Grants Officer Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

The African Academy of Sciences 

Position Title: Grants Officer

Position Title: Grants Officer

Job Grade: C Upper

Department: Programmes

Reporting to: Programmes Manager

Duration:2 years

Position Location:Nairobi, Kenya

Organisation Overview

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan-African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, whose vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. Our tripartite mandate is (1) recognition of excellence through the AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, (2) provision of advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies, and (3) implementation of key STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges. The current strategy for the AAS focuses on five strategic focus areas: Environment and climate change, health and wellbeing, natural sciences, policy and governance and social sciences and humanities. The AAS’ mission is to leverage resources through excellence and thought leadership for sustainable development.

Position Overview

The Grants Officer is responsible for the administration and proper management of processes throughout the grants management cycle. The incumbent effectively manages a portfolio of grants, implementing pre- and post-grant award processes and providing support to grantees to ensure the delivery of quality projects on time and on budget.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Grants Management
  • Prepare initial drafts for call related documents such as the call rules and guidelines, frequently asked questions, and any other important information related to the call;
  • Conduct initial screening of grant applications to ensure they meet the required standard of the call;
  • Manage all applications through the online grants management system to foster transparency, accountability and ease of audit and tracking of all grants application processes;
  • Provide guidance to applicants, grant holders, and other stakeholders on the application process and the management of awards to ensure positive engagement with the external community in relation to the AAS Programmes work;
  • Set up a review committee, attend review meetings and consolidate the reviews from the committee in time for use by the decision committee;
  • Provide logistical support for the decision committee/interview committee during the selection of applicants in setting up interviews for shortlisted applicants;
  • Conduct eligibility checks on shortlisted applicants to ensure viability of the grant holding institution through desk reviews and site visits;
  • Deliver timely feedback on refusal/award to applicants and respond to their queries; develop and maintain regular communication with award holders/grantees;
  • Develop draft grant agreements/contracts between the Academy and the grantees upon awarding of a grant.
  1. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Monitor the progress of projects to ensure they are managed in line with the stipulated guidelines, set up reporting templates and participate in the review of the same
  • Build positive and trusting relationships with grant holders and other key stakeholders
  • Track designated project grants in liaison with the Grants Accountant and Programme Manager to ensure all expenses are correctly accounted for, activities remain within the allocated budget and funds are disbursed on time
  • Conduct regular trainings for Programme staff on the use of the grant management system such as the setting up of calls on the system and other system functions
  • Support the development of Grants Management Policies to ensure the Academy’s grants management system adheres to universally set standards, policies and procedures
  • Carry out monitoring visits to grant holder institutions, in coordination with the MEL team
  • Contribute to cross-programme sharing and learning activities and events
  1. Documentation and Reporting
  • Develop and disseminate grant reports as required for management reporting;
  • Maintain an updated online application system in conjunction with the Grants Management Technical team and the Programme Manager to include necessary documentation and data in line with the call requirements;
  • Set up reporting templates on institutional online grants system;
  • Participate in review of reports and evaluation of progress as part of post-award Grants management support to ensure grant is managed is managed in accordance with guidelines;
  • Manage feedback from grantees and clarify grant management guidelines with grantees where necessary;
  1. Programme Support and Events Management
  • Plan and organise events, meetings and programmatic activities. This includes administrative and travel logistics such as processing of visa letters, drawing budgets and following up on invoices and payments;
  • Support the end-to-end planning and coordination of Programme events for both local and international meetings to ensure continuous collaboration and partnerships;
  • Support the development of a repository for all projects and grantees in collaboration with the Academy’s global partners in order to establish those that can be scaled up to the next phase;
  • Conduct research and build rapport with other granting partners to ensure continuous improvement of the Academy’s grant making process;
  • Provide support to other Programme staff and the operations team in the delivery of their mandate including setting up-upcoming calls on the grants management systems, providing logistical support during event planning as well as selected recruitment activities

Competencies (Core and Managerial)

  • Communication (C)
  • Accountability (C)
  • Innovation (C)
  • Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
  • Planning and organizing (C)
  • Results focus (C)
  • Teamwork (C)
  • Professionalism (C)
  • Building partnerships (M)
  • Driving and managing change (M)
  • Leading and empowering others (M)
  • Making quality decisions (M)
  • Managing performance (M)
  • Strategic thinking (M)

Required Qualifications, Knowledge, and Experience

  1. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, Project Management, or related, obtained from a recognized institution.
  2. A professional certification in Project Management or related is desirable
  3. At least 5 years of demonstrated experience in business administration/project management
  4. Experience in grants management and skills in event management
  5. Demonstrable experience in grant management systems
  6. Demonstrated knowledge of working collaboratively and in partnership with grantees, global partners and stakeholders
  7. Working knowledge of reporting and development of contractual documents for grantees
  8. Proficiency in MS Office applications

Key Competencies

  • Communication: Actively shares information and ideas and uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information or resolving delicate issues.
  • Teamwork: Works as a supportive team member, openly shares information when requested/prompted, participates willingly and actively in team and project meetings, showing respect for others’ opinions.
  • Planning and Organizing: Proactively plans, optimally organizes workload by making accurate time and work allocation estimates and schedules work based on complexity.
  • Achieving results: Proactively identifies and exploits opportunities to exceed goals, recovers from setbacks quickly and identifies newer ways to optimize resources needed to attain objectives.
  • Leading and Supervising: Creates regular opportunities for colleagues, partners and stakeholders to contribute towards enhancing service quality.
  • Knowledge sharing and learning: In addition to commitment to develop self, consistently encourages increased autonomy and gives feedback to encourage ongoing development
  • Judgement/decision making: Uses experience and data available to assess situations and takes decisions with given information, keeping in mind risks and their impact.
  • Technical/Scientific credibility: Produces work that is accepted and recognized for its credibility and trustworthiness based on best practice, professional theories and standards.
  • Commitment to continuous process improvement: Consistently suggests and applies standards improvements in programme development and implementation.
  • Partnership building: Invests time and effort to develop and maintain extensive knowledge of key influencers within own unit and proactively shares best practice, ideas and insights with colleagues across the organization.
  • Analytical thinking: Identifies patterns, similarities and differences in information/data and evaluates the implication.


  • Ability to work in an international and multi-cultural setting.
  • Goal and deadline-driven; proven track record of delivering at the highest possible quality and within set timeframes.
  • Highly organized with an ability to balance working independently with engaging teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and ability to represent the AAS at all levels and in different cultural settings.
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally.
  • High moral standing and impeccable integrity.


Excellent in English (Oral and written)

Knowledge of other African Union languages (e.g., Arabic, French, and Portuguese) will be an advantage.

Additional information

This is a fixed term engagement. The successful candidate will be engaged full time (40 hours/ week) for a period of 2 years working at the AAS offices in Nairobi, Kenya.

How to apply

All applicants must submit a filled application form from the AAS website.

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their application and include: one-page cover letter, curriculum vitae/ resume.

Applications should be sent to with the subject Grants Officer, by 6th February 2024 17:00HRS EAT. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.