1.0 Background

The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ), in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), invites research proposals aimed at addressing issues in electrical power generation, transmission, distribution, and battery manufacture. The proposals should seek innovative solutions to identified operational and developmental issues and thus improve reliability in the generation, transmission, distribution, and supply of modern energy and develop heritage-based knowledge in the research area. Note that RCZ and ZERA are gender inclusivity-sensitive institutions that support the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) Crosscutting Issues thematic area

2.0 Objectives of the Call

This Call is aimed at supporting research that contributes to:

i. Producing knowledge on practical and realistic solutions or technologies that are domestically and industrially implementable;

ii. Improving reliability in the production and delivery of electrical energy;

iii. Providing technologies to improve, measure, and verify energy storage; and

iv. Supporting human resources development in research in the identified and complementary areas.

v. Renewable Energy Systems Integration, Reliability in Energy Production/Delivery and Energy Efficiency.

vi. Energy Access, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and- economics of energy supply.

3.0 Research Areas

Proposals should address issues in energy as espoused in key thematic areas of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), National Energy Policy, Vision 2030, and the National Research Priorities. Research must be practical, usable and speak to the problems as well as opportunities for the country. The research to be within the context of energy in Zimbabwe this includes the following research areas:

i. Energy shortfall/load shedding impacts and costs;

ii. Transmission and Distribution Losses;

iii. Renewable energy and Energy Efficiency innovations;

iv. Electricity Infrastructure protection against vandalism and theft;

v. Improved reliability in the generation, transmission, and distribution;

vi. Customer service improvements;

vii. Energy Access improvements;

viii. Energy costs/energy economics;

ix. Energy storage;

x. Green Hydrogen;

xi. E-Mobility; and

xii. Biomass Energy

4.0 Eligibility

i. Funding is open, on a competitive basis, to Zimbabwean researchers in engineering, physical and social sciences, and any other academic disciplines, at local academic institutions, research institutions, or government research departments.

ii. Researchers from the private sector and non-profit organizations affiliated with a Zimbabwean approved public institute are also encouraged to apply.

iii. Consortia of the above, with one institution as lead applicant assuming responsibility and accountability, can also apply and may have a competitive advantage.

NB: Female researchers and early career researchers from all regions of the country are encouraged to apply.

5.0 Budget Limitation

Funding is provided as per research budget proposals, subject to verification of the transparency, rationality, and justifiability of the costing of the research processes and deliverables.

6.0 Processing of Proposals

i. The evaluation and selection of proposals will comprise verification of the proposal eligibility.
ii. Confidential peer review of the proposals by experts.
iii. Shortlisting of reviewed research proposals.
iv. Communication of results and funding decisions to applicants by end of 1st quarter 2023 (projects should commence by April 2023).
v. Engagement of selected researchers by RCZ and ZERA.

7.0 Submission

i. All documents (application form, full research proposal with budget and annexures) have as a single PDF file to rccc@rcz.ac.zw and copied to research@zera.co.zw with the subject “Renewable Energy Systems Integration, Reliability in Energy Production/Delivery and Energy Efficiency.”
ii. Applications should also complete the online application process on the RCZ website https://rczgrants.org/
iii. Approval from the host institution of affiliation is a prerequisite. Proposals without institutional approval will not be considered.

8.0 Submission Deadline

The deadline for submission of applications is 31 January 2023 by 1700hrs.

9.0 Disclaimer: RCZ’s decision on awarding is final.

10.0   Contact Information

  • For any queries or additional information, contact RCZ: 263-24-2304733, 2304787 cell 0712 954330/2

Or E-mail: mchikwanha@rcz.ac.zw; tmudzingwa@zera.co.zw