Career Development Fellowships
There is a severe shortage of opportunities for junior and mid-career researchers to acquire and develop clinical research skills in sub-Saharan Africa. Increased possibilities for individual training would enable talented scientists to establish themselves as independent researchers and team leaders at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide funding to actions that aim to support junior to mid-career researchers (‘fellows’) to train and develop their clinical research skills(1).
The objectives are:
- To promote career development and retention of postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate medical researchers in the research field and in sub-Saharan Africa;
- To equip the fellows with the ability to establish themselves as independent researchers and with the skills to initiate and manage their own research at host organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.
The proposed action should specifically enhance the ability of the fellow to design, plan and execute clinical biomedical and/or social science/ethics research projects within the scope of the EDCTP2 programme(2). The proposed training should include an independent research activity and a clear description of the skills that will be acquired by carrying out the research. Fellows with training activities involving clinical trials and related studies must ensure that studies are appropriately designed and good clinical practice (GCP)-compliant and that good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant investigational product(s) are available and guaranteed, and all sponsor responsibilities can be fulfilled by the host organisation (applicant legal entity where the fellow is employed) or product developer involved in the project. Individuals targeted by this Call for Proposals should have a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in their chosen area of research, a mentor who is an internationally recognised scientific leader working in sub-Saharan Africa, and a career development plan as part of the research proposal.
Application for a Career Development Fellowship must be submitted by an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (‘the applicant legal entity’) on behalf of the prospective fellow employed by that organisation. The grants are awarded to the host organisation with the explicit commitment that this organisation offers appropriate conditions for the fellow to direct and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship.
Activities funded under this Call for Proposals will promote career progression, encourage entry and re-integration of African scientists trained abroad, and ensure the retention of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers in their respective research fields and that the researchers develop into independent researchers and team leaders in sub-Saharan Africa. The progressive generation of independent researchers, re-entry of ones trained abroad and retention of those working in sub-Saharan Africa will ultimately contribute to creation of a critical mass of internationally recognised scientific leaders, institutions and networks that will sustain high quality research in sub-Saharan Africa. The career development fellowship grants will also contribute to reduce and reverse the brain drain of African scientist that moved out of or trained outside Africa by offering an opportunity to return to Africa and progress their career to establish themselves as independent researchers, thereby empowering them to assume a leadership role in clinical research and contributing to sustainable development.
- The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (the applicant legal entity).(3)
- The fellow must be employed or have guaranteed employment by the applicant legal entity (the host organisation) where they intend to remain working for a minimum of two years after the expiration of the grant.(3)
- Fellows must:(3)
- be resident of or be willing to relocate to a sub-Saharan African country;
- be either a graduate in a subject relevant to the EDCTP2 programme, with a PhD and up to five years’ relevant postdoctoral research experience, or a medical doctor with up to five years’ research experience;
- have at least one publication in an international peer-reviewed journal;
- not have been funded under this fellowship scheme before.(4)
- The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed € 150,000.
- The maximum fellowship duration shall be 36 months.
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will support the EDCTP2 programme with a total contribution of up to € 265,000 to this Call for Proposals. This cash contribution is restricted in use by the EDCTP Association for funding participants in actions resulting from this Call for Proposals, which are legally established in Portuguese-speaking sub-Saharan African countries. The call evaluation and grant management is centrally managed by the EDCTP Association in line with the Rules for Participation of Horizon 2020.
- For the purpose of this call, PRDs include HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and the following neglected infectious diseases (NIDs): dengue/severe dengue; rabies; human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); Leishmaniases; cysticercosis/taeniasis; dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease); echinococcosis; foodborne trematodiases; lymphatic filariasis; mycetoma; onchocerciasis (river blindness); schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminthiases; Buruli ulcer; leprosy (Hansen disease); trachoma; yaws; diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory tract infections, as well as emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola or yellow fever.
- Explanatory note: This additional condition for participation according to RfP Art. 9.5 is required due to the objectives of this Training & Mobility Action. It aims to support junior fellows in sub-Saharan Africa in line with the activities called for by the EU legislator (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex II, activity 1c). It contributes to the specific objectives of the EDCTP2 programme which calls, e.g., for cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa on building their capacity for conducting clinical trials in compliance with fundamental ethical principles, relevant legislations and international standards, and for extended cooperation with private partners (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex I, objectives 2b).
- Explanatory note: This additional condition for participation according to RfP Art. 9.5 is required due to the objectives of the EDCTP2 programme which requires that the capacity for conducting clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa are built and strengthened (EDCTP2 basic act, Annex II). Allowing fellows in sub-Saharan Africa to only receive once a specific EDCTP2 fellowship will increase the number of different fellows supported and promoted under the EDCTP2 programme, and in turn strengthen more broadly the corresponding clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Procedure and application process
Submission and evaluation procedure
This is a single-stage application procedure. Proposals must be submitted by 21 November 2017 via EDCTPgrants. Evaluation results are expected to be made available by 16 April 2018.
The host organisation (applicant) must provide a support letter confirming that the organisation is supportive of the proposed action and willing through its financial and administrative systems to enable the fellow to direct independently the proposed action and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship.
Evaluation, scoring and thresholds
Following an admissibility and eligibility check, letters of intent and full proposals are evaluated by external, independent experts. Proposals are evaluated according to the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. Each criterion is scored between 0 and 5.
The following aspects are considered under the evaluation criteria:
- Fit with the scope and objectives of the EDCTP2 Programme, the EDCTP strategic research agenda and the call topic description.
- Importance, relevance/pertinence and clarity of the objectives.
- Soundness of the concept and credibility of the proposed approach/methodology.
- Suitability of the candidate, considering their track record, degree of independence and/or potential, and how the fellowship will further the individual’s career.
- Quality of the project and its fit with the fellow’s expertise and career development plan, including acquired competencies and skills to be developed further.
- The extent to which the outputs of the proposed work would contribute, at the European, African and/or International level, to each of the expected impacts listed in the work plan under the relevant topic.
- Likelihood to result in major advances in the field.
- Contribution of the fellowship to the fellow’s clinical research skills and career development.
- Contribution to strengthening clinical research capacity at the home or host organisation.
- Effectiveness of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate results generated during the fellowship (including management of IPR), to communicate the fellowship activities, and, where relevant, to manage clinical data.
- Sustainability and retention of capacity post-award.
- Quality and efficiency of the implementation
- Quality and effectiveness of the work plan, including extent to which the resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables;
- Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management, and how responsibilities for research data quality and sharing, and security will be met.
- Complementarity of the participants within the consortium, and the extent to which the consortium as whole brings together the necessary expertise.
- Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role.
- Feasibility and appropriateness of the methods and project management to achieve the objectives within the timeframe of the grant.
- Compliance with national and international standards of research, Good Clinical Practice, ethics and safety related issues.
- Participants have the operational capacity, to carry out the proposed work, based on the competence and experience of the individual participant(s).
- Suitability of the fellow’s home organisation to support the fellowship project.
- Intention of the fellow’s home organisation to develop and commit to a career post-fellowship or re-integration plan.
The call budget is €2.5 million.
The requested EDCTP contribution per project should not exceed €150,000. The funding level is up to 100% of eligible costs.
The legal entity employing the successful fellow (‘host organisation’) is required to sign a grant agreement with EDCTP (EDCTP2 mono-beneficiary grant agreement with options for fellowships) within three months of receipt of the evaluation outcome letter.
Documents and more information
- TMA2017CDF Call text (PDF)
- Application Form – Career Development Fellowships 2017 (Word)
- Template for essential information to be provided
for proposals including clinical trials (Word)
- For questions related to this call for proposals, please contact: Shingai Machingaidze at machingaidze[at]edctp.org
- For questions and issues about EDCTPgrants and the online application submission please contact EDCTP via edctpgrants[at]edctp.org or +31 (0) 70 344 08 80
- For guidance on online application procedure, please refer to the Guidelines for applicants (PDF)
- For more information about EDCTP2 procedures, please refer to the EDCTP2 Grants Manual (PDF) and EDCTP2 FAQs