Application Deadline: 3 September 2021
The Research Development Fellowship (RDF) Programme is designed to support African researchers who are working on important challenges for human health in Africa.
Aim: To support researchers in Africa who are emerging leaders and are working on important challenges for human health to develop their skills as a researcher.
What we offer: A three to nine-month placement at a leading research institution in Europe or Africa, with additional support at your home institution before and after the placement, up to a maximum of £40,000.
Who is eligible: Research active post-doctoral scientists and clinicians who are nationals of and employed in Sub-Saharan Africa who were awarded their doctorate within the last six years; and clinicians without a doctorate but who have a Masters degree or a specialist clinical qualification and between three and seven years active research experience (see detailed eligibility criteria).
Aim of the programme
The RDF Programme aims to develop emerging African scientists who are working on important challenges for human health in Africa, growing their skills, experience, confidence and research outputs.
The scope of the Programme includes both infectious and non-communicable diseases that are significant and/or identified as “neglected” in Africa.
The RDF Programme enables talented early-career researchers to:
- acquire advanced research skills
- develop and test their own compelling research questions
- develop highly effective mentoring relationships
- grow their potential collaborations
- raise their profile through international networking
- The RDF Programme supports a placement of between three to nine months for each Fellow at a leading research organisation in Europe or Africa, with time either side of the placement for preparation and follow-up. This aims to promote development of technical skills, collaborations and networks.
- The RDF Programme does NOT provide Fellows with funds for a whole research project; it focuses on developing researcher skills.
- The maximum award for the fellowship placement is £40,000 (GB Pounds).
- Applicants will need to demonstrate a credible, ambitious vision for their research career in an area of human-health challenge for Africa; and a transformational, well-supported development plan that would be significantly enhanced by the RDF Programme.
- Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans at an early stage with their employing and potential host organisations.
Eligibility and guidance
To be eligible, applicants must be a national of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. You need not be resident in Africa at the time of applying, provided that your application is officially supported by an African institution that meets the eligibility criteria for an employing institution and which attests that it intends to employ you locally.
Academic qualifications (non-clinician):
- Essential: PhD qualification within the last six years (at the time of the application deadline) -awarded a PhD or equivalent postgraduate degree from a recognised institution of higher education.
- If you do not currently have a PhD, you must provide evidence that a recognised examining institution expects you to have been examined for the degree of PhD/DPh by September 2021. You will not be able to take up the Fellowship without having been awarded a doctorate by a recognized and reputable academic institution.
Academic qualifications (clinican):
- Clinician with a PhD. Essential: Clinically-qualified applicants with a PhD/DPh/MD should have been awarded the doctorate from a recognised institution of higher education within the last six years.
- Clinican with a Masters degree but not a doctorate. Essential: You must have a Masters degree and at least three and not more than seven years of active research experience. Experience both before and after gaining a Masters qualification counts towards the experience total. You will normally have plans to gain a PhD or equivalent doctorate (although not funded as part of the AREF Fellowship).
- Clinican with a specialist clinical qualification but not a doctorate. Essential: You must have an MD, MBBS or equivalent and a specialist clinical qualification. Examples of specialist clinical qualifications are FRCP, FWACP or equivalent. You must also have at least three and not more than seven years of active research experience. You may have plans to gain a PhD or equivalent doctorate (although not funded as part of the AREF Fellowship).
How to apply
Guidance for applicants and the application form can be downloaded here:
Applicants must ensure that their Employing and intended Host Organisations (the sponsors) understand the purposes of the AREF Fellowship, how AREF will pay the organisations and what their obligations are if they accept an award.
Tips for success:
- Applicants need to articulate (i) a specific, important health challenge relevant to Africa, (ii) an original, potentially impactful and researchable question, and (iii) an understanding of the pertinent research methodologies / technologies to answer that question – and which capabilities you intend to develop. Many applications fail to be ambitious, original or feasible – or just lack specific details.
- Applicants must be specific about the research they are aiming to do after the Fellowship: we ask you to define a research question and outline strategy.
- Applicants must describe how planned Fellowship activities will lead towards addressing that research question and career goals.
- Applicants must engage as soon as possible with their home institution so they actively support the application.
- Applicants must engage early with their intended academic host and the host institution: they need time to develop the right kind of support for the Fellowship.
- Applicants should ensure that the costs are clearly specified and are permitted.
Deadline for applications is 12:00 hours (GMT) 23 September 2021 (no late or incomplete applications will be accepted).
The awards will be announced early in 2022.
Applications and any queries should be sent to [email protected].
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