The AREF-MRC Towards Leadership Programme 2022 for talented African scientists

African scientist, medical or or graduate student. Bright, confident young woman wearing lab coat holds a pen in a doorway of her office.

Application Deadline: June 30, 2022

The aim of the Towards Leadership Programme is to empower talented, emerging scientists in Africa to compete successfully for UKRI MRC and other major funding opportunities in global health research.

The programme is directed towards to winning grant funding, empowering effective teams, collaborating internationally, influencing stakeholders and building rewarding research careers.

Together, we are investing in talented African scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa, enhancing their global health research and leadership potential.

Programme outline

The programme will run between October 2022 – October 2023, consisting of two residential workshops and one virtual workshop.

The Programme comprises of the following elements:

  • Three inspiring and practical blended workshops at six-monthly intervals
  • Supplementary webinars, tutorials and online resources
  • Baseline and end-of-programme assessments and evaluation
  • Collaboration between participating individuals

The Programme has the following themes tailored to meet the needs of each cohort:

  1. The researcher as a leader: focusing on learning and leading in a complex world; raising the cohort’s self-awareness and mindfulness while also building their coaching, influencing, and leadership capabilities.
  2. The effective researcher: developing the individual’s ability to envision, plan and action career goals and developmental trajectory through personal development planning, time management, and mentorship.
  3. The researcher as a communicator: augmenting the individual’s leadership, authorship and authority skills through the use of effective presentations, storytelling and messaging while refining their engagement with research users.
  4. The compelling applicant: understanding funders; proposal development and writing skills- from formulating a research question, justifying the design / strategy, concept notes and full proposals; data sharing; understanding peer review; fellowship interviews.
  5. The researcher as a manager: building a great team; effective collaboration; implementation planning; working with Research Support and Finance departments; managing a budget and intellectual property.

Eligibility

  • You are a citizen of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • You are currently employed in Sub-Saharan Africa by a recognised university and/or specialist research institution.
  • You are an early career researcher, having completed your research education and are now at the early stages of leading your own research group.
  • You will hold a research doctorate (PhD/DPhil/MD) from a recognised academic institution OR you have a medical/clinical qualification PLUS a research-relevant Master’s degree, both usually within the last 10 years. If it has been longer than 10 years since your last degree, please explain in your application why you should still be considered an early career researcher (i.e. caring responsibilities or career break/change impacting your research career.)
  • You are currently responsible for managing/supervising one or more research students and/or research staff members and are involved in building research collaborations.
  • You demonstrate evidence of being at the early stages of leading a research team or being an active member of a research team conducting global health research
  • A significant part of your current employee role is to develop and conduct health research.
  • You already have experience in obtaining research funding (combined value of £500,000 or less.)

Key events

The timetable for all Towards Leadership participants is as follows:

• Opening Workshop (residential) – planned for 2 to 4 November 2022.
• Workshop 2 (virtual) – planned for 13 to 17 March 2023.
• Closing Workshop (residential) – planned for October 2023.

Key Dates

Applications closing deadline: 30 June 2022 00:00 BST 

Successful applicants notified: W/C 25 July 2022

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the AREF-MRC Towards Leadership Programme 2022

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