NO 6 Zambezi Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, FCT Nigeria



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Following the successful completion of the processing of the research proposals submitted to NRF under the 2019 Grants Cycle, culminating in the total award of N3.9 billion to support 128 research projects, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) wishes to inform the Nigerian research community, in particular, and the public in general, that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N7.5 billion for the current 2020 NRF Grants Cycle. The process of accessing the 2020 NRF grants involves the response to this Call-for-Concept-Notes by the Principal Investigators of the proposed research projects, to be followed later by the submission of full proposals by only those whose concept notes have been evaluated and the research projects are considered fundable.



The twenty eight prioritized thematic areas of research are, as presented below, in three categories: Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Cross-Cutting.

Category 1 – Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation

Thematic Area 1 – Agriculture and Food Security

Thematic Area 2 – Health and Social Welfare

Thematic Area 3 – Transport

Thematic Area 4 – Power and Energy

Thematic Area 5 – IT, Computing & Telecommunications

Thematic Area 6 – Space Science and Technology

Thematic Area 7 – Geosciences

Thematic Area 8 – Science and Engineering

Thematic Area 9 – Water & Sanitation

Thematic Area 10 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Thematic Area 11 – Sustainable use of Natural Resources and Terrestrial Ecosystems

Category 2 – Humanities and Social Sciences

Thematic Area 12 – National Integration, Conflict, Defence and Security

Thematic Area 13 – Education and Human Capital

Thematic Area 14 – Economic Development and Globalization

Thematic Area 15 – History, Culture and Identities

Thematic Area 16 – Languages, Literatures and Media

Thematic Area 17 – Social Development and Welfare

Thematic Area 18 – Population and Migration

Thematic Area 19 – Governance, Politics, law and Ethics

Thematic Area 20 – Tourism, Sports and Recreation

Thematic Area 21 – Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion

Thematic Area 22 – Humanities, Social Sciences, Technology and Business Interface

Category 3 – Cross-Cutting

Thematic Area 23 – Entrepreneurship & Wealth Creation

Thematic Area 24 – Environment, Housing & Urban and Regional Development

Thematic Area 25 – Resource Governance

Thematic Area 26 – Science, Technology and Innovation System Management

Thematic Area 27 – Blue Economy

Thematic Area 28 – Clean and Affordable Energy


Lecturers in any of our public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria are eligible. Multi-Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary research projects, comprising researchers from various disciplines, are most highly encouraged. The Principal Investigator (PI), who must preferably be of professorial cadre in a university, chief lecturer in a polytechnic or college of education, will lead the research team and be personally responsible and held accountable for the conduct of the research. An added requirement is that the PI must be institution based, with the PI’s institution regarded as the Coordinating Institution. However, in line with the approval of Board of Trustees (BOT) of TETFund, additional members of the research team can be drawn from researchers in private tertiary institutions, research institutes, Centres of Excellence and the industry. This is consistent with the global best practice of involving non-governmental organizations and other non-state actors in research projects that are to address national needs.


The process of application is entirely on an online platform. The Principal Investigator is expected to visit upon the opening of the Portal, where he or she will be closely guided on the preparation and final submission of the concept note. All the submitted Concept Notes will be evaluated by the National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC). The PIs of the successful Concept Notes will be communicated to proceed to the preparation of the Full Proposals which will also be processed online. The PI and, at least a member of the Research Team of an adjudged fundable proposal, shall be invited to defend their proposal before the NRFS&MC. Thereafter, the successful proposals for grant awards will be presented to the Board of Trustees ofTETFund for approval.


The Portal will be open for the submission of the Concept Notes from Monday 22nd June to Tuesday 21st July. For any enquiry, please contact the TETFund NRF Secretariat using the following e-mail addresses:,,,


Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro (FNIAS, FNSAP, FASAN, D.Sc. Hon, FAS

(Executive Secretary, TETFund, Abuja)