Research coordination includes the definition of national research priorities and research guidelines, administration of research funds, monitoring implementation of research and communication of research results.
As a national body responsible for coordination of research and innovation activities, COSTECH sets priority areas of research in relation to the national development goals. The priority areas are the research themes of focus during a development period (e.g., five years). The agenda development is iterative and collaborative. The collaboration includes higher learning and R&D institutions, government ministries and agencies, the private sector and development partners. COSTECH also develops national guidelines for ensuring quality of research processes.
COSTECH provides technical support to R&D institutions in matters related to research ethics and monitoring implementation of research and innovation activities. This is done through development of relayed national guidelines/frameworks by COSTECH.
COSTECH is mandated to administrate government funds with NFAST through calling for research concepts and proposals to address thematic areas of priority and awarding successful proposals for implementation. Research grants are offered on a competitive or commissioned basis. The commissioned grants are issued through R&D committees to solve specific problems of national interest. The budgets for the research depend on the nature of the projects and available resources. The funding is administered through the NFAST grant system. The sources of NFAST grant are the government and inter-country development partnerships.
COSTECH monitors funded projects continuously with the administration of the project host institution. The administration ensures the grant and implementation plan are executed according to a signed agreement between COSTECH and the institution.
Research communication is part of COSTECH activities as it acts as a knowledge broker between the science and research community, decision-makers, practitioners and the public. It oversees the processing of research results into communicable content that appeals to a broad network of stakeholders or targeted audience. The content is in a form of project and policy briefs, other media content, and engagement plans. The communication process is facilitated through mass media, seminars and public talks. COSTECH has a unique strength in this area because it has the mandate to convene diverse stakeholders including public and private sectors, and development partners.