Following a pilot call last year, the Medical Research Council has now launched a second call to support African Research Leaders. This is a highly prestigious award, jointly funded by the MRC and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), for non-clinical and clinical researchers of exceptional ability. The aim of the scheme is to strengthen research leadership across sub-Saharan Africa, by attracting and retaining researchers of high ability. The call has been re-focused this year on ‘rising star’ African Research Leaders.

Please see the link below for further details:

Sent by Policy Cures on behalf of the UK Medical Research Council.

Please direct scientific enquiries to Mrs Samia Majid at:

Who can apply?

Applications require four key elements, namely the African Research Leader candidate, a high quality science proposal, their African research organisation, and a UK partner (investigator and institution). Further details on each of these elements are provided below. Please note that due to MRC administrative processes and constraints the UK partner must be represented by the Principal Investigator (PI) named on the application and the candidate must be the first co-investigator (Co-I). Funds will be awarded to the UK partner research organisation which will then be responsible for administration of the funds to the African research organisation.

The Candidate for African Research Leader:

African nationals, particularly women, are currently under-represented as leaders in medical research in sub-Saharan Africa. The MRC therefore particularly welcomes applications from ARL candidates from less resourced sub-Saharan African countries. Applications are also encouraged, from African researchers working overseas who wish to return to the region. Successful candidates would be expected to continue their appointment at the African research organisation beyond the term of the award.

ARL candidates are expected to hold a PhD and will normally have up to five years relevant post-doctoral research experience. ARL candidates who do not have a PhD but who are educated to Master’s level and have substantial research experience, as evidenced by their publication record, may be considered.

This MRC scheme is open to both non-clinical and clinical African researchers.

ARL candidates are expected to have a tenured academic position at an eligible African research organisation prior to taking up any award. Candidates are expected to make their own arrangements for obtaining a tenured academic position in an eligible African research organisation if one is not already held (and should be in position by the start of any award).


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