CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR AFRICAN/APTI FELLOWSHIPS 2022- EARLIER CAREER SCIENTISTS

Are you one of a group of gifted young African scientists who aspire to receive training abroad, return to their home institutions, serve as scientific leaders in their communities, assist in resolving Africa’s problems with global health and development, and train the following generation? If so, you may be interested in a position with the African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI).

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) collaborates with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other organisations to carry out APTI (BMGF). Through the programme, APTI Fellows receive the training and assistance they need to develop into leaders in science who can promote more research and innovation initiatives in Africa. This is accomplished by placing APTI Fellows in diverse laboratories for 4-year postdoctoral fellowships of the NIH Institutes or Centers (i.e., Intramural Research Program) for 2 years before returning to their home institutions in Africa for another 2 years of research.

APTI fellows are required to participate in a network of partnerships that connects to their home institutions on an international and regional scale in Africa. The APTI fellows will also be connected to current African and international scientific networks and will be expected to foster these scientific relationships and collaborations. The APTI programme currently has two active cohorts. About 10 fellows will be selected from the current call for submissions to make up the third cohort of APTI fellowships.

Who is Eligible

Applications for APTI fellowships must fulfil the requirements listed below:

• Must be an African national currently working in academic, research, or governmental roles in an African nation
• Must have received a doctoral degree in a relevant field no more than seven years before to the application deadline (e.g., a PhD, MD, or MBBS). On a case-by-case basis, applicants with earlier-awarded doctorates may be taken into consideration with sufficient justification (e.g., where one took a career break for family-related reasons or to seek asylum due to political instability). For consideration, such applicants should submit a request (with reason).

• Prior to beginning work at the NIH, candidates must have less than five years of relevant research experience after receiving their doctoral degree. Short bursts of clinical practise and/or teaching, excluding research, may be permitted, but the overall time cannot exceed 2-3 years.
• Must be able to read, write, speak, and listen in fluent English.

Fields That Can Apply For This Fellowship.

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After successfully completing the two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH, the APTI fellows shall be supported to transition into being independent researchers as follows. APTI fellows shall be provided with a grant[2] of up to USD 226,800 to support years 3 and 4 of the APTI fellowship as detailed below:
Salary support of up-to USD 38,400 per year subject to the home institution’s HR provisions. The salary support is aimed at ensuring that APTI fellows spend at least 50% of their personnel time on their APTI fellowship
Research support of up to USD 50,000 per year
Equipment purchase support of up to USD 50,000 (total)

After successfully completing the two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH, the APTI fellows shall be supported to transition into being independent researchers as follows. APTI fellows shall be provided with a grant[2] of up to USD 226,800 to support years 3 and 4 of the APTI fellowship as detailed below:
Salary support of up-to USD 38,400 per year subject to the home institution’s HR provisions. The salary support is aimed at ensuring that APTI fellows spend at least 50% of their personnel time on their APTI fellowship
Research support of up to USD 50,000 per year
Equipment purchase support of up to USD 50,000 (total)

Who can apply?

Ideal proposals for APTI fellowships

APTI fellowships are open to applications from fields of health research, with a focus on innovation aimed at the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health problems that are priorities for their home institutions and countries. Additionally, proposals should align with the focus areas of BMGF, the NIH, and the AAS. In this regard, specific areas of interest include:

  • Human immunobiology; (human) host-pathogen biology; vaccines and biologics discovery
  • Drug discovery: malaria, tuberculosis, pandemic viruses, contraception
  • Microbiome research
  • Genomics: human, pathogen, microbiome
  • Gene-based cures for HIV and sickle cell disease
  • HIV, TB, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, enteric and diarrheal diseases, pneumonia
  • Women’s sexual and reproductive health
  • Vector biology and control (for malaria, neglected tropical diseases and arboviruses)
  • Maternal, neonatal and child health, the last including nutrition, growth, and neurodevelopment
  • Data science, regulatory science
  • Epidemic preparedness: molecular surveillance, clinical trial networks

While at the NIH, the APTI fellows must be on unpaid leave or sabbatical from their home institution, and not receiving a salary or stipend, as required by the NIH Intramural Visiting Fellow Program (https://policymanual.nih.gov/2300-320-3).

Support Packages For The Fellowship.

Years 1 and 2

Years 3 and 4

  • After successfully completing the two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH, the APTI fellows shall be supported to transition into being independent researchers as follows. APTI fellows shall be provided with a grant[2] of up to USD 226,800 to support years 3 and 4 of the APTI fellowship as detailed below:
  • Salary support of up-to USD 38,400 per year subject to the home institution’s HR provisions. The salary support is aimed at ensuring that APTI fellows spend at least 50% of their personnel time on their APTI fellowship
  • Research support of up to USD 50,000 per year
  • Equipment purchase support of up to USD 50,000 (total)

Key Roles Of The Home Institution.

A key ingredient for the APTI program is a focus on the Home Institutions (HIs) for APTI fellows. Here, APTI expects commitment from HIs to provide conducive research environments and dedicated research time for the fellows upon their return home. A letter of support from the applicants’ Home Institutions will be required, confirming the HI’s commitment to the requirements for the APTI fellowship. Specifically, the HI must explicitly commit to:

  1. Granting the APTI fellow unpaid leave or sabbatical for 2 years to enable them to relocate to the NIH for the 1st phase of the APTI fellowship
  2. Keeping contact with the APTI fellow while at the NIH through regular meetings (virtual or otherwise) to monitor progress and prepare for the Fellow’s return
  3. Offering appropriate conditions for the APTI Fellow to independently direct their APTI fellowship research, including management of funding, after their return from the US for the 2nd phase of the APTI fellowship
  4. Providing the APTI Fellow with at least 50% of protected time for research at the Home Institution after their return from the NIH. The APTI program shall provide funds to support at least 50% of the APTI Fellow’s salary to facilitate the time commitment on the APTI program during the 2nd phase
  5. Being directly responsible for the supervision of the APTI Fellow’s research activities
  6. Providing information required for the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) due diligence process and implement recommendations/actions thereof. The GFGP due diligence process shall be conducted at no cost to the home institution, as part of the pre-grant award process for the 2nd phase of the APTI fellowship.

This is How To Apply For This Fellowship.

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FAQs.pd

APTI is implemented by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) in partnership with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Through the program, APTI Fellows are trained and supported to become scientific leaders who can advocate for increased research and innovation projects in Africa. This is done through 4-year postdoctoral fellowships where APTI Fellows are placed in various laboratories of the NIH Institutes or Centers (i.e., Intramural Research Program) for 2 years before returning to their home institutions in Africa for another 2 years of research.

APTI fellows are expected to be a part of an African regional and global web of collaborations connecting to their home institutions. Moreover, the APTI fellows will be linked to existing African and global scientific networks and will be expected to nurture these scientific collaborations and relationships. Currently, the APTI program has two active cohorts. The current call for applications will recruit about 10 fellows to form the 3rd cohort of APTI fellowships.

Who can apply?

Ideal proposals for APTI fellowships

Support package for APTI fellowship

Role of the Home Institutions

A key ingredient for the APTI program is a focus on the Home Institutions (HIs) for APTI fellows. Here, APTI expects commitment from HIs to provide conducive research environments and dedicated research time for the fellows upon their return home. A letter of support from the applicants’ Home Institutions will be required, confirming the HI’s commitment to the requirements for the APTI fellowship. Specifically, the HI must explicitly commit to:

  1. Granting the APTI fellow unpaid leave or sabbatical for 2 years to enable them to relocate to the NIH for the 1st phase of the APTI fellowship
  2. Keeping contact with the APTI fellow while at the NIH through regular meetings (virtual or otherwise) to monitor progress and prepare for the Fellow’s return
  3. Offering appropriate conditions for the APTI Fellow to independently direct their APTI fellowship research, including management of funding, after their return from the US for the 2nd phase of the APTI fellowship
  4. Providing the APTI Fellow with at least 50% of protected time for research at the Home Institution after their return from the NIH. The APTI program shall provide funds to support at least 50% of the APTI Fellow’s salary to facilitate the time commitment on the APTI program during the 2nd phase
  5. Being directly responsible for the supervision of the APTI Fellow’s research activities
  6. Providing information required for the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) due diligence process and implement recommendations/actions thereof. The GFGP due diligence process shall be conducted at no cost to the home institution, as part of the pre-grant award process for the 2nd phase of the APTI fellowship

How to apply

Attachments

APTI 3 Call_FRENCH.pdf

APTI 3 Call_PORTUGUESE.pdf

APTI 3 Call-ARABIC.pdf

FAQs.pdf

Contacts

Sheila Wetugi

Grants Officer, African Academy of Sciences 

Phone: +254 20 240 5150 | Email: apti@aasciences.africa

Deadline

The application deadline is Friday 30th September 2022 at 17:00 East African Time (GMT +3).

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