Funding opportunities

Funding opportunities

General Grant Proposal Call – Application for the 2013 July Board Meeting



OSF-SA is committed to promoting the values, institutions and practices of an open, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. Fundamental to the pursuit of such a society is the ideal of a deliberative and responsive government as reflected in actions taken and policies pursued. Foreign policy, no less than domestic policy, should reflect the ideals of responsiveness and deliberation, in accordance with South Africa’s constitutional commitments to democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

OSF-SA believes that new developments, domestically and internationally, impacting on South Africa’s foreign policy behaviour and engagements are an opportunity to stimulate deliberation and debate of South Africa’s international ambitions and global strategic interests.

The South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI), a programme of OSF-SA, is opening a general call for research projects from organisations and individuals which can provide critical insights and expand and strengthen the debate on the influences and choices that impact South Africa’s foreign policy in the 21st Century.


South Africa continues to be treated in many circles as an emerging world power that enjoys the status of a strategic African country in South-South Cooperation. This is reflected in its continued membership of IBSA; as one of four co-chairs in the Development Working Group and the only African country of the G20. This year sees the culmination of its second two year (2011-2012) non permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The elevation and prominence of South Africa’s foreign policy has been further enhanced with the recent election of Mrs Dlamini-Zuma as Chair of the AU Commission and Pretoria’s co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Moreover, South Africa currently serves as the rotating Chair of the BRICS Group.

Pretoria interprets these multilateral engagements as further advancing its foreign policy engagements, which Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane defines as "South Africa punching within its weight".

However, the discourse and rationale that informs South Africa’s foreign policy identity remains unclear. On the one hand there is a view that suggests that South Africa’s international engagements are shaped by a deepening commitment to multilateralism and South-South Cooperation, on the other hand, some believe there to be little coherence shaping the factors influencing Pretoria’s foreign policy choices and decisions.

As South Africa strengthens its positional leadership in global configurations like the G20, BRICS, IBSA, the UN and now through the AU Commission, the critical question is understanding how our foreign policy locates itself and responds to a changing international system.

Call for Proposals

The SAFPI programme is issuing a public call for proposals to encourage organisations to apply for grants that provide innovative and critical analysis of South Africa’s foreign policy behaviour and impact.

OSF-SA wishes to award grants to suitably qualified organisations to undertake empirically focused research projects based on the above and in relation to the following broad themes:

  • South Africa in Africa;
  • South Africa’s Place and Role in a changing global architecture; and 
  • Constructing a developmental foreign policy agenda.

Important Note:

  • Applications must be submitted using the form provided.
  • All supporting documents (including a separate 5-8 project proposal) must accompany the application form.
  • A Bifurcated Budget [1] (which identifies expenses according to lobby and/or non-lobbying activities) using the attached template as a guide.

Expected Principles and Standards:

OSF-SA (SAFPI) subscribes to the following principles and standards:

Systematic Inquiry: Applicants are required to conduct systematic, rigorous, evidence-based inquiries about the subject.

Competence: Applicants are required to have proven competence in relation to work of this nature.

Integrity/Honesty: Applicants are required to ensure the honesty and integrity of the entire project process.

Respect for People: Applicants are required to respect the security, dignity and self-worth of the respondents, programme participants, clients and other stakeholders with whom they interact.

Responsibilities for general and public welfare: Applicants are required to articulate and take into account the diversity of interests and values that may be related to general and public welfare.

In addition, the following criteria for selection will be considered when evaluating applications:

  1. Originality of the proposed project
  2. The background policy context of the proposed research
  3. The empirical nature of the study (i.e. a clearly defined hypothesis that the research focus intends to undertake and how this is developed through the way the project seeks to test the assumption. Applicants are encouraged to consider how projects can provide a good balance between long-range and applied research).
  4. Methodology that clearly states how the research objectives are going to be achieved i.e. the research questions, data collection (including interviews with actors and observers in foreign policy/diplomacy circles, surveys to be conducted), the type of data analysis that will be applied and so forth.
  5. Projects that are multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary in nature.
  6. Who will be impacted by the results of the study?
  7. Risks associated with the research project.
  8. How will the results of the study be disseminated, including into the policy space?
  9. What advocacy strategies will be undertaken to target constituencies outside of the mainstream general public?
  10. Project leaders and senior analysts must demonstrate a strong competency in research and good publication record on the proposed thematic area of study and related subjects
  11. The inclusion, training and mentoring where possible of post-graduate scholars engaged in studies on South Africa's foreign policy.

General Information

  1. Consideration will be given to proposals that overlap with more than one theme but it must be clear in its focus, research design and activities.
  2. Only ONE application per organisation will be ACCEPTED.
  3. Submissions from consortia (these can include collaboration with overseas partners) of two or more organisations and/or individuals will be ACCEPTED.
  4. Applicants are encouraged NOT to duplicate existing studies.
  5. Grants will be awarded valued between R440 000 – R450 000.
  6. The time-frame for each project will be one-year.


Please note that all applications must be accompanied by a cover page that has the following information:

  • Organisation Name
  • Organisation Type
  • Contact Person (Title, First Name, Surname)
  • Postal Address
  • Physical Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Fax Number
  • Email Address
  • Project Name
  • Current Year Organisational Budget (attach full line item budget)
  • Project Amount Requested From OSF-SA

In addition, the following supporting documents must be submitted with the application:

  • Latest Audited financial statements
  • List of Board Members
  • Proof of Certification / Governance documentation
  • Recent internal/external evaluation

A Comprehensive Project Proposal (between 5 – 8 pages) should include the following:

  1. A one-page executive summary
  2. A discussion of the design of the project you or your organisation wishes to undertake
  3. The goals, objectives, and activities as well as motivation for why these have been selected
  4. A short resume documenting your or your organisation's track record and qualifications in terms of undertaking this type of work


For queries and further information, please contact Ms Sanusha Naidu, Senior Researcher, SAFPI Programme, OSF-SA at or (021) 5111 679.

Please submit comprehensive proposal that address the requirements of the Call for Proposals electronically to  by 31 May 2013 @ 17:00(5pm) South African time.

Late submissions and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Strict confidentiality is assured.

[1] Applicants MUST decide whether their activities are lobbying and/or non-lobbying using the attached information sheet. PLEASE NOTE that projects can be non-lobbying in nature. BUT this will have to be determined by the Applicant in terms of the issues and associated activities that are identified as the project deliverables. 

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