Funding boost for sub-Saharan researchers

New £25 million fellowships launched by the African Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society

May 23, 2018
Source: iStock

New fellowships of up to £150,000 per year for two years have been launched to support early career sub-Saharan African researchers.

The £25 million Future Leaders – African Independent Researchers (Flair) fellowships are a partnership between the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the UK's Royal Society, supported by the British government's Global Challenges Research Fund

The AAS “sees Flair as a great opportunity to address critical gaps in the continent’s research capacity”, according to Tom Kariuki, AAS director of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa.

The postdoctoral fellowship programme will also aim to establish good financial grants practice in sub-Saharan universities and research institutions. The fellowships “will be essential to attract, train and retain the best scientists on the continent and to support them to provide solutions to improve the quality of lives for all Africans”, Dr Kariuki said.

The funding will support early career researchers in the natural sciences to establish scientific independence and develop their research. The fellowships will fund research in areas of “global significance”, such as into innovations that could help the researcher’s own country or that address the global sustainable development goals, the Royal Society said.

The fellowships also include training, mentoring and networking opportunities for researchers, in Africa and with the UK. Richard Catlow, foreign secretary of the Royal Society, said that the programme will help build “lasting connections and international collaborations” between Africa and UK scientists.

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