The RIMS Research Information Management System was developed by the Kenyan government to expedite Licence application process for researchers at the same time improving the efficiency and transparency of the entire research permit application process.


Target Group

All persons intending to undertake research in the country


Application for a Research License is submitted online by visiting the link

The application shall be accompanied by:

  1. Photograph  - The size of the passport photo is 2*2 inches (51*51 mm) head must be between 25-35 mm from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. It should be coloured and in JPG or PNG format and below 450 pixels.
  2. Identification Document  - This entail national Identification Card (ID) for Kenyans and bio page for passport, alien ID for Non-Citizens. This should be in pdf format.
  3. Introductory Letter  - The applicant should submit a letter from relevant institution that is signed by an authorized officer. The letter should include name, title of research, research sites, duration of study and other relevant information.
  4. Affiliation - Non-Kenyans who intend to undertake research in the country must be affiliated to a local relevant institution. The institution should have the capacity to host, monitor, evaluate and report on the research project. This should be demonstratable through their current human resource, facilities and mandate. The affiliation letter should be signed by an authorized officer and be valid for a period of one year.
  5. Grant Letter  - The applicants are expected to upload a grant letter from the funding agency to support the amount indicated for funding of the project. The letter should include name of recipient, title of the project, amount and other relevant information.
  6. Ethical Approval  - Ethical approval is desirable for all research however, it is mandatory for research involving human subjects and use of laboratory animals. Applicant must submit an approval from an Accredited Institutional Ethics Review Committee.  
  7. Clinical Trials - Applications seeking clearance to conduct clinical trials must submit approval from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
  8. Genetic Resources and Derivatives - Applications to conduct research on genetic resources and derivatives must submit Prior Informed Consent (PIC), Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT); Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) where applicable.
  9. Research Proposal - Applicants are required to submit/upload an approved research proposal in pdf format. This should include: Title, Abstract, Literature Review, Problem statement, Objectives, Justification, Methodology, Workplan, Budget, Expected output, Mode of dissemination of the Findings, References/bibliography Research Instruments and relevant Annexes.
  10. Payment - Payments for research licensing, applicants should pay through Mobile money transfer or direct bank deposit. The amount payable should be as per the service charges – as a link to the table and is exclusive of transaction charges. All fees paid for this service is non-refundable.

Payment Details

(Payment using the below modes will be done after initiating the application process)
The National Commission for Science and Technology (NACOSTI) wishes to inform all stakeholders that, following the Presidential Directive on digitalization of payment for government services, the Commission has migrated the services for research licencing to the E-citizen Platform, effective November 17, 2023. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this transition period.
East African Citizens  

Kenya Shillings Account

 Mobile money:          Mpesa Express   or    Paybill Number 222222

other available payments via eCitizen

Airtel Money  
Kenya Commercial Bank  
Co-operative Bank  
Pesaflow Direct  
National Bank  








US Dollar Account

Kenya Commercial Bank (USD)
Co-operative Bank (USD)
Equity Cash
Debit/Credit/Prepaid Card





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 - -

The same fee applies for renewal of Research License and Research license payments are non-refundable

Conditions of the Research License   

According to the Science Technology and Innovation (Research Licensing) Regulation 2014, all persons issued with a license must abide by the following conditions:

  1. The License is granted subject to provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, and other relevant laws, policies and regulations. Accordingly, the licensee shall adhere to such procedures, standards, code of ethics and guidelines as may be prescribed by regulations made under the Act, or prescribed by provisions of International treaties of which Kenya is a signatory to
  2. The research and its related activities as well as outcomes shall be beneficial to the country and shall not in any way;
    1. Endanger national security
    2. Adversely affect the lives of Kenyans
    3. Be in contravention of Kenya’s international obligations including Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN).
    4. Result in exploitation of intellectual property rights of communities in Kenya
    5. Adversely affect the environment
    6. Adversely affect the rights of communities
    7. Endanger public safety and national cohesion
    8. Plagiarize someone else’s work
  3. The License is valid for the proposed research, location and specified period.
  4. The license any rights thereunder are non-transferable
  5. The Commission reserves the right to cancel the research at any time during the research period if in the opinion of the Commission the research is not implemented in conformity with the provisions of the Act or any other written law.
  6. The Licensee shall inform the relevant County Director of Education, County Commissioner and County Governor before commencement of the research.
  7. Excavation, filming, movement, and collection of specimens are subject to further necessary clearance from relevant Government Agencies.
  8. The License does not give authority to transfer research materials.
  9. The Commission may monitor and evaluate the licensed research project for the purpose of assessing and evaluating compliance with the conditions of the License.
  10. The Licensee shall submit one hard copy, and upload a soft copy of their final report (thesis) onto a platform designated by the Commission within one year of completion of 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 regarding research systems shall be stored or disseminated, utilized or applied in such a manner as may be prescribed by the Commission from time to time.
  13. The Licensee shall disclose to the Commission, the relevant Institutional Scientific and Ethical Review Committee, and the relevant national agencies any inventions and discoveries that are of National strategic importance.
  14. The Commission shall have powers to acquire from any person the right in, or to, any scientific innovation, invention or patent of strategic importance to the country.
  15. Relevant Institutional Scientific and Ethical Review Committee shall monitor and evaluate the research periodically, and make a report of its findings to the Commission for necessary action.

Duration of License  

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

Renewal of License  

In case the research project has not been completed within the stipulated period, the researcher may apply for renewal of the License and pay the requisite fee. Under the circumstances, the researcher is expected to apply for renewal by attaching a progress report instead of a proposal. The progress report must indicate the objectives and activities that have been accomplished while indicating the research work that is yet to be undertaken.

That Submission of a request for renewal of approval should be at least thirty (30) days prior to expiry of the approval period.

Conduct of Research

All persons granted research licenses must abide by the conditions of the License and all applicable Regulatory and Legislative framework. 6: REPORTS According to the Act, an applicant who has been Licensed shall deposit a hard and 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 conducted an evaluation of research carried out under the Act for the purpose of assessing and evaluating compliance with the conditions of the license.

Rejection and Appeal 

If the application does not meet the conditions required under the Act, the Commission shall reject the application and communicate the reasons to the applicant. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commission under these Regulations, may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary within thirty days of being notified of the decision Detailed information is available on the Guidelines on Research Licensing and Institutional AffiliationIn case the research project has not been completed within the stipulated period, the researcher may apply for renewal of the License and pay the requisite fee. Under the circumstances, the researcher is expected to apply for renewal by attaching a progress report instead of a proposal.