For its 4th Cohort of authors, Aegis Trust launched a call for proposals to Rwandan researches and received 55 research proposals from 70 applicants. This note offers an analysis of the proposals and candidates based on the information collected from their submitted research papers and curriculum vitae. The first section will take a closer look at the proposals by focusing on themes (numbers and percentages), language of the research papers, collaborative or individual proposals and the submission method used. The second section will focus on candidate’s profiles through: gender, profession of the authors (numbers per category and percentages), nationals vs internationals and academic rank.
Section 1 – Proposals
Applicants for the Aegis Trust research grants were asked to submit a proposal touching upon one of the following 7 themes determined following a needs assessment conducted across research and peacebuilding sectors in Rwanda about the topics that need to be researched:
- Memory, identity and narrative
- Reconciliation and social cohesion
- Transitional Justice
- Trauma and psychological/psycho-social issues
- Gender dimensions of post-genocide recovery
- Post-genocide economic development
- Education, media and peacebuilding (with an emphasis on Peace education)
With 18% of the total submissions, the Gender dimensions in post-genocide recovery and the Reconciliation and social cohesion categories received the highest numbers of proposals. Close second, with 16% of all proposals, the Education, media and peacebuilding, the memory, identity and narrative categories as well as the post-genocide economic development theme. The transitional justice theme, on the contrary, received the smallest number of proposals with only two papers relating to this topic, representing 4% of all proposals. It is important to note that some proposals crossed more than one theme (tell their number and how we treated that case).
- Language of proposals
As illustrated by the graphic below, out of the 55 proposals submitted this year, 50 were written in English; representing 91% of them for only 5 proposals in French, which is equivalent to 9% of the total submissions.
- Authorship status
Fourteen proposals out of the 55 submitted are the result of collaboration between two authors, which represents 25% of the research papers compared to 41 single research projects. The collaborative projects comprise 8 exclusively male teams, 2 female groups and 4 composed of one man and one woman.
- Nationals vs Internationals
The call for research proposals is offered to Rwandan authors but it is open to projects where a Rwanda author may be co-authoring with an international researcher. The graph below gives us the ratio of Rwandans versus International applicants. As the call for proposals required, all international applicants had to collaborate on a research project with a Rwandan national.
- Submission method
This indicator shows the propensity for our targeted audience to engage with our online portal. Some proposals were submitted by email to the firstname.lastname@example.org address or using the Genocide Research Hub (GRH in the following analysis) by filling in a form under the research grants’ section. In total, 34 proposals were submitted by email, 11 used the GRH and 10 used both submission methods.
Section 2 – Candidates’ profiles
This section bases on the number of applicants which is different from the number of proposals as some projects are worked on by more than 1 author.
- Gender: 51 authors are male and 19 are female.
Taking a closer look at the candidates’ field of work, it shows that 37 of the 70 applicants are academics, 19 of them work for civil society organizations and 8 for Government and National institutions. Regarding our categorisation of professions, we have put the self-employed and independent research in the “Other” category and we have put the few applicants who didn’t clearly show their area of work in the “Missing” category.
Is the common thinking that women are less present in the academia reflected in our pool of applicants? We looked as well at the distribution of our applicants within professional sectors basing on their gender.
- Academic rank
Six applicants out of 70 are PhD candidates, representing 9% of our applicants. Twenty-one of them already hold a Doctor of philosophy degree. However, the majority of applicants (61%) are neither PhD holders nor PhD candidates.
- Research experience
The Aegis research grants programme intends to reach both experienced and “junior” researchers. We were then interested in looking at the distribution of our applicants basing on their level of experience in research and publication. Applicants are classified as senior researchers if they have more than 3 published research material published in recognized Rwandan and International academic journals (referring to information put in their CV).
- Research experience versus profession
This graph represents the proportion of junior and senior researchers in the identified profession areas.
What is coming?
In the coming weeks, 8 research projects will be selected and funded by Aegis Trust through its Research, Policy and Higher Education department. The steps below will be followed:
– A pre-selection phase will help to identify irrelevant proposals that will be put aside. The irrelevance character will be based on the selection criteria and guidelines put together by the selection committee prior to the launch of the call for proposals. These mainly comprise the originality of the topic, the quality of the submitted proposal (including the academic validity) and the contribution of the proposal to the existing literature and its relevance in creating policy-oriented evidence.
– After that, the selection committee will convene and conduct the selection. This phase will provide a list of pre-selected projects that will be called for an interview.
– After interviews, the selection committee will then announce the successful projects and candidates to the Aegis trust funding.
The indicative timeline for this is two weeks from now. The successful candidates should be informed by mid-December 2017.
We are looking forward to informing you of the outcome.