Nacosti Research Permit Application, Costs, Requirements, License, and Contacts[2024]

Discover how to apply for a Nacosti research permit in Kenya. This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and essential requirements

Oct 8, 2023 - 09:53
Oct 29, 2023 - 12:08
Nacosti Research Permit Application, Costs, Requirements, License, and Contacts[2024]
Nacosti Research Permit: Permit Application, Costs, Requirements, License, and Contacts

Research is vital to expanding knowledge, solving problems, and driving innovation. If you're considering conducting research in Kenya, obtaining a Nacosti research permit is essential. The National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (Nacosti) plays a crucial role in regulating and assuring the quality of research in Kenya. This guide will provide all the information you need to apply for a Nacosti research permit, including the application process, requirements, costs, and contact details.

Application for a Research License

Target Group

All persons intending to undertake research in the country.


To apply for a Nacosti research permit, you must follow the requirements and guidelines to ensure your application is successful. Here's what you need:

  1. Online Application: To submit your application online, visit the Nacosti research portal at
  2. Photograph: Provide a colored passport-size photo with 22 inches (5151 mm) dimensions. Ensure your head is between 25-35 mm from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The photo should be in JPG or PNG format and below 450 pixels.
  3. Identification Document: Submit a copy of your national Identification Card (I.D.) if you are a Kenyan citizen or the bio page of your passport. The document should be in PDF format.
  4. Introductory Letter: Could you include a letter from the relevant institution that an authorized officer signs? This letter should contain your name, the title of your research, research sites, the duration of your study, and other relevant information.
  5. Affiliation: If you are a non-Kenyan, you must be affiliated with a local relevant institution. The institution should be able to host, monitor, evaluate, and report on the research project. This affiliation letter should be signed by an authorized officer and valid for one year.
  6. Grant Letter: Upload a grant letter from the funding agency supporting the indicated project funding amount. The letter should include your name, project title, amount, and other relevant details.
  7. Ethical Approval: Ethical approval is mandatory for research involving human subjects and using laboratory animals. You must submit authorization from an Accredited Institutional Ethics Review Committee.
  8. Clinical Trials: If your research involves clinical trials, you need approval from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
  9. Genetic Resources and Derivatives: For research on genetic resources and derivatives, submit Prior Informed Consent (PIC), Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT), and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) where applicable.
  10. Research Proposal: Provide an approved research proposal in PDF format. This proposal should include sections such as Title, Abstract, Literature Review, Problem Statement, Objectives, Justification, Methodology, Workplan, Budget, Expected Output, Mode of Dissemination of Findings, References/Bibliography, Research Instruments, and relevant Annexes.
  11. Payment: Pay the required research licensing fees through mobile money transfer or direct bank deposit. The prices vary depending on your category, as shown in the service charges table.

Payment Details

East African Citizens (Kenya Shillings Account)

  • Mobile Money: Mpesa Express (Payment will be made after initiating the application process.)
  • Bank: Kenya Commercial Bank
  • Branch: Kipande House
  • Account Name: National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Account Number: 1104162547
  • Swift Code: KCBLKENX
  • Transaction Description: Research Licence Fee

Non-Kenyans (U.S. Dollar Account)

  • Bank: NCBA Bank
  • Branch: City Centre
  • Account Name: National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Account Number: 2904970067
  • Swift Code: CBAFKENX
  • Transaction Description: Research Licence Fee

Service Charges

Category of Research EAC Countries Kenyan Citizens Non-Africa Rest of Africa
Student Attachment (Undergraduate or Diploma) KES 100 KES 100 USD 150 KES 200
Research (Masters) KES 1,000 KES 1,000 USD 350 KES 2,000
Research (PhD) KES 2,000 KES 2,000 USD 400 KES 4,000
Post Doctoral KES 5,000 KES 5,000 USD 500 KES 10,000
Public Institutions - KES 10,000 - -
Private Institutions - KES 20,000 - -
Commercial/Market Research - KES 20,000 - -
Companies - KES 20,000 - -

Note: The same fees apply to renew the Research License; all research license payments are non-refundable.

Conditions of the Research License

When you are granted a research license, you must adhere to the following conditions:

  1. The License is subject to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, and other relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
  2. The research and its outcomes must benefit the country. They should not endanger national security, adversely affect the lives of Kenyans, contravene Kenya's international obligations, exploit intellectual property rights of communities in Kenya, harm the environment, infringe upon the rights of communities, endanger public safety and national cohesion, or plagiarize someone else's work.
  3. The License is valid for the proposed research, location, and specified period.
  4. The License and any rights granted under it are non-transferable.
  5. The Commission reserves the right to cancel the research at any time during the research period if it is not implemented in conformity with the provisions of the Act or any other written law.
  6. Before commencing the research, the licensee must inform the relevant County Director of Education, County Commissioner, and County Governor.
  7. Excavation, filming, movement, and specimen collection require further clearance from relevant Government Agencies.
  8. The License does not authorize the transfer of research materials.
  9. The Commission may monitor and evaluate the licensed research project for compliance with the conditions of the License.
  10. The licensee must submit one hard copy and upload a soft copy of the final report (thesis) onto a platform designated by the Commission within one year of completing the research.
  11. The Commission reserves the right to modify the conditions of the License, including cancellation, without prior notice.
  12. Research findings and information must be stored, disseminated, utilized, or applied as the Commission prescribes.
  13. The licensee must disclose to the Commission, the relevant Institutional Scientific and Ethical Review Committee, and relevant national agencies any inventions and discoveries of national strategic importance.
  14. The Commission may acquire the rights to any scientific innovation, invention, or patent of strategic importance to the country.
  15. Relevant Institutional Scientific and Ethical Review Committees shall periodically monitor and evaluate the research and report their findings to the Commission.

Duration of License

The validity of the License shall be one (1) year from the date of issuance.

Renewal of License

If your research project hasn't been completed within the specified period, you can go ahead and apply for the renewal of the License and pay the required fee. When using for renewal, please attach a progress report showing the objectives and activities accomplished and those yet to be undertaken. The request for renewal should be submitted at least thirty (30) days before the expiry of the approval period.

Conduct of Research

All individuals granted research licenses must adhere to the conditions of the License and comply with all applicable regulatory and legislative frameworks.


As per the Act, applicants who have been licensed must deposit one hard and one soft copy of the final research report to the Commission within one year of completion.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Commission may conduct or cause to be evaluated research carried out under the Act to assess and evaluate compliance with the conditions of the License.

Rejection and Appeal

If your application doesn't meet the required conditions, the Commission will reject it and let you know the reasons. If the Commission's decision aggrieves you, you may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary within thirty days of being notified of the decision.

Nacosti Research Permit

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the Nacosti research permit application process, requirements, and conditions, let's delve into the critical questions of Who, How, and Why this permit is crucial:

Who Should Apply for a Research Permit?

  • All non-Kenyans intending to conduct research in Kenya.
  • International students planning study tours or short-duration research in Kenya.
  • Kenyan students studying abroad who wish to conduct research in Kenya.
  • Private institutions, both Kenyan and foreign, intend to conduct research in Kenya.
  • All Kenyan individuals, except employees of government research institutions or ministries with research mandates or those with standing research clearance.
  • Anyone conducting research involving data collection from the country or public and government organizations.

How to Apply for a Research Permit

  • Complete the appropriate online application on the Nacosti research portal.
  • Submit a fully completed application with a research proposal, CV, a copy of your I.D. or passport, and other required documents.
  • Await assessment and advice from relevant experts.
  • Upon approval, you will be issued a Research Permit.
  • After completing your research, submit two copies of your research reports to Nacosti.

Why a Nacosti Research Permit is Essential

  • To facilitate coordination of research in Kenya.
  • To encourage quality research that benefits Kenya and expands scientific knowledge.
  • To secure and document research data and results.
  • To ensure research aligns with national interests.
  • To promote the dissemination of knowledge and technologies.
  • To prevent unauthorized collection and transfer of research information.
  • To ensure research is conducted ethically and professionally.
  • To inform relevant national institutions about ongoing research in their areas of interest.
  • To discourage unnecessary duplication of data collection.
  • To protect national interests and prevent covert activities under the guise of research.

By obtaining a Nacosti research permit, you contribute to advancing knowledge, innovation, and the betterment of society while adhering to regulatory standards and ethical guidelines.

Nacosti Research Permit Payment Details

When paying for your Nacosti research permit, following the correct procedures based on your citizenship and the applicable fees is essential. Here are the payment details:

Kenya Shillings Account (For East African Citizens)

  • Bank: Kenya Commercial Bank
  • Branch: Kipande House Branch
  • Account Name: National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Account Number: 1104162547
  • Swift Code: KCBLKENX
  • Transaction Description: Research Licence Fee

U.S. Dollar Account (For Non-Kenyan Citizens)

  • Bank: NCBA Bank
  • Branch: City Center Branch
  • Account Name: National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Account Number: 2904970067
  • Swift Code: CBAFKENX
  • Transaction Description: Research Licence Fee

Please make sure you include the correct transaction description when making your payment to avoid any processing delays.

Nacosti Research Permit Contacts

If you have any questions or require further assistance regarding your Nacosti research permit, here are the contact details for Nacosti:

Location: Waiyaki Way, Upper Kabete Area, Nairobi, Kenya.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 30623-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Mobile Numbers: +254 713 788 787 / +254 735 404 245

Landline Numbers: +254 020 4007000 / +254 020 8001077 / +254 020 3310571 / +254 020 2241349

Working Hours:

  • Weekdays: 8 am - 5 pm
  • Weekends: Closed

For all your research permit inquiries and applications, reach out to Nacosti, and they will guide you through the process.

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Obtaining a Nacosti research permit is vital for anyone planning to research in Kenya. This article has provided all the essential information you need to successfully apply for a research permit, including the application process, requirements, costs, and contact details. By following these guidelines and adhering to the conditions of your research permit, you can contribute to advancing knowledge and innovation while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and ethical principles.

Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.