AREF: EXCELL Researcher and Leadership Development Programme

Deadline: 15 March 2018

Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is seeking applications for “EXCELL Researcher and Leadership Development Programme” to enhance research capacity in global health – by African scientists in Africa for Africa. Through this 2-year programme, AREF will work closely with four to six research institutions from Sub-Saharan Africa, selected competitively.

The pilot of AREF’s Excell researcher and leadership development programme will:

  • Help accelerate the development of organisational and individual excellence and leadership in research
  • Enable acquisition by 20 African global health researchers of the knowledge, skills and behaviours essential for healthy careers and leadership roles
  • Support their home institutions in Sub-Saharah Africa as they seek to strengthen their research capacity through systematically developing their emerging research talent
  • Enable participating institutions and individuals to develop research strategies, win research funding and, over time, increase their research income, activity, reputation and impact
  • Promote researcher engagement with research-users, leading to more effective translation of research outputs into policy, products and practice
  • Deploy a unique package of learning and development resources, developed by AREF and also drawing on other successful initiatives.
  • Inform the shape and scope of a lasting researcher and leadership programme for Africa.

Challenges and Outcomes

  • In evaluating outcomes of the pilot, we shall look for early evidence of application of knowledge and skills, such as development and implementation by institutions of researcher development strategies; and submission by individuals of grant applications.
  • Longer term impact can be demonstrated later from improved success in winning grants, increased research income, greater research activity, enhanced reputation and influence, and uptakes of research outputs by policy-makers, business and practitioners.
  • Ultimately, our aim is that Excell alumni go on to improve health and save lives.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This call is open to legally established universities and internationally-recognised research institutions based in Sub-Saharan Africa. Applications should be submitted to AREF from the institutions by an authorised institutional Academic/Researcher-development lead who, as Lead Applicant will be responsible for developing and implementing the Excell programme within their institution.
  • Your application will need to be sponsored by the institution’s leadership: a named official with responsibility for research capacity development, such as the pro-vice chancellor for research or the research institution’s director. He/She must personally engage in local sponsorship and governance of the Excell programme.
  • AREF will accept applications from an entity within a university, such as a faculty, institute or centre, provided that the application is authorised by the institutional leadership (sponsor). Only ONE application will be accepted from each university or research institution. Joint applications such as between a university (-ies) and independent institutions are welcome, if one institution takes the lead and is responsible for ensuring sound governance and implementation.
  • If your institutional application is successful, AREF will select and offer to enrol three or four of your researchers (nominees) to participate in the programme. Selection of individual participants for the programme will be based on AREF’s assessment of the relative potential for both the individual and institution to benefit, and on ensuring disciplinary, gender and regional balance in the Excell programme overall.

Nominating Participants:

To qualify as a participant, your nominees must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A national of Sub-Saharan African state
  • Employed in an eligible institution in a post with a significant and specific research role
  • Must have 2-6 full years of active postdoctoral research experience. Clinicians without a PhD who have a research Masters and 4-7 years of active research experience will also be considered
  • Declaration that they have not participated in an equivalent programme to Excell, or in separate training events that cover two of the five learning themes
  • AREF is keen to recruit talented researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including laboratory, clinical, behavioural, social, public health, economic, health systems, and environmental and mathematical sciences. Their research must be directed towards achieving better health outcomes in Africa.

How to Apply

Applicants can download the application form via given website.

Eligible Countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo DR,  Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

For more information, please visit EXCELL Researcher and Leadership Development Programme.

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