As research in the field of poverty related diseases (PRDs) gains momentum, it is paramount to facilitate opportunities for early and mid-career scientists in sub-Saharan Africa to develop their clinical research skills. Providing possibilities for individual training would enable talented scientists to establish themselves as independent researchers and team leaders at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa for long-term continuity and research ownership in the region.
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to support early to mid-career researchers (“fellows”) by providing them an opportunity to train and develop their clinical research skills.
The objectives are:
- to promote retention of postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate medical researchers in the research field of sub-Saharan Africa
- to equip the fellows to establish themselves as independent researchers with ability to initiate their own research teams at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The proposed training should specifically enhance the ability of the fellow to design, plan and execute clinical biomedical and/or social science/ethics research projects within the scope of the EDCTP2 programme*. The proposed training should include an independent research activity and a clear description of the skills that will be acquired by carrying out the research. Fellows with training activities involving clinical trials and related studies must ensure that studies are appropriately designed and GCP-compliant. Individuals targeted by this Call for Proposals should have a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in their chosen area of research; a mentor who is an internationally recognised scientific leader working in sub-Saharan Africa; and a career development plan as part of the research proposal.
Proposals for an EDCTP Career Development 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 career development fellow to direct and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme.
Projects funded under this Call for Proposals should:
- contribute towards the achievement of SDG3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’
- promote career progression
- encourage entry and reintegration of African scientists trained abroad, and
- enable the retention of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers in their respective research fields and that the researchers develop into independent researchers and team leaders in sub-Saharan Africa.
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 up to five years’ relevant postdoctoral research experience, or a medical doctor with up to five years’ research experience;
- have at least one publication in an international peer-reviewed journal;
- not have been funded under this fellowship scheme before***.
- The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed EUR 150,000
- The maximum fellowship duration shall be 36 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.