Senior Fellowships

Type of actionTraining & Mobility Action (TMA)
Open date01 November 2018, 22:00
Close date28 February 2019, 15:00
Budget€5 million
Funding level100% of eligible costs

Expected number of grants: 10-12

Call identifier: TMA2018SF

See the list of awarded projects


Expected number of grants: 10-12
Call identifier: TMA2018SF

See the list of awarded projects



The EDCTP programme has achieved gradual successes in developing a pool of highly qualified senior researchers in the field of poverty related diseases (PRDs) in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to continue growing the number of senior researchers, now more than ever, it is important to ensure there is continued support for the development and retention of senior fellows in the region. This in turn will ensure supportive mentorship structure, sustainable research capacity and provide a career pathway for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to support capacity development of potential sub-Saharan African research leaders to become long-term trainer of trainers and mentors for junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  1. to support senior researchers to advance themselves as world class research leaders in product development through clinical trials and closely related fields.
  2. to equip senior researchers in training and mentoring junior researchers at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.


Proposals should focus on hands-on activities equipping the fellow with competences to serve as a long-term trainer of trainers in research and mentorship 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 one or more PhD and/or at least two Masters’ students 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 GCP-compliant; good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant investigational product(s) are available and guaranteed; and all sponsor responsibilities can be fulfilled by the host institution 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 an EDCTP Senior Fellowship must be submitted by the prospective fellow in conjunction with and on behalf of their proposed host organisation (hereinafter ‘the applicant legal entity’). The grants are awarded to the host organisation with the explicit commitment that this organisation offers appropriate conditions for the senior fellow to direct and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme. 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
Projects funded under this Call for Proposals should:

  • Contribute to the achievement of SDG3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’
  • Enable fellows to:
    • develop into recognised research leaders and contribute to an increased pool of scientific knowledge and mentors in sub-Saharan Africa
    • develop the ability to design, plan and execute complex research programmes in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members and, where relevant, across sectors
    • produce higher impact scientific, and where applicable policy, publications, and will be more competitive, assuming scientific leadership and capable of attracting funding from various sources.

Ultimately, these grants will contribute to the generation of a critical mass of researchers and institutional research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

A proposal will only be considered eligible if:

  1. its content corresponds, wholly or in part, to the topic/contest description for which it is submitted
  2. it complies with the eligibility conditions set out below, depending on the type of action:
    1. The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa (the applicant legal entity)**
    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
    3. The fellow must:
      1. be resident of or be willing to relocate to a sub-Saharan African country
      2. 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 post-graduate qualification in a subject relevant to the EDCTP2 programme, and a minimum of five years’ research experience after the post-graduate qualification;
      3. have a minimum of 5 first-author publications in international peer-reviewed journals;
      4. not have been funded under this fellowship scheme before***;
      5. The requested EDCTP contribution per action shall not exceed EUR 500,000;
      6. The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months.



* In the EDCTP2 programme, “poverty-related diseases (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 infections; lower respiratory infections; as well as emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola or yellow fever.

** 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).

*** 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 call has a single-stage application procedure.

  • A full proposal must be submitted by 28 February 2019 at 17:00:00 CET via EDCTPgrants. Evaluation results are expected to be made available by 11 July 2019.


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, 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 Applicant has a ‘right to reply’ to the expert assessments (rebuttal procedure).

The following aspects are considered under the evaluation criteria:

1. Excellence
The following aspects will be taken into account, to the extent that the proposed work corresponds to the topic description in the work plan:

  • 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


2. Impact
The following aspects will be taken into account:

  • Call specific aspects as listed under ‘expected impact’ in each individual call
  • 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.


3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation
The following aspects will be taken into account:

  • 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.


Financial provisions
The call budget is EUR 5 million.

The requested EDCTP contribution per project should not exceed EUR 500 000. The funding level is 100% of eligible costs.

Grant agreement
The Coordinator 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.  All participants in the action must sign a consortium agreement prior to grant agreement signature

Applicant legal entities (host organisations) selected for funding from this Call for Proposals will be required to conclude an employment agreement with the fellow prior to the conclusion of the EDCTP2 grant agreement.

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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