GHANA CHAMBER OF MINES (GCM) – TERTIARY EDUCATION FUND (TEF)
FRAMEWORK FOR GCM-TEF RESEARCH FUND FOR FACULTY MEMBERS
The Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) is a voluntary private sector employers association representing companies and organisations engaged in the minerals and mining industry. The mission of GCM is to represent the mining industry in Ghana using the resources and capabilities of its members to deliver services that address members, government and community needs, in order to enhance development. In line with its mission, GCM launched its Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) in October, 2019, with the initial phase of five years earmarked for the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, which is the premier mining institution in Ghana, to aid in producing high calibre mining professionals for the local industry and beyond. UMaT also recognises the need to continuously conceive and develop research interventions in partnership with external stakeholders, especially industry and policy actors, for the human and economic development of Ghana. To enhance the contribution of UMaT in developing projects with readily implementable outputs and uptake, the Council of GCM approved the establishment of the GCM-TEF Research Fund for UMaT Faculty. The objective of the Fund is to equip Faculty Members of the UMaT to engage in research of relevance to the mining industry and/or the nation, and to strengthen collaboration between UMaT Faculty and Industry.
The Office of Research Innovation and Consultancy of UMaT will liaise with the Governing Board through the UMaT GCM-TEF Committee to collate research problems of relevance to industry, and/or national needs, and make them available at the application portal. The call for application will open by the end of December, 2020 and end by the end of February, 2021. Potential researchers will apply to the Fund with proposed solutions to the available problems (or their own identified problems of relevance to the mining industry and/or the nation). Completed application documents will be vetted by the GCM Technical Committee, which would recommend awardees for consideration to the GCM Council through the Governing Board.
- Guidelines for Implementation of the Fund
2.1 Eligibility Criteria for Applicants
To be eligible for the Staff Research Fund, the applicant must:
- Be a Faculty Member of UMaT and physically present on campus;
- Not have benefited in two concurrent years and three concurrent years in the case of researchers doing their PhD, unless there are no other suitable applications in the year under consideration;
- Apply and submit a Completed Application Form before the deadline for the submission of applications;
- Submit only one application, and
- Undertake to comply with the criteria set for the disbursement of the Fund and biannual reporting of research findings.
2.2 Accessing the Fund and Important Deadlines
- The Fund is to be accessed online through an application portal set up by UMaT with inputs from the Governing Board.
- The Office of Research Innovation and Consultancy of UMaT will liaise with the Governing Board through the UMaT GCM-TEF Committee to collate research problems of relevance to industry, and/or national needs, and make them available at the application portal by the end of December, 2020.
- Applications call will open by 31st December, 2020 and close on 28th February, 2021.
- Applicants must access and complete the Fund application form online, and submit the completed form online before the deadline.
- The application should include a research proposal, well laid out to meet a need in the industry or the nation. The proposal should quantify the percentage of the expected budget to be borne by the University and/or the Mining Company, whose problem is the subject of investigation.
- Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the deadline shall not be considered.
- The Governing Board shall constitute a Technical Committee to vet and select short-listed candidates by the end of March, 2021.
- The Governing Board will inform short-listed candidates by 15th April, 2021.
- The Governing Board will interact with the short-listed candidates within one month of notification, to find out more about the proposal and fine-tune the projects proposed.
- The Governing Board will announce awardees for the year by the end of May, 2021.
- The Governing Board will release the Funds to the Awardees through UMaT by the end of June, 2021.
- UMaT will release the fund in two tranches for major projects. The first tranche will be released upon receipt of the award letter and the second tranche upon the presentation and approval of mid-year report. However, full funding shall be released for seed projects.
- Awardees must obtain ethical clearance for the study from the UMaT Ethics Committee before the start of the project.
2.3 Value of the Fund
- The average yearly budget for the Fund shall be the cedi equivalent of at least $40,800 and will cover at least four (4) applicants depending on the type of research and the amount requested for,
- The value of the Fund for one application shall not exceed the cedi equivalent of $10,000 for Major projects and $3,000 for Seed projects, and shall cover direct research-related costs (field work, analysis, field visits, community entry, field/research assistants, accommodation, transport, meetings, time on project, stipend, airfare, conference, etc),
- Seed projects allow a researcher or a team of researchers to conduct a small or exploratory research projects focusing on exploring the feasibility of new research approaches, and allowing investigators to collect preliminary data to subsequently develop major grant applications.
- Research fund shall not be used to pay salaries to the researcher(s).
- In cases where the research has a direct benefit to a mining company, the company shall be expected to bear part of the cost requested by the applicant by contributing in cash and/or in kind.
2.4 Payment to Awardees
- Payment of the support amount shall be made directly to the UMaT Project Account. Based on approved budget, an awardee shall request for first tranche of payment with a list of activities to be carried out.
- The second tranche of funding shall be released upon submission and approval of mid-term report of the project.
- Payment shall be retired before the release of the second tranche funds, and such shall also be retired.
- In the case of purchase of equipment or where appropriate, procurement processes shall be followed. Such equipment with a useful life beyond the project period shall remain the property of the Principal Investigator’s Department.
- There shall be no overhead cost from the University.
2.5 Extension of Fund
The Fund shall be awarded for one year; however, an extension (cost or no-cost) may be approved by the Governing Board upon satisfactory reporting and justification by the researcher and/or recommendation from UMaT. A further extension after this period may not be granted.
2.6 Advantage for Visible Minority
The Fund is open to all qualified applicants. However, in the event of parity, females and disadvantaged persons (for example, persons with disability, persons from less endowed departments) who meet the required criteria would be given preference.
2.7 Transfer of Project Lead
In the event that the Principal Investigator (PI) is deceased/incapacitated /unavailable, the project lead will be transferred to the Co-I.
Research Teams are expected to produce research outputs that produce knowledge and products that are applicable outside of the research setting.
2.9 Termination of Fund
The Fund of an awardee may be terminated if the beneficiary:
- Abandons the research for which the Fund was originally meant; and
- Does not keep up with the required biannual reporting regime or any other requirements of the Fund.
2.10 Intellectual Property
For innovative solutions which result in significant cost savings for the industry, the Intellectual Property should be protected through a patent which recognises the Researcher, the University and the Chamber of Mines.
2.11 Close Out
PIs are to ensure that final project and financial reports are submitted to ORIC at the end of the project. This should include a report on the entire project including any equipment that might have been acquired under the projects.
- Evaluation of Proposals
3.1 Criteria Definition
The evaluation process shall consist of three major criteria:
- Relevance: the proposal sufficiently addresses issues relevant to the mining company or the nation.
- Clarity: the proposal is clear with respect to adhering to specified conditions, such as budget limitations, attraction of co-funding and collaboration with other departments.
- Proposal Quality: the proposal is innovative, has a clear problem definition, adequate project methodology, and a credible research team.
3.2 Scoring Criteria
The Relevance Criterion shall carry 30% of the total score, and focus on the following areas:
- Relevance of the theme and its degree of priority to Mining and/or national development;
- Identification of research gap and contribution to knowledge;
- Likelihood of uptake and impact of proposed project on the improvement of policy or practice.
The Clarity Criterion shall carry 20% of the total score, and focus on the following areas:
- Financial effectiveness-the link between the budget and activities;
- Potential for future development for the seed category;
- Number of departments, their appropriateness and level of involvement for the major category.
- Credibility of the research group.
The Proposal Quality Criterion shall carry 50% of the total score, and focus on the following areas:
- Clarity and quality of problem definition and embedding of project into mining companies and/or national development;
- Originality and innovation;
- Clarity and adequacy of project methodology and timelines;
- Access to the appropriate resources or populations required to achieve the project objectives; and