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Request for applications: National and International Conferences  

The South African Medical Research Council (MRC) seeks applications for funding to host national and international conferences, including summits and symposia. The theme of the conference should be aligned to the vision and mission of the MRC.

Funding caps
The maximum amount that may be requested is R200 000 for international conferences and R100 000 for national conferences.

South African Higher Education Institutions (HEI), science councils or other non-profit organisations whose core business is conducting medical/health research are eligible to apply for funding.

The proposed conference must have medical/health research as its central theme and be hosted at a venue in South Africa.

Application requirements
Applications should not exceed 5 pages (Arial 10 pt font, single spaced), including the cover page.

Applications must contain the following information:

  1. A cover page duly completed and signed off (use template available in MS Word format, 50 kb).
  2. Details of the conference/summit/symposium/:
    1. Date(s) for the meeting
    2. Conference programme and speakers
    3. Proposed participants
    4. Proposed number of attendees, broken down by local and international attendees.
    5. Expected conference outcomes.
  3. Narrative on how this conference will support the MRC’s mission and significance to South Africa.
  4. Budget (use template available in Excel format, 26 kb).
    1. List all potential and confirmed sources of funding including the proposed MRC funding that you wish to apply for. Mention any applications submitted to other organizations to fund this conference and the status of those applications (denied, pending, or funded). If pending or funded, indicate the Rand amount requested. Participant conference fees must be included as revenue.
    2. Document all planned expenditures by budget categories (e.g., personnel, supplies, travel, marketing/promotional, speaker fees, meals, facility rental, etc.).

Please note that MRC funds may not be used to pay for equipment, capital expenses, computers, gifts, prizes, cash awards, entertainment, alcohol, lobbying activities, and proposal development.

Proposal Evaluation
All applications will be evaluated against following criteria:

  1. Responsiveness to the RFA (timely submission, eligibility, completeness etc.)
  2. Relevance to MRC’s mission
  3. Level of direct impact on health research and/or health.
  4. Available/current conference information (e.g., agenda, topics, speakers, marketing and organisational plans, budget, etc.)

Application deadlines
For international conferences, applicants should submit applications up to two years prior to the conference.  For local conferences, applicants should submit their applications up to one year prior to the conference. 

The closing dates for applications are tabulated below.

Year of conference
National conference
International conference
20 December 2016
20 December 2015
20 December 2017
20 December 2016
20 December 2018
20 December 2017
20 December 2019
20 December 2018
20 December 2020
20 December 2019

Application review and notification of outcome
Applicants will be notified by the 31st March of each year on the outcome of their application. Successful applicants may request funding 2 months prior to the date by which the funds are needed.  It should be noted that payment can take up to 30 working days from receipt of invoice.

Conditions of funding
As a condition of award, the MRC shall be acknowledged as a conference sponsor and branded appropriately subject to approval by the MRC.  Furthermore, the MRC reserves the right to propose other conditions which will be contained in the letter of award.

Conference Report
The recipient institution must provide the MRC with a report describing the outcomes of the conference. The report is due within 3 months of the end date of the conference and should include details such as:

  1. The number of conference attendees
  2. A financial report showing all sources and amounts of project funding along with expenditure detail for the MRC funds
  3. Copies of all conference promotional materials
  4. Details on how the MRC was acknowledged as a sponsor
  5. Any additional information that helps document the success of the conference and its value to the MRC’s mission.

Submission of applications
Applicants must submit their applications (including signed cover page) by e-mail to:

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Last updated:
2 October, 2017
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