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MRC/DFID announce African Research Leader Scheme 2020

MRC/DFID announce African Research Leader Scheme 2020

Deadline: 08-Sep-20

The UK Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development has announced a further call for proposals for the prestigious African Research Leader awards.

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This MRC/ DFID jointly funded scheme aims to strengthen research leadership across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by attracting and retaining exceptionally talented individuals who will lead high quality programmes of research on key global health issues pertinent to SSA. The African Research Leader (ARL; PI) should be supported by an enthusiastic local research environment and by a strong linkage with a UK partner (i.e. the UK Co-Investigator; Co-I).


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Strong applications will meet the four key elements of the scheme, namely:

a talented ‘rising star’ African Research Leader candidate,
a high-quality research programme proposal,
a research-conducive academic African environment / institution,
a firm partnership with a UK partner institution
The scheme is open to talented and enthusiastic investigators working in all health and biomedical research areas. Priority will be given to applications that address key health problems relevant to national and regional health needs in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Activities can be focussed on any major health priority in Sub-Saharan Africa including:

Research focused on the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and mental health.
Prevention and control of infectious diseases (major diseases such as malaria, HIV and TB), neglected tropical diseases (including snakebite), zoonotic and emerging diseases, co-infections and issues associated with emerging resistance to current drugs.
Multimorbidity, i.e., the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions, including long-term infectious and non-communicable diseases and mental health conditions.
Basic, discovery health research approaches, experimental medicine providing mechanistic insight to human diseases, epidemiological (social, genetic, immunological) research, prevention research;
Applied research approaches, including public health, health systems, health policy, and implementation research;
Research targeting vulnerable or disadvantaged groups including refugees, people living in informal settlements, those living with disability, neonates, children, adolescents or the elderly.
The ARL scheme will not support clinical or health related trials including phase I safety, proof of principle, efficacy or effectiveness trials of any new medicinal product, device, vaccine or other clinical intervention. There are specific strategic streams of funding available for such research proposals. However, it will support observational programmes of epidemiological, laboratory, field and clinical research and early stage developmental or formative research which may be associated with or lead to future health intervention evaluation. If this is the case, the outcomes of the research and how these will be anticipated to inform future work should be made clear.

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The scheme is offered to candidates employed by eligible institutions based in sub-Saharan Africa, that provide a strong research environment. This can include:

Higher education institutions based in sub-Saharan Africa: A university or institution based in an LMIC with degree awarding powers recognised by the government in which the organisation is based. This includes MRC Units at LSHTM in Uganda and the Gambia.
Research institutes based in sub-Saharan Africa: A research focused institution based in an LMIC funded by the government of the country in which the organisation is based or by a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation.
If your Research Organisation has not previously received funding from the MRC, or you are unsure of the eligibility of your organisation please contact the office.
Funding Information

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Funding for the scheme is provided by the UK MRC and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Awards will provide support for up to 5 years and the MRC Contribution should not exceed £750k in total.

Eligibility Criteria

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You can apply for Innovate UK funding if you are a UK based business. All kinds of businesses can apply – from pre-startup and new companies to large multi-nationals.
You can apply for funding if you want to do one or more of the following:
to test the feasibility of your idea and make sure it will work
create a new product, process or service, or improve an existing one, through research and development
work with other businesses or research organisations on collaborative projects
For more information, visit https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/browse/mrc-dfid-arl-2020/mrc-dfid-african-research-leader-scheme-2020/

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