The Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) is pleased to announce to the university community that the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) project wishes to formally launch a Call for Proposals in June 2018

The announcement is intended to pre-inform and introduce the anticipated project, and to share details of the draft Call such that potential applicants can begin developing their proposals. Eligible higher education institutions in West/Central Africa, including the Republic of Ghana, will be encouraged to submit proposals that address a regional Development Challenge through a focused programme of postgraduate education and applied research.

Objective and Expected Results
The Project development aims to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration. The expected results of the proposed project include: 

  • Increase in the number of students, especially regional and female students, enrolled and graduating from Masters and PhD programmes; 
  • Improvement in the quality of programmes (including increase in number of programmes and ACE host institutions that obtain international accreditation, stronger regional and global partnerships);
  • Improvement in the relevance of the trainings and applied research;
  • Increase in regional networks and
  • Evidence of substantial development impact attributable to the project

ACE-Impact Components
ACE-Impact has two components running (Component 1 and 2) and proposals may be submitted to either of them according to their respective specifications.

Component 1
Component 1 has two Sub-components: Sub-component 1.1 will provide support to newly established centers of excellence; and Sub-component 1.2 will provide additional support to existing centers with a record of excellence in the ACE I Project.  Each Component 1 ACE center will address a regional development challenge through high quality postgraduate education, targeted applied research, and short courses for mid-career professionals.  

Approximately ten Component 1 centers are anticipated to be supported in pre-identified thematic sectors, and must respond to specific topical Terms of Reference that will be specified in the formal Call for Proposals.  These sectors are expected to include:

  •  water,
  • ICT,
  • power (energy),
  • urban design,
  • coastal degradation, 


  • environmental/social safeguards,
  • math/science education,
  • quantitative economics and
  • health

The Terms of Reference will focus on the training/skills needs as well as some particular research priorities that the centers are expected to address.

A further 15-20 Component 1 centers will be supported in topical areas that address a Development Challenge, but are not subject to pre-identified Terms of Reference.
 Component 2
Component 2 will provide support to strengthen emerging centers in countries with higher education systems that are not yet mature enough to be competitive under Component 1.  This component will provide targeted support to build national undergraduate and postgraduate education and support to engage in regional applied research in thematic areas of regional need.  Those institutions supported through Component 2 will be expected to partner with ACEs supported under Component 1 to strengthen regional academic networks and build education and research capacity.  

Evaluation Process
All proposals submitted for Component 1 centers in the ACE Impact project will be evaluated through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive and merit-based process consistent with international standards for funding centers of excellence.  The evaluation process will consist of two sequential steps:  

  • Desk Evaluation of the written proposal; and 
  • On-site Visit to a short-list of proposed centers.  

The criteria that will be used to evaluate all proposals will be made available when the formal Call for Proposals is released.

Anticipated Timelines
The Call for Proposals, anticipated in June 2018, will include details on the evaluation and selection criteria, and again provide a list of national contact points (and, where appropriate, national ACE Impact project websites) for additional information related to the submission of proposals.

  • Proposal submission under Component 1 will be due approximately three months after the Call Evaluation process will be completed by October 2018,
  • Selection of the ACE-Impact Centers will be made by the Project Steering Committee by late October 2018. 
  • The formal launch of the ACE Impact Centers is planned for February 2019. 

Additional Information on How to Apply

  • The application process will be coordinated by ORID. Eligible applications must register their interest by completing the attached form and submit to ORID via email at orid-researchadmin@ug.edu.gh by Friday 8th June, 2018 to enable ORID to plan for the submissions.
  • ORID will provide institutional letters to support applications that are aligned with the University’s vision and strategic focus.
  • The draft Proposal template is attached for interested applicants to begin their proposal development. The broad sections described will remain in the final version to be formally released in June, 2018.
    1. Click here to download the draft proposal template.
    2. Click here to download the notice of intent.

Interested applicants are to visit: http://www.ace.edu.ng/ace for more information on the Call.