What is HEPSSA?

Who can be the lead applicant?

How do I secure a UK partner and who is eligible to be a UK partner?

Who are eligible to be industry partners?

What is the assessment process?

How do I apply?

What is the deadline for applicants?

Does my university need to see my application before I apply?

How much funding can I apply for, and how long can exchange visits be?

What can the funding be used for?

What can the funding not be used for?

How is the funding paid?

If I don’t use all of the funding, can I use it for other activities?

How will this project be overseen and monitored?

Further information


What is HEPSSA?

The Higher Education Partnership Programme – supported by the Anglo American Group Foundation and the UK Government through the Global Challenges Research Fund aims to ensure that the higher education system in sub-Saharan Africa produces engineers with the skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of industry and to tackle local challenges, by forming and strengthening relationships between academia and industry, implemented through a ‘hub and spoke’ model.

The Hub universities are funded to undertake bilateral staff and industry work placements with local industry partners, and in turn, share their experiences with a larger number of Spoke universities through a series of workshops that they organise and fund

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Who can be the lead applicant?

The lead applicant must be a member of staff from the University seeking to become a Hub university.

The lead applicant must have permission and support from his/her University Vice-Chancellor.

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How do I secure a UK partner, and who is eligible to be a UK partner?

The Global Challenges Research Fund encourages a UK partner involvement within the Higher Education Partnership Sub-Saharan Africa Programme. In order to successfully apply for the HEPSSA programme, it is important to build into the project, UK involvement.

The level of involvement and choice of UK partner is up to the applicant to decide. This can be from complete involvement to an advisory or lecturing role.

The UK partner must be justified by the value it adds to the project. However, the role that the UK partner plays is for the applicant to decide.

If the applicant does not have connections or access to a UK partner, the Royal Academy of Engineering can support to secure this relationship. Please contact Sebastian Scott if you require support in securing a UK partner.

If you do not have a UK partner, it is still important to build into your plans, how you will utilise a UK partner in your application.

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Who are eligible to be industry partners?

Any organisation or company that runs a business within the local or regional area, and is addressing or supporting the growth of local engineering industry or infrastructure is eligible. This includes, multinational companies, start-ups or government run industry. If you are uncertain, please contact Sebastian Scott.

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What is the assessment process?

Applicants will be evaluated by a specially convened panel of Academy Fellows with expertise spanning the breadth of engineering. The panel will rank the applications, and carry out the final selection of successful proposals.

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How do I apply?

All applicants must submit an application form via the Academy’s online system. In order to use the system, applicants must first register.

Application form (via online grant system – you must first register with the system and create a profile)

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What is the deadline for applicants?

The next round of funding closes on 31 January 2017.

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Does my university need to see my application before I apply?

The applicant will need to obtain a letter of support from the Vice Chancellor of the University to ensure the organisational capacity and support for the application. It is therefore recommended that you approach all necessary personnel well before the deadline for application to ensure that you are able to submit on time.

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How much funding can I apply for, and how long can exchange visits be?

The applicant can only apply for a £140,000 grant over a two-year period. This is to be paid in 4 x £35,000 equal payments received on receipt of the progress reports. The money will be paid to directly to the Hub University.

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What can the funding be used for?

The funding should be used to fund two way secondments between local industry and academia, training fees, travel and accommodation, resources & materials, and the host institutions expenses such as temporary replacement of staff or resources. The funding should also be used to create workshops to engage and include the spoke universities for knowledge sharing platforms.

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What can the funding not be used for?

The funding cannot be used to pay for research, projects, staff or programmes not related to the HEPSSA.

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How is the funding paid?

The funding will be paid to the Hub university in Sub-Saharan Africa through four separate payments of £35,000 each. Each payment will be released once a progress report has been submitted by the Hub university.

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If I don’t use all of the funding, can I use it for other activities?

Any underspend must be returned to the Academy.

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How will this project be overseen and monitored?

All monitoring, including the submission of documents and reports, is completed through the Academy’s online grant management system. A brief initiation report is required at the beginning of the project to be submitted by the Lead Applicant.

There will be three subsequent Progress reports between 1,000-1,500 words which must be submitted by the Hub university as stipulated in the below chart.

End of project reports of 1,000-1,500 words must be submitted by the Hub university within one month of completion of the visit, describing the main achievements enabled by the Award and future plans and an assessment of how the stated objectives have been met.

To enable the Academy to assess the long-term effectiveness of our schemes we also require a brief follow-up report 12 months after completion of the exchange, describing any additional activities which have resulted from the exchange.

March 2017 Initiation report Up to £35,000
September 2017 Progress report Up to £35,000
March 2018 Progress report Up to £35,000
September 2018 Progress report Up to £35,000
March 2019 Final report No
March 2020 Follow-up report No

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Further Information

All questions should be sent to the Programme Officer.