All in Research Grant FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS
Is there a problem with the link to the budget template in the solicitation?

If you downloaded the PDF of the solicitation previous to the Zoom call and Twitter chat on 16 July, the link to the budget had an error. This was brought to the attention of the ALL-IN team during the call and has been addressed. It can now be re-downloaded and should work.

How many awards are available?

We anticipate 8-12 awards will be made.

Can materials be submitted in French, Portuguese, etc., if that is the language the work will be conducted locally?

All application materials – including both expressions of interest and full proposals – must be submitted in English. 

ELIGIBILITY 
Can one University with different campuses send more than one proposal?

Yes, they may.

Are NGOs, social enterprises, private consultancies based in Africa, etc. eligible for the award (i.e. considered as “African institutions”) or should it be academic institutions only?

The lead institution should be an academic institution, but partners can be other organizations based in Africa.

 Our research organization is nascent/inexperienced with a limited track record to show for expertise, but with appropriate technical skills and interesting ideas. Would the lack of elaborate resume be a limiting factor?

We invite researchers and institutions that have the skills, talents and ideas for impactful research, even if lacking in experience implementing and managing large-scale research projects. As part of this award, the ALL-IN collaborative team will provide, as needed and appropriate, support to researchers and their project managers in developing the capacity to manage and lead this award and others of a similar nature in the future. This award is intended to provide the opportunity to institutions – both researchers and staff – to learn by doing, in collaboration with mentors and peers at the ALL-IN management institutions.

Can we have a research partner from a European country? Are European institutions eligible as partners?

You can have research partners from European countries, but the mentor must have an affiliation with a US university.

How many EIs can one institution submit?

There is not a defined limit.

 Can an organization lead a proposal and be a partner in another proposal?

Yes.

Can one researcher be part of more than one proposal?

Yes.

International organizations meeting the below two points in eligibility criteria qualify to apply?

Your org must meet all criteria, but can request an exception via info@iced-eval.org.

What if my institution meets most but not all of the eligibility criteria?

Your org must meet all criteria but can request an exception via info@iced-eval.org.

Are regional offices of international agricultural research organizations/ international non-profits eligible to apply?

No, regional offices of international organizations do not meet the criteria of “local institutions” as laid out in the RFA. 

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (EOIs)
Are there any guidelines for the Expression of Interest? 

Expressions of interest must include the following:

  • Lead PI (including institution and email address)
  • Tentative Proposal Title
  • Collaborator & mentor information (if known at this time; optional)
  • A brief (short paragraph) description of the research that will be proposed
  • If you do not have a mentor committed but have a mentor in mind and would like assistance making the connection, please also note that in short paragraph description for the EOI and the ALL-IN team will try to assist. You may list more than one potential mentor.

Expressions of interest must be submitted at the following link: https://mrr.piestar-rfx.com/opportunities/all/rfp/100

Will my expression of interest be reviewed? Will I be told whether or not to submit a full proposal?

Everyone who submits an EOI is invited to submit a full proposal.

Can I submit an expression of interest after the deadline? Can I submit a full proposal without having submitted an expression of interest?

No. An EOI is required to arrange reviewers with the expertise to review full proposals.

 In the expression of interest, how brief should the “Brief description…” be? In other words, is there a maximum number of words or number of pages?

The expression of interest has no set length, but we are anticipating most to be roughly a paragraph long.

MENTORS/MENTORSHIP
Do the mentors have to have a US university affiliation?

US mentors must have an affiliation at a US university.

What if I cannot find a US university-based mentor on my own?

There are two ways to request assistance from ALL-IN to identify a US mentor. You can email ICED (info@iced-eval.org) and the MRR Lab (basis@ucdavis.edu) or include your request in your expression of interest. If you have some ideas of specific mentor(s) you would like to be connected to based on your research interest, you can list those specific individuals in your EOI or email. If not, we can help you to identify appropriate individuals.

 What if I’m a US-based researcher interested in serving as a mentor?

Please email basis@ucdavis.edu and info@iced-eval.org with your information and area(s) of interest/expertise and we can help facilitate appropriate connections.

 Can proposed studies have African based mentors?

Each PI must have a US-university affiliated mentor, but that does not preclude them from also having an African mentor, as well.

Should the researcher and mentor be economists only? Or can we involve other disciplines?

Other disciplines can be included in interdisciplinary teams.

 Could you please clarify regarding the deadline on November 2020 indicated on the top of page 3 of the solicitation: “Seed grants will provide modest funding (~$5000) and other support to allow development of a full proposal in time for submission in November 2020”.

In order to encourage researchers with ideas that are promising, but not yet fully developed, we will offer a seed grant funding window.  Seed grants will provide modest funding (~$5000) and other support to allow the development of a full proposal in time for submission in November 2020. We may connect PIs with research teams in order to help with proposal development.

RESEARCH TOPICS
Is this call only considering impact assessments under the listed thematic areas or there the proposal could have an original research component?

This is not limited to impact evaluations and RCTs, but we are looking for high-quality quantitative research.

Will the fund support research around indigenous crops such as cassava, yam, plantain?

Yes.

Is everything in this call about socio-economics and policy and nothing to do with agriculture, food security and nutrition?

We anticipate that agriculture, food security and nutrition will frequently appear as cross-cutting themes.

Are we only supposed to conduct studies in USAID/FTF target regions within the USAID Focus/Resilience/Aligned countries?

USAID/FTF prefers we work in FTF target regions, but it is not a requirement. If you are NOT working in target regions, just provide a justification of why you are working in the region you are working why you are. We have supported research that work in priority countries outside of their priority regions in the past.

Since several institutions work in several regions, do you have issues as to the number of countries that an institution can include in a single proposal?

No, as long as the proposed work seems reasonable given the proposed budget.

PROPOSAL DETAILS
Is there a ceiling for overhead costs?

Proposals may not charge more than 12% indirect cost recovery rates. If there are any additional administrative costs that are directly related to the implementation of this specific research project, those may be included in the budget line items (as relevant this may include appropriate administrative personnel time, supplies, etc.). Exceptions to this limitation will be given to institutions that have a negotiated NICRA rate with the United States government, in which case they may apply the negotiated NICRA rate.

How can training of students be worked into the research funding?

Student training and support can be included in the funding proposal, in the training line items.

What documents are needed if we can have partners from other countries?

No documents are needed for the expression of interest. Letters of support are welcomed, but not required, from partners for the full proposal. Letters of commitment from mentors are required for the full proposal.

POST-AWARD
How would USAID country office approval work for a proposal to support multiple countries or indeed for a regional related proposal? Would that go to the office in the country of registration of the organization? How will that work?

The proposal will have to go through each USAID country office in which fieldwork will take place. If no fieldwork will take place, it will be approved by the USAID office in which the research institution is headquartered.

 The solicitation states that the researcher must be based at an African institution. Does the grant itself need to go to that same African institution?

Selected research activities are expected to come from researchers at institutions with a wide variety of experience and capacity to manage large awards, especially to meet the requirements of US federal funds. For those institutions with proven experience in large award management, ICED may make subcontracts directly to the institution that hosts the researcher and apply standard sub-award management processes and procedures. On the other hand, for those researchers who come from institutions with little or no experience with large awards and that may be poorly equipped to effectively manage the funds, ICED may directly manage the award funds for the researcher. After a proposal is selected, the ALL-IN team will work with the researcher to determine the best form of award management.

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