The National Research Fund (NRF) is a statutory body established by Science, Technology and Innovation Act No. 28 of 2013. The institution is domiciled under the Ministry of Education, State Department for University Education & Research. The Fund is mandated to facilitate research for the advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country.

Based on the current situation in the country, NRF wishes to engage the Research Community to address the emerging trends brought about by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, Invasion of desert locusts and Cancer. Subsequently, NRF presents a National strategic call for Research Proposals focusing on above three thematic areas as detailed below: -


The recent outbreak of novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which was reported in late 2019 has affected over 200 countries and was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) in early March, 2020. This disease presents a global public health challenges given the exponential increase of infections and deaths together with unprecedented social and economic shocks worldwide; Kenya is not an exception.

The objective of this Call is therefore to provide an opportunity to Researchers to develop targeted rapid response mechanisms and novel interventions to contain this COVID-19 outbreak and address resulting community needs. In this regard, NRF invites research consortia from both Public and Private institutions to submit research proposals seeking to provide COVID-19 Pandemic Innovative solutions through early detection, prevention, management, supporting health systems or increasing scientific evidence to responses. This Call is one of the Kenya Government specific response to appropriate research partners to conduct feasible research and ensure rapid utilization of findings to inform the responses and policies for containment of the pandemic.

The proposals to be submitted must be timely, with rapid implementation to facilitate generation of early valuable outcomes. Successful application will be funded up to a maximum of (Ksh 20 Million) for a period of 1 year. Interested applicants can access application forms and the call guidelines at Submission of applications in the official form must be in both electronic and 3 hard copies (labelled – Collaborative Research on Covid-19).

Electronic applications should be submitted to and copy to the deadline for the call below.


Desert Locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) is a major agricultural pest in the Horn of Africa and has continuously threatened the live-lihoods and food security for decades. These Locust upsurges and plagues cause massive crop losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in control efforts. The current locust invasion in the Eastern Africa region is one of the most serious occurrences in decades. In Kenya, this invasion has been reported as the worst in over 70 years.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the onset of long rains season in East Africa regions, it is projected that this could allow a dramatic increase in locust swarms. The current situation in East Africa remains alarming as an increasing number of new swarms are reported to be forming in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This is going to pose an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods as it coincides with the beginning of planting season. While a number of control interventions are ongoing; involving ground and aerial control sprays, the onset of rains will allow the new swarms to mature and continue laying eggs into the next generation.

The warning by Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) indicate that, the swarms in East Africa may be more than 400 times bigger by June if successive generations are left unchecked. This will pose food insecurity to approximately more than 20 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. In Kenya, the locusts have caused significant damage in pastoral regions and fast spreading into food crops growing areas. The following Counties have already been infested by this pest: Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Isiolo, Garissa, Baringo, Turkana, Laikipia, Meru, Kitui, Embu, Machakos, Murang’a, Makueni and Kajiado.

Objective of the Call

In the region, the more urgent issue currently is focusing on locust control. The current control strategies are essentially curative, consisting of large-scale applications of broad-spectrum insecticides to infestations, which may not be sustainable and could be harmful to the environment. The objective of this Call therefore, is to invite research teams/experts to propose and develop short and long term innovative scientific interventions to combat the locust invasion in Kenya. Research teams from both public and private sectors are encouraged to propose collaborative innovative and transformative solutions that are environmentally sustainable, preventive management measures and surveillance tools to contain locusts. The proposed interventions must put in place practical management aspects that can be effectively implemented by devolved governments and other agencies in the infested regions.

Successful proposed interventions/solutions will be funded up to a maximum of (Ksh20 Million) for a period of (one (1) to three 3 Years). Interested applicants can access application forms and the call guidelines at Submission of applications in the official form must be in both electronic and 3 hard copies (labelled - Collaborative Interventions to Control Desert Locusts Invasion in Kenya).

Electronic applications should be submitted to, and copy to See the dead-line for the call below.


Cancer has become one of the leading public health problems in the country. It is a major cause of death accounting for about 7% of overall national mortality with close to 48,000 new cases and 33,000 deaths annually. This therefore requires established evidence obtained through high-quality research to adapt cancer control measures that are specific to the country’s population.

NRF invites research consortium to submit multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research concept notes seeking to address research questions on Cancer in Kenya in the following areas:

i. Surveillance of cancer incidences, mortality, treatment outcomes

Survival, Cancer risk factors and cancer prevention

ii. Cancer screening and/or early detection

iii. Cancer diagnosis

iv. Cancer palliative care management,service delivery

The concept notes should focus on population-sciences, clinical research or implementation science. This call is a specific response by the Government to Kenyan agencies to collaborate in cancer research. The objective of this call is to support collaborative Re-search to provide solutions to the cancer problem.

The call for collaborative research on cancer in Kenya shall be in two phases. Phase 1 will involve submission of concept notes leading to prequalification. Prequalified concept notes will proceed to full proposals in Phase 2 in September, 2020.

Interested applicants can access application forms, guidelines and other useful information for the grant application from at NRF website - . Submission of applications in the official form must be in both electronic and 3 hard copies (labelled Collaborative Research on Cancer in Kenya).

Electronic applications should be submitted to; See the deadline for the call below.

Application deadline:

1.COVID-19: Proposals for this Call must be submitted by, 28th May, 2020 at 16.00 hrs.

2. Desert Locusts Invasion- to be submitted:

i. 28th May, 2020 at 16.00 hrs for those projects implementable up to 1 year

ii. 28th June, 2020 at 16.00 hrs for those projects implementable up to 3 years

3. Collaborative Call on Cancer in Kenya

i. 28th May, 2020 at 16.00 hrs - submission of concept notes

ii. 30th September, 2020 at 16.00 hrs – submission of full proposals ( only for those whose concept notes qualify)

All applications be addressed to

Chief Executive Officer;

National Research Fund;

Utalii House, 9th Floor, Room 932;

P.O. Box 26036-00100;