INTRODUCTION

The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) is mandated to register foreign researchers in terms of section 27 of the Research Act [Chapter 10:22]. A foreign researcher is a non-Zimbabwean national and any person wishing to conduct research in Zimbabwe on behalf of a foreign institution, foreign organisation or other foreign person. This includes:

  1. Any foreign student intending to conduct primary research while enrolled in a course of study in the country. Primary research is a new study, carried out to answer specific issues or questions. It involves the researcher going out into the field to collect data through questionnaires, surveys or interviews with individuals or small groups; and
  2. Any foreign student intending to conduct primary research when they are in Zimbabwe for a study tour or any other reason.

Any foreign student not engaged in a course of study at a Zimbabwean Institution of Higher Learning should apply for a research registration certificate before entry into Zimbabwe for purposes of the research. Granting of a research registration certificate does not in any way absolve the researcher from the requirements of the Department of Immigration and Control in Zimbabwe.

INSTITUTION OF AFFILIATION

Any foreign student not enrolled in a course of study, but who intends to do research in Zimbabwe must be affiliated with an approved institution. A list of approved institutions of affiliation can be downloaded from the downloads section of this website.

ETHICAL CLEARANCE

Any research that involves a human being(s) as a research participant(s) (e.g. clinical investigations, drugs, socio-behavioural studies, biological studies involving human organs or specimen) should satisfy the ethical standards and any other applicable internationally recognised ethics guidelines. A letter of ethical clearance from the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (MRCZ) must be attached to the application.

ACCESS TO AND EXCHANGE/ TRANSFER OF MATERIALS FOR RESEARCH

Any experimental tests, analyses and investigational procedures on biospecimens and/or materials should be undertaken within Zimbabwe. However, where it is proven that no capacity for a particular test, analysis and investigation of a bio-specimen and/or material exists in Zimbabwe, or where exchange is needed for quality assurance purposes, the researcher wishing to transfer or export samples abroad for research purposes shall be required to obtain approval from RCZ to export the biospecimens and/or materials that researcher intends to export. The applicant shall complete a Specimen Transfer Agreement (STA) form and/or a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) form signed by the researcher and the recipient institution abroad.

RESEARCH IN PROTECTED AREAS

Foreign students intending to conduct research in protected areas (e.g. wildlife and forest reserves or other conservation sites) are required to obtain approval from the responsible authority prior to submitting their research registration applications to RCZ for consideration.

APPLICATION RULES

  1. Any foreign student intending to conduct research in Zimbabwe is required to apply for a research registration certificate from the RCZ. Such an application must be made and approved before commencement of the research.
  2. Any foreign student should seek prior approval of the research topic from the institution at which they are studying or institution of affiliation which forwards the application to RCZ.
  3. Any foreign student involved in research is required to pay a non-refundable application fee of US$500.00 or as determined by the RCZ from time to time.
  4. Any foreign student must clearly state the purpose of their intended research on their application forms failing which the application may not be approved.
  5. An application to conduct research in a specific field should first be taken to the respective sector research council or authority. Approval by the relevant research council or authority is a prerequisite for consideration of the application by RCZ. Other authorities may include the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and National Biotechnology Authority (NBA). For example, research in the medical field and that which involves human participants should be sent to the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (MRCZ), P.O. Box CY 573, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe (email: mrcz@mrcz.org.zw). Clearance by the MRCZ is a prerequisite for RCZ consideration of the application.
  6. RCZ is open for inquiries, queries and submissions by foreign researchers and their representatives on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 0930hrs – 1230hrs.
  7. Inquiries and queries related to foreign researchers can be sent via email to frc(at)rcz.ac.zw.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  1. Thirteen copies of the application package should be submitted in thirteen flat files to The Executive Director, Research Council of Zimbabwe. The application package includes thirteen completed application forms, Form No. RA1 Section 26 A and thirteen comprehensive research proposals. All RCZ forms may be downloaded from the downloads section on this website.
  2. Thirteen copies of the completed Specimens Transfer Agreement (STA) form should be submitted if the application involves biological specimen shipment.
  3. Thirteen copies of the completed Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) form should be submitted if the application involves shipment of non-biological specimens.
  4. The applicant must attach letters of support from institutions he/she may wish to consult with during the course of the research (thirteen copies of each).
  5. The applicant must provide verifiable evidence of adequate funds to cater for his/her research needs.
  6. The applicant must pay directly to the RCZ, a non-refundable application fee which is currently pegged at US$500.00.
  7. The Research Registration Certificate is issued out to the institute at which the applicant is studying for onward transmission to the researcher.
  8. The foreign student is required to submit a detailed report to the RCZ and the National Archives within one year of completing the research.
  9. The Research Registration Certificate is issued for a continuous period of one year. After the expiration date, the research may only continue upon renewal of the research permit.

RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION

  1. Any application for extension of a Research Registration Certificate must be accompanied by a brief progress report of the research.
  2. The renewal of registration form (Form RA2) should be completed by the foreign student applying for renewal of their research registration certificate.
  3. Copies of the application package in flat files that include the renewal registration form, progress report and proof of payment of the renewal of registration fees (US $500.00) to the RCZ, not later than one month before the expiration date.
  4. Only four packages of the renewal submission in flat files may be submitted if the application does not involve shipment of specimen.
  5. Thirteen packages of the renewal submission in flat files should be submitted if the application involves shipment of specimen.

Further information is obtainable from:

The Executive Director, Research Council of Zimbabwe, Box CY 294, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Tel: + (263) 4 304787, 304733, 304861

Cell: + (263) 712954332, +263712954330

Email: frc(at)rcz.ac.zw