African Career Acceleration Fellowships

Applications to the second round of Crick Africa Network fellowships closed on 19 November 2023.


The Crick Africa Network (CAN) is offering African Career Acceleration Fellowships supported by LifeArc for early-career biomedical scientists to develop translational scientific programmes and become independent scientists.

We're looking for ambitious early-career African scientists who can demonstrate strong scientific and leadership potential, a keen interest in translational science, and a commitment to establishing their own research groups and continuing their careers on the African continent.

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Partner organisations

LifeArc-sponsored African Career Acceleration Fellowship will provide four years of funding and be hosted primarily in one of five African partner institutions:

About the awards

The fellows will also be expected to spend some time in the United Kingdom, to use the research and laboratory facilities at the Francis Crick Institute and LifeArc.

Fellows will have the opportunity to be supported by one or more of the Crick’s 21 science technology platforms (STPs). LifeArc will also deliver translational development courses and host fellows for three to 12 months at one of their UK laboratories.

Mentorship from the chosen African partner institute, the Crick, and LifeArc will support with grant writing, publishing, research ethics and translation.

There is a strong ethos of collaboration and interaction across the network and fellows will be encouraged to learn from one another, as well as their mentors. The fellowships will cover salary, research costs, research assistant salary, and travel and subsistence costs. 


To be eligible to apply for the African Career Acceleration Fellowship you must have:

  • Citizenship or permanent residency status for an African country
  • A PhD in a relevant field with two to five years of postdoctoral experience, or a clinical PhD (MBChB) with at least three years of relevant research experience
  • A strong track record indicating potential as a scientific leader on the African continent
  • A strong translational science proposal in one of the CAN research areas
  • Approached and reached an agreement regarding your proposed science with your mentor in your chosen African partner institute and your chosen mentor at the Crick before submitting your scientific proposal.

In exceptional circumstances we may accept a candidate with less than two years' postdoctoral experience. If this is the case, please contact the CAN programme manager, Jennifer Brown at to discuss before submitting your application. 

Research themes

All projects should have translational potential. Our definition of translational science is that it serves clinical, commercial, or environmental benefit. It should address a clear unmet medical need and bridge the gap between basic discovery science and product development and can include

  • human genetics,
  • disease pathogenesis and immunogenetics,
  • pathogen genomics or bioinformatics,
  • host-pathogen interaction,
  • diagnostics and biomarkers,
  • pandemic preparedness,
  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or
  • drug and vaccine discovery for development.  

Our priority areas include

  • diseases caused by viruses such as HIV, HBV and SARS-CoV-2,
  • bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium ulcerans,
  • other bacterial pathogens including AMR-priority pathogens,
  • fungal pathogens,
  • protozoal pathogens that cause diseases such as typanosomiasis, malaria and cryptospoidiosis,
  • helminths, and
  • other neglected tropical diseases.

Application process

  • Applications will be checked for eligibility including the nationality of the applicant, number of years of postdoc experience and the translational elements of the proposal.

  • Proposals will be assessed by the chosen African partner institution, the chosen Crick mentor, as well as an external peer reviewer.

  • Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the chosen African partner institution.

  • An expert panel will convene to assess all interviewed applicants and agree on the successful fellows. Applicants will then be informed of the outcome. 

  • Application timeline

  • 19 November 2023

    Deadline for applications

  • 12-19 February 2024

    Interviews held

  • April 2024

    Fellowships expected to start

  • How to apply

    Applications are now open until 19 November 2023.

    Before you apply

    • Before submitting your application, you must read the application notes (PDF).
    • If you have questions about the translational potential of your proposed research idea and how LifeArc could support development, please contact Andy Merritt, LifeArc project lead and head of academic engagement, at
    • Applicants must have identified a mentor at their chosen African partner institute and the Crick before making an application. Crick research labs can be found in our A-Z lab listing

    Submitting your application

    For assistance and advice on potential mentors, please email the Crick Africa Network programme manager Jennifer Brown at

    Information for applicants

    Before starting your application, you should read our application notes and frequently asked questions.

    Download the application notes (PDF)

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