2023 AREF-MRC Towards Leadership Programme for Emerging African Scientists (Fully Funded)

Deadline: May 12, 2023.

The aim of the AREF Towards Leadership programme is to empower talented emerging scientists in Africa to become outstanding leaders in the global health research ecosystem. Together we are investing in talented African scientists in Africa, enhancing their global health research and leadership potential.  

The programme will run between Oct 2023 – Oct 2024, consisting of two residential workshops (opening and closing) and one virtual workshop.

The curriculum is designed to support engage and enhance the participants’ own capabilities and to empower talented, emerging scientists in Africa to compete successfully on a level playing field 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.


  • You are a citizen of a country in Africa
  • You are currently employed in 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).


The costs of the workshops and associated by accommodation and travel of selected nominees will be met by MRC and AREF.


The applications for the Towards Leadership Programme must be submitted online by 12 May 2023. Please click on this link to submit your application.


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