Skip to main content

MRC/DFID African Research Leader scheme 2020

Category of Opportunity

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

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).

The African candidate will have completed a PhD, will be well-qualified for academic research having spent at least the last 3 years in active research, be building a track record of independence in their selected field and demonstrating promise as a future research leader. Outstanding ARL candidates who do not have a PhD but who are educated to Master's level and have substantial research experience, as evidenced by their publication record, may also be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Applications from women are particularly encouraged. Candidates wishing to combine their research with domestic responsibilities may seek the award on a part-time basis. The terms and conditions of award make allowances for maternity/paternity leave. Allowance will also be made to those researchers whose career has been affected, either by a late start or by interruption, for personal or family reasons.

As a ‘rising star’ the African candidate will hold an established academic position in an African research institution, be developing a research team and be undertaking original research. This may be evidenced through a growing track record of staff and student supervision; through an expanding portfolio of lead author publications, by securing local or national funding and by attracting recognition through prizes and awards.

Researchers who already have a well-established record of securing significant international research grant funding or have reached a level of seniority e.g. professor or head of department should not apply to this scheme. These individuals may apply at any time as a co-investigator together with a UK-based principal investigator to any of our response mode funding schemes, and as principal investigator to the MRC Applied Global Health Research Board, depending on the focus of his/her research.