Mycotoxin Research

Mycotoxin Research

Proposals (Procedures, Deadlines and Instructions)

The Maize Trust is committed to funding mycotoxin research, to the benefit of the maize industry, in terms of the mission as accepted by the industry, namely “World-class mycotoxin research to be undertaken at South African universities and research institutions in order to ensure safe maize to the food and animal feed industries, consumers and export markets”.


Researchers and research institutions are annually invited to submit funding applications (Attachment A) for mycotoxin research to the Trust. Researchers who are interested in applying for funding to the Trust are advised to take cognisance of the Maize Trust’s Norms, Procedures, and Conditions for Funding of Mycotoxin Research.


Researchers who wish to submit a proposal to the Trust are kindly requested to complete and electronically submit the Research Proposal form by 30 April to and az.oc.eganamirga@urtep. Kindly note, only proposals (saved as pdf) that are submitted before or on the stipulated closing date will be considered.


The form has been designed to provide a logical flow of activities and outcomes that are necessary to reach the project goal. When completing the proposal form, please take note of the following:

  1. Sections 1 (personal details), 2 (project title, duration and collaborators), 5 (budget), 6 (reviewers) and 7 (signatures) are self-explanatory.
  2. Section 3 is the summary section of the proposal whereas the detailed activities are presented in Section 4.
  3. In Section 3 state the Goal; this is the context and wider problem the project will help to solve. Ideally, it will be a one sentence statement accompanied by a motivation why this is important (maximum 200 words). In addition, provide the Hypothesis and / or Research Questions that will address the objective of the project. Under Assumptions list all external factors necessary to sustain your main objective. This would include aspects such as successful completion of field trials, availability of student/technical assistance, co-worker inputs, access to existing information, approval of additional funding, ethical clearance, etc.
  4. Add the project details under the appropriate Strategic Objective(s) in Section 4. To streamline your application, please delete the Strategic Objectives that do not apply to your proposal.
  5. Under Activities list the tasks to produce the outputs; supply enough information for peer-review purposes and provide key references where necessary.
  6. The activities (tasks) are followed by the Short and Long-term Outcomes for each activity. These should explain the benefit to the maize industry. Under Milestones and Timelines specify the qualitative and/or quantitative deliverables to achieve your objectives and provide a timeframe for these outputs within the context of the duration of the project; The milestones are important and will be used to judge progress. Means of Verification are the sources and methods used to quantify the indicators.
  7. Example: If you plan to conduct field work, a typical activity would be “Determine the field response of 200 maize hybrids and breeding lines to FER at three locations according to the procedures described by ABC et al. (2016). Entries will be subjected to controlled infection by isolates 1, 2 and 3 based on the protocol and statistical design described by XYZ et al. (2010)”, with “Information on GxE interaction for ear rot of a selected panel of maize hybrids and identification of resistance sources” as outcome, “Successful characterisation of maize germplasm for FER response in year 1” as milestone, and “Excel datasheet with statistical analysis and ranking of trial entries according percentage ear rot at three locations” as a means of verification.
  8. Finally, under under Risks/Assumptions, list possible factors out of project control which could influence each outcome.


All research proposals will be subject to review by both South African and international experts. The reports of the reviewers will be assessed by the Trust’s Mycotoxin Research Review Panel (MRRP) comprising South African experts. Should a proposal be deemed appropriate for submission to the Maize Forum Steering Committee, the candidate will be asked to present the project to the MRRP, usually in September. The MRRP will evaluate and prioritise the research proposals on merit in terms of the review reports and presentations, and make recommendations regarding the possible funding of the proposals to the Maize Forum Steering Committee, which will advise the Trust.


A final decision will be taken by the Trust in November regarding the funding of the proposals and the researchers and research administration offices of the various institutions will be informed about the Trust’s decisions in December. The first 60% of the approved funding will be paid to successful applicants during January of the following year.


Researchers are encouraged to actively pursue the possibility of co-funding within their own institutions, or from other sources, as the Trust has limited funds and is compelled to focus on critical research for the maize industry. Researchers are also encouraged to collaborate with other researchers in their projects.


You are welcome to approach Professor Zakkie Pretorius ( as the Coordinator of Mycotoxin Research on behalf of the Trust, should you require clarification on any research or technical matters related to the proposals or application to be made. All administrative or financial enquiries may be referred to the Trust’s Administrators at az.oc.eganamirga@urtep or at (012) 807 3958.

Norms and Conditions

    1. Applications in electronic format must reach the Trust on or before 30 April.


    1. The Trust will only consider proposals in the prescribed format that are submitted before or on the date as stipulated.


    1. All research proposals will be sent for review to South African and international experts (applicants are requested to submit the names and contact details of appropriate experts).


    1. The reports of the reviewers will be assessed by the Mycotoxin Research Review Panel (MRRP) comprising of South African experts. The MRRP will evaluate and prioritise the various proposals based on the reviewers’ feedback.


    1. The MRRP will inform the Trustees of their recommendations during November. The Trust’s Administrators will inform the researchers and the research administration offices of the various institutions about the Trust’s decisions thereafter.


    1. The Trust strongly prefers and wishes to promote meaningful collaborative research concerning mycotoxins. However, it is accepted that in some instances researchers may wish to pursue their own research interests.  Researchers are further encouraged to actively pursue the possibility of co-funding within their own institutions or from other local and international funding agencies, as the Maize Trust does not have unlimited funds.


    1. Although each application will be considered on merit, the Trustees will, inter alia, take the following into consideration:
    • the requirements of the South African maize industry;
    • the availability of funds and the cost factor of the specific application;
    • the benefit that an application may have for the maize industry as a whole;
    • any other matters that the Trustees may deem appropriate.


    1. The Trustees may, in their discretion, prioritise the different applications and reject the funding of any capital items or overseas travelling costs that may be included in an application. The Trust also reserves the right to request more detailed information where deemed necessary.


    1. Applicants are allowed to include depreciation of assets in their applications, but have to submit full details thereof.


    1. Each project approved for funding by the Trust will be evaluated and monitored periodically. The Trust explicitly reserves the right to request interim progress reports and to visit any premises of the applicant (or the project) at any given time, if deemed necessary, either by the Trustees themselves, or by the Administrators of the Trust, or by agents of the Trust.


    1. When an application is approved for funding, the Trust may impose such conditions or lay down such rules relating to the funding as the Trustees in their discretion might deem necessary for that particular project, in addition to the Trust’s standard conditions of funding, as set out hereunder.


    Standard Conditions of Funding

    (1) If an application for funding is approved by the Maize Trust, payment to that beneficiary will be made as follows:

                60% of the funded amount upon approval by the Trust

                40% of the funding once the Trust is satisfied with the final progress report.


    (2) Funding by the Trust is regarded as donations and Value Added Tax (VAT) is therefore calculated at a zero rate, except where otherwise stated by the Trust.  Should the funding, however, be found to be subject to VAT at another rate, the funding amount will be deemed to be inclusive of VAT.


    (3) Except where the Trustees decide otherwise, it is an explicit proviso in every financial distribution by the Trust in respect of research, that the results of the research project must be public knowledge.  The researcher (applicant) has to agree to this notwithstanding any trade or intellectual property rights that may exist with regard to such research or its results.


    (4) All financial contributions by the Trust is to be acknowledged in all publications and in the results of all projects that are funded by the Trust.


    (5) A progress report has to be submitted by all beneficiaries on or before the date stipulated by the Trust, but additional reports could be requested by the Trust at any time during the duration of the funding period.  Any payment by the Trust to the beneficiary, based on a progress report, will be made once the Trustees have considered and declared themselves satisfied with that report.

    The progress reports should contain at least the following information:

    (a) Identification of the project and the project leader.

    (b) The actions that have been taken with regard to the project.

    (c) The progress that has been made with the project.

    (d) The results that have been achieved.

    (e) Any problems that have been encountered with the project.

    (f)  Milestones that have not been achieved and the reasons for that.

    (g) An assessment of the adequacy of the funding to complete the project.

    (h) The estimated duration of the project until completion.

    (i) A comprehensive explanation of all the results of the project.

    (j) A detailed budget and expenditure statement of the allocation of the funds that were granted by the Trust for the project, which budget and statement have to be certified by a qualified auditor or the financial department of the research institution concerned.

    (k) The manner envisaged in which the project and its results will be published in scientific journals and distributed to the maize industry.

    (l) The possible utilisation of the project results within the SA maize industry.


    (6) The Trustees will in their own discretion monitor projects that are funded and may use the services of technical or research advisers, or other experts, to assist in the consideration and monitoring of such projects.


    (7) If a funded project is terminated or delayed for whatsoever reason, or if there is a surplus of funds in relation to a project –

    (a) the beneficiary must declare and repay the funding balance to the Trust;

    (b) should the Trust find malice to be present, interest will be payable by the beneficiary from the date of payment by the Trust up to the date of repayment, at the interest rate stipulated by the High Court of South Africa for outstanding debts.