Context Matters Research Grants

Establishing an African Research Agenda in Language and Literacy

2019 Call for Proposals

CODE's Context Matters Research Grants are an ongoing program of support for an African research agenda in language and literacy. The program sees CODE award up to five research awards of CAD$ 10,000 each to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and salience of K-12 education programming in Africa.


Research on literacy in general and reading in particular has been largely carried out in high-income countries and contexts, and then generalized to low-income countries and contexts. The Context Matters Research Grants initiative was established by CODE to help address this problematic knowledge flow from North to South and to support African Researchers as they take the lead in evidence-based literacy research. Our intent is to stimulate conversation, develop a research agenda, and support research which is clearly situated in local contexts and recognizes the multifaceted and complex relationships between the local and global in education. This means placing a high priority not only on the location of research but also on the need to engage local researchers.

To begin the conversation, CODE commissioned two landscape literature reviews and one policy analysis from Canadian Faculties of Education (University of British Columbia and McGill University). These papers were presented at the CODE Research Symposium that took place as part of the Pan-African Literacy for All Conference in Abuja, Nigeria (August 28-30, 2017). These papers, including Executive Summaries can be found here.


Announcing the winners of the 2018 Context Matters Research Grants!

Selected from a pool of 12 applications from five countries, these researchers were chosen based on the merits of their applications and the impact we believe their research will have on increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and salience of K-12 education programming in Africa. 

Listed in alphabetical order, the winners of the 2018 Context Matters Research Grants are:

Professor Hellen Inyega

Early Grade Reading Institute
University of Nairobi, Kenya Science Campus

Research project: Leveraging ICTs to Improve Sexual Health Literacies and Practices of University Students on Kenya.


Yewulsew Mehari

Debre Markos University

Research project: The Practice of Empowering Girls Through Gender Representation in Ethiopian Secondary School English Language Textbooks: The Case of Grade 9 and Grade 10.

Dr. Colomba Muriungi

Associate Professor of African Literature and Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
Chuka University

Research project: A Gender Community Outreach Through Literacy Clubs Targeting Girls Living in Poverty-Stricken Areas in Tharaka North Sub County, Tharaka Nithi County in Kenya

Professor Mwangi Ndirangu

Department of Curriculum, Instruction & Educational Management 
Egerton University

Research Project: Integrated Girls Literacy Empowerment Program (IGLEP)

Congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to sharing news about their projects as they progress throughout the year.


Call for Proposals: Context Matters Research Grants

The 2019 Call for Proposals is now open! The 2019 theme is Empowering Girls through Language and Literacy.

The deadline for submission is Friday, May 31, 2019.

The Context Matters Research Grants are designed to support work by African scholars and researchers interested in addressing issues identified collaboratively and in consort with the African literacy community. It prioritizes funding of research initiated, designed and undertaken by local teams and seeks to strengthen the research capacity knowledge and recommendations of those who work in the African context. These Grants are designed to foster international partnerships and alliances that bolster Africa’s ability to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of education and gender equality.

To apply, please review the Call for Proposals and Guidelines here. Then complete the Application Form and Project Budget Template and send to

Help to share this opportunity with others by downloading our poster.

If you questions, please contact