ILMI Seed Grants 2020

ILMI Seed Grants for research, outreach and education on land, livelihoods and housing.

Download the call HERE.

Closing date: July 6th, 2020

The Integrated Land Management Institute (ILMI) aims to foster research and related activities and to promote reflexive engagement with the themes of land, livelihoods and housing. ILMI Seed Grants are aimed to trigger research work, expand or bridge a gap in an on-going research-related activity, in order to promote reflexive and practice-based knowledge production on socio-spatial matters in Namibia. Seed grants are devised to cover expenses required for an activity, and will be managed through NUST. In this call, grants do not cover salaries or allowances for researchers, and the focus will be primarily on Namibia. International researchers are welcome to partner with local peers to apply.

For more information about the ‘Land, livelihoods and housing’ framework and ILMI, please read the
ILMI Strategic Plan 2020-23

Important dates:

June 8     –   Launch of the call
July 6     –   Last day for submitting proposals
July 13    –   Complete applications are notified
July 27    –   Successful applicants are notified

Projects should be implemented in a period up to 3 months for small grants, and up to 6 months for medium grants.

1.    THEMES
Applicants are advised to use the themes as general guidelines. Of particular interest is research that engages with changing dynamics within and across these broad socio-spatial fields and engages with different disciplines.  Proposed topics can cover two or more themes, and applications do not need to specify a specific theme. For further reference, please consult the draft Land, Livelihoods and Housing research agenda.

•    Land. This field covers not only as urban and rural aspects, but also entails territorial scales including aspects traditionally marginalized in urban or rural studies (e.g. infrastructure, mining, trans-boundary areas).
•    Livelihoods. This field will focus on local and informal economies in this round. To learn more about this theme, read this reference on the informal sector and this on livelihoods beyond ‘a proper job’.
•    Housing. Aspects around issues of adequate housing in Namibia. To learn more about the right to adequate housing framework, read this.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the following agendas to inform their work. These references do not need to be explicitly mentioned in the application.

•    National Agendas: Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), Harambee Prosperity Plan; Vision 2030; and the Second National Land Conference resolutions.
•    International Agendas: African Agenda 2063, the New Urban Agenda, the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Both staff members of NUST and of other academic institutions, as well as researchers from partner institutions (government and non-government) are welcome to submit proposals. Young researchers are particularly encouraged to apply. No specific experience or background is required; however, ILMI will evaluate whether research objectives match with the experience and qualifications of applicants.
For this first call, the following modalities will be favoured:
•    Inter-/Transdisciplinary projects. Involving participants of more than one discipline, eventually venturing into inquiry beyond one specific disciplinary field.
•    Inter-departmental/faculty collaborations. Teams composed of members of different departments and/or faculties.
•    Inter-institutional collaboration. Cooperation with other academic entities beyond NUST.
•    Multi-stakeholder involvement. Inclusion of different stakeholders as members of the team and or as participants of the activity proposed. Examples are: central/local government, private sector, international cooperation, civil society (incl. NGOs), traditional authorities, organised communities, youth groups.

•   Research, and research-related activities. This will be the primary focus of this call. Seed funding does not aim to cover full-fledged research projects. These grants are aimed at supporting a component of research activities (e.g. fieldwork); small-scale/short-term projects will be supported.
•    Outreach. Outreach is here understood as a content-producing endeavour. This includes the active dissemination and exchange of knowledge, with the aim of producing new insights through engagement with a constituency beyond academia. Examples of these activities are seminars, workshop, exhibitions, and other creative interventions.
•    Education. To a limited extent, a Seed Grant can support an activity related to coursework, such as a field trip, a workshop, or a winter/summer school. The applicant will however be required to produce an output that is reflexive in nature.

Applicants are requested to propose an envisioned output. ILMI reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants for an appropriate output in relation with the proposed activity and the applicant’s experience. While authors maintain co-ownership of their work with NUST, ILMI reserves the right to release the work under its imprint. Examples of outputs that may be applicable are:
•    Low-threshold releases, which are internally reviewed and are considered ‘work in progress’; e.g. ILMI working papers, research reports.
•    Public releases, which are aimed at influencing a particular stakeholder or constituency; e.g. policy briefs, fact sheets, infographics.
•    Academic outputs, which are internationally peer-reviewed; such as journal articles, books.
•    Creative media. Applicants may propose creative media as an output, this include visuals, maps, collages, photography, films, among others.

The proposed projects have to take place within a maximum period of two months from the date of the award. Project implementation is up to 3 months for small grants, and up to 6 months for medium grants.

6.    BUDGET
For this call, there are two categories:
•    small projects, with a maximum budget of N$15,000;
•    medium projects, with a maximum budget of N$50,000.

ILMI will verify and confirm if the proposal is complete and if applicants are eligible. In some cases, ILMI may consult with subject-matter specialists regarding the submission. See important dates, above.

All documents should be submitted to
-    Motivation letter (1 page)
-    Filled ILMI Project Proposal form (available here:
-    CVs (2 page maximum) of team members

Projects will be run through NUST, and will need to comply with the institution’s regulations. Applicants are advised that some items cannot be supported through this grant, such as salaries, or cash distribution. The grant will be managed through ILMI with the assistance of its administrative support. NUST observes the new public procurement regulations, which require careful planning to avoid unnecessary delays. Successful candidates will be briefed on internal procedures to assist them in the successful implementation of their project.

Namibia has now moved to Stage 3 of the State of Emergency due to COVID-19, except for Walvis Bay. Any research activity will need to take these regulations into account. ILMI and NUST reserve the right to adapt the terms of reference for successful applicants in light of changes to the national guidelines.

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