1.0 Background
Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) and the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) under Phase Two (2) of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) are pleased to announce the launch of the joint Call inviting Research Proposals with potential to provide evidence-based solutions to challenges common to both Botswana and Zimbabwe in the Mining Sector. Specifically, invited research proposals should focus on Value Addition and Beneficiation of Resource Extraction and Transformation. Value addition and beneficiation is expected to bring socio-economic benefits such as employment creation in the mining value chain and growth in minerals export value which will translate to increased tax returns for Botswana and Zimbabwe.

This joint Call for Research Proposals is a realisation of the bilateral scientific collaboration between BIH and RCZ that will allow selected joint research teams from Botswana and Zimbabwe to benefit from the SGCI funding programme. The SGCI aims to design and implement joint research projects involving researchers affiliated to recognized public or private universities, research institutions or science councils in Botswana and Zimbabwe. The Initiative is jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

2.0 Objectives of the Joint Call
The major objective of this call is to facilitate implementation of at least two (2) collaborative research projects in Mining/Mineral Technology by Botswana and Zimbabwean researchers affiliated to recognised public or private universities, research institutions or science councils in both countries. Specific objectives of the call are:
1. To identify and find technological and scientific solutions in emerging technologies for value addition and beneficiation of mineral resources in Botswana and Zimbabwe;
2. To contribute to research capacity building development in both Botswana and Zimbabwe;
3. To enhance collaboration between Botswana and Zimbabwean researchers and research institutions;
4. To exchange scientific and technological information and documentation, teaching and learning materials arising from cooperation and provide an opportunity for researchers in the two countries to engage in common subject matters of interest.

3.0 Priority Areas of Research
The BIH-RCZ joint Call for Research Proposals presents an opportunity for researchers in Botswana and Zimbabwe to implement demand-driven research projects with potential to proffer solutions for challenges negatively impacting the mining sector. The SGCI, BIH and RCZ will therefore, co-fund demand-driven, collaborative research projects implemented to spur socio-economic transformation anchored on the mining sectors of the two countries. Research proposals submitted under this call may include, but not limited to the following research areas:
• Value addition and beneficiation within Botswana and Zimbabwe mining sectors;
• Promoting linkages between mining and other productive sectors of Botswana and Zimbabwe economies;
• Creating downstream capabilities to foster Botswana and Zimbabwe competitiveness.

4.0 Expected Outcomes
It is envisaged that interventions of the collaborative research projects will provide commercially viable solutions that have socio-economic benefits leading to creation of downstream employment opportunities. The research projects should also enhance creation of a competitive environment to stimulate private sector investment in minerals development. Capacity building of researchers from Botswana and Zimbabwe, particularly strengthening women participation in the mining sector will be prioritised. Ultimately, collaborative research projects should provide policy recommendations for holistic beneficiation and value addition strategies for Botswana and Zimbabwe.

5.0 Funding Level
The budget limit for project activities in the collaborative research proposal will be not more than BWP 500 000 for the research team in Botswana and budget limit for project activities for the research team in Zimbabwe will be USD30 000. This means that a budget for one joint proposal will have two components: Budget for project activities for the research team in Botswana and a budget for project activities for the research team in Zimbabwe. Collaborative research projects will be implemented for a period not exceeding twenty-four (24) months. Permissible budget items include the following:
• Materials costs, if they are directly linked to the research project, in particular material of enduring value, the cost of expendable items, field expenses, travel expenses or third-party charges.
• Direct costs incurred through the use of research infrastructure linked to the research.
• Costs of organising conferences and workshops in connection with the funded research.
• Costs of national and international cooperation and networking activities directly associated with the funded research.
Note: Salaries of applicants are not eligible costs.

6.0 Who can apply?
The research partnership must involve researchers or research groups from Botswana and Zimbabwe with two Principal Investigators (PIs), one representing each country. Both PIs must present a joint research project and be researchers in the field of Mining/Mineral Technology or related fields. The PIs will bear the overall responsibility for the funded research projects, including technical and administrative co-ordination as well as the timely submission of scientific and financial reports to BIH and RCZ. The PIs must be affiliated to recognised public or private universities, research institutions or science councils.

Research proposals must be submitted in conjunction with the formal support letters from parent or host institutions. Proposals without institutional approval through support letters will not be considered. Candidates from each country must find their own partners in the other country.

7.0 General Writing Guidelines
BIH and RCZ particularly encourage collaborative research projects across institutions, disciplines and individuals. The following should be taken into consideration.
i) Proposals should be well presented meeting known scientific and commercialisation potential criteria.
ii) The management structure should be well defined as well as a clear sustainability plan.
iii) Applicants should “make the case”, i.e. to explain the steps that led to the proposed research concept and focus.
iv) Demonstrate the strategic value of the research to Botswana and Zimbabwe and the Region.
v) Demonstrate commercialisation potential, research capacity building and a description of how gender and diversity will be included in the implementation of proposed projects.
vi) Budget should not be inflated and/or expenses should be adequately justified.
vii) Applicants should declare originality of their work and sign off to confirm ownership.

8.0 How to Apply and Submit
The application procedure is two-phased where researchers are expected to submit full research proposals only after approval of Concept Notes. Researchers should leave more detailed project information for inclusion in the full research proposal. In the Concept Note which should be between 2-3 pages, researchers will basically present the problem or challenges the project will focus on, describe the project objectives and intended beneficiaries, briefly highlight expected outcomes, describe the type of activities that are planned within the project and state the estimated funding requested from both BIH and RCZ.
Phase 1: involves the submission of a Concept Note to BIH and RCZ by Botswana and Zimbabwe Principal Investigators indicating envisaged research activities to be undertaken. The Concept Note will be reviewed by BIH and RCZ to evaluate the feasibility of the project and alignment with priorities. Research Projects that are selected to proceed to Phase 2 will be jointly approved by BIH and RCZ.

Phase 2: will be a closed call for Full Research Proposals (Not exceeding 15 pages, and be submitted in both PDF, using 1.5 spacing and font size 12 Times New Roman) on projects for which the Concept Notes have been approved by the BIH and RCZ. Botswana and Zimbabwean research teams will be invited to submit full research proposals on the BIH and RCZ Online Submission Systems.

• Concept Notes and Full Research Proposals should be submitted electronically to BIH E-portal with a copy to

Note: Applicants are to send their Company details (Company Name, Email Contact and Company Representative) to for E-portal Registration

Concept Notes and Full Research Proposals should be submitted electronically to and a copy to at RCZ with the subject heading: “Full Proposal in Mineral Technologies Research” clearly specified.

All proposals must be submitted in the prescribed template and will be reviewed based on their quality and merit. A full proposal template is downloadable on and on

9.0 Important Timelines and Deadlines
• Application period commences on the 3rd of September 2020.
• The deadline for submission of Concept Notes is Thursday, 15 October 2020 at 1700 hours GMT +2
• Evaluation of Concept Notes: 16th October 2020 to 23rd October 2020
• Deliberation / proclamation of results: 27th October 2020
• Deadline for submission of Full Research Proposals: 10th November 2020 at 17.00 GMT+2.
• Evaluation of Research Proposals: 11th November 2020 to 30th November 2020
• Deliberation / proclamation of results: 11th December 2020
• Award notification to the winners: 31st December 2020
• Signing of contracts: 15th January 2021
• Funded research projects will be implemented over a period of two years until November 2022.

10.0 Contact Information
Any enquiries from Botswana researchers should be directed to while enquiries from Zimbabwe researchers should be sent to and

• No applicant can be Principal Investigator (PI) on two different applications.
• The final decision to fund projects will be made jointly by BIH and RCZ.
• BIH and RCZ decisions will be final.
• Applicants for research proposals received under this Call are required to comply with the Canadian International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Open Access Policy accessible on