should seek written approval from the SFA Foundation on the sale of the asset.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 Equipment Maintenance
  1. ) It is the responsibility of the grantee institution to maintain SFA Foundation-funded equipment whilst the grant is active.
3.2 Quotes and Procurement
  1. ) The grantee institution must comply with its procurement procedures to deliver value for money.
  2. ) Where the grantee institution has no policy guidelines for assets procurement, or where SFA Foundation through the due diligence process finds the existing policy inadequate to mitigate the risks for asset purchase, SFA Foundation shall provide procurement guidelines in the award letter.
Related Policy: Transfer of Grants & Equipment Policy and Policy on Materials and Consumables
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Bullying & Harassment

1.0 Purpose

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation considers bullying and harassment of any kind, in any context, to be unacceptable. We believe that all people working at SFA Foundation or involved in SFA Foundation-funded activities should be able to work in an environment where everyone is treated, and treats others, fairly and with respect.

2.0 Scope

This policy covers the scope set out in this section:-

2.1 Participants

We expect all participants involved in SFA Foundation funding to treat each other with dignity and respect. Participants include: applicants, grant-holders, co-investigators, sponsors and supervisors, research staff, students, fieldworkers, collaborators, consultants, sub-grantees and advisory committee members.

2.2 Exclusions

2.2.1 Reasonable management action

Which could be:
  1. ) setting reasonable performance goals, standards and deadlines
  2. ) rostering and allocating reasonable working hours
  3. ) failing to promote someone after a proper, documented selection process
  4. ) informing a worker that their performance is unsatisfactory, after following established performance management
  5. ) a restructure.
2.2.2 Workplace conflict

Workplace conflict is generally not considered to be workplace bullying. Not all conflict is negative, nor does it always pose a risk to health and safety. Conflict at a lo- level producing debate on tasks can lead to innovation. However, in some cases, conflict that is not properly managed may escalate to the point where it fits the criteria for workplace bullying. A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not bullying, although it may have the potential to escalate into bullying. Single incidents can still create a risk to health and safety.

3.0 DEFINITIONS

3.1 Bullying

A repeated, persistent unreasonable behaviour by one or more persons directed towards a person or a group of persons, that creates a risk to their health and safety. This can include offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour over time. Bullying can be verbal, physical or written.
  • behaviour includes actions of individuals or a group, and may involve using a system of work as a means of victimising, humiliating, undermining or threatening;
  • unreasonable behaviour means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten
  • risk to health and safety includes risk to the mental or physical health of the person.
Examples of bullying behaviour:
  1. ) abusive, insulting, rude, offensive language including use of raised voice, berating behaviour
  2. ) intimidating, hostile or threatening behaviour
  3. ) humiliating someone through sarcasm or insults
  4. ) undue criticism
  5. ) spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
  6. ) deliberately withholding or denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources that are necessary for effective work performance, resulting in detrimental effects to the worker
  7. ) setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
  8. ) improper treatment in relation to accessing workplace entitlements, such as leave or training.
3.2 Harassment

Unwelcomed or unreciprocated physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which makes a person feel intimidated, offended, or belittled. It may be persistent or a single incident.
Examples of harassment:
  1. ) physical contact or requests for sexual favours
  2. ) persistent following (stalking)
  3. ) suggestive looks implying a sexual interest
  4. ) persistent verbal abuse or threats
  5. ) persistently disrupting an individual’s work, work space, equipment or interfering with their personal property
  6. ) jokes, derogatory or dismissive comments
  7. ) gestures that are insulting or belittling
  8. ) circulating, displaying written or pictorial material that is offensive or belittling
3.3 Participant

Any applicant, person or third party working on the grant activities arising out of SFA funding.

4.0 POLICY STATEMENT

Any form of bullying and harassment will not be tolerated by SFA Foundation. These behaviours are disruptive to the well-being of participants on SFA Foundation funding and affect the performance and safety of everyone. Therefore, SFA Foundation is committed to the elimination of bullying, discrimination and harassment in institutions and persons involved in SFA Foundation funding and the implementation of strategies to prevent such behaviour from occurring.

5.0 GRANTEE OBLIGATIONS

  1. ) Should have a policy in place that clearly sets out:
    • the standards of behaviour it expects from staff
    • their procedure for responding to complaints, including a first point of contact.
    The policy should be available to all staff and ideally published on the institution’s intranet.
  2. ) Make sure there is an equivalent policy in place at any sub-awardee institution, if relevant.
  3. ) Investigate allegations of bullying and harassment in an impartial, fair and timely manner, and take appropriate action.
  4. ) Tell the SFA Foundation Director of Programmes in confidence, about any allegations of bullying or harassment that are upheld. This should happen after the full internal process is complete, ie after an appeal, if one is made. This applies to any employee at the institution who is associated with:
    • a grant application (either as a lead applicant, sponsor or supervisor)
    • an SFA Foundation grant (see our list of participants above)
    • an advisory committee.
    The information you provide should only include:
    • the name of the person against whom the allegation has been upheld
    • a brief factual statement about the nature of the allegation (eg bullying junior members of staff in a research group)
    • a brief factual statement on the outcome of the investigation, including any sanctions.
    The information you provide should not include any:
    • sensitive personal information, eg relating to criminal offences or convictions
    • personal information about other people, eg the person making the claim.
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Currency and Inflation

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines on how applications can be costed and how foreign currency (where applicable) and inflation issues managed. As the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation operates partnerships with different funding organisations, allowances for currency selection and inflation will be influenced by the policies of the funding partner and/or principles of the funding partnership agreed at the outset. This policy in its entirety is an internal document. Excerpts, where relevant and appropriate, may be shared on the SFA Foundation website.

2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 Currency Selection
  1. ) The preferred currency in applications and for payment of SFA Foundation grants to recipients is the US Dollar, due to its wide use internationally, unless stated otherwise;
  2. ) The grantee institution bears all risk associated with foreign currency fluctuations (exchange losses) between the award currency and the local currency and also between the local currency/award currency and the currency or currencies of project expenditure. Any foreign currency gain shall be disclosed to SFA Foundation;
  3. ) Applications can only be costed in any other currency if this has been stated in the funding call of the scheme. SFA Foundation will agree at the outset of each funding partnership, whether non-USD currencies can be accepted in application budgets for that particular scheme. This decision will depend on the availability of resources to manage foreign exchange risks. In this case the following would apply:
    • Applicant(s) must clearly state the rationale for selecting the chosen currency;
    • Where an application is successful, the award will be made in the currency specified, provided SFA Foundation is able to purchase the required currency. If SFA Foundation is unable to purchase the requested currency, discussions will be held with the administering organisation to decide on alternative arrangements;
  4. ) Once an award has been made, the currency in which the grant is administered may not be changed by the grant holder or administering organisation;
  5. ) If, during the application process, there are concerns that the preferred currency may not be readily available for purchase, organisations should contact SFA Foundation.
2.2 Inflation
  1. ) Unless stated otherwise in the funding call, applicants should include inflation in all costs. If an inflation estimate is used, applicants must describe the assumptions in developing the estimated inflation rate.
  2. ) Where stated that inflation costs should not be included, applicants must provide figures based on current known costs and not factor in an allowance for inflation into the costings.
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Extensions Involving Additional Costs

1.0 Purpose

To provide guidance for management of requests for grant extensions with additional costs.

2.0 Policy Statement

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation will only consider requests for grant extensions involving additional costs when all of these three conditions are fulfilled:-
  1. ) The end of the project period is approaching;
  2. ) There is a programmatic need to continue the research;
  3. ) There are funds within SFA Foundation to cover the extended effort.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

  1. ) Grant extension requests involving additional costs should be made at least four (4) months prior to the current end date of the grant to allow time for SFA Foundation to seek expert opinions on the proposal.
  2. ) The grantee must provide:
    • The reasons for requiring an extension, including a summary of work carried out to date and details of proposed future work;
    • Confirmation of the period of extension sought and the proposed revised end date;
    • Financial details including the actual spent-to-date and budget requested.
Overall, SFA Foundation approved extensions involving additional costs will not exceed 1 ½ years.
Related Policy: Extensions Involving No Cost Policy and End of Grant Report
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Extensions Involving No Cost

1.0 Purpose

To provide guidance for management of requests for grant extensions with no costs for the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation.

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation will only consider requests for grant extensions with no costs when all of these three conditions are fulfilled:-
  • The end of the project period is approaching;
  • There is a programmatic need to continue the research;
  • There are sufficient funds remaining to cover the extended effort.
Grantees should be cautioned not to make new commitments or incur new expenditures after the expiration date in anticipation of a no-cost extension.

3.0 TIME LIMITS

  1. ) SFA Foundation may authorise a one-time extension of the expiration date of the grant of up to 12 months if additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work within the funds already made available;
  2. ) SFA Foundation may recommend the extension of funding for certain research grants beyond the initial period for which the grant was granted, for a period of up to 18 months.

4.0 GRANTEE OBLIGATIONS

  1. ) The request must be submitted to SFA Foundation at least four (4) months prior to the expiration date of the grant. Grantees are not authorised to extend a grant that contains a zero balance;
  2. ) The request must explain the need for the extension and include an estimate of the unobligated funds remaining and a plan for their use. The plan must adhere to the previously approved objectives of the project;
  3. ) All requests for SFA Foundation-approved extensions must be submitted via the grants management system to the Programme Manager;
The grantee will be formally notified of the disposition of this request by the SFA Foundation Program Manager. If approved, the extension will be in the form of an amendment to the grant specifying a final expiration date.

Holders of a split administration grant (i.e. where funds for the project are granted to two or more institutions) must ensure that they notify both their co-grantees and their Research / Finance Offices if there is any proposed change to the end date of their component of the grant. This is important since the PI whose component of work has the later end date will be expected to submit the end of grant report for the whole grant, and the SFA Foundation 10 per cent retention rule will apply to that component. See the End of Grants Report Policy for more information about the SFA Foundation 10 per cent retention for split administration grants.
Related Policy: Extensions Involving Additional Costs and End of Grant Report
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Materials and Consumables

1.0 Purpose

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation recognises that successful science projects require materials and consumables to deliver on their proposed goals. SFA Foundation also appreciates that materials and consumables requested for will vary from project to project depending on the research questions. The purpose of this policy, therefore, is to ensure that science projects funded by SFA Foundation have got adequate materials and consumables to successfully deliver on their proposed goals.

2.0 Policy Statement

Consumable supplies must be safeguarded and managed in order to prevent excessive spending and loss.
  1. ) SFA Foundation will meet the directly incurred costs of materials and consumables required to carry out the proposed research, including:
    • Laboratory chemicals and materials (e.g. reagents, isotopes, peptides, enzymes, antibodies, gases, proteins, cell/tissue/bacterial culture, plasticware and glassware);
    • Materials needed for clinical studies and field work
    • Associated charges for shipping, delivery and freight.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

  1. ) Projected costs should be embedded within the submitted budget in the grant application as direct costs.
  2. ) Costing:-
    • All requests must be itemised and scientifically justified.
    • A breakdown of costs should be provided.
    • Costs should be quoted exclusive of VAT or other purchase taxes, unless zero-rating cannot be obtained.
Related Policy: Policy on Assets and Equipment
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Maternity, Paternity, Adoption & Sick Leave

1.0 Purpose

This policy provides the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation guidelines for management of absence from innovation and research careers necessitated by family commitments and health related matters.

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation will normally abide by the terms and conditions of the employing organisation regarding maternity/paternity/adoption leave and pay. In the absence of national and statutory guidelines, SFA Foundation will adopt the minimum requirements set out in the Employment Act of the grant holders host country.

2.1 Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Leave and Pay

The SFA Foundation will provide the actual costs incurred by the employing organisation in meeting the individual’s salary for the period he/she is on maternity/paternity/adoption leave, less any recoverable statutory pay as required by law. This policy applies to all SFA Foundation funded programmes, irrespective of whether the post held was approved in the original award letter or created from surplus funds, and irrespective of how close the period of maternity/paternity/adoption leave is to the end date of the grant. 2.2 Supplementation

Supplementation for maternity/paternity/adoption leave support is only provided once SFA Foundation receives confirmation from the employing organisation that the individual is returning to work. Refer to the SFA Foundation Supplements Policy for more details. 2.3 Extension of Grant Due to Family Commitments
  1. ) SFA Foundation will allow grants and studentships to be extended in time for the period equivalent to the maternity/paternity/adoption leave taken (normally up to 90 calendar days), if requested.
  2. ) This includes cases where individuals may be returning to work after the current end date of the grant. In cases where the individual is taking parental leave close to the end date of the grant, requests for no-cost extensions should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. See the SFA Foundation No-Cost Extensions Policy for further information.
2.4 Flexible Working
  1. ) Individuals may wish to return to work from maternity, paternity or adoption leave on a part-time basis. Provided the employing organisation agrees,the grant holder can request to push back the actual grant end date.
  2. ) Where additional research costs are requested, the grant will normally be supplemented for no more than a period equivalent to the length of time the grant holder was on leave, regardless of whether the individual is returning to work on a full-time or part-time basis.
See the SFA Foundation Flexible Working Policy for more details.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

  1. ) Grant holders should follow the terms and conditions of the employing institution when applying for maternity, paternity or adoption leave;
  2. ) The host institution will request for reimbursement of costs incurred as a result of maternity, paternity or adoption leave once they confirm that the individual is returning to work.

Policy on Recruitment and Relocation Costs

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide costs guidelines for recruiting all cadres of staff into Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation funded programmes. The policy seeks to ensure that suitably qualified human resources is recruited for the successful implementation of the SFA Foundation funded programme and that the costs are allowable, allocable and reasonable.

2.0 DEFINITIONS

Eligible employees:
Employees with 100% time share on an SFA Foundation funded programme. Recruitment costs:
Costs of “help wanted” advertising, operating costs of an employment office necessary to secure and maintain adequate staff, costs of operating an aptitude and educational testing program, travel costs of employees while engaged in recruiting personnel, travel costs of applicants for interviews for prospective employment, and relocation costs incurred incident to the recruitment of new employees. Relocation costs:
Costs incident to the permanent change of duty assignment (for an indefinite period or for a stated period of not less than 12 months) of an existing employee, or upon recruitment of a new employee.

3.0 POLICY STATEMENT

3.1 Recruitment and related costs
  1. ) SFA Foundation considers recruitment costs to be allowable on applications and grants if the position they are recruiting for is essential and allocable to the performance of the grant. Such costs are considered allocable when incurred solely to advance the research objective of the grant;
  2. ) Recruiting is considered necessary when there is a need for a specialized individual with unique skills and expertise in order to complete the scope of work of the project, and there are no available faculty or staff currently employed within the unit who could perform the same tasks;
  3. ) If the personnel being recruited will not be working on the sponsored project full time, only the proportionate amount of the recruiting costs should be allocated to the sponsored project.
3.1.1 Exemptions

Special salary payments, fringe benefits, and salary allowances incurred to attract professional personnel that do not meet the test of reasonableness, or do not conform to the grant holding institutions recruiting practices, are unallowable. 3.2 Relocation Costs

Relocation costs are allowable on grants, provided that all the following conditions apply:
  1. ) Relocation costs are within established organizational policies and consistently applied on all grants within the grant holding institution;
  2. ) The move is for the benefit of the employer;
  3. ) Reimbursement to the eligible employee is in accordance with an established written procedural statement consistently followed by the employer;
  4. ) The reimbursement does not exceed the eligible employee's actual expenses;
  5. ) Staff relocating will be tenured to the institution in the new location for a period equal to or exceeding one (1) year.
Allowable relocation costs for current employees or new hires are limited to the items listed below:
  1. ) The costs of transportation of the employee, members of his or her immediate family, and his or her household and personal effects to the new location;
  2. ) The costs of finding a new home, such as advance trips by employees and spouses to locate living quarters and temporary lodging during the transition period, up to maximum period of 30 calendar days.
3.2.1 Exemptions
  1. ) In situations of change of institution, the relocation expenses of the PI and others moving from the original grant holder to the new institution are not allowable charges to SFA Foundation grants;
  2. ) Fees and other costs associated with acquiring a new home;
  3. ) A loss on the sale of a former home;
  4. ) Continuing mortgage principal and interest payments on a home being sold;
  5. ) Income taxes paid by an employee related to reimbursed relocation costs.
3.3 Resignation or Termination of an Eligible Employee

If the newly hired employee resigns within 12 months after hire for reasons within his or her control, all associated relocation costs must be removed from the SFA Foundation grant and charged to the grant holding institution. If the employee is terminated by the unit within 12 months, relocation costs can still be charged to the SFA Foundation grant.

3.4 Overseas Relocation

If an existing employee, or a new hire, is being moved to an overseas location, costs associated with this type of move will not be considered relocation costs.

4.0 APPLICANT AND GRANTEE OBLIGATIONS

4.1 At Application
  1. ) Applicants may request recruitment and advertising costs for staff employed on a grant as direct cost. SFA Foundation will also allow requests for other recruitment costs, e.g. interview costs, relocation expenses, where it is the host institution’s policy to include these as part of the costs of recruitment, and they represent a directly incurred cost;
  2. ) The relocation cost should be identified in the proposal budget justification if possible and justified as to why it is necessary and allocable to the performance of the grant.
4.2 During Implementation

In the event that an unbudgeted recruitment and/or relocation cost is required after a grant is funded, PI/Institution should work directly with the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager and the SFA Foundation Grant Accountant to ensure that this cost is properly documented.
Related Policy: Visa and Work Permits Policy and Participants Travel Policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Scientific Citizenship & Diplomacy

1.0 Purpose

This policy is intended to support scientists to serve the best interests of the wider community within which they live and work by actively pursuing meaningful collaborations with other scientists, scientific institutions and the public or society as a means of making their work known and understood by society.

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation is committed to fruitful public engagement with the aim of raising awareness seek perspectives, understanding and appreciation of science among the public. Each scientific research proposal must develop a separate activity to place the work within a societal, historical and cultural context.

The role of science in the daily life of everyone must be considered when planning the research and a thorough plan on how the work will be communicated to non-scientists and even scientists who are not in that specific field developed. This could be in the form of documentaries, radio programmes, public lectures, drama, and other public events. The expectation is that those researchers who receive SFA Foundation funding or funding from local and global partners will help foster an informed public climate within which all sciences can flourish.

3.0 APPLICANT OBLIGATIONS

Applicants are required to provide an outline of their public engagement plans. The details should be captured into a separate Public Engagement Plan (PE Plan) template for that specific application.
Related Policy: Research Data Management, Sharing and Protection
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Supervision

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students recruited on Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation grants are provided with high-quality and reliable supervision including when supervisors move from their institutions. The policy further provides guidance on the role and responsibilities of supervisors involved the training of students, and SFA Foundation’ expectations on managing supervisors by individuals and institutions receiving SFA Foundation grants.

2.0 SUPERVISOR OBLIGATIONS

2.1 Broad Responsibilities of Supervisors

A supervisor has day-to-day interaction with the student and has immediate responsibility for the direction of the research. He or she is also primarily responsible for meeting the training needs of the student and, where the student is registered for a higher degree, the supervisor is normally the person recognised as the higher degree supervisor by the host institution.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 Supervisors

SFA Foundation grantees, working through relevant programme governance structures, have the responsibility to appoint qualified and competent supervisors for all recruited fellows on their grants.

3.2 Number of Supervisors

PI’s are required to issue appointment letters clearly stating their roles, responsibilities and expectations of the degree awarding institutions. The number of supervisors per SFA Foundation funded student should not exceed three unless justification for consideration is provided.

3.3 Appointments and Replacements of Supervisors on SFA Foundation Grants
  • The supervisor is required to have a position or guaranteed tenure in his or her post for the duration of the grant and the institution must be able to guarantee continued supervision of the student should the supervisor leave or be unable to act;
  • The Principle Investigator (PI) must also be in a position either to take over the supervision directly or undertake to identify another supervisor suitable and willing to take over the training of the fellow/student within two months of supervisor departure;
  • Departing supervisors should produce a status report of their supervision activities clearly stating what has been achieved, what still requires to be achieved.
3.4 Progress Monitoring and Reporting

SFA Foundation grantees are required to develop and implement systems for tracking and monitoring the supervision of SFA Foundation students.

3.5 Supervisor’s Salaries

Supervisors on SFA Foundation grants should be paid by their current employer, either grant holding institution or degree awarding institution, and not through the SFA Foundation grant.
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Tobacco Funded Research

1.0 Purpose

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation is a pan-African non-profit organisation created to support, strengthen, and promote science and innovation in Africa. However, there is overwhelming evidence that products of the tobacco industry, and both active and passive smoking, are injurious to health. Therefore, collaborating or receiving funds from the tobacco industry for research purposes or funding tobacco related research is contrary to SFA Foundation’s mandate.

2.0 Policy Statement

  1. ) SFA Foundation and its grantees will not accept research funds from the tobacco industry;
  2. ) SFA Foundation does not consider applications for funding from researchers applying for, holding, or employed under a research grant from the tobacco industry;
  3. ) SFA Foundation research grant holders should not seek nor accept internship opportunities with the tobacco industry;
  4. ) SFA Foundation grant holders should not seek research collaborations with the tobacco industry.
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Travel, Subsistence and Visa Costs

1.0 Purpose

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation policy on travel, subsistence and visa costs defines the conditions and rates that can be used for the payment or reimbursement of costs incurred by applicants, grant holders and staff employed on grants, to compensate them for expenses incurred in the performance of their work while away from their usual place of residence either locally or abroad.

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation will support claims or reimbursement for travel related costs when all the conditions set out below are met:-
  1. ) The travel is necessary to fulfil the research objective of the project and it directly benefits the project being charged;
  2. ) The cost for travel is reasonable and represents prudent use of the sponsor’s funds;
  3. ) There is a clearly defined relationship between the traveller and how he/she supports the work of the project that is provided in the travel documentation. If the traveller receives salary from the project, that provides sufficient documentation of the relationship.
All travel funded by an SFA Foundation grant should be approved and authorised according to the grant holding institutions’ policies and procedures before costs are incurred. Examples of travel on SFA Foundation grants may include visits to collaborators or for collaborators to visit the grantee. Grant holders and staff employed on the grant may also be eligible to claim or request for travel related costs if they are working away from their employing organisation, either within the same country or overseas.

3.0 APPLICANTS AND GRANTEES OBLIGATIONS

  1. ) Travel, subsistence and visa costs should be identified in the proposal budget justification if possible and justified as to why it is necessary and allocable to the performance of the grant.
  2. ) SFA Foundation will cover essential associated costs (e.g. travel to attend appointments at a visa application centre or embassy) and these costs may be requested in applications for grant funding.
  3. ) If visa and work permit costs were not requested in the grant application, for example, because the post-holder was unnamed at the time, existing funds within the grant should be used to cover these costs where possible. If such funds are not available, requests to supplement the grant will be considered.
3.1 Allowable Travel Related Costs
  1. ) Airfare at economy class;
  2. ) Standard class by train or sea;
  3. ) Taxi hire and any other form of connecting travel;
  4. ) Lodging;
  5. ) Meals;
  6. ) Travel visa.
3.2 Exclusions
  1. ) Per diem;
  2. ) Passport fees;
  3. ) Fees to expedite visa applications;
  4. ) Immigration visas;
  5. ) Personal incidental expenses.
3.3 Special Considerations

3.3.1 Business-Class Airfare

This is unallowable except for travellers whose medical needs require these accommodations. These situations are analysed by the SFA Foundation on a case-by-case basis.

3.3.2 Travel Costs for Dependents

Grantees breastfeeding children under the nine (9) months will be allowed to travel with their infants and one (1) nanny with prior arrangements. The accompanying nanny should be over the age of 21 years (not a minor). SFA Foundation grants should only cater for travel related costs for the nanny, and not wages or salary.

3.3.3 Visa Costs for Grantees Partner and Dependents

Visa costs for the researcher’s partner and dependants can also be covered under the following conditions:-
  1. ) The SFA Foundation funded researcher has a valid work permit in a foreign country for a duration exceeding 12 months;
  2. ) The researcher’s partner and dependents hold valid travel documents and are not barred from international travel by their home countries;
  3. ) The SFA Foundation funded researcher requests in writing for partner and dependent visa cost support to the SFA Foundation Programme Manager.

4.0 PROCEDURE

4.1 Travel Costs
  1. ) Travellers should use the recommended service for booking travel in their institutions and in accordance with approved procurement procedures;
  2. ) Travellers are welcome to upgrade from standard fare at their own expense (or use of personal reward miles) but the SFA Foundation grant can only cover the cost of the standard fare;
  3. ) Travellers will pay for the cost of travel insurance as per their institutions policy from the SFA Foundation grant.
4.2 Subsistence Costs

4.2.1 Working away up to one month

Individuals working away for up to one month may request a daily allowance for living expenses. The daily allowance should be costed according to the administering organisation’s normal subsistence rates. Where the administering organisation does not have a subsistence policy, SFA Foundation guidance in (Annex-1) should be referred to.

4.2.2 Working away up to 2 - 12 months
  1. ) Individuals working away for more than one month and up to 12 months may request reasonable rental costs, including apartments. The applicant should discuss appropriate rates with their administering and host organisations, or SFA Foundation, as appropriate. We expect applicants to choose the most economical options, booked in advance where possible. SFA Foundation will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishments;
  2. ) If the applicant receives a salary from an organisation in a low- or middle-income country and will be working in a high-income country for more than one month and up to 12 months, they can also ask for up to $20 a day to cover extra costs, such as transport and incidentals.
4.2.3 Working away more than 12 months
  1. ) Applicants working away for more than 12 months may request housing costs. The applicant should discuss their housing needs with the administering organisation and host organisation;
  2. ) SFA Foundation will cover the direct expenses the individual has to pay to find and rent a home. SFA Foundation will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishment.
4.3 Visa Costs
  1. ) The traveller should seek information concerning visa requirements in the country of destination and comply;
  2. ) Where needed, the respective Programme Manager at SFA Foundation shall issue a letter or support for purposes of visa application or renewal for the SFA Foundation funded grantee.
4.4 Accounting for Travel Related Costs

Travellers should account for travel advances or support claims for reimbursement according to institutional procedure, and with reference to SFA Foundation provisions in the award letter, grant terms and conditions and this policy and the Participant Travel and Expense Policy.

4.5 Breach of Policy

Any attempt to claim expenses in breach of the SFA Foundation Travel and Subsistence Costs Policy or to assist another work colleague to breach it will be considered as fraud.
Related Policy: Participants Travel Policy and Recruitment and Relocation Policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Undertakings

1.0 Purpose

To ensure that applicants and co-applicants for the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation grants and their respective institutional authorities are aware of their expected roles and responsibilities as applicants and as potential grantees. An understanding of such roles and responsibilities at the application stage and at the project start and implementation stage is important for the effective and efficient processing of SFA Foundation grants applications and for the effective and efficient management of funded programmes.

2.0 Policy Statement

It is the SFA Foundation policy that applicants and co-applicants for SFA Foundation grants are required to give undertakings with respect to submission of applications. Furthermore, it is SFA Foundation Policy that institutional authorities in the institutions where the grant project or programme will be carried out accept institutional responsibility and oversight in the overall management of the grant.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 Undertakings for Applicants

In order to submit an application to SFA Foundation, the applicants and co-applicants must confirm the following:
  1. ) That they have read and understood the Data Protection and Privacy Statement.
  2. ) The information in the application is accurate and complete
  3. ) The grant conditions have been read and are acceptable
  4. ) The necessary facilities will be made available to conduct the research, and will continue to be available for the duration of the SFA Foundation grant
The following institutional authorities or their equivalents must sign the application form before submission to SFA Foundation:
  1. ) The Dean of Faculty and the Head of the department where the work will be carried out in the Applicants’ and Co-Applicants’ institutions and the Directors or equivalent in all other institutions that are not Universities.
  2. ) The Director of Finance/Finance Officer in the Applicant’s and co-applicant’s institutions
3.2 Undertakings for Grants

Individuals and institutions accepting SFA Foundation grants are required to formally accept these grants through an authorised signatory signing the Grants Start Certificate, unless stated otherwise in the Award Letter or Contract

3.3 Undertakings for Transfer of Grants

If a grant is transferred to a new institution, the undertakings must be signed by all relevant parties. If a grant is transferred to a new principal investigator at the same institution, the new principal investigator must sign the undertakings.
Related Policy: Acceptance of Grant Policy, Transfer Policy, Data Protection & Privacy Policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Policy on Work Permits Costs

1.0 Purpose

In recognition of the fact that work permits, and their costs could act as a potential barrier to the recruitment and retention of talented innovators and researchers, this policy provides guidelines for the treatment of such costs

2.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation allows, work permit and essential associated costs for researchers on SFA Foundation grants to facilitate the successful implementation of the grant. It is the responsibility of the individual and their employing institution to ensure that the relevant work permits are obtained.

2.1 Work Permit Costs

SFA Foundation will cover work permit and associated costs for grantees where necessary for the successful implementation of the grant. Work permit costs could be requested in applications or paid from existing funds within a grant.

2.2 Letter in support of a work permit application and renewal

Where needed, the respective Programme Manager at SFA Foundation shall issue a letter or support for purposes of work permit application or renewal for the SFA Foundation funded innovator or researcher.

2.3 Budgets for work permit application and renewal

If work permit costs were not requested in the grant application, for example, because the post-holder was unnamed at the time, existing funds within the grant should be used to cover these costs where possible. If such funds are not available, requests to supplement the grant will be considered.
Related Policy: Extensions Involving Additional Costs and End of Grant Report
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Supplements Policy

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to cater for the exceptional circumstances in which supplemental funding by SFA Foundation. In most cases, individuals and institutions holding grants from SFA Foundation are expected to manage their funds within the award and not need extra funds.

2.0 Policy Statement

Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation expects its grant holders to manage their grant within the funding awarded. But in unusual circumstances, small amounts of supplemental funding may be requested to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work. SFA Foundation will only consider supplementing grants in the following circumstances: 2.1 Maternity/paternity/adoption leave

To meet additional costs resulting from maternity / paternity / adoption leave and sick leave;
  1. ) SFA Foundation will normally abide by the terms and conditions of the grant holders employing institution regarding maternity/paternity/adoption leave and sick leave and pay;
  2. ) SFA Foundation will provide the actual costs incurred by the employing institution in meeting the individual’s salary for the period they are on leave;
  3. ) SFA Foundation will also consider requests for supplements to cover the direct research costs (such as research staff and expenses) incurred due to the grant holder taking maternity / paternity / adoption leave and sick leave;
  4. ) Supplementation for maternity/paternity/adoption leave support is only provided once SFA Foundation receives confirmation from the employing institution that the individual is returning to work;
  5. ) Funds will be paid during the period of sick leave, if claims are submitted. These may be used to continue to pay the individual (in accordance with the terms and conditions of the employing institution), and/or to fund a replacement.
2.2 Increases to Students’ Salaries

The increase to student salary may arise from promotions, regrading or career breaks.

2.3 Personal Allowances for SFA Foundation-funded Researcher

Where SFA Foundation-funded researcher is working overseas, personal allowances associated with the post (e.g. personal freight costs, medical insurance, housing, etc.) may also be supplemented. Refer to the SFA Foundation Policy on Recruitment and Relocation Costs.

2.4 Inflation

SFA Foundation will consider supplementation where local inflation rates over the duration of the grant have increased the actual costs of the research to the extent that funding provided via the inflation allowance is not sufficient to meet actual costs.

2.5 Severe Currency Depreciation

In the event of severe currency depreciation against locally awarded currency over the duration of the grant; where the research activities would be jeopardized. 2.6 Open access publishing costs

To meet the open access charges levied by publishers who support the open access model. Refer to the SFA Foundation Open Access Policy for more details.

2.7 Unforeseen Circumstances

For example, a laboratory burning down, flooding, increased animal house charges, prolonged civil strife affecting work programmes, or other compelling circumstances as carefully evaluated by the SFA Foundation programmes team. 2.8 Exclusions

SFA Foundation will not provide supplementary funding when the actual costs of employing staff are more than the salary budget.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 General Procedure
  1. ) Requests for supplemental funding support should be submitted to the SFA Foundation Programme Manager at least two months prior to the need for the additional funds and must be adequately justified.
  2. ) A request for a supplement may also be admitted via email on MS Outlook or the SFA Foundation Grants Management System. Both the grant holder and institutional legal representatives are required to sign the supplemental funding request.
  3. ) A supplement request must include the following:
    • A summary of the proposed work and progress to-date;
    • A justification of the need for the supplemental funds; and statement of the research activities that would not be accomplished if request is denied.
    • An up-to-date spend report highlighting areas in need of supplementary funds.
3.2 Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Sick leave requests

The grant holder should submit:
  1. ) A description of their plans, including a justification for the additional costs required;
  2. ) Research costings, using the costs pages from the relevant application form;
  3. ) Extract of the maternity/paternity/adoption/sick leave provisions of the employing institution.
3.2.1 SFA Foundation Funded Researchers
  1. ) Supplementation for maternity, paternity, adoption and sick leave support is only provided once the SFA Foundation receives notification of start of leave and confirmation from the employing institution when the affected individual is returning to work;
  2. ) For all grant holders, irrespective of whether SFA Foundation pays their salary, we will consider requests for supplements to cover additional direct research costs (such as research staff and expenses) that may be incurred due to the grant holder taking maternity, paternity, adoption or sick leave.
3.2.2 SFA Foundation Funded Students
  1. ) To ensure that students do not lose research time as a result of taking maternity, paternity of sick leave, the end date of studentships are extended in time for the period equivalent to the leave taken. However, such period may not exceed 52 weeks;
3.2.3 Individuals (other than research fellows) employed on SFA Foundation Studentship

In the case of individuals employed on SFA Foundation fellowships who are taking maternity/paternity/adoption/sick leave pay leave, SFA Foundation’s normal policy with regard to supplementation of grants for such leave pay will apply.

3.3 Requests arising from unforeseen/exceptional circumstances

For any other unforeseen/exceptional circumstances (excluding open access, maternity/sick leave supplements), the grant holder must first consult the SFA Foundation Programme Manager assigned to the award before submitting a request for a supplement, and before the awarded grant expires.

Termination of Grant Policy

1.0 Purpose

In certain instances, a project may be terminated prior to the original expiration date. This policy gives guidance on how a grant can be terminated before the close out date indicated on the grant holders Award Letter.

2.0 Policy Statement

A need for the termination of a grant, in whole or in part, at any time prior to its expiration may arise, and various scenarios and conditions shall apply.
  1. If a grant is terminated, the grant holder shall refund SFA Foundation such portion of the grant that has been received, but not utilised.
  2. If the grant holder completes the project without spending the full amount of the grant, the grant shall be closed out and grant holder shall repay all unspent sums to SFA Foundation, and SFA Foundation shall not be obliged to make any further payments in respect of the grant.
Possible reasons for early termination include:
  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) has expended all of the awarded funding in compliance with the award terms and conditions and has submitted all project deliverables.
  2. The PI is leaving the host institution and the project will not be transferred or assigned a new PI.
  3. SFA Foundation has requested an early termination.

3.0 Grantee Obligations

3.1 General
  1. In the event of early termination, all required reports (e.g., financial, technical, property and patent), must still be provided to the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager.
  2. SFA Foundation grant holders must maintain records of all financial disclosures and of all programme activities for at least three years beyond the termination or completion of the grant to which they relate, or until the resolution of any SFA Foundation action involving those records, whichever is longer.
3.2 General
  1. In the event of early termination, all required reports (e.g., financial, technical, property and patent), must still be provided to the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager.
  2. SFA Foundation grant holders must maintain records of all financial disclosures and of all programme activities for at least three years beyond the termination or completion of the grant to which they relate, or until the resolution of any SFA Foundation action involving those records, whichever is longer.
3.3 Termination by an SFA Foundation Funded Student Where an SFA Foundation funded student wishes to terminate his or her research early, it may be possible for the research to continue by converting the studentship to a research grant.
3.4 Termination by SFA Foundation A grant may also be terminated by SFA Foundation in whole or in part when:
  • The grant holder has materially failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant;
  • SFA Foundation has other reasonable cause(s);
  • There is research misconduct
  • SFA Foundation and the grant holder by mutual agreement, agree to do so.
SFA Foundation reserves the right to terminate a grant at any time with set out reasons in writing within a reasonable timeframe. This is however in very exceptional circumstances and the advice of a review committee shall be sought before any grant is terminated this way.
3.5 Financially terminating a grant Grants on which expenditure has been incurred are to be financially terminated. Grants on which no expenditure has been incurred are to be withdrawn.
Related Policy: Grant terms & conditions and End of Grant policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Transfer of Grant and Equipment Policy

1.0 Purpose

Occasionally a grant holder may change departments or institution and would like to take their grant with them. This document describes the procedures associated with the transfer of Principal Investigators (PIs), grants and equipment between institutions, and the responsibilities of those involved with the transfer.

2.0 Policy Statement

Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) prior approval is required for the transfer of legal and administrative responsibility for an SFA Foundation grant-supported project, activity or equipment from one legal entity to another before the expiration date of the approved project period. Provided there is no scientific or other reason as to why the transfer should not happen, SFA Foundation would normally agree, in principle, to requests for transfer. SFA Foundation grant holders are expected to make full disclosure of any impending transfers and work within the confines of this policy.

3.0 Procedure

3.1 Transfer of a grant to a new institution
Should a grant holder move to an eligible institution, and there are scientific or other reasons to support the transfer to the new institution, the following information is required:
  1. Written agreement to the transfer from the head of the department in which the grant was originally held; and
  2. Undertakings page (from the relevant application form) signed by the new head of department.
3.1.1 Original host institution obligations
When a grant holder plans to leave an institution during the course of a grant, the grant holder or the host institution, shall notify the SFA Foundation. The host institution must request that the grant be terminated and closed out. The request should include:
  1. A brief summary of progress to date;
  2. Signed relevant SFA Foundation undertakings form;
  3. A description of work yet to be accomplished;
  4. Actual spend to date
  5. A budget broken down into cost categories for the transfer amount and any outstanding continuing grant increments.
3.1.2 Researchers remaining at the original institution
Where a grant is transferring with the grant holder, but researchers funded on the grant wish to remain at the original host institution, the grant holder would need to:-
  • Provide, in writing, details of how the individual(s) and the work to be carried out by them would be supervised.
  • Provide evidence that the institutions involved would agree to the arrangement.
3.1.3 Transfer of Funds
The transfer amount would be determined by the amount remaining after actual spend by the current institution is deducted from the award total.
3.2 Transfer of grants to a new grant holder at the same institution
Consideration may be given to transferring the grant holder status to an eligible co- grant holder in the following circumstances:
  • Should a grant holder move to an ineligible institution, the individual may not take the grant with them.
  • When the grant holder leaves the institution and there are scientific or other reasons for the grant to remain at the institution.
3.2.1 Notification of Transfer
Formal notification of the impending transfer can be initiated by either the grant holder or the grant holder’s institution and include:
  • A brief summary of progress to date;
  • CV of the new grant holder
  • Signed SFA Foundation Undertakings
  • A description of work yet to be accomplished;
  • Actual Spend to date
  • A budget broken down into cost categories for the transfer amount and any outstanding continuing grant increments.
3.3 Transfer of grants between departments within the same institution
A grant is allowed to be transferred from one department to another provided the host institution for the grant remains the same. The following information is required:
  • Written agreement to the transfer from the head of the department in which the grant was originally held; and
  • Undertakings page (from the relevant application form) signed by the new head of department.
3.4 Transfer of Equipment
  1. Should the individual move to another Low and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) institution during the tenure of the award (or within three years of termination of the award) and wishes to take the equipment with him or her, the SFA Foundation reserves the right to require that the equipment be transferred after discussion
  2. Where the grant holder intends to move to a High-Income Country (HIC) setting, transfer of equipment will not be allowed unless there is exceptional scientific rationale.
  3. Equipment purchased with SFA Foundation funds for use in a specific project should remain available for use for the duration of the project.
  4. Grant holders who are in the midst of projects that included funding for equipment and who will continue the project at a new institution with SFA Foundation support should be able to arrange with their original institution to have the equipment transferred with them.
Requests for transfer of equipment to a new institution should be approved by the SFA Foundation Programme Manager in collaboration with the SFA Foundation Director of Programmes.
3.5 Supplementation
The SFA Foundation does not provide supplementary funds to cover any additional costs that may be incurred as a result of relocating to a new institution (e.g. removal costs, location enhancement allowances). Such costs should be met from within the grant.
3.6 Bridging support
In cases where funds are required for salaries etc, and there may be some delay before the original institution can submit its End of Grant Spend Report, bridging support can be provided to the new institution out of existing funds. Bridging support can only be provided where there are sufficient funds available. A formal award letter must be issued.
Related Policy: Policy on Undertaking and Acceptance of Grants
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Data Protection and Privacy

1.0 Purpose

This policy elaborates Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation’s) obligations to protect the personal information of all those who provide it to SFA Foundation, and to ensure that all records that come into the possession of SFA Foundation in the performance of its duties and responsibilities are properly collected, securely protected, confidentially managed and not made accessible to any third party without following due process or getting the consent of parties involved.

2.0 Definition

Data protection is the process of protecting data and involves the relationship between the collection and dissemination of data and technology, the public perception and expectation of privacy and the political and legal underpinnings surrounding that data. It aims to strike a balance between individual privacy rights while still allowing data to be used for business purposes.

3.0 Policy Statement

SFA Foundation will ensure that personal data is gathered legally and under strict conditions, and those who collect and manage it protect it from misuse and exploitation, as well as respect the rights of data owners.

3.1 Type of information collected
SFA Foundation may collect and store personal information from all who access any of SFA Foundation’s websites and/or register and/or create an account/have an account created on any of the SFA Foundation corporate systems, including, IP address, location, name(s), email address(es), personal address(es), business address(es), personal identification documents, and phone number(s).
3.2 Use of personal information
SFA Foundation will use the personal information collected by it for the following purposes:
  1. ) To process and review applications made on SFA Foundation website/online system by external parties;
  2. ) To correspond with data owners who may be applicants, experts, consultants and partners;
  3. ) To conduct due diligence activities which may include identity verification, anti- terrorism, anti- corruption, legal personality, economic sanctions and financial checks;
  4. ) To provide ongoing service to applicants, experts, consultants, partners and other relevant organizations and individuals;
  5. ) To inform applicants, experts, consultants and partners about any relevant SFA Foundation news and information, or any relevant news or information of SFA Foundation’s partners or affiliates, including future Requests for Proposals or any other related information;
  6. ) For other purposes related to the mandate of SFA Foundation.
3.3 Use of Cookies
SFA Foundation will not use cookies to profile site users. However, cookies will be connected with site users in order to permit better and easier use of the site, for transmission of orders and for statistical purposes.

3.4 Disclosure of Personal Information
Under no circumstances will personal information collected, be communicated or disseminated to third parties, unless this is necessary to carry out the services on any SFA Foundation website and the SFA Foundation grants management system. In the normal course of business, SFA Foundation may disclose some personal information to partners, service providers and suppliers. SFA Foundation discloses personal information to the following third parties:
  1. ) Funding Partners
  2. ) Third party contractors, consultants and experts
  3. ) Legal purposes
3.5 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Rights
SFA Foundation will enable these rights for all users whose personal information is held in corporate systems:-
  1. ) Right to Access: Users can access most of the data SFA Foundation holds through their portal on the SFA Foundation grants management system, or any other corporate system in use. If users would like a complete report on what personal information SFA Foundation holds, they should write to the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager.
  2. ) Right to Rectification: SFA Foundation will strive to keep records accurate. If users would like to modify an inaccurate record, in most cases they can edit the data themselves through their portals.
  3. ) Right to Data Portability: If users would like a copy of their personal data to transfer to a new system, they should email [email protected]
  4. ) Right to Object: Users can object to SFA Foundation processing their data in certain circumstances. They should email [email protected] with more information about their request and reason for objecting.
  5. ) Right to Restrict Use: Uses can request that SFA Foundation restrict the processing of their data in certain circumstances.
  6. ) Right to Erasure: Users can request that SFA Foundation delete their data in some circumstances. They should email [email protected] with more information about their request.
With respect to the processing of personal data, users of SFA Foundation systems will be entitled to do the following, either from the controller or from the processor:
  1. ) Obtain a confirmation as to whether or not personal information relating to them has been collected, and whether such information is being used and/or disclosed to third parties;
  2. ) Request the deletion of (i) personal information which was collected, used or disclosed unlawfully, and (ii) personal information which was being collected but is no longer necessary for the purposes it was collected;
  3. ) Request updating, rectification or, where applicable, completion of personal information;
  4. ) Request a statement confirming that the operations requested above were performed.
All inquiries pertaining to Data Protection and Privacy should be directed to the relevant SFA Foundation Programme Manager.
Retention periods vary depending on the category of data. In every case, data will be kept for as long as necessary to fulfill the originally intended purpose.

For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Flexible Working Policy

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide flexible working arrangements for Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) funded researchers and students who have taken leave but continue to face challenges related to the reason for taking leave after the expiration of the statutory leave period. As a result of such challenges, they are unable to fully return to their research careers. In recognition of the long-term nature of such challenges, SFA Foundation provides flexible work arrangements to enable such SFA Foundation funded researchers an opportunity to continue work on their research programmes.

2.0 Definition

A continuous choice on behalf of employers, employees or both, regarding the amount (chronometry) and the temporal distribution (chronology) of working hours.

3.0 Policy Statement

It is SFA Foundation policy that SFA Foundation funded researchers and students who experience enduring long-term challenges are given flexible working and career breaks options to enable them to continue their research careers. 3.1 Flexible Working
Individuals may wish to return to work from maternity, paternity or adoption leave on a part-time basis. Provided the employing organisation agrees, the SFA Foundation would normally have no objections to such an arrangement. The grant holder can request to put back the actual grant end date.

Where additional research costs are requested, the grant will normally be supplemented for no more than a period equivalent to the length of time the grant holder was on leave, regardless of whether the individual is returning to work on a full-time or part-time basis.

In the case of individuals employed on SFA Foundation studentships, the SFA Foundation will not extend the individual’s appointment beyond the end date of the student’s salary.
3.2 Career Breaks and Eligibility
Where applicants have taken formal maternity, paternity or adoption leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), the SFA Foundation will allow an additional six months for each period of parental leave when assessing eligibility. Each case will be considered individually, and the employing institution may need to confirm that the applicant qualifies for this provision. See the SFA Foundation Maternity /Paternity/ Adoption/ Sick Leave and Pay policy for more details.
3.3 Interruption of Research
Grants may be put into abeyance if work on the research project is interrupted for reasons besides sick leave or maternity/other parental leave. Each request will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
3.4 Reducing Working Hours
Provided the employing institution agrees, individuals funded on grants may reduce their working hours. The grant end date will not be automatically extended if a (non-student) post holder revises their hours of work - the grant holder should request postponement of the grant end date, if required.
3.5 Studentship
SFA Foundation student may reduce their working hours, provided the supervisor/SFA Foundation agree. The length of the studentship should be extended as appropriate, e.g. a three-year studentship at 50% time would extend to six years. A three (3) months’ notice in writing is required to be submitted to the SFA Foundation Programme Managers by the student for approval.
Related Policy: Policy on Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Sick Leave
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Grant Terms and Conditions

1.0 Purpose

These Conditions, together with the Award Letter, set out the terms and conditions under which a grant is made by the Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation).

2.0 Policy Statement

The grantee must ensure that the participants and others supported by the grant are made aware of and comply with these Conditions and the Award Letter.

3.0 Breach of Terms and Conditions

A breach of terms and conditions occurs if the grantee fails to meet any of them. Further, a breach may occur due to any of the following events:-
  1. ) The grantee uses the grant for anything other than the Project;
  2. ) The grantee does not carry out the Project with reasonable care, thoroughness, competence and to a standard that would be expected for their level of experience, profession or line of work;
  3. ) The grantee does not complete the Project on time;
  4. ) The grantee has supplied SFA Foundation with any information that is wrong or misleading, either by mistake or because they are trying to mislead SFA Foundation;
  5. ) The grantee is declared bankrupt or become insolvent, any order is made, or resolution is passed, for the grantee to go into administration, be wound up or dissolved; an administrator or other receiver, manager, liquidator, trustee or similar officer is appointed over all or a considerable amount of their assets; or they enter into or propose any arrangement with the people they owe money to;
  6. ) The grantee acts illegally or negligently at any time in a way that significantly affects the Project or is likely to harm the reputation of the grantee and SFA Foundation; SFA Foundation deems that the grant is unlikely to fulfil the purpose for which it was made

4.0 Sanctions

Following a breach of the Terms and Conditions, SFA Foundation may in its absolute discretion:
  1. ) Require the grantee to pay back all or part of the grant (regardless of how much they may have already spent);
  2. ) Stop any future payments;
  3. ) Take any of these actions in connection with any other grant that grantee may have with SFA Foundation;
  4. ) End the grant agreement immediately. Refer to the SFA Foundation Termination of Grants policy for more details on the Conditions and procedure for terminating a grant.
Related Policy: Acceptance of Grant Policy and Termination of Grant Policy
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Cost Guidelines

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of these guidelines is to define allowable costs and disallowable costs. As a general principal cost charged to the Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation), whether direct or indirect, should be actual costs attributable to the activity being funded by the grant (or a reasonable approximation thereof).

2.0 Definition

Allowable Costs
A cost incurred by a recipient that is: (1) reasonable for the performance of the award; (2) allocable; (3) determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Direct Costs
Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.

Disallowed Costs
Costs that are not allowable and allocable.

Indirect Costs
  1. ) Overhead expenses or ongoing operational costs incurred by the applicant organization on behalf of the organization’s activities and projects, but that are not easily identified with any specific project;
  2. ) Administrative or other expenses which are not directly allocable to an activity or project;
  3. ) Expenses related to general operations of an organization that are shared among projects and/or functions;
  4. ) Basic examples include executive oversight, existing facilities costs, accounting, grants management, legal expenses, utilities, and technology support.
To further aid the interpretation of Indirect Costs, SFA Foundation has established examples for the use of our grantees and prospective grantees, which are included in List of Indirect Costs

3.0 Procedure

3.1 Transfer of a grant to a new institution
Should a grant holder move to an eligible institution, and there are scientific or other reasons to support the transfer to the new institution, the following information is required:
  1. Written agreement to the transfer from the head of the department in which the grant was originally held; and
  2. Undertakings page (from the relevant application form) signed by the new head of department.
3.1.1 Original host institution obligations
When a grant holder plans to leave an institution during the course of a grant, the grant holder or the host institution, shall notify the SFA Foundation. The host institution must request that the grant be terminated and closed out. The request should include:
  1. A brief summary of progress to date;
  2. Signed relevant SFA Foundation undertakings form;
  3. A description of work yet to be accomplished;
  4. Actual spend to date
  5. A budget broken down into cost categories for the transfer amount and any outstanding continuing grant increments.
3.1.2 Researchers remaining at the original institution
Where a grant is transferring with the grant holder, but researchers funded on the grant wish to remain at the original host institution, the grant holder would need to:-
  • Provide, in writing, details of how the individual(s) and the work to be carried out by them would be supervised.
  • Provide evidence that the institutions involved would agree to the arrangement.
3.1.3 Transfer of Funds
The transfer amount would be determined by the amount remaining after actual spend by the current institution is deducted from the award total.
3.2 Transfer of grants to a new grant holder at the same institution
Consideration may be given to transferring the grant holder status to an eligible co- grant holder in the following circumstances:
  • Should a grant holder move to an ineligible institution, the individual may not take the grant with them.
  • When the grant holder leaves the institution and there are scientific or other reasons for the grant to remain at the institution.
3.2.1 Notification of Transfer
Formal notification of the impending transfer can be initiated by either the grant holder or the grant holder’s institution and include:
  • A brief summary of progress to date;
  • CV of the new grant holder
  • Signed SFA Foundation Undertakings
  • A description of work yet to be accomplished;
  • Actual Spend to date
  • A budget broken down into cost categories for the transfer amount and any outstanding continuing grant increments.
3.3 Transfer of grants between departments within the same institution
A grant is allowed to be transferred from one department to another provided the host institution for the grant remains the same. The following information is required:
  • Written agreement to the transfer from the head of the department in which the grant was originally held; and
  • Undertakings page (from the relevant application form) signed by the new head of department.
3.4 Transfer of Equipment
  1. Should the individual move to another Low and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) institution during the tenure of the award (or within three years of termination of the award) and wishes to take the equipment with him or her, the SFA Foundation reserves the right to require that the equipment be transferred after discussion
  2. Where the grant holder intends to move to a High-Income Country (HIC) setting, transfer of equipment will not be allowed unless there is exceptional scientific rationale.
  3. Equipment purchased with SFA Foundation funds for use in a specific project should remain available for use for the duration of the project.
  4. Grant holders who are in the midst of projects that included funding for equipment and who will continue the project at a new institution with SFA Foundation support should be able to arrange with their original institution to have the equipment transferred with them.
Requests for transfer of equipment to a new institution should be approved by the SFA Foundation Programme Manager in collaboration with the SFA Foundation Director of Programmes.
3.5 Supplementation
The SFA Foundation does not provide supplementary funds to cover any additional costs that may be incurred as a result of relocating to a new institution (e.g. removal costs, location enhancement allowances). Such costs should be met from within the grant.
3.6 Bridging support
In cases where funds are required for salaries etc, and there may be some delay before the original institution can submit its End of Grant Spend Report, bridging support can be provided to the new institution out of existing funds. Bridging support can only be provided where there are sufficient funds available. A formal award letter must be issued.
Related Policy: Policy on Undertaking and Acceptance of Grants
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]

Open Access Publishing

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation), those whom it funds and its sponsors, to ensure that all research and associated data are made freely available to others, and to ensure that research resulting from SFA Foundation funding is optimised for the benefit of those who produce it — not for its monetisation by the publisher — and for the greater advancement of science.

2.0 Definitions

Open Access (OA)
Refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books. OA content is open to all immediately upon publication, with no access fees.
Research Data
The recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings.
Research Findings
The principal output of a research project.

3.0 Policy Statement

3.1 General Statement
The intention of SFA Foundation is to ensure that the research it sponsors is made available for others to reproduce, extend, refute, confirm, etc., to ensure maximum impact of SFA Foundation’s investment. Maximising the distribution of research data and research findings, by providing free, immediate online access, is the most effective way of ensuring that the research can be shared, read and built upon.
3.2 Budgetary Provisions
SFA Foundation supports open and unrestricted access to the published output of its funded innovations and research. To do so, SFA Foundation will provide grant holders with a budget allocation for Article Processing Charges (APCs) for publishing work Open Access with the following constraints:
  1. ) APCs not to exceed US$2,500 per full research article and each data deposition respectively;
  2. ) Publication must meet the standard of “Gold Open Access”, i.e., immediate access with zero embargo, authors retain all rights under a license that meets or exceeds the standard of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), all data upon which research claims are made are also made fully available/searchable/minable and there is a robust archival function that assures persistent availability of the full research output;
  3. ) Publication must not be in a predatory journal or platform. A journal or platform is considered non-predatory if it is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) AND/OR is indexed in PubMed or other global indexes, AND/OR has a demonstrable record of rigorous peer review (before or after publication), transparent pricing and a reputable, confirmable editorial or advisory board of relevant experts.
SFA Foundation is opposed to the limitation of scientists and technologists to access recent research findings, as well as reference materials and databases, by requiring subscription for access.
3.3 Open Research Africa (ORA)
Open Research Africa (ORA), serviced by F1000, is the publishing platform sponsored by the SFA Foundation. It offers SFA Foundation-affiliated researchers the opportunity to publish their work immediately, with transparent peer review on a platform that is fully and immediately accessible and accepts varied research outputs. Those eligible for submission of work to ORA include any researcher or student who receives or has received funding from the SFA Foundation, SFA Foundation Fellows, SFA Foundation Affiliates, SFA Foundation professional staff or any researcher affiliated with an ORA partner organization. The APCs for these SFA Foundation-associated authors will be paid by SFA Foundation through the mechanisms in 6.3 below.
Further, authors associated with ORA “Gateway Partners” also qualify to publish on Open Research Africa under the terms established between the Partner organisation and F1000. SFA Foundation does not provide funds for or facilitate payment of the APCs of these authors.
Open Research Africa publishes submissions, after ethical and technical checks, prior to peer review. Once the research passes peer review, it is indexed on PubMed, Google Scholar, SCOPUS and all other major indexes.
Outputs that are eligible for submission to ORA include traditional research articles, methods, datasets, case reports, null findings and/or any output that can be subjected to critical review by peers.

4.0 Grant Holder Obligations

4.1 Research Data from SFA Foundation-funded Innovators and Researchers
  1. ) Open access to research data resulting from SFA Foundation funding must be available in an easy, accelerated, user-friendly format that is Internet-based;
  2. ) Data access arrangements should respect the legal rights and legitimate interests of all stakeholders. SFA Foundation acknowledges that access to, and use of, certain research data may be limited by various types of legal requirements;
  3. ) Institutional arrangements for the management of research data must be based on relevant professional standards and values embodied in the codes of conduct of the scientific communities involved;
  4. ) The value and utility of research data depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the data itself. SFA Foundation grantees should pay particular attention to ensuring compliance with explicit quality standards.
4.2 Research Findings from SFA Foundation-funded Innovators and Researchers
  1. ) Must maximise opportunities to make their results available for free through open access publishing;
  2. ) Must ensure that electronic copies of any research outputs that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or platform and are supported in whole or in part by the SFA Foundation are made available in perpetuity through relevant and suitable repositories immediately upon publication; this requirement applies to all grants regardless of award date;
  3. ) Must license research papers using the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY) such that research outputs may be freely copied and available for re-use (for example, for text and data-mining purposes), provided that such uses are fully attributed; this applies in all cases where an APC is paid by the SFA Foundation. The requirement to publish under a CC-BY licence only applies to research articles.
Related Policy: Policy on Undertaking and Acceptance of Grants
For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]