There is a shortage of senior researchers and research mentors in sub-Saharan Africa in the field of poverty-related diseases (PRDs). Support to develop senior researchers within an appropriate and supportive mentorship structure is required to build sustainable research capacity and provide a career pathway for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide funding to actions that aim to support capacity development of potential African research leaders using the train-the-trainer model and to mentor junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.
The objectives of the scheme are:
- To support senior researchers to advance themselves as recognised research leaders in clinical trial research and related activities
- To equip senior researchers with the necessary skills and experience to train and mentor junior researchers at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Applications should focus on hands-on research activities equipping the fellow with competences to train and mentor junior researchers in a scientific area within the scope of the EDCTP2 programme(1). Applications should include a clear and concise individual capacity development plan for the fellow with measurable indicators of how the project will advance the fellow’s personal development towards scientific leadership. As a key component, the proposed work must include training and supervision of a minimum of two postgraduate students (PhD and/or Masters) with a clear training and mentorship plan for each student(2). Additionally, the fellow should indicate how their advancement in skills and competences for training and mentorship, as well as the capacity development of the junior researchers under their supervision fit into the overall institutional capacity development and sustainability strategies. Fellows who plan to conduct the training and mentorship on clinical trials must ensure that studies are appropriately designed and good clinical practice (GCP)-compliant and that good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant investigational product(s) are available and guaranteed, and all sponsor responsibilities can be fulfilled by the host organisation (applicant legal entity where the fellow is employed) or product developer involved in the project. Fellows should have a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in their chosen area of research and show potential to become future research leaders working in sub-Saharan Africa.
Applications for a Senior Fellowship must be submitted by an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (‘the applicant legal entity’) on behalf of the prospective fellow employed by that organisation. The grants are awarded to the host organisation with the explicit commitment that this organisation offers appropriate conditions for the fellow to direct independently the proposed action and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship.
Grants will be awarded for up to five years with a total funding of up to a maximum of € 500,000. Fellows funded under this Call for Proposals will undergo a mid-term review that may result in discontinuation of the grant after three years in case of unsatisfactory performance.
Fellows funded under this Call for Proposals will develop into recognised research leaders and contribute to an increased pool of scientific knowledge and mentors in sub-Saharan Africa. Fellows will have developed the ability to initiate, design, plan, execute and lead complex clinical research programmes and trials through interdisciplinary collaboration and, where relevant, across sectors. The fellows will produce high impact scientific and where applicable policy publications, and will be more competitive, assuming scientific leadership and capable of attracting funding from various sources. Ultimately this grant will contribute to the generation of a critical mass of researchers and the progression of institutional research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. The senior fellowship grants will also contribute to reduce and reverse the brain drain of African scientists that moved out of or trained outside Africa by offering an opportunity to return to Africa and progress their career as independent research leaders.
- The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (the applicant legal entity)(3).
- The fellow must be employed or have guaranteed employment by the applicant legal entity (the host organisation) where they intend to remain working for a minimum of two years after the expiration of the grant(3)
- The fellow must: (3)
- be resident of or be willing to relocate to a sub-Saharan African country;
- be either a graduate in a subject relevant to the EDCTP2 programme, with a PhD and a minimum of five years’ relevant research experience after the doctorate, or a medical doctor with a post-graduate qualification in a subject relevant to the EDCTP2 programme, and a minimum of five years’ research experience after the post-graduate qualification;
- have a minimum of 5 first-author publications in international peer-reviewed journals;
- not have been funded under this fellowship scheme before(4).
- The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed € 500,000.
- The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months.
- For the purpose of this call, PRDs include HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and the following neglected infectious diseases (NIDs): dengue/severe dengue; rabies; human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); Leishmaniases; cysticercosis/taeniasis; dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease); echinococcosis; foodborne trematodiases; lymphatic filariasis; mycetoma; onchocerciasis (river blindness); schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminthiases; Buruli ulcer; leprosy (Hansen disease); trachoma; yaws; diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory tract infections, as well as emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola or yellow fever.
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation may support the EDCTP2 programme with a total contribution of up to € 265,000. This cash contribution is restricted in use by the EDCTP Association for funding students that participate in actions resulting from this Call for Proposals, which are legally established in Portuguese-speaking sub-Saharan African countries. The call evaluation and grant management is centrally managed by the EDCTP Association in line with the Rules for Participation of Horizon 2020.
- Explanatory note: This additional condition for participation according to RfP Art. 9.5 is required due to the objectives of this Training & Mobility Action. It aims to support senior fellows in sub-Saharan Africa in line with the activities called for by the EU legislator (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex II, activity 1c). It contributes to the specific objectives of the EDCTP2 programme which calls, e.g., for cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa on building their capacity for conducting clinical trials in compliance with fundamental ethical principles, relevant legislations and international standards, and for extended cooperation with private partners (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex I, objectives 2b).
- Explanatory note: This additional condition for participation according to RfP Art. 9.5 is required due to the objectives of the EDCTP2 programme which requires that the capacity for conducting clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa are built and strengthened (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex II). Allowing fellows in sub-Saharan Africa to only receive once a specific EDCTP2 fellowship will increase the number of different fellows supported and promoted under the EDCTP2 programme, and in turn strengthen more broadly the corresponding clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa