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FAQ for Request for Proposals


Tanzania Partnership Program

FAQs re: FY19-20 Research Proposals

Updated 12 April 2018


Q: Where should proposed research occur?

Research activities can occur within or outside TPP partner communities (Naitolia village in Monduli District-Arusha & Milola village in Lindi Rural District-Lindi, Tanzania). In either case, research teams should clearly articulate the ways in which the proposed study will inform TPP mission, strategic research priorities, and ongoing development initiatives.


Q: Are sample application materials available on the TPP website?

A: Yes, please click on these links for a budget template and for examples of an NSF style two-page CV and an NSF-style Current and Pending Support form


Q: What is the ceiling for proposed budget?

A: The ceiling for TPP Research Grants is $25,000. It is expected that MSU applicant faculty member’s college, department, and other institutes will share a cumulative 20% of the proposed costs, up to $5,000. Hence, project budgets should not exceed $30,000.


Q: Will all workgroup members be expected to participate in workgroup trainings or annual meetings?

A: Due to financial constraints, it may not be feasible for all members of workgroups to attend in-person. Virtual participation will be an option. In line with the participatory nature of these grants, it is expected that the majority of a workgroup will participate in these meetings, in-person or virtually, as feasible within budget constraints.


Q: Should project budgets include expenses for participation in annual meetings?

A: No, TPP will support the participation of workgroup representatives, in-person or virtually, as feasible within budget constraints.


Q: When will feedback and funding decisions be communicated?

A: Within four weeks of the application deadline.


Questions from the Webinar

Q: Who will assume an overall leadership of the working group between MSU faculty member and a Tanzanian institution?

A: These projects are intended to be co-created and co-lead by an MSU faculty member and faculty member(s) from a Tanzanian university or institution. The application packet should indicate who from MSU and Tanzania will co-lead the project.


Q: How should Tanzanian faculty look for MSU collaborators?

A: Suggested ways for Tanzanian faculty to identify potential MSU faculty collaborators include:

  1. Participate in any offered webinars.
  2. Explore the lists of MSU faculty in  MSU’s international units, such as:
  1. Explore MSU MSU colleges and departmental websites.
  2. Leverage networks: identify colleagues within TZ universities who have MSU connections.


Q:  Up to how many participants are able to participate in a single proposal?

 A:  This is open for the workgroup teams to decide depending on the type of research and intended outcomes. To encourage research-to-impact, workgroups can also be cross-sectoral, for example, with teams consisting of research faculty, private sector, implementation partners (such as NGOs), and/or community members. Faculty teams are to determine and explain the rationale for proposed workgroup participants.


Q:  How interdisciplinary should projects be?  Can projects have three or more disciplinary experts or ideas?

 A:  The complexities of the problems of rural poverty require a diversity of expertise. Given TPP’s approach and core principles, projects are encouraged to be interdisciplinary. Projects may have three disciplinary experts if justifiable in light of other objetives, such as research excellence and likelihood for external fnding. Faculty teams should assess which perspectives would be most valuable to address a particular researchable problem, and explain in the application why and how certain disciplinary perspectives will be brought into project teams.


Q: Are third party collaborators from other US based organizations eligible?

 A:  Projects may include third party collaborators, if justifiable.


Q: Will applications be considered that do not provide a 20% sharing commitment? 

 A:  No. The purpose of a 20% cost share is a way to demonstrate that academic departments value and support the research. Cost sharing for grants is a common practice at MSU, and multiple units utilize this as a mechanism to enhance the sustainability a research endeavor within a faculty member’s home department.  The cost-share may be divided across MSU departments and/or partner universities.


Q:  Are projects allowed to locate the project in other regions apart from the focal areas of Monduli and Lindi?

 A:  Yes. If envisioned research occurs outside TPP current geographic focal areas, proposed applications should articulate the ways in which any and all of the research will be relevant to TPP’s stratetic priority areas and partner communities. TPP’s vision is to expand work to other rural communities in Tanzania, so we welcome innovative problem-solving toward this end.


Q: How is interdisciplinary defined?  Do faculty members need to be from different departments or colleges?

 A: One of the goals of TPP is to learn how interdisciplinary groups work well together to enable communities to be resilent in the face of complex challenges associated with rural poverty.

Toward that goal, project applications should explain the approach of the interdisciplinary work and how such perspectives/frameworks will be utilized. Faculty appointments in different departments is another measure of interdisciplinarity.  The proposal review committee will evaluate the workgroup composition and disciplinary backgrounds, as well as how the approach to interdisciplinarity is explained and adds value to the project goals and outcomes.  TPP will ask and track related questions about interdisciplinary collaboration over the two-year process.


 Q:  I would like to design research that is far from the two points, Monduli and Lindi, will the proposal be considered?

 A:  TPP would accept research proposals based in areas apart from Monduli and Lindi districts.  However, it would be important to clearly demonstrate why research conducted in different regions would be relevant to TPP strategic priority areas and partner communities.


Q:  Would you please elaborate on the maximum number of people that would team up on a research proposal.

 A: There is not established a specific maximum number of team members. TPP invites the faculty members to consider the tradeoffs of additional workgroup members, and explain the value each member brings to the research-to-impact endeavor. An important minimum requirement to consider is that teams would include both an MSU and Tanzanian faculty member, and those faculty members representing interdisciplinary perspectives.


Q:  How can one get access to TPP resources, such as research work completed in past years?

 A:  Examples of past work, and project explanations are located on TPP’s website.  On the website, there is a tab labelled “research,” where information on past research can be found, in addition to a list of peer-reviewed journal articles, theses and dissertations.  Past research, articles provide good examples of interdisciplinary research, and you can see how interdisciplinarity is modeled in a project.  Additionally, there are annual reports available in downloadable PDF form under the resources tab, and explanations of ongoing projects under the projects tab.  


Budget Questions

Q: Are living expenses during fieldwork allowed in the budget line?

 A:  Short-term travel expenses such as per diem or lodging are allowed in the proposal budget. Longer periods, where researchers are actually living in the field, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Long-term living expenses are not typically encountered; however, we may be able to accommodate this if it is justified. Per diem rates are established, based on rates set by the U.S. government on the area where travel is taking place.  These can be looked up on the US Department of State’s website.


Q; What are examples of eligible expenses?

 A: Grant funds can be used for project supplies, chemicals etc., publications costs, wire transfer fees, and supplies for participants (training materials, etc.)


Q: What are examples in ineligible expenses?

 A: Grant funds should not be used for expenses such as faculty salaries, graduate students stipends, fringe benefits, etc.


 Q: What is required for all project expenses?

 A: The project must need the good or service to complete the activities outlines within the project. The goods or services must be received prior to the project end date. The good or service must be used by the end date of the project. 


 Click here to download the FAQs as a PDF