What is HEP SSA?

What is a 'hub and spoke' model?

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 HEP SSA?

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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What is a 'hub and spoke' model?

The Royal Academy of Engineering HEP SSA programme refers to a ‘hub and spoke’ model to describe the structure, reporting lines and funding of the programme.

The hub university is the main applicant, and is responsible for:

  • managing and distributing the funding and budget of the project  
  • outlining and implementing a project plan and list of activities
  • identifying and organising local and regional university (spokes), industry and UK partners
  • submitting the project progress to the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • disseminating knowledge and facilitating networking opportunities through the project partners
  • leading the project steering group.

The spoke universities are the local and regional universities that are involved in the project, and are responsible for:

  • actively partaking in the project activities, which can include knowledge sharing workshops, curriculum review, and secondments to industry
  • reporting to the hub university on the project progress
  • actively support the success of the project
  • sitting on the project steering group to scrutinise the project progress.

The project must have at least 3 spoke partners, 1 UK partner, and 1 industry partner.

 

Visual depiction of a HEP SSA hub and spoke model project.

 

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Who can be the lead applicant?

The lead applicant must be a full-time member of staff from the university seeking to become a hub university, based in sub-Saharan Africa.

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

The Academy supports inclusion and diversity within its programmes and welcomes female led applications and the development of equality led projects.

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

In order to successfully apply for the HEP SSA programme formal UK involvement should be built into the project.

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. However, the role must be formalised and agreed within the application.

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 facilitate this relationship. Please submit a partnership request here.

Please contact Sebastian Scott if you require clarification or support in securing a UK partner.

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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?

All applications will undertake two rounds of assessment. The first round will assess the eligibility of the application to ensure it is suitable for expert review and meets the requirements of UK government funding through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and that it meets the Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria.

The applications will then be evaluated by the HEP SSA Steering group which is comprised of Academy Fellows and experts spanning the breadth of engineering and international development.

The HEP SSA reviewers will mark the applciation out of 7, assessing to what extent it meets the following criteria:

  • the quality and feasibility of the project's goals and objectives
  • the wider benefit and impact of the project
  • the project partnerships are robust, clearly outlined and add value to the project.
  • there is a suitable and detailed budget for the project
  • the level of support outlined from the UK partner and hub institution's Vice Chancellor (or equivalent)
  • is there a detailed sustainability plan showcasing lasting impact?

The panel will rank the applications and carry out the final selection of successful proposals.

All applicants will then be contacted to confirm whether their application was successful or not.

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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 here

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What is the deadline for applicants?

The deadline for applications is 1pm BST, Tuesday 6 August 2019.

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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 (or equivalent) 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 the 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?

All applications can apply for a grant of up to £200,000 over a two-year period. This is to be paid in five payments received on receipt of the biannual progress and expenditure reports.

A final payment of £5,000 will be made on receipt of the project's final report.

The funding will be paid directly to the hub university account but can be split with the UK partner, to promote collaboration and ease transaction costs, should this be requested.

The application should clearly outline support and funding for its spoke university partners.

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What can the funding be used for?

  • The funding should be used to fund knowledge sharing workshops, bilateral 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.
  • This programme also offers support for travel, subsistence and salary support costs related to conducting visits and exchanges in support of collaborative activities among industry and academic partners in Africa and the UK.
  • There is no set limit on how much you can claim in any one category apart from consumables which  and equipment costs, where no more than £25,000 of the total project may be utilised. Consumables include specific project costs of equipment, computer software licences or publication costs.
  • Successful applicants will receive 25% of the total award value at the project’s start, after contract signature, and the subsequent payments will be paid every quarter upon receipt of a satisfactory quarterly progress and expenditure report.
  • A final payment of £5,000  will be made on receipt of the final report.
  • Additional costs on top of the grant funding must be met by the participating Institutions or leveraged from elsewhere with clear indication with respect to the source of the matched contribution.
  • Please include a row with a brief explanation of each cost. We require evidence that you have researched the costs for which you are seeking support; for example, you could include the cost per night for accommodation. Travel costs should be based on the most suitable and economical form of travel. Subsistence costs should reflect the normal rates applied by the host institution(s).
  • Additional sources of funding is encouraged and should be included within the budget

For any questions or to seek clarification, please contact Sebastian Scott

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What can the funding not be used for?

The funding cannot be used for activities, staff or travel unrelated to HEP SSA. All costs should be clearly outlined in the budget template and any variances needs to be cleared with the Academy.

All funding used must adhere to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Official Devleopment Assistance (ODA) funding criteria. 

Please contact Sebastian Scott for further information or to seek clarification

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How is the funding paid?

The funding will be paid to the hub university in sub-Saharan Africa through separate payments of up to £50,000 each. Each payment will be released once a progress report has been submitted by the hub university.

A final payment of £5,000 will be made on receipt of the project's final report.

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

Any underspend at the end of the two-year project must be returned to the Academy as set out in the contract.

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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 and expenditure reports required using the HEP SSA progress and expenditure template which must be submitted by the hub university on the dates stipulated in the below chart.

A final report, using the HEP SSA final report guidance notes, must be submitted by the hub university within one month of completion of the project, describing the main achievements enabled by the grant, 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 and developments which have resulted from the project.

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Further Information

All questions or clarifications should be sent to the Programme Manager, Sebastian Scott.