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Using Data to improve Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health: A Grand Challenges Africa Funding Opportunity 

13 March 2019 | Nairobi, Kenya

Globally, there is an ongoing burden of 5.4 million deaths annually, that includes neonatal deaths (2.5 million), stillbirths (2.6 million), and maternal deaths (0.3 million).  Africa, with only 17% of the world’s population, carries nearly half of this burden with 2.3 million deaths per year.  Based on current trends, most African countries may possibly not meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ target of 12 or fewer neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births and are also at risk of missing targets for maternal mortality reduction.

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Knowledge Integration (Ki) initiative are collaborating to fund research that will use existing data to better understand risk factors for poor maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) outcomes in Africa. The call for proposals titled: Data science approaches to improve maternal, neonatal and child health in Africa opens today, 13 March 2019 and will close on 26 April 2019, 1700hrs EAT/2000hrs GMT.

The funding will be given to scientists in Africa through The AAS’ funding and agenda setting platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Science in Africa (AESA) Grand Challenges Africa scheme. This call aims to increase the understanding of how nutrition, prenatal and antenatal care, maternal support, and environmental and social factors contribute to an increased risk of poor maternal and childhood health.

GC Africa promotes Africa-led scientific innovations to help countries better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by awarding seed and full grants to the continent’s most impressive innovators. It is issuing its sixth call since the programme was launched in 2015.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Ki team and its partners will avail the Africa-Ki data repository, to scientists funded through the call to study and analyse data sets in a bid to provide evidence to inform interventions, such as health policies that improve MNCH outcomes on the continent.

Data to be analysed will also come from African public health surveys, longitudinal observational studies, clinical trials, and other relevant data sources – including datasets combined from these public sources and the Africa-Ki data repository.

Funding will be given for two years to projects that:

  • Promote interdisciplinary collaboration between African researchers, healthcare professionals, and data scientists to use innovative quantitative analytics and modeling approaches to yield results with a potential to significantly impact public health policy and address regional diversity
  • Strengthen data science capacity on the continent
  • Consider African genetic diversity by accessing genomics databases, gene sequences, genome-wide association studies, or genetic cohorts that include Africans
  • Consider social, environmental and cultural determinants of outcomes and incorporate an understanding of the target community that includes barriers and constraints to delivery of interventions and to implementation of public health programmes

Further information about this funding opportunity on data science approaches to improve maternal, neonatal and child health in Africa is outlined below


EDCTP Career Development Fellowships.

 Application deadline – 27 November 2018EDCTP Career Development Fellowships. The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to support early to mid-career researchers (“fellows”) by providing them an opportunity to train and develop their clinical research skills. The objectives are: to promote retention of postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate medical researchers in the research field of sub-Saharan Africa, to equip the fellows to establish themselves as independent researchers with ability to initiate their own research teams at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. For more info click here

2018 Call for applications for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund

The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund (established in 2012, with generous support from The ALBORADA Trust) supports pairs of researchers (post-doctoral level and above) from the University of Cambridge (or affiliated institutions such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and NIAB) and sub-Saharan African institutions, across all disciplines, to initiate and/or strengthen research collaborations. To date, more than 150 awards have been made, to enable Cambridge researchers to engage with African colleagues from 18 African countries. Some awardees have been able to use the preliminary results from their seed fund research/collaboration to apply for and win significant funding (e.g. Royal Society/Leverhulme Awards, Global Challenges Research Fund, etc.).

The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund competitively awards grants of between £1,000 and £20,000, for:

  • research costs(such as reagents, fieldwork and equipment)
  • research-related travel between Cambridge and Africa
  • conducting research training activities in Africa (e.g. setting up courses/workshops).

Please note that the ALBORADA Research Fund cannot pay for researchers to attend conferences.

For information about eligibility and how to apply for funding, please visit the call’s webpage.

The deadline for submitting an application for consideration for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund is Monday 31st December 2018.

If you have any questions, then please write to enquiries@cambridge-africa.cam.ac.uk

Emerging Global Leader Award (K43)

Due date: 7 November 2018

Budget: Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses

Purpose: The purpose of the Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award is to provide research support and protected time (three to five years) to an early career research scientist from a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) who holds a junior faculty position at an LMIC academic or research institution, including “low-income,” “lower-middle-income,” and “upper-middle-income” countries). This intensive, mentored research career development experience is expected to lead to an independently funded research career at the LMIC institution or in another LMIC. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications from LMIC scientists from any health-related discipline who propose career development activities and a research project that is relevant to the health priorities of their country under the mentorship of LMIC and U.S. mentors.

For more information click: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-17-001.html

Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research Across the Lifespan (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

Due date: 7 November 2018

Budget: Application budgets are limited to $125,000 per year in direct costs, but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Purpose: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages exploratory/developmental research grant applications, proposing the development of innovative, collaborative research projects on brain and other nervous system function and disorders throughout life, relevant to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Research on neurological, mental, behavioral, alcohol and substance use disorders may span the full range of science from basic to implementation research. Scientists in the United States (U.S.) or upper-middle income countries (UMICs) are eligible to partner with scientists in LMIC institutions. Scientists in upper middle-income LMICs (UMICs) are also eligible to partner directly with scientists at other LMIC institutions with or without out a US partner.  The proposed work may also contribute to developing a base for research networking and evidence-based policy beyond the specific research project.

For more information click: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-18-836.html

GloCal Health Fellowship

Due date: 15 November 2018

UCGHI’s GloCal Health Fellowship provides aspiring global health researchers with outstanding interdisciplinary education and training in innovative research designed to improve health for populations around the world. Now accepting applications for its 2019-20 program, GloCal is recruiting individuals interested in HIV research, non-HIV-related mental health research and other global health priority research areas such as women’s health, planetary health and non-communicable diseases. The fellowship is designed for: US doctoral students, professional students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as foreign postdoctoral fellows from affiliated international sites in low- and middle-income countries.

A 12-month mentored research fellowship, GloCal Health Fellowship has four principal components:

  • Research project – 12 months, at 1 of 20 international partner sites
  • Mentorship – a strong, interdisciplinary mentored research experience
  • Global health education – online or onsite courses
  • Career development – to attain short-term goals and transition to the next stage

For more information, click http://ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/apply-now-glocal-health-fellowship

Call for Mobility Grants under the BioFISA II Programme

Due date: 1 Dec 2018

The SANBio Mobility Grant offers:

Support to candidates on fellowships is for a duration of up to 3 months and may include travel in the region or internationally.

Experts in technical or business fields may be invited by host institutions for up to 4 weeks for specific technical assistance to be provided to organisations in SANBio member states.

Knowledge exchange/peer to peer visits for up to 2 weeks duration includes regional and international meetings as well as seminars or training courses with a specific focus in the areas of health and nutrition and on strengthening the visibility of SANBio network partners, excluding conferences.

Business development mentorship programmes to support bio-science start-ups for up to two weeks with the aim to support commercialisation of research outputs.

For more information, click http://nepadsanbio.org/opportunities-funding/funding/mobility-grants