AIMS Small Research Grants in Climate Change Science

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS NEI; www.nexteinstein.org) invites early career African academics of postdoctoral standing to apply for the AIMS Small Research Grants in Climate Change Science.

From energy exploitation and agriculture, to urbanization, transportation and the construction of infrastructure, African countries have a unique opportunity to establish ‘Climate Smart’ economies by applying research-based concepts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating economic value. This requires a deeper understanding of the casual factors of climate change and how best to apply the increasing volume of climate change-related information to mitigate, beneficially exploit, and/or adapt to the impacts of climate change on humans, the environment, and the economy. African scientists are hereby called upon to apply for Small Research Grants to support projects that would address these and other related issues, and contribute to the development of ‘greener’ and ‘smarter’ economies in Africa.

These Grants will support projects that are at the upper limit of the research-innovation value chain — i.e. projects that are likely to make a tangible impact. Such projects could be industry-led, community-driven, or policy-led, among other possibilities. These projects should make substantive use of mathematical concepts to provide solutions to climate change issues in Africa. Projects will be supported for a period of 6 to 12 months at a non-recurring maximum cost of USD 10 000 per Grantee.

This Small Research Grants Program in Climate Change Science is made possible by a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and financial support from the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca, under the Mathematical Sciences for Climate Change Resilience Program administered by the AIMS Global Secretariat.

The objectives of the AIMS Small Research Grants Program in Climate Change Science are to provide funding:

  • to support the development of early career African academics of postdoctoral standing (or equivalent) who are seeking to establish an independent research/professional career in the climate change science discipline or the mathematical sciences with applications in climate change;
  • for new and innovative, cutting-edge projects including industry-led, community-, and policy-driven projects in climate change science that make substantive use of mathematical concepts;
  • to support proof-of-concept or pilot projects that are geared towards addressing a well-defined climate change challenge in Africa;
  • for projects that will promote uptake of  research-based outputs/results in climate change science for the benefit of countries in Africa and the world at large; and
  • to increase intra- and inter-continental interactions between AIMS Centres of Excellence and other institutions.

Download the complete Call for applications.

 

Requirements

  • Applicants should be of African descent but could be residing anywhere in the world.
  • Applicants must hold a doctorate in a quantitative discipline including, but not limited to, applied mathematics, climatology, physics, chemistry, computer science, statistical ecology, or engineering.
  • Applicants not based in Africa must be able to hold the grant in an institution on the continent.
  • Applicants should demonstrate evidence of research in either climate change science with applications of mathematical concepts or in mathematical sciences with practical applications to climate change adaptation, mitigation or resilience.
  • Applicants should demonstrate expertise or ability to (co-)supervise Master’s and/or PhD students if intending to establish a research group/team. Such a research group/team could be established in collaboration with a senior project advisor. The Grantee must have a recognized (co-)supervisory role in the project.
  • Applicants should demonstrate an ability to translate climate change science research concepts to applicable solutions or recommendations. This is particularly important for proof-of-concept, pilot, industry-led, policy-, and community-driven projects.
  • Applicants must be willing to hold an affiliation at an AIMS Centre of their choice and spend a portion of their grant time in that Centre as a visiting researcher should the need arise.
  • Applicants should be willing to actively participate in a conference that will be organized as part of the Mathematical Sciences for Climate Change Resilience program.
  • Applicants must be willing to contribute to a non-technical publication/bulletin which will highlight their work.
  • Applicants should be able to take up the grant within four months of receiving the grant award letter.

How to apply

Email the following documents in a single attachment to
ms4cr-smallgrants@nexteinstein.org (with the subject line “MS4CR small grants – first and last name of applicant”) by 23:59 CAT on 30 July 2018:

Three referees should email confidential letters of support directly to ms4cr-smallgrants@nexteinstein.org (with the subject line “MS4CR small grant application support letter – first and last name of applicant”) on or before the application deadline. Applicants should provide their referees with a copy of the Terms of Reference for the Small Research Grants and the Instructions for Referees.

Only complete applications received by the application deadline will be considered.

Before applying, candidates are strongly advised to read carefully and ensure they can abide by the following terms specified in the Terms of Reference for Grantees

Successful applicants will be required to provide duly signed copies of the Terms of Reference for Collaborators

 

Evaluation procedure

Applications will initially be screened for relevance and then evaluated by an international Review and Selection Committee based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of applicant: academic qualifications; quality of publications; experience in climate change (related) research or research uptake; real-world impact and recognition of prior work (e.g. through awards).
  • Quality of proposed project: relevance to climate change modelling, practice and policy; strength of connection to the mathematical sciences; experience of applicant in research or project topic; quality of project design; feasibility; suitability of proposed project environment(s); and quality and realism of budget projections.
  • Potential impact.

For more information about the selection process and the committees mentioned above, please consult the following documents:

Terms of Reference for the Oversight Committee

Terms of Reference for the International Selection Committee

Terms of Reference for Reviewers

 

Duration

  • This is a non-recurring grant tenable for a period of 6 – 12 months at a maximum cost to AIMS-NEI of USD 10 000 per Grantee. The exact grant amount approved for the Grantee’s project will be specified in the grant agreement letter.
  • In exceptional cases, the project timeline can be extended by an additional 6 months at no additional cost to AIMS-NEI. Grantees are to submit a formal request for extension at most one month before their agreed project end date.
  • AIMS may decide to terminate a specific grant if the Oversight Committee deems the Grantee’s progress to be unsatisfactory.

Financial support

  • Allowable costs under this Grant include:
    • travel to a host institution in Africa where the project will be executed;
    • bursaries for Master’s and/or PhD students (applicable for Grantees who are setting-up a research team);
    • participation in one international scientific event (workshop, conferences or summer school);
    • cost for field trip or data collection;
    • cost for basic project equipment;
    • basic project running cost;
    • travel and stay at an AIMS Centre.
  • The actual amount provided to each Grantee will depend on the budgets submitted when applying.
  • An initial lump sum, determined by the approved budgets, will be paid to each Grantee within a month of the project start date. The balance will be paid in two installments per a schedule defined by AIMS-NEI and contingent on the receipt of satisfactory progress reports from the Grantee.
  • Grantees are responsible for complying with applicable tax laws.
  • Grantees and members of the Grantee’s project group/team may be eligible to apply to AIMS for additional funding in the form of mobility grants, internships, and highly prestigious research fellowships for women in climate change science.
  • At the discretion of the Selection and Oversight Committees, Grantees maybe expected to provide ‘match funding’ to cover some of their proposed project activities.
  • Non-allowable costs include:
    • overheads to the Grantee, home or host institution;
    • salary or salary supplement for the Grantee, project advisor or other project members;
    • bench fees;
    • office space;
    • vehicle hire – the most economical means of travel should be used at all times.

All budget categories should be clearly defined and justified in the budget section. A descriptive basis for each budget category and the basis used for the calculations should be provided in order to help the various Committees understand the Grantee’s financial requirements.

Applicants may be eligible to apply to AIMS for additional funding in the form of internships, mobility grants, and highly prestigious research fellowships for women in climate change science:

 

Additional documents for Grantees: