African Career Accelerator Awards
Call for applications
Call status: open
- Call opens: Friday 2 November
- The Expression of Interest Form is a mandatory stage
- Deadline for Expression of Interest is 1 January 2019
- Deadline for full applications is 1 February 2019, 16:00 GMT
See how to apply below for application form and guidance notes.
Call for applications
The Crick African Network’s African Career Accelerator (CAN ACA) awards will provide Fellowship support for African Post-Doctoral researchers (or non-African citizens with permanent residency status) who are aiming to make the transition to becoming an independent researcher and launching their own research group. The CAN ACA awards will invest in early-career researchers who have demonstrated strong scientific and leadership potential, as well as a commitment to continuing their research on the African continent. This call is made possible by funding from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
About the accelerator awards
Fellowships are for a duration of up to two years, and may include personal salary/stipend, visa costs and research expenses to implement the research. The Fellowships will be undertaken in not less than two locations: The Francis Crick Institute (‘the Crick’, UK) and at one of the five African partner institutions: The University of Ghana (Ghana), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), University of Cape Town (South Africa), MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM (The Gambia) and MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. Fellows will spend at least six months in each location, although this can be accumulated in more than one visit. The remainder of the fellowship could be spent at the Crick, the African partner institution, or a third institution situated in Africa. It is expected that approximately six fellowships will be awarded in this round, each with a value of up to £145,000. Provision has been made to cover costs of travel for both relocation and conferences, as well as research related costs for consumables. Each fellowship also includes the option of the purchase of equipment, with a single item up to a value of £10,000, and a total budget of £20,000.
Fellows will be supported by two supervisors/advisors: one each from the Crick and the chosen African partner institution, as well as having the option of support from one of the 14 Crick Science Technology Platforms (STP) which specialize in specific techniques and technologies.
In the event that the Crick does not have a directly aligned Group Leader, but there is expertise in the research area from the African Partner institution it will be possible to select a Science Technology Platform to align with for the duration that research is conducted at the Crick, and a Crick Group Leader could be found as a mentor. These projects should seek to gain advanced training in the technique of the Science Technology Platform.
In addition to conducting the proposed research programme, Fellows will participate in advanced training which will provide the skills and competencies to make the transition to becoming an independent research leader on the African continent. To facilitate this, Fellows will be supported to submit a research grant proposal to major international funders in order to be able to continue their work after the end of the Fellowship.
Fellowships will commence no later than 31st October 2019.
The scope of the research themes which can be undertaken as part of this Award can be defined as a biomedical study of infectious diseases of poverty, with an emphasis on Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/AIDS, but also extending to neglected tropical diseases or non-communicable diseases with an infection component.
Clinical research is possible, but will have to be discussed specifically with potential supervisors/ advisors and institutions to confirm whether resources are available to support the research. It will not normally be possible to conduct clinical research whilst in the UK.
Epidemiological or social science research on the above themes are considered out of scope.
Applicants must be a citizen or have permanent residency status of one of the 55 African nations, as defined by the African Union. Applicants will also have a PhD and have no more than 6 years’ post-doctoral research experience (with allowances for legitimate career breaks) but more than 2 years’ post-doctoral experience unless the applicant has an outstanding track-record, supported by publication and employment history.
Competitive applicants will have a strong track record of research. They will have a PhD, and have progressed to a postdoctoral role through which they are on a demonstrable path to independence. Prior experience of applying for grant funding is desirable but not required.
Neither is it essential to currently be employed on the African continent, but applications should demonstrate the applicant’s desire to establish themselves as an independent researcher on the African continent.
The fellowships will accelerate careers that have already shown great potential both scientifically and in leadership. These awards will identify individuals who will go on to make significant contributions to research as well as science and knowledge on the African continent and applicants should articulate how this award would establish them as a research leader.
Applications will be assessed predominantly on the quality of the science proposed, which will take into account the project, the individual, the research environments and the timeliness, relevance and feasibility of the project, by peer reviewers. The leadership potential of applicants and statements from referees will also be taken into account.
Strong applicants at the full application stage will be invited to interview at the African Partner Institution that they have applied through.
To apply, applicants must first submit a mandatory Expression of Interest form, and read the Guidance Notes for Expression of Interest form.
The Expression of Interest form for the second round of the call will be available between Thursday 1st November 2018 and 23:59 GMT 2nd January 2019. Expressions of interest submitted after this time will be put forward for the third round of the call, which will close for Expressions of Interest on the 1st April 2019, and full applications for that round will close on 1st May 2019.
The purpose of the Expression of Interest form (EoI) is to establish eligibility as well as confirming supervisory arrangements for applicants.
Eligible applicants will be provided with the link to the online application portal which closes at 16:00 GMT on Friday 1st February 2019.
Applicants successful at the full application stage will be invited to interview. Interviews will take place during March 2019.
The outcome of applications will be announced at the end of April 2019.
For more information, email CAN-Fellowships@crick.ac.uk