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Senior Fellowships

Status: Closed
Type of action: Training & Mobility Actions (TMAs)
Call budget: € 3M
Maximum funding: € 500,000
Funding level: 100% of eligible costs
Open date: 3 October 2016, 17:00
Close date: 8 February 2017, 17:00
Go to EDCTPgrants

This call for proposals aims to support capacity development of potential African research leaders using the train-the-trainer model and to mentor junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.

Please note: the deadline for proposals was extended to 8 February 2017



There is a shortage of senior researchers and research mentors in sub-Saharan Africa in the field of poverty-related diseases (PRDs). Support to develop senior researchers within an appropriate and supportive mentorship structure is required to build sustainable research capacity and provide a career pathway for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.


The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide funding to actions that aim to support capacity development of potential African research leaders using the train-the-trainer model and to mentor junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  1. To support senior researchers to advance themselves as recognised research leaders in product development through clinical trials and related activities
  2. To equip senior researchers with the necessary skills and experience to train and mentor junior researchers at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.


Applications should focus on hands-on research activities equipping the fellow with competences to train and mentor junior researchers in a scientific area within the scope of the EDCTP2 programme. Applications should include a clear and concise individual capacity development plan for the fellow with measurable indicators of how the project will advance the fellow’s personal development towards scientific leadership. As a key component, the proposed work must include training and supervision of a minimum of two postgraduate students (PhD and/or Masters) with a clear training and mentorship plan. Additionally, the fellow should indicate how their advancement in skills and competences for training and mentorship, as well as the capacity development of the junior researchers under their supervision fit into the overall institutional capacity development and sustainability strategies. Fellows who plan to conduct the training and mentorship on clinical trials 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. Fellows should have a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in their chosen area of research and show potential to become future research leaders working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Application for a Senior Fellowship must be submitted by the prospective fellow in conjunction with and on behalf of their proposed host organisation in sub-Saharan Africa (‘the applicant legal entity’). The grants are awarded to the host organisation with the explicit commitment that this organisation offers appropriate conditions for the fellow to direct independently the proposed action and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship.

Grants will be awarded for up to five years with a total funding of up to a maximum of €500,000. Fellows funded under this Call for Proposals will undergo a mid-term review that may result in discontinuation of the grant after three years in case of unsatisfactory performance.

Expected impact

Fellows funded under this Call for Proposals will develop into recognised research leaders and contribute to an increased pool of scientific knowledge and mentors in sub-Saharan Africa. Fellows will have developed the ability to initiate, design, plan, execute and lead complex clinical research programmes and trials through interdisciplinary collaboration and, where relevant, across sectors. The fellows will produce high impact scientific and where applicable policy publications, and will be more competitive, assuming scientific leadership and capable of attracting funding from various sources. Ultimately this grant will contribute to the generation of a critical mass of researchers and the progression of institutional research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. The senior fellowship grants will also contribute to reduce and reverse the brain drain of African scientists that moved out of or trained outside Africa by offering an opportunity to return to Africa and progress their career as independent research leaders.


  1. The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (the applicant legal entity)(1).
  2. 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 (2).
  3. The fellow must:(2)
  • be a 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 a minimum of five years’ relevant research experience after the doctorate, or a medical doctor with a minimum of five years’ research experience;
  • not have been funded under this fellowship scheme before.(3)
  1. The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed € 500,000.
  2. The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months



  1. 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 senior 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).
  2. 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
  3. For the purpose of this Call for Proposals, PRDs include HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis; the following neglected infectious diseases (NIDs): dengue/severe dengue, rabies, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Leishmaniases, cysticercosis/taeniasis, dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), echinococcosis, food-borne trematodiases, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, Buruli ulcer; leprosy (Hansen disease), trachoma, and yaws; diarrhoeal diseases; lower respiratory tract infections, as well as emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola or yellow fever.

Procedure and application process

Submission and evaluation procedure

This is a single-stage application procedure. Proposals must be submitted by 8 February 2017 via EDCTPgrants. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 30 June 2017.

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 criteria, scoring and thresholds

Following an admissibility and eligibility check, 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:

1. Excellence

  • Fit with the scope and objectives of the EDCTP2 programme 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.


2. Impact

  • 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 for 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.


3. 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 (host) organisation to support the fellowship project.
  • Intention of the fellow’s home (host) organisation to develop and commit to a career post-fellowship or re-integration plan.


Financial provisions

The call budget is 3 million EUR.

The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months and the requested EDCTP contribution should not exceed 500,000 EUR. The funding level is 100% of eligible costs.

Grant agreement

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 conditional award letter.

Application process

  • The application must be submitted online via EDCTPgrants
  • Only registered users of EDCTPgrants system can apply for grants and therefore you are advised to register on the system as soon as possible

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