Competitive Grants Scheme



a) Background:

The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) operates a research Competitive Grant Scheme (CGS) for the entire National Agricultural Research System (NARS) which comprises of Public Agricultural Research institutes (PARIs), Universities, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and Local Governments, Private researchers, tertiary institutions, innovators, Agro-industry actors, Extension Agents and farmers. The objectives of the CGS is interalia to strengthen the NARS through mobilising the best available scientific expertise in the public and private sectors to work on specific high priority projects in accordance with the national agricultural development strategies; promote research partnership and collaboration; improve research quality and increase total research funding for research by mobilising funds from farmers, industry and other sources.

Under the CGS, there are two types of funding: the National Competitive Agricultural Research Development Fund (NCARDF) and the Zonal Competitive Agricultural Research Development Fund (ZCARDF). In both cases, focus is on research issues of national/zonal priorities that are not carried out as core activities by the Public Agricultural Research Institutes.

b) Research Themes and Impact areas;

Implementation of research under NARO is organized under five research themes and five impact areas namely:


1. Understanding people, their livelihood systems, demands and impacts of innovation: this is designed to make NARO research agenda people-focused

2. Enhancing innovation process and partnership: this addresses new methods of doing business

3. Developing technological options responding to demands and opportunities with focus on generating knowledge and technologies to respond to market opportunities

4. Enhancing integrated management of natural resources: this ensures that research process and products enhance environmental services and mitigate degradation of the natural resource base

5. Linking producers, market opportunities and policies: this is aimed at creating a favourable environment for maximising market access and incomes to end users of technologies

Impact areas:

1. Enhanced utilization of research outputs/relevance

2. Improved farmers access to markets/marketability

3. Enhanced Agricultural Productivity

4. Improved management and sustained use of natural resource base

5. Enhanced sensitivity to gender and social concerns

c) Call Criteria for research Concept Note/Proposal:

Highly innovative Concept Notes that will deliver tangible products along the value chain addressing priority commodities under the Agricultural Technology Agribusiness Advisory services ( ATAAS) and focussing on particular agro-ecological zones of Uganda are hereby invited. The Concept Notes should be in areas of crops, forestry, fisheries, livestock and cross-cutting areas of social economics.

The proposal shall have well defined pathways to product commercialisation with a potential to significantly improve people’s livelihoods. In addition, the proposal should clearly demonstrate inclusion of the following elements:-

i). Contract Farming

ii). Linking farmers to markets

iii). Organising farmers for collective marketing

iv). Improving relations between farmers and buyers/traders

v). Integrating women/Youth in value chains

vi). Gender inclusive value chain financing

vii). Linking small holder farmers to business services

viii). Using ICT to link farmers to markets

ix). Pro-poor policy development and advocacy

x). Capacity building of farmers for learning and innovation

Before devoting significant resources to develop full proposals, applicants are required to write short concept notes. Innovativeness, partnership, value for money, gender and environmental concerns and efficient dissemination of research results will increase chances of success. The Concept Note should follow the structure as given in the CGS Guidelines and Procedures found on the NARO Website: http://www. naro. go. ug

d) Eligible Institutions/Persons:

Scientists from Public Agricultural Research Institutes, Universities, private research institutes, other research service providers who are eligible to carry out research, are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams and to develop proposals in consultation with research product end users. To be eligible for award, the applicant should be:

i) Resident in Uganda (at least the Principal Investigator)

ii) Qualified to undertake the proposed research and development activity. For research, the applicant should demonstrate capacity to conduct research and deliver the stated results in the proposal

iii) Recognised by the competent authority as an agricultural research service provider

e) Available resources:

The total fund available for each successful proposal will not exceed USD 60 000 during the period of two years.The more cost effective and realistic the project is, the higher the chances of being selected. Please note that the grant covers only direct research costs and can cover professional fees for time bound activities. It does not cover salaries, wages and allowances such as medical and housing.

f) Deadline for Submission of the concept note:

The deadline for submission of Concept Notes is Monday, 18th September, 2015. Any Concept Note submitted after this deadline will not be accepted. Eligible applicants should submit a soft copy and hard copy duly signed to:

The Director General

National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)

Plot 11-15 Lugard Avenue

P.O.Box 295


Tel: +256(0)414320512/320341


CGS Guidelines and Procedures-2010