EDCTP COVID-19 emergency funding for twenty research projects
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented surge in scientific collaboration on research and development programs for prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic tools. In April 2020, EDCTP contributed to this effort by activating its Emergency funding mechanism to ensure a quick start of COVID-19 research in sub-Saharan Africa.
The COVID-19 Emergency response call was open for only 14 days and saw a record number of applications submitted to a single-stage call with an accelerated review mechanism. A total of 153 applications were received, of which 100 were eligible. The consortia which were assembled in a couple of days to respond to the call and -the high quality of applications received may be an indicator of growing strength and competitiveness of the clinical research community in sub-Saharan Africa which is further bolstered by international collaboration.
The 100 eligible applications went through an expedited and robust peer review which led to a ranked list of 47 proposals. Twenty proposals have been invited to grant preparation and some put on a reserve list while EDCTP continues to explore ways to fund these projects. The cash contribution from the European Union and the co-funding so far received so from France, Sweden, South Africa, and the United Kingdom is gratefully acknowledged.