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:
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. 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. 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.
Application for a Senior Fellowship must be submitted by the prospective fellow in conjunction with and on behalf of their proposed host organisation in sub-Saharan Africa (‘the applicant legal entity’). 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.
Procedure and application process
Submission and evaluation procedure
This is a single-stage application procedure. Proposals must be submitted by 1 February 2017 via EDCTPgrants. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 30 June 2017.
The host organisation (applicant) must provide a support letter confirming that the organisation is supportive of the proposed action and willing through its financial and administrative systems to enable the fellow to direct independently the proposed action and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship.
Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds
Following an admissibility and eligibility check, proposals are evaluated by external, independent experts. Proposals are evaluated according to the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. Each criterion is scored between 0 and 5.
The following aspects are considered under the evaluation criteria:
3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation
The call budget is 3 million EUR.
The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months and the requested EDCTP contribution should not exceed 500,000 EUR. The funding level is 100% of eligible costs.
The legal entity employing the successful fellow (‘host organisation’) is required to sign a grant agreement with EDCTP (EDCTP2 mono-beneficiary grant agreement with options for fellowships) within three months of receipt of the conditional award letter.