African Career Accelerator Awards

Group photo of the Crick African Network fellows.

African Career Accelerator Awards

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The Crick African Network’s African Career Accelerator (CAN ACA) awards provide postdoctoral fellowships for African researchers who are aiming to make the transition to becoming an independent researcher and launching their own research group.

The awards 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. They are supported by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund

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Over the course of the two year programme, the fellows will divide their time between the Crick and one of the five African partner institutions:

About the awards

Duration, location and funding

Fellowships are for a duration of up to two years, each with a value of up to £145,000.

The fellowships are undertaken in at least two locations including the Crick (UK), one of our partner institutions and optionally a third African institution.

Support and mentoring

Fellows are supported by two supervisors/advisors: one each from the Crick and the partner institution. They also have the option of support from one of the 15 Crick science technology platforms (STPs) which specialise in specific techniques and technologies.

In addition to conducting the proposed research programme, fellows participate in advanced training which provides the necessary skills to make the transition to becoming an independent research leader on the African continent. 

To facilitate this, fellows are 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.

Research areas

The scope of the research themes are 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.


CAN Fellows must have citizenship or have permanent residency status of one of the 55 African nations, as defined by the African Union. Applicants must also have a PhD and no more than six years’ postdoctoral research experience.

Application assessment

The fellowships are designed to accelerate careers that have already shown great potential both scientifically and in leadership. These awards have identified individuals who will go on to make significant contributions to research as well as science and knowledge on the African continent.

The applications for African Career Accelerator awards are assessed by international peer review, followed by interviews.

Application timeline

13 August 2020

Expressions of interest opened

2 October 2020

Expressions of interest closed

2 November 2020

Full applications closed

Late December

Outcome announced

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