• +254 20-4403386
  • info@nrf.go.ke
  • off Waiyaki Way, Upper Kabete

Funding Mechanisms and Eligibility



  1. Fund Objective: To facilitate research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.
  2. Priorities for funding: To be determined by the national development agenda and as outlined in the National Research Priorities by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) but, this may give consideration to marginalized indigenous communities, the youth, women and other special emerging issues in consultation with NACOSTI.
  3. Competitive grant awarding schemes; To provide strategic development-oriented solutions, deliver technologies and innovations to meet national priorities
  4. Strategic funding; This will cater for special investment in research of Strategic national importance, key science, technology and innovation research, specialized equipment and high-level human resource development.
  5. Eligibility and screening criteria for proposal and grant recipients; To provide the basis for determining grant calls, calls review and the granting process and eligibility requirements and conditions if any.
  6. Award of grants; To be made by the Board of Trustees on recommendation from the Management of the Fund.
  7. Monitoring and evaluation: based on detailed targets and milestones provided in grant proposals, and on semi-annual and annual reports from grant recipient.
  8. No person on grounds of race, gender, ethnic, age, disability, religion, or culture shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination, under any program or activity receiving research grants and support from the Fund. The Fund may however in some programs outline special requirements that limit eligibility.
  9. The Fund shall ensure transparency, integrity, credibility and responsiveness in the grant making process.
  10. These principles are elaborated in standard operation procedures, regulations and guidelines published, regularly reviewed and publicized.

Funding Guidelines


Three funding mechanisms are established by the Fund.


  1. Funding to individuals, or groups of individuals, institutions and firms. Grant proposals shall be called for within the National Research Priorities in accordance with a defined criteria and rules and the most competitive proposals selected.
  2. Budgets for the different types of grants will be determined at the start of each financial year and will consider among others the most value-driven priorities.
  3. Funding R&D at firm level will be to researchers in institutions who will have identified specific products within a formal firm for further development. Such grant proposal will be accompanied by the firm approval specifying clearly the roles between the researcher and the firm. Grants will be channelled through the researcher’s institution and accounted for by the particular institution.


The Fund will enter into partnerships with local and international development partners to fund joint research on areas of mutual interest.


  1. These grants shall be provided to institutions for specialized and national strategic research facilities. The grant making will be subject to a criterion.
  2. The Grants shall be based on the National Research Priorities identified by NACOSTI.


The Board of Trustees may review the Grant Mechanisms or consider other mechanisms as deemed necessary.

Funding Guidelines


  1. Applicants must have wide knowledge and experience in the National Research Priority areas.
  2. The applicants must have demonstrated competence and experience in their grant application areas.
  3. Applicants must be in possession of at least a master’s degree or equivalent experience in a relevant area or be innovators recognized by the Kenya National Innovation Agency;
  4. The Principal Investigator must be a Kenya citizen.
    This is an issue to be decided at a level not of the NRF at this point in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
  5. Non Kenyans may apply under a Kenyan Principal Investigator.
  6. All applicants must be affiliated to a recognized Kenyan research institution and in case of a university or research institution, they must not be on an extended unpaid leave.
  7. Partnering and collaborative institutional or corporate entities must formally indicate willingness to release staff involved in the project, have the facilities to implement the project or indicate how the facilities will be availed.
  8. No funds will be provided for the preparation of applications or a concept paper or the full proposal.
  9. Awarded grants are not transferable to any other person or institution without prior written approval from the Fund.
  10. Proposals must be endorsed by the Chief Executive Officers as well as Heads of Finance of the applicant institutions.
  11. Proposed budgets shall not exceed the advertised limits as stipulated in the call documents.
  12. Proposals on research areas requiring ethical clearance must obtain it prior to funding.