Senior Fellowships

Type of actionTraining & Mobility Action (TMA)
Open date12 November 2015, 17:00
Close date04 February 2016, 17:00
Budget€ 2.5 million
Funding level100% of eligible costs

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide funding to actions that aim to support capacity development of potential African research leaders to serve as long-term trainer-of -trainers and mentors for junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities.

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide funding to actions that aim to support capacity development of potential African research leaders to serve as long-term trainer-of -trainers and mentors for junior researchers with emphasis on hands-on research training linked to clinical trials activities.



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 to serve as 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 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 organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.


Applications 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(1). 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 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 organisation 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.

Applications 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 fellow to direct independently the proposed action and manage its funding for the duration of the fellowship. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme. 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 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 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 following eligibility criteria apply to this Call for Proposals:

  1. The applicant must be an organisation with an established legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa(2).
  2. The fellow must be employed or have guaranteed employment by the applicant (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:
  • 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.
  1. The requested EDCTP contribution per year shall not exceed 100,000 EUROS.
  2. The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months.



  1. For the purpose of this Call for Proposals, 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; 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.
  2. For this Call for Proposals, Sub-Saharan Africa includes: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Democratic People’s Republic), Congo (Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Procedure and application process

Submission and evaluation procedure

This is a single-stage application procedure. A full proposal must be submitted via EDCTPgrants by 4 February 2016 at 17:00 Central European Time (CET) (16:00 GMT).

The evaluation results will be available by 10 June 2016.

The host organisation (applicant) must provide a 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

This call follows a single-stage application procedure. Following an admissibility and eligibility check, 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 threshold for individual criteria is 3 and the overall threshold for the sum of the three individual scores is 10. Applicants have the opportunity to submit a written response to the expert reviewers’ comments prior to an expert review committee meeting convened by EDCTP to finalise the funding recommendations.

The following aspects are considered under the evaluation criteria:


  • Fit with the scope and objectives of EDCTP2 and the call topic description
  • Importance, relevance and clarity of the objectives
  • Credibility of the proposed approach
  • Clarity, pertinence and importance of the strategic vision
  • 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.



  • Contribution towards the expected impacts listed for the call
  • 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 institution
  • 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

  • Coherence and effectiveness of the proposed work, including appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources
  • Feasibility and appropriateness of the methods and project management to achieve the objectives within the timeframe of the grant
  • 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
  • Compliance with national and international standards of research, Good Clinical Practice, ethics and safety related issues
  • Complementarity of the participants within the consortium and gender balance among consortium members (when relevant)
  • 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 2.5 million EUR.

The maximum fellowship duration shall be 60 months and the requested EDCTP contribution per year shall not exceed 100,000 EUR. EDCTP may fund 100% of eligible project 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. EDCTP will only sign grant agreements with organisations (legal entities) that are registered in the Beneficiary Register for Horizon 2020 and that have a validated Participant Identification Code (PIC). For more information, see the H2020 participant portal.

Application Process

  • The application must be submitted online via EDCTPgrants
  • Only registered users of the EDCTPgrants system can apply for grants and therefore you are advised to register on the system as soon as possible
  • Please read the guidance in the online application form before submitting an application.

Call document

More information

For questions related to this Call for Proposals, please contact:


For questions and issues about EDCTPgrants and the online application submission please contact EDCTP via EDCTPgrants[at] or +27 (0) 21 938 0690.

For more information about EDCTP2 procedures, please refer to the EDCTP2 Grants Manual.