AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme 2020

AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme 2020

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) has introduced the Research Development Fellowship Programme for 2023/24. Designed to cultivate talented health researchers in Africa, the program endeavours to produce leaders adept at conducting research tailored to African needs, ultimately reducing disease burdens. The fellowship avails opportunities to cultivate research skills, establish mentorships, and secure collaborations. Successful past awardees have won recognitions from top institutions like NIH, MRC, and the Wellcome Trust. The fellowship covers placements lasting 3 to 9 months at premier research entities in Europe or Africa. Early career researchers from Africa are encouraged to apply.

In a monumental stride towards enhancing the research landscape in Africa, the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is elated to unveil the annual call for the illustrious AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme for the academic year of 2023/24.
πŸš€ Program Launch AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme 2023/24.
🎯 Objective Develop African health researchers to reduce disease burden and enhance research in African contexts.
πŸ“š Fellowship Benefits Opportunity to cultivate research ideas, skills, collaborations, mentorship, and work on a significant research funding proposal.
πŸ† Past Awardees Many have secured grants from NIH, Wellcome Trust, AESA, FLAIR, MRC, and more.
πŸ“… Program Details 3-9 months placement at top research institutions in Europe/Africa, support up to £47,000, focus on skills development.
🌍 Eligibility Early career, post-doctoral researchers, clinicians who are nationals of, and employed in, Africa.
πŸ” Scope Both infectious and non-communicable diseases, includes “neglected” diseases in Africa.
πŸ“„ How to Apply Apply via AREF open funding calls. Annual process.

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Elevating Africa’s Health Research

The central ethos of this Programme is not merely to furnish opportunities. Instead, its trajectory is precisely calibrated to uplift the prodigious health researchers anchored in the African continent. The emphasis? Enabling them to helm research initiatives that echo the unique intricacies of African settings. Moreover, such endeavours will invariably make a dent in the overwhelming burden of disease that the continent grapples with.

Emerging African scientists, with the backing of this programme, are set to bask in a renaissance period – it is tailored to accentuate their skills, bolster their experience, inject them with confidence, and escalate the quantum of their research outputs.
Fellowships: Your Gateway to Excellence

The fellowships are not a mere token of recognition. Awardees find themselves in a formidable position to breathe life into their research visions, to refine their research acumen and capacities, and to cultivate their research affiliations via collaborative endeavours and invaluable mentorship. The ultimate aspiration? To craft a robust research funding proposal that could alter the course of health research.

Numerous AREF fellows have chronicled their ascendancy post their fellowships. Many have clinched prestigious fellowships and grants, with recognitions emanating from revered institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, African Academy of Sciences (AESA, FLAIR), and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).
A Glimpse into the Programme

Aim: The underlying intent is to champion researchers in Africa – the ones poised to be the torchbearers, diligently working on challenges pivotal to human health, and moulding them into researchers par excellence.

Offerings: An immersion spanning three to nine months at a premier research institution, whether in Europe or Africa. This is complemented by sustained support at the researcher’s home institution both pre and post the said placement. The financial capping for this opportunity is a generous £47,000.

Eligibility: The call is for those at the dawn of their research careers – researchers who have recently completed their doctorates, clinicians deeply immersed in research, and essentially, individuals who hold the nationality of an African country and are employed therein.
Core Objectives

The RDF Programme casts its net wide, encapsulating both infectious diseases and those non-communicable ones that often, regrettably, fall under the “neglected” bracket in Africa.

It aims to metamorphose early-career researchers by:Imparting advanced research proficiencies
Enabling them to formulate and scrutinise pioneering research queries
Facilitating the forging of impactful mentoring alliances
Expanding potential collaborative avenues
Amplifying their global networking reach
What’s on Offer and What’s Not

While the RDF Programme facilitates placements ranging between three to nine months at leading research institutions, it’s vital to understand its boundaries. It does not shower funds for an entire research venture. The Programme’s heart lies in nurturing the skills of the researcher. And while the maximum financial outlay for the fellowship placement is capped at £47,000, aspirants must present a persuasive vision for their research trajectory in Africa’s human health domain.

Furthermore, it’s pivotal that applicants liaise early on with their employing and prospective host organisations to align expectations and objectives.
Essential Criteria

Eligibility hinges on the applicant being a national of an African country. However, one’s residential status at the application time is rendered moot, given the formal backing of an eligible African institution that commits to employing the applicant.
The Application Process

A comprehensive guidance manual for potential applicants, including the application form, can be sourced from AREF’s Open Funding Calls.

These coveted applications see the light of day once annually, typically during the June/July window, culminating in a September deadline. However, dates are susceptible to shifts. Applicants must ensure that both their Employing and intended Host Organisations are well-versed with the intricacies of the AREF Fellowship, the financial modalities, and the obligations accompanying an award.

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