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Transforming Institutions Strategic Travel Grants

Transforming Institutions Partnership
Strategic Travel Funding

Invitation for Proposals 2018

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) seeks proposals for partnership activities which directly address AAP's Transforming Institutions pillar (transforming institutions to be better able to participate in sustainable, equitable, and research-driven partnerships that make a broader impact on transforming lives). Successful applicants will receive seed funding for travel to develop long-term international strategic partnerships with universities, institutions of higher education and research, and organizations in the public or NGO sectors. Travel can include any of the following--within Africa, to Africa from external locations, to the US or to other locations outside of Africa. The partnerships should focus on institutional strengthening and capacity development.


Proposals may be submitted in one of the following three categories:

  1. Exploratory Grants to support initial-stage partnership development. These grants are meant for new partnerships that have not previously worked together.
  2. Proposal Development Grants to support travel for partners to develop a proposal in responsive to a specific funding opportunity. 
  3. Pilot Workshop Grants to support short-term training activities or workshops. In this case, the AAP will provide travel funds for members of the partnership leading or participating in these activities.

We highly encourage projects which incorporate south-south collaboration. This has been identified as an AAP priority and will be prioritized in the selection process.

MSU partners are required to provide a 20% funding match from their home department or unit. African and other non-US partners must provide a costshare contribution to the partnership, either monetary or in-kind.


  • Proposals should include co-PIs from each of the partner institutions included in the proposal and must include at least one MSU PI and one African PI.
  • This call is open to partnerships that are not being currently supported with AAP funds. AAP 2017 grantees are not eligible to apply.

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria that will be used to evaluate the impact of these funds will include the number and quality of:

  • Collaborative grant applications submitted and awarded
  • Collaborative research publications completed
  • Continued productive collaboration with partner institutions around transforming all institutions involved in the partnership. This could include
    • The number and quality of institutional improvements that stem from the partnership activities
    • Symposia or conferences held to disseminate work stemming from the partnership activities
    • Other measures of institutional transformation as proposed by the implementing teams
    • A follow up report including data on these criteria will be required three months after funds are utilized for travel.

AAP would like to receive all applications prior to April 30, 2018 for fund allocation by September 30, 2018; however, this is a guideline and we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until all funds are awarded.

Partnership Activities

The partnerships should center on collaborative research and other capacity building activities, including research proposal development and preliminary research activities that contirbute to transformation at all partnering institutions. Proposed activities should ultimately lead to potential long-term research and other collaborations between MSU and the partner institution. Funding may be granted for continued support to develop these partnerships depending on the outcomes of the initial grant.

Partnership Funding

Transforming Institutions Partnership funds will provide partial support of travel costs, both for MSU faculty and for their partners from abroad. The applicant faculty members' colleges and/or departments will be expected to contribute to the costs of this travel to ensure that the commitment to long-term partnering is shared by these units. A 20% match by an MSU department or college is required. These travel awards should ultimately result in the development and submission of a collaborative funding proposal (including MSU and partner institution faculty) for external funding.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should include:

  1. Narrative (not to exceed five pages) which addresses specifically:
    • What activities are being proposed for this travel?
    • What are specific external funding opportunities that could support the proposed research in the future?
    • What other funding sources, if any, have you requested to support proposed partnership activities?
      And more generally:
    • A general description of the partners and individuals who will take part in the project.
    • The history of partnership between those involved and the potential for sustained future engagement.
    • A description of the partners’ shared vision and how each partner will benefit from the proposed activities.
    • What are the proposed topics or issues that the activities will address?
    • How will the activities contribute to transforming all of the institutions included in the partnership? Please describe any short-term impact.
    • What is the anticipated longer-term impact of the proposed activities?
  2. Written endorsement from the applicants’ deans or department chairpersons committing to a minimum of 20% matching funds and a description of any monetary or in-kind contributions from partner institutions.
  3. Proposed budget.

Submitting a Proposal

Please submit proposals as a single pdf document to aap(at)


Please contact Amy Jamison at jamisona(at) or 517-884-2127 with any questions.