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TWAS Fellowships for Research and Advanced Training

Posted by | 01/07/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020, Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020

TWAS Fellowships for Research and Advanced Training

TWAS Fellowships

TWAS Fellowships offers fellowships to young scientists in developing countries to enable them to spend three to 12 months at a research institution in a developing country other than their own.

The purpose of these fellowships is to enhance the research capacity of promising scientists, especially those at the beginning of their research career, helping them to foster links for further collaboration.

Eligibility

The fellowships are for research and advanced training. They are offered to young scientists holding at least an MSc or equivalent degree.
Eligible applicants for the fellowships are young scientists working in any area of natural sciences who are citizens of a developing country and are employed by a research institution in a developing country.
There is no age limit. However, preference is given to young scientists at the beginning of their research career and those working in Least Developed Countries.
Lists of possible host institutions divided by field are available here. These lists are only a suggestion and institutions that are not included are acceptable as long as they are in a developing country.
Institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, are not eligible host institutions under this programme. Applicants interested in conducting a fellowship in China are required to check whether their chosen host is a CAS institute. For a complete list of CAS institutes, see: english.cas.cn/institutes/. Applicants wishing to attend a CAS institute should either apply to the CAS-TWAS President’s Postgraduate Fellowship Programme or consider the CAS Fellowships for Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars from Developing Countries (http://english.cas.cn/cooperation/fellowships/201503/t20150313_145274.shtml).
Deadline: 1 October each year.

Terms of the Fellowships

The fellowships are offered for a minimum of three months and a maximum of twelve months.
TWAS covers international low-cost airfare plus a contribution towards subsistence amounting to a maximum of USD 300 per month. No other costs will be provided by TWAS.
The host institution is expected to provide accommodation and food as well as research facilities.
Fellowships are awarded by the TWAS Fellowships Committee on the basis of scientific merit.

Submitting your application

Applicants must complete the online application form by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ button at the bottom of this page. While filling in the online application, applicants also need to upload the following documentation:

scanned copy of your passport, even if expired (page with your name and surname);
CV, maximum five pages including publications;
Supporting Statement from Head of Home Institution;
two reference letters of senior scientists familiar with your work. Please note that the Head of your Home Institution cannot be one of your referees;
MSc certificate and relevant university transcripts;
Official invitation letter from the Head of the Host Institute;

IMPORTANT

Note that the Fellowships are provided for South-South visits only, i.e. for visits by researchers from developing countries to institutions in other developing countries.

Please be advised that applicants may apply for only one programme per calendar year in the TWAS and OWSD portfolio.

Applicants will not be eligible to visit another institution in that year under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes.

One exception: the head of an institution who invites an external scholar to share his/her expertise under the TWAS Visiting Professor programmes may still apply for another programme.

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Comments Off on AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

Posted by | 11/05/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020, Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

AAS Funding for Covid-19

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa is a call to action for African scientists to attend to the research and development needs of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The AAS Funding for Covid-19 is set to stop receiving applications for this call on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 1700 hrs EAT.

However, due to the urgency of this work, all applications will be taken through triage and scientific review as soon as they are received.

The AAS Funding for Covid-19 has the discretion to stop receiving applications for this call before the application close date if adequate proposals would have been received and recommended for funding before the closing date.

Funding call for R&D goals for Covid-19 in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for Africa, with every country potentially at risk for unmitigated spread of SARS-CoV2.

Like most health systems in the world, there is a risk for current levels of care to be overwhelmed by sheer volume of patients requiring intensive care and ventilatory support.

In addition, health care workers are at risk of acquiring SARS-CoV2 and given limited infection control practices in many settings, there is also risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV2 among patients.

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is keen to play a central role in building African Research and Development (R&D) capacity to fight COVID-19 by managing day-to-day running of the proposed fund for COVID-19 R&D priorities in Africa.

A recent survey of African scientists conducted by the AAS developed initially from an AAS ‘’All Hands’’ webinar on COVID-19 held on 26th March 2020 and conducted from the 4th to 8th of April 2020 established a priority list of Research and Development questions for the COVID-19 outbreak in Africa. The results of the survey can be found here.

This call supported by Sida (Sweden), Wellcome Trust, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is therefore a call to action for African scientists to attend to the research and development needs of the COVID-19 outbreak for the continent as identified by African scientists.

There is need to provide robust scientific evidence to the country emergency response teams. The priorities listed are widely applicable across the continent yet require local context and expertise in order to address in a timely and effective manner the issues arising even as the outbreak evolves.

Eligibility for AAS Funding for Covid-19

Institution

  • Is a legal entity;
  • Is based in Africa.

Ineligible

  • Projects that do not primarily respond to the research and development goals of the COVID-19 public health outbreak response;
  • Projects focussing on implementation or delivery services for the COVID-19 outbreak control;
  • Projects solely focused on network building, capacity building and infrastructure projects without a working hypothesis;
  • Complex and high-risk projects that cannot be undertaken within the 24 months available;
  • Projects with minimal contribution towards the R&D priorities of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Award period

Funding may be requested for an implementation period of up to two years (24 months).

Award amount

The maximum amount allowable for a single grant is US$200,000 to be held for two (2) years.

Costs categories for AAS Funding for Covid-19  are:

  1. Materials and consumables
  2. Capital Costs/Equipment
  3. Research Training Costs
  4. Other Research Costs
  5. Office Administrative Costs
  6. Salaries

Cost challenges shall be made at the triage stage.

This AAS Funding for Covid-19 will focus on areas of priority for research and development in COVID-19 outbreak control as identified by African scientists. These areas of focus include but are not limited to;

  • Epidemiological studies;
  • Clinical management;
  • Infection prevention and control, including health care protection;
  • Candidate vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics;
  • Ethical considerations for research;
  • Social sciences in a pandemic response.

To be more specific, below is an example of priority questions for this call. Questions that seek to deliver any of the below will be prioritized. For reference please check the results of the AAS COVID-19 survey here.

    • Understand the effectiveness of movement control strategies to prevent secondary transmission in health care and community settings;
    • Optimize the effectiveness of PPE and its use in reducing the risk of transmission in health care and community settings;
    • Develop new PPE approaches using local materials and manufacturing processes;
    • Understand behavioural and cultural factors influencing compliance with evidence-based Infection Prevention and Control measures;
    • Describe the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 and understand the spread of disease nationally, regionally and globally;
    • Describe disease severity and susceptibility to facilitate effective clinical and public health response to COVID-19 identify groups at high risk of severe infection;
    • Perform rapid population cross-sectional surveys to establish the extent of virus transmission using a standardized sampling framework;
    • Establish suitable cohorts and prospectively collect laboratory and outcome data;
    • Have a special focus on potentially at-risk groups including malnourished individuals and people with HIV, TB, Sickle Cell, and uncontrolled chronic disease patients;
    • Evaluate the impact of control and mitigation measures e.g. modelling to estimate the effects of social distancing measures and other non-pharmaceutical interventions;
    • Develop protocols for the management of severe disease in the absence of intensive care facilities;
    • Determine interventions that improve the clinical outcome of COVID-19 infected patients;
    • Determine optimal clinical practice strategies to improve the processes of care e.g. develop criteria for early diagnosis, when to discharge, when to use adjuvant therapies for patients and contacts;
    • Develop innovative approaches to use as alternatives to ventilation;
    • Identify prognostic factors for severe disease;
    • Develop platform(s) to maximize the commonality of data collection across trials, and collaborations between trials;
    • Define the natural history of COVID-19 infection through careful standardised and comprehensive clinical and laboratory description of cases;
    • Determine how best to link key research questions with researchers in affected regions who are able to recruit patients;
    • Develop mechanisms to support coordinated collaboration to implement clinical trials for evaluation of safety/efficacy of therapeutics;
    • Develop a Multicentre Master Protocol to evaluate efficacy and safety;
    • Identification of existing candidates for clinical evaluation in addition to the ones already prioritized;
    • Support basic science to identify new drug targets;
    • Develop a multi-country Master Protocol for Phase 2b/Phase 3 vaccine evaluation to determine whether candidate vaccines are safe and effective before widespread distribution;
    • Build capacity development for basic science and pre-clinical development of new vaccines;
    • Identify therapeutic candidates for clinical evaluation in addition to the ones already prioritized;
    • Establish processes for speeding up an ethical review of COVID-19 related research proposals;
    • Establish a panel of African ethicists to provide rapid support to local ethical committees assessing COVID-19 related research proposals;
    • Define a research governance framework that enables effective and ethical collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including WHO, the global research community, subject matter experts, public health officials, funders, and ethicists;
    • Sustained education, access, and capacity building to facilitate effective cross-working and collaboration across the research thematic areas;
    • Identify key knowledge gaps and research priorities in relation to ethical issues arising out of proposed restrictive public health measures (e.g., quarantine, isolation, cordon sanitaire);
    • Support work to develop cheaper, faster easier to use in field antigen tests (for virus detection);
    • Support work to develop cheaper, faster easier to use in field antibody tests (for determining exposure);
    • Support the development of diagnostics products to improve clinical processes;
    • Support work to examine alternative approaches to delivering testing e.g. centralized versus devolved lab facilities;
    • Characterize immunity (naturally acquired, population and vaccine-induced, including mucosal immunity);
    • Develop tools and conduct studies to monitor phenotypic change and potential adaptation of the virus;
    • Establish capacity for genotyping virus e.g. to detect new mutations over time;
    • Pathogen genetic sequencing and network development that primarily responds to SARS-CoV-2 public health response according to this document ;
    • Determine virus stability in the environment;
    • Understand virus compartments, shedding and natural history of the disease;
    • Develop disease models in animals;
    • Examine optimal ways of communicating about potential interventions in high-density low socioeconomic status urban settings;
    • Ensure that knowledge is produced according to local, national and regional needs;
    • Investigate ways of ensuring transparency of information flow and mitigating false information spread by various mechanisms;
    • Develop guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to operationalize epidemic mitigation mechanisms;
    • Engage with communities to bring their voices to decision-making processes;
    • Develop and connect global research networks with response partners;
    • Understand how social and economic impacts need to be mitigated;
    • Investigate innovative approaches to short-term economic support of vulnerable populations such as cash transfer bymobile money mechanisms;
    • Promote the prioritization of knowledge needs according to epidemic dynamics;
    • Develop innovative interdisciplinary science;
    • Ensure that non-social scientists easily understand knowledge outputs and methodological limitations;
    • Support work to understand the non-intended consequences of epidemic-control decisions;
    • Support work to understand contextual vulnerability of work in COVID-19 outbreak control;
    • Understand how decisions in the field may inadvertently undermine response goals;
    • Design and test suitable risk reduction strategies at the human-animal-environment interface;
    • Improve the understanding of socioeconomic and behavioural risk factors for spill-over and transmission between animals and humans;
    • Identify animal source and route of transmission (hosts, any evidence of continued spill-over to humans and transmission between animals and humans).