Call for Concept Notes: TETFund NRF 2020 Grants Cycle

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) invites the Nigerian Research Community to submit concept notes for the 2020 National Research Fund (NRF) grants.

Unlike previous calls, the Call for Proposals is now in two stages: first, the submission of a Concept Note that briefly describes the research project idea or concept; secondly, submission of the full application form after initial evaluation.

After the concept notes are evaluated; the best concept notes will be selected and the successful submitting researchers will be asked to submit the full Application Form. The quality of the Concept Note is most vital.

Thematic Areas

The 28 thematic areas for the grants are placed under 3 categories:

  • Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Cross-Cutting

About the Concept Note

In the Concept Note you will submit an analysis of current situation and a chosen strategy, leaving the more detailed project development information for development of the full proposal after you have been selected to submit a full proposal. Your project idea, however, should be well thought through before you start completing the Concept Note. This is very important. So take the time to develop the project idea as well as you can.

In the Concept Note, researchers will basically:

  • Present the problem the project will focus on;
  • Describe the project objectives;
  • Describe all groups that will benefit from the project;
  • Discuss the project results (or what is expected to be accomplished through the project;
  • Describe the type of activities that are planned within the project;
  • State the estimated funding requested from NRF
READ ALSO  Desk Rejection-5 ways to avoid It

Format for Concept Note

In not more than 1,000 words, the Concept Note should contain the following:

  1. Title of Proposed Research
  2. Thematic Area
  3. Background to the Research
  4. Statement of the Problem
  5. Objectives of the Research
  6. Research Questions
  7. Literature Review
  8. Theoretical Framework
  9. Research Methodology
  10. Expected Results
  11. Innovation: How different it is from other or earlier projects?
  12. Estimated budget
  13. References (not more than 5)
  14. Research Team (Name/Rank/Highest Qualification/Area of specialization)

Evaluation Shall Be Based On:

  • Significance of research
  • Potential for scientific breakthroughs/ Disruptive Innovation
  • Technical competencies of research team
  • Potential impact / Relevance to Nigeria


  • Lecturers in any Nigerian public University, Polytechnic and College of Education are eligible to apply.
  • Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary research projects, comprising researchers from various disciplines, are highly encouraged.
  • The Principal Investigator (PI) must preferably be of professional cadre in a university, Chief lecturer in a polytechnic or college of education.
  • The PI must be institution based, with the PI’s institution regarded as the Coordinating Institution.
  • Additional members of the research team can be drawn from researchers in private tertiary institutions, research institutes, Centres of Excellence and the industry.

Submission Deadline: July 21, 2020

To submit a concept note, click here

For more information, download:

TETFund official call

Thematic Areas Guidelines

Concept Note Format and Evaluation

For further enquiries, contact the NRF TETFund Secretariat using the following email addresses:;;;