Africa is disproportionately burdened by infectious diseases:
- 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS live in Africa.
- 75% of global HIV-TB cases are found in Africa.
- Africa has 90% of worldwide childhood malaria deaths
The Crick African Network has been created to address this.
The network is the result of a £6.6m grant through Research Councils UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The grant commenced on the 1 October 2017, and will have a duration of 51 months until December 2021.
The Programme is led by Professor Robert J Wilkinson, and five African partner institutes:
- University of Ghana
- Stellenbosch University
- University of Cape Town
- MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM
- MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit and LSHTM
Training workshops and symposia
To begin the partnership, the Crick African Network has delivered four collaborative events across each of the African partner institutions in their respective countries between December 2017-March 2018. The events had a three-day programme which comprised of a one-day scientific symposium open to all local staff and students, and a two-day research methods workshop targeted at around 20 post-doctoral scientists in each location. These enabled updates on the latest research taking place across partners, as well as advanced training in grant-writing.
The main feature of the Crick African Network will be the delivery of 18 African Career Accelerator awards, over the course of three years. Each individual award will have a duration of up to two years, with the time being spent between the Francis Crick Institute and on the African continent at one of the five African partner institutes. Fellowships will have a value of approximately £130k each.
During the two years, Fellows will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities as well as advanced training opportunities to drive their own research agendas. Fellows will also submit grant applications in order to make the transition to becoming independent researchers situated on the African continent, and thereby become internationally and locally-networked future African research leaders in the infectious diseases of poverty.