Novartis will support five Career Development Fellowships on maternal and child health

12 November 2019

Novartis and EDCTP are pleased to highlight the sponsorship agreement to support research capacity development in sub-Saharan Africa. Within the framework of EDCTP’s 2019 Career Development Fellowships, Novartis will jointly fund fellows that aim to conduct research in the field of maternal and child health focusing on the interaction between poverty-related infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. The EDCTP Career Development Fellowships Call for proposals is open till 27 November 2019.

“We are delighted about this collaboration with Novartis International aiming to address a critical capacity gap, with a hope of scaling up in the subsequent years. This joint venture helps us not only to support clinical research talent development in sub-Saharan Africa but also to address the growing health and research challenges in maternal and child health, and the related interaction of infectious and non-communicable diseases.”

Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director

Novartis International AG (Switzerland) and EDCTP signed the sponsorship in July 2019. It was agreed that Novartis would contribute up to €750,000 to fund at least five Career Development Fellowships. The contribution from Novartis aims to address a shortage of suitably trained mid-career researchers in sub-Saharan Africa working on maternal and child health. The context is a growing double health burden in sub-Saharan Africa which consists of emerging challenges of non-communicable diseases in addition to infectious diseases, malnutrition, and still high mortality of children and mothers.

“Novartis consistently invests in programs to support scientists and researchers in resource-poor settings with the aim of up-scaling their skills and capabilities. Ultimately, our aim is to help retain talent in the region and build local capacity for medical innovation.”

Dr Lutz Hegemann, Chief Operating Officer for Global Health at Novartis

The collaboration with Novartis represents EDCTP’s second partnership with a pharmaceutical company on capacity development. Jointly with GSK, EDCTP launched a senior fellowship call for proposals in 2017. EDCTP welcomes opportunities for collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in line with EDCTP’s objective to work with a broad range of public and private partners to maximise the impact of its research funding and attract additional investments.

EDCTP Career Development Fellowships
The objectives of the EDCTP Career Development Fellowship are to promote career progression, encourage entry and reintegration of African scientists trained abroad, and enable the retention of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. The fellowship grants will equip the fellows to establish themselves as independent researchers with the ability to initiate their own research teams at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately these grants aim to contribute to building a much-needed critical mass of researchers and institutional research capacity in the region.

About Novartis
“Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at”

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