The EDCTP programme has achieved gradual successes in developing a pool of highly qualified senior researchers in the field of poverty related diseases (PRDs) in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to continue growing the number of senior researchers, now more than ever, it is important to ensure there is continued support for the development and retention of senior fellows in the region. This in turn will ensure supportive mentorship structure, sustainable research capacity and provide a career pathway for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to support capacity development of potential sub-Saharan African research leaders to become long-term trainer of trainers and mentors for junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities.
The objectives of the scheme are:
- to support senior researchers to advance themselves as world class research leaders in product development through clinical trials and closely related fields.
- to equip senior researchers in training and mentoring junior researchers at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Proposals should focus on hands-on activities equipping the fellow with competences to serve as a long-term trainer of trainers in research and mentorship in a scientific area within the scope of the EDCTP2 programme*. 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 one or more PhD and/or at least two Masters’ students with a clear training and mentorship plan. 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 GCP-compliant; good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant investigational product(s) are available and guaranteed; and all sponsor responsibilities can be fulfilled by the host institution 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.
Application for an EDCTP Senior Fellowship must be submitted by the prospective fellow in conjunction with and on behalf of their proposed host organisation (hereinafter ‘the applicant legal entity’). The grants are awarded to the host organisation with the explicit commitment that this organisation offers appropriate conditions for the senior fellow to direct and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme. 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.
Projects funded under this Call for Proposals should:
- Contribute to the achievement of SDG3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’
- Enable fellows to:
- develop into recognised research leaders and contribute to an increased pool of scientific knowledge and mentors in sub-Saharan Africa
- develop the ability to design, plan and execute complex research programmes in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members and, where relevant, across sectors
- produce higher impact scientific, and where applicable policy, publications, and will be more competitive, assuming scientific leadership and capable of attracting funding from various sources.
Ultimately, these grants will contribute to the generation of a critical mass of researchers and institutional research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.
A proposal will only be considered eligible if:
- its content corresponds, wholly or in part, to the topic/contest description for which it is submitted
- it complies with the eligibility conditions set out below, depending on the type of action:
- The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (the applicant legal entity)**
- 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
- The fellow must:
- 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***;
- The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed EUR 500,000;
- The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months.
* In the EDCTP2 programme, “poverty-related diseases (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 infections; lower respiratory infections; as well as emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola or yellow fever.
** 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).
*** 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.