GHANA CHAMBER OF MINES (GCM) – TERTIARY EDUCATION FUND (TEF)
FRAMEWORK FOR GCM-TEF RESEARCH GRANT FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS
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 Grant for UMaT Postgraduate Students. The objective of the Grant is to provide financial support for Postgraduate Students to engage in industry-related research for their theses.
The School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) of UMaT will liaise with the Governing Board through the UMaT GCM-TEF Committee to organise a seminar for prospective applicants on the application process. The call for application will open in the middle of January, 2021 and close by the end of February, 2021. Interested Masters and Doctoral students should apply to the Grant using their thesis topics with proposed solutions that should be relevant to the mining industry. Before submission, the application must be endorsed by a Technical Person from Industry (who will serve as an Industry Advisor) and Academic Supervisor from UMaT. 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 Grant
2.1 Eligibility Criteria for Applicants
To be eligible for the Postgraduate Research Grant, the applicant must:
- Be a Masters or Doctoral Student of UMaT and must have completed the first semester of the first year successfully;
- Not have benefited from the grant before (for master’s students) and for two concurrent years (for Doctoral students), unless under special circumstances to be determined by the Governing Board;
- Apply and submit a Completed Application Form with Research Proposal Before the deadline for the submission of the application;
- Submit only one application, and
- Undertake to comply with the criteria set for the disbursement of the grant and biannual reporting of research findings.
2.2 Accessing the Fund and Important Deadlines
- The Grant is to be accessed online through the application portal set up by the UMaT GCM-TEF Committee.
- The School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) may request the Governing Board through the UMaT GCM-TEF Committee to submit research proposal on problems relevant to the Industry, and make them available at the UMaT Portal by the end of January, 2021.
- Application will open by the middle of January, 2021 and end by 28th February, 2021.
- Applicants must access and complete the Grant application form online, and submit the completed form online before the deadline.
- The application should include a research proposal and a work plan with milestones and proposed budget. For PhD candidates who would require funding for more than one year, the application should include the work plan, milestones and budget for each phase (year) of the project. The proposal should quantify the percentage of the expected budget to be borne by the Mining Company, whose problem is the subject of investigation.
- The completed application should be endorsed by the Supervisor of the thesis and the Technical Advisor from Industry.
- 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 April, 2021.
- The Governing Board will announce awardees for the year by the middle of May, 2021.
- The Governing Board will release the Funds to the Awardees through UMaT by the end of May, 2021.
- UMaT will release the fund in two tranches. 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. For PhD candidates who may be on the Grant for more than a year, subsequent funding will also be released in two tranches per year.
- 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 Grant shall be the cedi equivalent of $40,800 and will cover 8-10 applicants depending on the requests.
- The value of the Grant for one applicant shall not exceed the cedi equivalent of $5,000, and shall cover direct research-related costs such as field work, analysis, field visit, community entry, field/research assistants, seminars, accommodation during field visit/work, transportation, meetings, stipend, conference, publications, but not salaries.
- 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 next tranche grant, 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 Awardee’s Department.
- There shall be no overhead cost from the University.
2.5 Renewal of Grant
The Grant shall be awarded for one academic year for Master’s Students. PhD candidates can benefit for two consecutive years, which may be extended under special circumstances to be determined by the Governing Board. Renewal for the second year will be subject to evidence of satisfactory progress on the thesis and biannual reporting on the research. For PhD candidates who would require funding for more than one year, the application should include the work plan, milestones and budget for each phase (year) of the project.
2.6 Advantage for Visible Minority
The Grant 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 Termination of Grant
The Grant of an awardee may be terminated if the beneficiary:
- Is deceased;
- Abandons the research for which the Fund was originally meant; and
- Does not keep up with the required biannual reporting.
2.8 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.
- 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 and allied industries.
- Clarity: the proposal is clear with respect to adhering to specified requirements, such as eligibility, budget limitations, and inclusion of industry partner.
- Proposal Quality: the proposal is innovative, has a clear problem definition, adequate project methodology, and if possible, scalable outcomes.
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 Allied industries;
- Identification of research gap and contribution to knowledge; and
- Likelihood of uptake and impact of proposed project on the improvement of policy or practice in industry.
The Clarity Criterion shall carry 20% of the total score, and focus on the following areas:
- Eligibility of the applicant;
- Inclusion of technical advisor(s) from relevant industry(ies); and
- Financial effectiveness-the link between the budget and activities, with justification.
The Proposal Quality Criterion shall carry 50% of the total score, and focus on the following areas:
- Simplicity and quality of problem definition and relevance of project to the development of mining and allied industries;
- Originality and innovation;
- Clearness and adequacy of project methodology, workplan, milestone, etc;
- Access to the appropriate resources or populations required to achieve the project objectives; and
- Expected outcomes and potential for future development.