Self-Initiated Research

Call Name Opening date Closing date Application Documents
Self-initiated Research Grants Programme
SAMRC-RFA-SIR-2022
6 May 2022 30 June 2022 (midnight SAST)

The SAMRC’s Self-initiated Research (SIR) Grants Programme is designed to support original research initiated by a researcher at a recognised research institution in various areas of health. SIR grants are in the amount of up to R200 000 per year for a maximum period of three years. These funds provide support for research expenses and it is expected that the researchers/ applicants already have in place the necessary equipment and facilities required for the proposed research.

Applications are invited in two different categories as follows: 1.) early-career researchers and 2.) mid-level and established researchers.

  • The focus of the call is early-career scientists; however mid-level and established researchers are also invited to apply, provided that a clear focus on capacity building is demonstrated
Eligibility criteria

Definition of a research institution
For the purposes of the SIR Programme, a research institution is defined as a legally constituted institution or organisation wherein research is one of the primary purposes for its existence, including the training of postgraduate students. The broad thrust of the organisation’s research, basic or applied, should be towards the advancement of knowledge. Research institutions include universities, science councils and other organisations whose core business is conducting research and/or training postgraduate students.

Individual eligibility
SIR grants are open to South African citizens or permanent residents only. SIR grant applicants should be either permanently employed at a recognised research institution or be in a long term contract (at least for the duration of the project). For early-stage investigators there must be a commitment from the institution to host the applicant and project for the duration of the grant.

Only one research proposal will be considered for funding per individual applicant and once granted, only one such grant may be held by an individual until the project has been completed. Preference will be given to individuals who have not previously been a recipient of a SIR grant. Recipients of other SAMRC grants, including individuals working within SAMRC extra-mural research units, may apply for a SIR grant; however, all such grants must be declared in their application. Research grant applications that are proposing work on behalf of commercial entities will not be considered. Individuals working within SAMRC intra-mural research units are not eligible to apply for a SIR grant.

Evaluation criteria
The SIR Grants Programme is highly competitive and has limited funds available. The primary consideration in determining the success of a funding application is the quality of the research proposal. However, equally important to the SAMRC is transformation and building the capacity of, particularly, early-career, black and women scientists as well as resource-limited institutions. Thus proposals that are from principal investigators or institutions meeting these criteria and/or involve a component of capacity building of or partnership with such individuals and/or institutions will be preferred.

Completed application documents must be emailed to SIRapplications@mrc.ac.za by 23:59 SA time on 30 June 2022.

As of 1 July 2021, the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) came into full effect. The law is designed to protect how all juristic persons use, store and process data.

The SAMRC, as a responsible statutory science council, will comply with POPIA. The SAMRC will receive personal information through applications submitted to the SAMRC in response to this call. The personal information requested on the submission template is necessary for the SAMRC to fully evaluate the application. This information could be shared with external reviewers, members of Review Panels and/or Grant Committees of the SAMRC as well as the SAMRC management for the purposes of processing the applications. The SAMRC will process this personal information strictly in accordance with POPIA. The SAMRC undertakes specifically to process the personal information on the basis that (a) it was provided voluntarily and (b) the information will be processed only as far as may be necessary and within the limitation and ambit of the purpose of evaluating the applications for potential funding (i.e., the purpose with which the personal information was received). The SAMRC confirms that it is lawfully processing the information since the purpose of processing is to facilitate research and innovation which the SAMRC is mandated to do in terms of Section 4 of the SAMRC Act 58 of 1991, thus the SAMRC is fulfilling its legislated and lawful mandate, and strategic objectives as provided for in the SAMRC Act.

By submitting your completed application to the SAMRC you acknowledge and agree to the use of your personal information as outlined above. Should you not approve of such use of your personal information then please refrain from applying.

For more information and any queries please contact

Mr Clive Glass
Tel: +27 21 938-0225
Email: clive.glass@mrc.ac.za