AREF Opens Applications for Research Development Fellowship Programme 2023/24

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) has officially announced the commencement of the application process for the prestigious AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme for the year 2023/24. This highly sought-after program aims to empower exceptional health researchers based in Africa by providing them with the necessary resources to lead research projects tailored to the unique challenges faced on the continent, ultimately contributing to the alleviation of disease burdens.

The Fellowship Programme offers a rare opportunity for selected recipients to nurture their research ideas, enhance their research skills and capabilities, establish collaborative relationships through mentorship and collaboration, and work towards securing substantial research funding. The program is specifically designed for early career researchers who are both nationals and employees of African countries. This includes research-active postdoctoral scientists and clinicians with higher qualifications.

Successful fellows will be awarded a placement ranging from three to nine months at leading research institutions in the United Kingdom, Europe, or Africa. In addition to the placement, the fellowship also provides support to fellows at their home institutions both before and after the placement. Financial assistance of up to £47,000 will be made available to the fellows to aid their research endeavours.

Over the years, a multitude of AREF Fellows have achieved remarkable milestones, securing prestigious fellowships and grants from esteemed institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, African Academy of Sciences (AESA, FLAIR), and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), among others.

Applicants for the Research Development Fellowship Programme must demonstrate a credible and ambitious vision for their research career, specifically in an area of human health challenge relevant to Africa. Additionally, they must present a well-supported development plan that highlights how the RDF Programme can significantly contribute to their professional growth. AREF strongly advises potential applicants to engage in early discussions with their employing and potential host organizations to ensure a seamless application process.

The deadline for submission of all applications is September 14, 2023. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to thoroughly review the application requirements and guidelines provided by AREF to maximize their chances of success.

Article by Jed Mwangi