How can I promote travel in Africa

Guideline for the funding of a preparatory phase of African-German research networks for health innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa

1 Funding objective, funding purpose, legal basis

1.1 Funding objective and purpose of funding

Access to safe health care and protection against disease are essential to improving living conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Many people here do not have adequate access to basic health services. Vaccines, drugs and other medical aids are often unavailable or unaffordable for those affected. Research and development in cooperation with partners in the affected countries can make a decisive contribution to setting up research infrastructures and applying results to directly improve people's health situation. Joint action with innovative approaches is urgently needed for economic development and political stability. You can make a significant contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 3, “To ensure a healthy life for all people of all ages and to promote their well-being”.

This funding guideline applies in conjunction with the health research framework program (https: / / files / Rahmenprogramm_Gesundheitsforschung_barrierefrei.pdf) and is part of the federal government's strategy for the internationalization of education, science and research (https : / / de / internationalisierungsstrategy-269.html). In addition, the current Africa strategy of the BMBF aims1 (https: / / de / afrika-strategie-des-bmbf-310.html) on increased cooperation with African partners in overcoming global challenges and in building sustainable and high-quality infrastructures for scientific research Working to strengthen regional and continental cooperation, to develop innovative potential and new markets, as well as to strengthen the profile of the Federal Republic as a key partner for Africa in the fields of education and research. The funding measure is also part of the BMBF funding concept “Global Health at the Center of Research” (https: / / files / Globale_Gesundheit.pdf) and is based on the Federal Government's strategy for global health . The funding measure contributes to the implementation of Agenda 2063 (https: / / sites / default / files / documents / 36204-doc-agenda2063_popular_version_en.pdf) as well as the "Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 "(STISA 2024) of the African Union.

The present announcement follows on from the ongoing funding measure “Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa” (https: / / de / forschungsnetzwerke-fur-gesundheitsinnovationen-in-subsahara-afrika-3422 .php), which has been funding five African-German research networks since 2016. Now additional innovative networks are to be given the opportunity to apply for funding.

The overarching goal of the funding measure is to make a contribution to the sustainable improvement of health care in SSA by supporting excellent application-oriented research. The focus here is on health research in order to take particular account of the human right to access health services and the associated strengthening of fragile health and research systems.

This announcement regulates the preparatory phase for the second phase of the funding measure “Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa”. The aim of the preparatory phase is to sustainably expand and develop intensive, long-term collaborations between scientists from Germany and sub-Saharan Africa. The networking and exploratory measures are intended to expand existing collaborations, establish new contacts and initiate new collaborations.

For this purpose, German and African partners should jointly develop concepts for the implementation of the main phase, which are based on the regional needs in the African partner countries.

1.2 Legal bases

The federal government grants the grants in accordance with these funding guidelines, §§ 23 and 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO) and the related administrative regulations as well as the "Guidelines for grant applications on an expenditure basis (AZA)" and / or the "Guidelines for grant applications on a cost basis (AZK) "of the BMBF. There is no entitlement to the grant. Rather, the granting authority decides on the basis of its due discretion within the framework of the available budget.

2 Subject of funding

This funding guideline supports the creation of a concept for the establishment or expansion of health research networks. Consortia are given the opportunity to plan their ideas in terms of content, structure and administration in a six-month preparatory phase (from around October 2021) and to develop them into a full proposal.

Funding takes place in two funding phases that build on each other:

  • Preparation phase (six months, subject of this funding announcement) and
  • Main phase (probably five years).

The guiding principle of the present funding measure is a joint design by African and German partners right from the start. Here, important current research questions are to be dealt with and the results of which flow into the scientific and health systems of the African partner countries through the involvement of relevant ministries and mandate holders.

The networks must deal as a matter of urgency with research topics that reflect the regional needs of the African partner countries. In addition, they should build on existing structures and take into account the national or regional health and research strategies or agendas of the African countries involved as early as the start-up phase. To find relevant decision-makers in the African partner countries, e. B. Research and Health Ministries to be involved at an early stage, these must be listed in the application and named with contact details.

All areas of health research are addressed, i.e. biomedical research taking into account all steps in the translation chain, public health research and health system research.

Funding can be given to concepts that pursue clear and reliable application goals (e.g. development of products, therapies, guidelines, advisory concepts for decision-makers), the implementation of which is already being tackled during the project period.

The concepts should address one or more of the following areas:

  • Public health and systems research for better prevention and faster transfer of new therapeutic approaches into care (e.g. also integrating the social sciences) or for adapting existing approaches to local conditions;
  • Research on the treatment and prevention of diseases with a particularly high disease burden in the African partner countries (e.g. poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance and non-infectious diseases) or with special effects on the health system;
  • holistic research approaches (e.g. "One Health");
  • epidemiological research for the collection and processing of health data.

In their idea sketches, the projects should pursue realistic and sustainable goals for capacity development and make verifiable contributions to the training and further education of scientific and medical staff as well as staff in research management (e.g. project managers, funding managers).

Concepts that exclusively pursue basic research approaches or whose application aspects cannot or can only be tackled to a limited extent during the project are not eligible for funding.

The current research networks are not preparing the application within the scope of this announcement. A separate funding guideline will be published to apply for the main phase.

In the preparation phase, the concept development and the preparation of the main phase are promoted. Expenditures for the following activities are among others eligible:

  • Background studies on the local need for action and the need for research and development in the selected topic
  • Documentation of "lessons learned" from previous engagements in the health sector
  • orientating on-site missions
  • Travel and implementation of events that serve to build the network for the main phase
  • Needs assessment for necessary steps to ensure an auditable use of funds
  • Involvement (establishment of contacts and further arrangements) of the African institutions responsible for networking in government or regional administrative units as well as supranational African organizations.

Expenditures for research work (e.g. to obtain data for submitting applications in the main phase) are not eligible for funding.

3 beneficiaries

Universities, research institutions, municipal, state and federal institutions as well as associations and other social organizations are eligible to apply. At the time of the disbursement of a granted grant, the existence of an institution that serves the non-economic activity of the grant recipient is required in Germany.

Research institutions that receive basic funding from the federal government and / or the federal states can only be granted project funding for their additional project-related expenses or costs under certain conditions, in addition to their institutional funding.

For the conditions of when state aid is / is not available and to what extent aid-free funding can be granted, see R & D & I2-Union framework.3

4 Special funding requirements

The consortium of a research network includes at least one, at most two German partners and at least two, at most eight partners from sub-Saharan Africa. The constellation of partners can be adjusted for the main phase.

African administrative institutions and research institutions / organizations outside sub-Saharan Africa and Germany can participate in networks with their own funds.

The implementation of the project must be planned jointly in every respect by the African and German partners. An African institution takes over the network direction in the main phase, a German institution the co-direction. Together with their network partners, they prepare the application documents on behalf of a German applicant institution. All partners must confirm their interest in participating in the project in a written declaration of intent ("Letter of Intent", LoI) with the signature of the project manager when submitting the sketch of the idea.

Applicants must check whether the intended project (in the main phase) has specific European components and thus exclusive EU funding, for example in the funding program of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), is possible.

4.1 Advance payments

The network partners must be identified through preliminary work in research and development on the specific topics or disease areas relevant to the respective project proposals through appropriate publications.

Membership of the German project managers in the “German Alliance for Global Health Research” (https: / / is desirable.

4.2 Cooperation

At the latest when applying for the main phase, all partners required to work on the selected topic must be integrated into the networks. The involvement of representatives from politics and / or civil society is desirable.

For the cooperation of the network partners in the main phase, the conclusion of a written cooperation agreement is mandatory. The cooperation agreement is drawn up in the preparatory phase and becomes part of the application for the main phase.

All partners in the association, including those that are research institutions within the meaning of Article 2 (number 83) GBER, ensure that no indirect (indirect) aid is granted to companies within the framework of the association. To this end, the provisions of number 2.2 of the Commission communication on the Union framework for state aid for the promotion of R & D & I (OJ C 198, 27.6.2014, p. 1) must be observed.

5 Type, scope and amount of the donation

The grants are granted as a non-repayable grant by way of project funding with up to 70,000 euros per network and usually for a period of six months.

The assessment basis for grants to universities, research and scientific institutions and comparable institutions that do not fall within the scope of economic activities are the eligible project-related expenses (for Helmholtz Centers [HZ] and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft [FhG], the eligible project-related costs) which, taking into account the requirements of state aid law, can be funded individually up to 100%.

Since this is not an original research project in the sense of the guidelines for grants on an expenditure basis, no project lump sum can be granted at universities and university hospitals.

The following can be requested:

a) Funds for project-related personnel

b) In justified cases, funds for assignments to third parties (e.g. for translations or for content preparation). If funds are subcontracted for African partners, care must be taken to ensure that intellectual property rights are designed in terms of equal use and that the project results can be used independently on site.

c) Trips and stays (maximum two weeks) by German and African project partners and experts who travel to and within SSA or Germany (s). Flight tickets: Economy class round-trip flight (from the place of departure to the partner's location) at a reasonable amount including reimbursement of necessary visa costs and legally required vaccinations.

The following applies to the funding of trips by project partners on the German side:

The travel expenses / expenses to and from the destination including the necessary visa (for flight tickets: economy class) to and from the destination in the partner country, as well as the expenses / expenses for the stay and travel within Germany are covered in accordance with the applicable regulations of the institution or company .

The following applies to the funding of trips and stays by project partners from abroad:

The travel costs / expenses (for flight tickets: economy class) to and from the location of the project partner in Germany will be covered. A stay in Germany is subsidized with a fixed lump sum of 104 euros per day or 2,300 euros per month and 77 euros for individual days in the following month. Arrival and departure days each count as one day. Contributions to health insurance and, if applicable, other insurances are already covered by this flat rate and must be paid by the foreign partner himself. Trips and stays by German project participants in Germany are reimbursed through the Federal Travel Expenses Act.

d) Travel means for international events, e.g. B. for participation in international conferences at home and abroad with technical project reference, can be subsidized in justified cases.

e) Workshops with already known partners or to develop new cooperation potentials can be supported in Germany and / or African partner countries as follows:

Various expenses or costs can be assumed for the implementation of workshops. Subsidies are made e.g. B. the accommodation of the guests, the transfer, the provision of workshop documents, the appropriate catering and, if necessary, the rental of rooms and technical equipment. The amount of the grant depends on the scope of the event and the number of foreign guests. In these cases, no daily allowance (see letter c) is paid.

For all planned activities that are impaired by the framework conditions of the corona pandemic, such as trips and workshops, possible alternative measures must be planned so that the project goal can be achieved.The Covid-19 information pages of the Federal Foreign Office (https: / / de / ReiseUndSicherheit / 10.2.8 Travel warnings), the Federal Ministry of Health (https: / / coronavirus.html), the BMBF (https: / / de / informationen-fuer-zuwendungsempfaenger-11389.html) and the Federal Government (https: / / breg-de / themes / coronavirus / corona-pademie-1744502).

In principle, the usual basic equipment of the participating institutions is not taken over or subsidized.

6 Other grant provisions

The “Ancillary provisions for cost-based grants from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to commercial companies for research and development projects” (NKBF 2017) are an integral part of a cost-based grant notification.

The “Ancillary provisions for grants on an expenditure basis of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for Project Funding” (NABF) are an integral part of an expenditure-based grant notification.

The "General ancillary provisions for grants for project funding to regional authorities and associations of regional authorities" (ANBest-Gk) are part of a grant notification to regional authorities.

In addition, additional ancillary provisions and information from the BMBF on this funding measure can be part of the grant notifications.

In order to carry out success controls within the meaning of administrative regulation number 11a to § 44 BHO, the grant recipients are obliged to provide the BMBF or the institutions commissioned with the data necessary for success control in a timely manner. The information is used exclusively in the context of accompanying research and any subsequent evaluation, treated confidentially and published anonymously so that it is not possible to draw any conclusions about individual persons or organizations.

If the grant recipient publishes the results of the research project as a contribution in a scientific journal, this should be done in such a way that the public can access the contribution electronically free of charge (open access). This can be done by publishing the article in an electronic journal that is accessible to the public free of charge. If the article does not initially appear in a magazine that is electronically accessible to the public free of charge, the article should be made electronically accessible to the public free of charge (secondary publication) - if necessary after a reasonable period (embargo period) has expired. In the case of secondary publication, the embargo period should not exceed twelve months. The BMBF expressly welcomes the open access secondary publication of scientific monographs resulting from the project.

7 procedures

7.1 Involvement of a project sponsor, application documents, other documents and use of the electronic application system

The BMBF has currently commissioned the following project management organization (PT) to handle the funding measure:

DLR Project Management Agency (DLR-PT)
European and international cooperation
Heinrich-Konen-Strasse 1
53227 Bonn


Technical contact persons are:

Dr. Jeannette Endres-Becker, Dr. Katrin Michel and Dr. Anne Plow
Telephone: +49 228 3821-2491, email: [email protected]

It is recommended to contact the project sponsor for advice on the application. Further information and explanations are available there.

If there are any changes, this will be announced in the Federal Gazette or in another suitable manner.

Forms for funding applications, guidelines, information sheets, notes and ancillary provisions can be found at the Internet address closet_foerderportal& form closet = bmbf

can be accessed or requested directly from the above-mentioned project management agency.

The electronic sketch tool PT-Outline ( and the electronic application system "easy-Online" (https: / / can be used to create project outlines. easyonline).

7.2 Two-stage application process

The application process is designed in two stages.

7.2.1 Submission and selection of project outlines

In the first procedural stage are the responsible project executing agency

by April 15, 2021 at the latest 

first submit project outlines in electronic form.

The submission deadline is not considered a deadline. However, project outlines received after the date specified above may no longer be considered.

The project outline must not exceed twelve pages (including summaries in German and English, excluding LoI).

The following aspects of the project should be shown in the sketch:

  1. Meaningful summary (goals, research focus) in German and English
  2. Relation of the project to the cooperation policy goals named in the funding announcement and to the strategies of the African partner countries
  3. Presentation of the network and its partners including the planned governance structure. Description of the envisaged multilateral partnerships
  4. Presentation of the added value of international cooperation and for the target region (s)
  5. Presentation of the project idea and the scientific objective
  6. Presentation of the network's work plan including milestone planning
  7. Outline of the capacity development plans for the network, including the promotion of young scientists
  8. estimated expenses / costs.

In order to facilitate the lead design of the application by the African network directorate, the project outline should be submitted in English. Meaningful summaries must be written in both German and English.

Possible impairments in the implementation of the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic must be taken into account and shown in the sketch, naming alternative courses of action.

It must be clear from the sketch how all partners will be involved in the tasks and results of the project. In this context, the protection of intellectual property (protection of intellectual property) also plays an important role. Relevant decision-makers in the African partner countries, e. B. Research and health ministries should be involved at an early stage.

The project outlines received are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Fulfillment of the formal grant requirements
  2. Consistency with the funding objectives of the announcement named in number 1 and the subject of funding named in number 2 as well as the strategies of the African partner countries
  3. Establishing or perpetuating multilateral partnerships
  4. Qualifications of the applicant and the German and international partners involved
  5. Quality of cooperation and added value for the partner institutions and the target region (s)
  6. scientific quality and originality of the project idea
  7. Plausibility and feasibility of the project (financing, work steps)
  8. Promotion of young scientists.

The project outlines suitable for funding are selected in accordance with the criteria specified above. The interested parties will be informed of the selection result in writing.

7.2.2 Submission of formal funding applications and decision-making procedures

In the second stage of the process, the authors of the positively assessed project outlines are asked to submit a formal application for funding.

The use of the electronic application system "easy-Online" (taking into account the requirements stated in the annex) is required to create the formal funding applications (https: / / easyonline).

In the case of joint projects, funding applications must be submitted in coordination with the planned joint coordinator.

In addition to the aspects contained in the sketch, the formal funding applications must contain the following information:

a) detailed (sub) project description

b) detailed work and time planning:

  • Feasibility of the work plan
  • Plausibility of the schedule
  • Disposal plan
  • detailed information on the financing of the project
  • Appropriateness and necessity of the requested funding
  • Securing the overall financing of the project over the full term.

The work and financing plans are assessed in particular according to the criteria specified in number 7.2.2 letters b and c.

Content-related or legal requirements or recommendations from the sketch evaluation for the implementation of the project must be observed and implemented in the formal funding applications.

A project description in German must be attached to the formal funding application. This must not exceed 15 pages.

In accordance with the criteria and evaluation given above, a decision will be made on funding after a final application review.

7.3 Regulations to be observed:

Sections 48 to 49 a of the Administrative Procedure Act, Sections 23, 44 BHO and shall apply to the approval, payment and settlement of the grant, as well as to the verification and examination of the use and the possibly necessary revocation of the grant notification and the reclaim of the granted grant the general administrative regulations issued for this purpose, unless deviations from the general administrative regulations have been permitted in these funding guidelines. The Federal Audit Office is entitled to audit in accordance with Section 91 BHO.

8 period of validity

This guideline comes into force on the day after its publication in the Federal Gazette.

The duration of this funding guideline is limited to June 30, 2024.

Bonn, February 16, 2021

Federal Ministry
for education and research

On behalf
Dr. Jutta Mahlberg

1BMBF = Federal Ministry for Education and Research

2R & D & I = research, development and innovation

3Communication of the EU Commission (2014 / C 198/01) of June 27, 2014 (OJ C 198 of June 27, 2014, p. 1) in the version of the Communication of the EU Commission of C (2020) 4355 final of July 2, 2020 (OJ C 224, 8.7.2020, p. 2), in particular Section 2.