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Past Request For Proposals


Tanzania Partnership Program Research Grants 

Request for Proposals

Updated 7 April 2018

Click this link to download the request for proposals as a PDF



Established in 2008, the Tanzanian Partnership Program (TPP) is a long-term, collaborative alliance of local and international organizations dedicated to improving local livelihoods. TPP’s mission is to promote resilient communities in developing countries and create a model for sustainable prosperity. TPP has initiated work in six interrelated and strategic priorities that cut-across TPP’s research, development, and education abroad programs.


Purpose of TPP Research Grants

In light of TPP’s mission and MSU’s ‘world-grant ideal’, TPP’s research agenda unites development, education, and research that advance the frontiers of knowledge and the role of universities in transforming local communities and the lives of individuals. TPP Research Grants support:

  • Research methodologies that generate new knowledge in TPP priority areas within the context of community development and empower communities to co-create innovative, sustainable solutions and improve lives.
  • Research processes that embody TPP’s community-engaged approach as articulated in TPP core principles: sustainable, integrative, interdisciplinary, participatory, adaptive, and collaborative.
  • Interdisciplinary workgroups committed to an inclusive, adaptive design approach (e.g. human-centered design), co-led by faculty members at MSU and Tanzanian universities, and comprised of inclusive partners from local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and industry.



Eligible applications must include interdisciplinary workgroups that are co-led by a faculty member from MSU and a faculty member from a Tanzanian university or research institution. To foster TPP’s long-standing relationships among partner institutions (Michigan State UniversityUniversity of Dar es Salaam; the Dar es Salaam University College of EducationSokoine University of Agriculture; and the Aga Khan Foundation) applications with workgroup members, especially faculty co-leads, from these institutions will be prioritized. Competitive applications will articulate the relevance of intended outcomes to TPP mission, strategic research priorities, and ongoing development initiatives. Research activities should occur in, nearby, or in an area in Tanzania with relevance to TPP partner communities (Milola in Lindi Rural District and Naitolia in Monduli District, Arusha Tanzania).


A TPP Research grant provides funding for two years with a total amount not exceeding $25,000. Funds may be used toward travel costs to develop relationships (both for MSU faculty and their partners coming from abroad), group meetings, workshops, campus visits for potential collaborators and seminar speakers, site visits for preliminary research (e.g. data collection, developing proof of concept), travel to funding agencies, identification of and responses to grant opportunities, etc. The MSU applicant faculty member’s college, department, and other institutes will be expected to share a cumulative 20% of the costs of the proposed activities to ensure that the commitment to long-term partnering is shared by departments and colleges.


Application Instructions

The application deadline is April 23, 2018. Proposals should be submitted to pscdtpp(at)

All application materials should be submitted as one single PDF file, except for the budget, which should be completed from the template provided on the website and submitted as an Excel file.

Each TPP Research Grant proposal should include the following:

  1. Cover page: outlining title, research themes, faculty co-leads, and information of workgroup members (name, institution, department affiliation, contact info)
  2. Workgroup and research activity description (not to exceed 5 pages): outlining background information; research questions, hypotheses, and methodologies; goals of the workgroup; workgroup composition; activities of the workgroup, including preliminary plan for regular workgroup interaction and intentional use of stakeholder feedback for adaptive design; external solicitations to be pursued; and, expected outcomes.
  3. Budget and budget justification with a timeline of activities and accompanying expenditures.
  4. CVs: National Science Foundation (NSF) style two-page CV of each workgroup member, especially highlighting any experience with cross-cultural collaboration and/or community/international research and development.
  5. Current and Pending Support form: NSF style document for each workgroup member.
  6. Letter of Commitment(s) for the 20% matching funds. 

Note: Sample application materials and forms and FAQs are available on the TPP website including a  Budget Template (updated 28 March 2018), the Current and Pending Support Form, a Sample Biosketch Outline, and a Sample 2-Page CV.  


Evaluation Rubric



Alignment of proposed activities with TPP mission, strategic research priorities, local context, and development initiatives in partner communities


Interdisciplinary nature of workgroup membership and commitment to an inclusive, adaptive design approach yielding broader impacts (e.g. human-centered design)


Fostering new, innovative collaborations between MSU and Tanzanian organizations, especially among existing TPP partner universities, as well as other key stakeholders (local communities, governments, NGOs, and industry)


Intellectual merit /scientific design of proposed activities


Commitment to and likelihood of group members successfully pursuing external funding opportunities


Feasible, appropriate budget and budget justification




An interdisciplinary committee will review the proposals. Proposal feedback and funding decisions will be communicated within four weeks of the application deadline. The funds are expected to be spent within the funding period, July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020.



Support: MSU and In-country TPP staff will provide logistical support for the operation of the workgroups. This would include training in human-centered design, facilitating in-country research clearance, assistance with travel logistics, access to Smartsheet project management software, contact for English-Swahili translation services, space for group meetings that include technology for virtual participation, inclusion in TPP’s emerging communication strategy for knowledge dissemination, grant intelligence, and assistance with proposal development.


Adaptive Learning: With the TPP staff and assessment experts, in the first quarter, each workgroup is expected to co-create a self-sustaining workplan that promotes regular interaction, reflective learning of internal workgroup processes, and utilization of funding over the entire funding period to meet team goals. Reporting from this process will inform project adaptations and understanding of interdisciplinary teamwork, which TPP believes is critical toward developing a model for sustainable prosperity, TPP’s mission. TPP staff will also continue to monitor the progress of the group after the initial two years of funding for our own records.


Reporting: Each workgroup is required to submit a progress report every six months and a final report after two years, outlining the activities, expenditures, and achievements of the workgroup. A final report is due two months after the 2-year anniversary of the awarding of the funds.


Annual meetings: TPP will hold annual meetings (likely in September/October or May) for workgroup representatives to present progress reports and discuss workplans. Meetings will provide opportunity for workgroups to interact with other workgroups and with TPP partners. In line with the participatory nature of these grants, it is expected that the majority of a workgroup will participate in these meetings, in-person or virtually, as feasible within budget constraints.


Additional information

  • To view the slides and listen to the interactive webinar hosted by MSU on 29 March 2018 click here
  • To download the slides from the webinar as a PDF click here
  • Questions about the application process may be directed to:


TPP Strategic Research Priorities:

  1. Community Empowerment and Resilience: This theme addresses all researchable issues related to challenges encountered in community engagement, capacity building, operationalization of local governments, special groups’ interactions and initiatives, network development, economic empowerment and governance, community risks/vulnerability, nurturing diversity, adaptive learning, capability to manage changes, self-reorganizing, social trust, collective action, and transformability, and community customary institutions, local knowledge and skills.
  2. Water Access and Quality: This theme will address all researchable issues related to water availability, gendered access, technologies for water harvesting, storage and distribution, water resources management approaches and challenges, water quality and technologies for water purification, health effects, economic use of water resources at community level and local perceptions of water quantity and safety.
  3. Education Access and Quality: This theme will address all researchable issues related to education processes (formal and informal), awareness and motivation to education, early childhood education, primary and secondary education challenges, gender and special groups challenges and motivation; teaching methods, learning outcomes, and effective technology; adaption/adoption of new technologies; linkages between school feeding program and education/health/nutritional status.
  4. Human Health Access and Quality: This theme will address all researchable issues related to health services provision, traditional and conventional health services, health facilities availability and access, quality of services, maternal and child health services, school health assessment, reproductive health education, special groups health services, availability and access of specialized services.
  5. Animal Health and Resources: This theme will address all researchable issues related to animal diseases that are important in productivity, interaction with wildlife, sustainability of different production systems, effect of climate change and community adaptation to it, ONE HEALTH community initiatives.
  6. Food Security, Agriculture and Economic Development: The theme will address all researchable issues related to food security, nutritional security, food systems, food culture, contribution of agriculture in economic development and community adaptation of types of soils climate and crops to be cultivated for sustainable food security; inexpensive, cost effective methodologies to improve outputs, assessable data-driven methods for improvements; SMART Agriculture.