1.0       Background

The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) under Phase Two plus (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 Zimbabwe and Botswana 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana.

This joint Call for Research Proposals is a realisation of the bilateral scientific collaboration between RCZ and BIH that will allow selected joint research teams from Zimbabwe and Botswana 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana. 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 Zimbabwean and Botswana 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana;
  2. To contribute to research capacity building development in both Zimbabwe and Botswana;
  3. To enhance collaboration between Zimbabwean and Botswana 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 RCZ-BIH 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, RCZ and BIH 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana mining sectors;
  • Promoting linkages between mining and other productive sectors of Zimbabwe and Botswana economies;
  • Creating downstream capabilities to foster Zimbabwe and Botswana 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana, 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana.

5.0       Funding Level

The budget limit for project activities in the collaborative research proposal will be not more than USD30,000.00 for theresearch team in Zimbabwe and budget limit for project activities for the research team in Botswana willbeBWP 1,000,000.00. This means that a budget for one joint proposal will have two components: Budget for project activities for the research team in Zimbabwe and a budget for project activities for the research team in Botswana. 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 Zimbabwe and Botswana 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 RCZ and BIH. 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

RCZ and BIH particularly encourage collaborative research projects across institutions, disciplines and individuals. The following should be taken into consideration.

  1. Proposals should be well presented meeting known scientific and commercialisation potential criteria.
  2. The management structure should be well defined as well as a clear sustainability plan.
  3. Applicants should “make the case”, i.e. to explain the steps that led to the proposed research concept and focus.
  4. Demonstrate the strategic value of the research to Botswana and Zimbabwe and the Region.
  5. Demonstrate commercialisation potential, research capacity building and a description of how gender and diversity will be included in the implementation of proposed projects.
  6. Budget should not be inflated and/or expenses should be adequately justified.
  7. 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 via the online grants management system and through emails. Researchers should complete the online grants management online application process at https://rczgrants.org/

This 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 RCZ and BIH. Zimbabwean and Botswana research teams will be invited to submit full research proposals on the RCZ and BIH Online Submission Systems.


Note: Applicants are to send their Company details (Company Name, Email Contact and Company Representative) to researchfund@bih.co.bw for E-portal Registration


Full Research Proposals should be submitted electronically to rccc@rcz.ac.zw and a copy to zgumede@rcz.ac.zw 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 www.bih.co.bw/sgciphasetwo  and on https://www.rcz.ac.zw/application-forms/.

9.0       Important Timelines and Deadlines

• Application period commences on the 19th of June 2023.
• The deadline for submission of Full Proposals is the 21st of July 2023 at 1700 hours GMT +2
• Evaluation of detailed proposals: 24th of July 2023 to 14th August 2023
• Deliberation / proclamation of results: 16th August 2023 to 18th August 2023
• Award notification to the winners: 21st August 2023 to 23rd August 2023
• Signing of contracts: 28th August 2023 to 31st August 2023
• Initial disbursement of the approved budget: 25th September 2023 to 29th September 2023
• Funded research projects will be implemented over a period of two years until July 2025
• Final report: 28th August 2025
• Project Financial Audit: 30 September 2025

10.0        Contact Information

Any enquiries from Zimbabwe researchers should be sent to rccc@rcz.ac.zw and zgumede@rcz.ac.zw while enquiries from Botswana researchers should be directed to researchfund@bih.co.bw.

• No applicant can be Principal Investigator (PI) on two different applications.
• The final decision to fund projects will be made jointly by RCZ and BIH.
• RCZ and BIH 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 https://www.idrc.ca/en/open-access-policy-idrc-funded-project-outputs#underpinnings.