African For the purposes of the AREF Research Development Competition 2016, Africa and African refer to the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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1 Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) Research Development Fellowships, 2016 Supplementary Information for the Sponsors of Applicants Version 1.0, June Purpose The purpose of this guidance is to assist the organisations with a stake in an AREF Award to find out about the AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme, and the expectations and requirements of the Africa Research Excellence Fund in making the award. Useful links at the end of this document includes the URLs of AREF home page and of the AREF Fellowship Programme The Fellowship 1 page has links to the application form and detailed guidance for applicants. 2. Definitions Term Definition and comments African For the purposes of the AREF Research Development Competition 2016, Africa and African refer to the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. AREF Awardee Employing Organisations (EO) Fellowship Home Organisation (EO) Host Organisation (HO) Placement The Africa Research Excellence Fund. AREF is a charity registered in England by the Charity Commission for England and Wales (registration number ). It is a linked charity of the Medical Research Foundation, which is a registered charity (registration number: ) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (company number: ). An applicant who has accepted a formal offer of an AREF Fellowship or other award following a competition and a due diligence process. Awardees must fulfil the eligibility requirements for an award, as defined in the detailed Guidance to Applicants. The organisation with which the Awardee has a contract of employment for the period of their Fellowship. Their role and responsibilities with respect to an AREF award are described in this document. An award under the AREF Research Development Fellowship competition. The awardee becomes a Fellow from the start date, as defined in the AREF Award Letter sent to the applicant, EO and HO. The Fellowship ends at the end date defined in award letter. The Fellowship encompasses the placement and the AREF-approved preparatory and re-establishment period. Another term for the Employing Organisation. An organisation that has agreed to host a placement of an Awardee: not the Employing Organisation. Their role and responsibilities with respect to an AREF award are described in this document. At the core of each Fellowship is the placement for the awardee. The placement is with the Host Organisation. 1 The Fellowships and associated forms and guidance are at /

2 Research Development Sponsors Terms and Conditions T&Cs) Research development in this context refers to activities that enable a researcher to gain specific scientific/technical skills through intensive short course and practice-based learning using real scientific samples or data; build significant research relationships, e.g. likely enduring collaborations, mentorships and wider networks; enhance their research outputs; and otherwise lay the basis for submitting a potentially winning funding application for a grant or fellowship after an AREF award. The Awardee s Employing Organisation and their Host Organisation(s) The AREF terms and Conditions of an Award are currently those of the Medical Research Foundation (see the section Useful links ). AREF will issue a set of T&Cs during 2016, under its own name, before awards are offered 3. About AREF The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) has been established by the Medical Research Foundation to nurture sub-sahara African health research at its most vulnerable points by supporting and developing people, projects and infrastructure to deliver excellent research in Africa for the benefit of Africa. We aim to enable Sub-Saharan Africa s most talented health scientists to remain in research in Africa, and to achieve their full scientific and leadership potential. AREF s initial focus is on earlycareer postdoctoral researchers who, typically, are at a critical period of their careers. We work in partnership to achieve shared aims. The Medical Research Foundation (MRF) oversees AREFs governance and operational procedures. Many of our policies are adapted from those of the MRF. While AREF makes its own funding decisions independently of the MRF and MRC, our peer-review processes and standards are based on theirs. AREF is funded by a mixture of grant funding and individual private donations. By June 2016, AREF had raised over 1.2m, enabling AREF to award seven postdoctoral Research Development Fellowships in 2015 and to hold a grant-writing workshop in Dakar in May Our next goal is to achieve an income of at least 1.5m per annum. 4. About the Fellowship The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is a recently established charity linked to the Medical Research Foundation. It aims to nurture excellent health research by Africans, in Africa, with impact for Africa. The AREF Research Development Fellowships to be awarded in 2016 are designed to enable talented, early-career African researchers to develop their own research ideas and specialist skills, to grow their research relationships through collaboration and mentorship, and to work towards a major funding proposal. Applicants must have been awarded their PhD in the last four years; or be clinically and research active clinicians with a relevant Master s degree and up to three years active research experience. They must be employees Each AREF Fellowship will support a placement of three to nine months in a leading research organisation in Europe (including the UK) or South Africa. New this year is that the Fellowship provides an additional period of up to three months for preparation and re-establishment at the employing (i.e. home) organisation in Africa. The deadline for receipt of applications for the AREF Research Development Fellowships Programme is 6 July Our first awards will be announced in December P age

3 Objectives We intend these Fellowships to be the first of a set of stepping-stones for early-career African scientists trying to advance along the challenging routes to becoming scientific leaders. The Fellowships aims to provide them with the following opportunities: Scope to develop their own research ideas and researchable questions to develop skills - advanced research methods or technologies - to advance those ideas to extend their networks of research collaborators and mentors to lay the foundations for an application for a highly competitive grant or fellowship award. Applicants need to describe how they would make these four opportunities happen and how the fellowship would advance their development. Scope of the competition The scope of this competition includes infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases that are significant and/or identified as neglected in sub-saharan Africa. The priority research methodologies and technologies applied to human health research problems for the 2016/17 competition are as follows: advanced medical statistics medical bioinformatics biomedical computational modelling molecular biology and omics technologies for health other advanced, laboratory-based biomedical sciences quantitative and qualitative social sciences for health economics for health one-health with clear potential to advance human health Scope of eligible activities Applicants should keep the following in mind: The purpose of the Fellowship is developmental and not primarily to start and finish a research project. Awardees will undertake a tailored programme of developmental activities such as dry- or wet- lab based analyses of samples or data; a pilot or other preparative study; advanced short course-based or supervised technical (methods) training; generic researcher skills training; relationship building, communication and networking; proposal development. Limited new collection or generation of data is permitted to enable training and pilot work but collecting or otherwise generating substantial new data sets will not be funded. New work on existing collections of high quality samples and datasets, including training or preliminary datasets, is encouraged. Duration and funding of fellowship Placement An AREF Research Development Fellowship will provide an early career researcher with funding to support a placement of at least three months and up to nine months in a leading research organisation outside the Fellow s own institution (see Section 2.2. on Host Organisation). Applicants should apply for a duration that provides for a strong developmental programme and not just be driven by the 9-month maximum. Applicants need to state in their application how long they propose the placement, preparatory and follow-on periods to be. The duration must be justified by the specific activities they propose, and be supported by a named senior scientist with appropriate expertise and commitment in the host 3 P age

4 organisation, their employer (known as employing organisation) and the organisation hosting the placement (known as the host organisation). Applicants may request for up to 40k for a nine-month award and pro-rata for shorter awards. Preparation and re-entry Additionally, applicants can request the Fellowship includes a further period for preparation and re-entry / re-integration at their employing organisation. The preparatory time can be up two weeks before the placement and lead immediately into the placement. The re-entry time can be up to three months after the placement. The maximum time allowable for the combined preparatory and re-entry periods is three months. The fellowship will end at the end of this re-entry/follow-on period (maximum of three months). Applicants may request funds up to 3k to cover well-justified re-entry/follow-on costs when they return to their employing organisations. Termination Termination dates will be specified for each award. The first termination date will mark the end of the fellow s time at their host organisation, after which the Fellow must return to their employing organisation. The second termination date will mark the end of the fellow s follow-on period at their employing organisation. Fellowship placement Each Fellowship is designed to support a placement at a centre of research excellence other than the Fellow s current place of employment. The proposed centre should be based within a nationally-recognised university or research institution with research in its mission and research governance systems in place. Applications for research, training and funding within the applicant s current employing organisation will not be eligible for this Programme. The placement will be in the United Kingdom (UK), continental Europe or South Africa. Short working visits to a second centre may be proposed and will need to be very well justified. The second centre may be in anywhere internationally. However, substantial costs of such a working visit may not be affordable within the Fellowship, especially if not close to the place of their proposed primary placement. The application must be submitted with an accompanying statement from a named senior scientist (advisor/sponsor) with appropriate knowledge, skills and capacity to support the Fellow, and take full responsibility for the role of advisor in the host organisation. Applicants should work closely with their home (employing) organisation to ensure that the applicant s proposed placement and development programme are well integrated into the capacity strengthening strategy of the organisation. 5. Eligibility Applicant eligibility To hold an AREF Research Development Fellowship, applicants need to meet the following eligibility criteria: Nationality 1. be a national of a country in sub-saharan Africa excluding South Africa; 4 P age

5 Employment 2 2. be working in an active research role 3 ; AND 3. have guarantee of employment with a legally established research organisation or a University in sub-saharan Africa for the duration of the fellowship; AND 4. have a declaration from their current director on how they will support their development as a researcher, if their receive an award. PhD qualification Non-clinician: PhD qualification within the last four years - awarded a PhD or equivalent postgraduate degree from a recognised institution of higher education after 30 June 2012 and before 1 July 2016 Clinician: Clinically-active applicants should have a relevant 4 Master s degree and up to three years active research experience. They will normally have plans to gain a PhD or equivalent (although not as part of the AREF Fellowship). Equality and diversity Equality and diversity are core values of the Africa Research Excellence Fund and we encourage applications by African scientists irrespective of gender, marital status, colour, race, creed, ethnic or national origin. We strongly welcome eligible applicants from francophone, lusophone and anglophone countries. Language competency Awardees will need to meet the standards of language competency required by the host organisation. All applications should be written in good English but complete fluency is not required. Host organisation Eligibility To host an AREF Research Development Fellow, the host organisation must fulfil the following criteria: Be in South Africa, United Kingdom or continental Europe 5 ; Be an academic institution or a research oriented industry or a policy-making organisation 6 ; Be a legal entity constituted under the national law of the country it is based; Be engaged in world-class research and/or its translation into products, policies or practices to the benefit of the public; Have the financial capacity to support the programme as set out in the proposal; 2 Applicants may apply even if they do not meet these criteria as long as they can meet them by 1 October 2016 and can tell us convincingly how they will meet the criteria on time. An award is contingent on the nationality and employment criteria being met by 1 October We will welcome applicants who are already employed within a sub-sahara African research organisation (excluding South Africa), or who would be returning to a position in such an organisation by the time they take up the AREF Fellowship having worked in a research active role abroad. 4 A wide range of Masters degrees are considered to be relevant. They will normally be in medicine, public health, the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics, economics and law. 5 Africa Research Excellence Fund may extend the range of organisations and regions in the future. 6 Applicants may propose a placement or part of their placement (if a pharmaceutical) in non-academic organisations, such as international policy organisations. If they are applying for a placement in a non-academic organisation, please contact the AREF secretariat at an early stage to discuss the application. 5 P age

6 Possess in-house competency and capacity to support and implement the proposed programme of activities; Be able to sign up to the terms and conditions of the fellowship. Role and responsibilities Host organisations are expected to value the intellectual contribution that the Fellow makes during the placement and the possibility of raising collaborative funding as a consequence of the AREF award. Host organisations will be required to: 1. Ensure that the Fellow is able to participate fully in the intellectual life of the host organisation, and is enabled to make effective use of the opportunities funded by the Fellowship or reasonably by the organisation itself; 2. Make available all reasonable pastoral care to the Fellow; 3. Recognise and celebrate the Fellowship through its communications; 4. Administer and manage the Fellowship funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding (Annex 1), including ensuring appropriate processes are put in place processes to manage flow of funds to the Fellow and, if applicable, to the employing organisation; 5. Recognise intellectual contributions of the Fellow to the organisation s own programmes and that all reasonable efforts are made to realise opportunities for continuing, mutually beneficial collaboration with the Fellow. Employing organisation Eligibility The employing organisation during the Fellowship must: Be a sub-saharan (excluding South Africa) not-for-profit research organisation; Be a legal entity constituted under the national law of the country in which it is based. An applicant may be employed by an organisation at a location outside sub-saharan Africa when they submit their application. But they must demonstrate that the Applicant is guaranteed employment at a research organisation in Sub-Saharan Africa (other than South Africa) at the end of the Fellowship if awarded. Role and responsibilities Employing organisations must: Guarantee that they will continue to pay the Fellow s salary and agreed benefits under his/her current contract until the end of his/her AREF Fellowship. If the Fellowship would take the applicant beyond the end of that contract, one of the following has to be guaranteed: either (1) the current employer will extend the awardee s contract at least to the end of the fellowship; or (2) they have another contractual arrangement in place at least to the end of the fellowship. Provide support for the awarded Fellow during the AREF Fellowship. The Director of the employing organisation will need to provide a letter of support describing how the organisation intends to support the Fellow s development. Work with the host organisation to support the Fellow. The Fellow will not become an employee of the MRF, AREF or of the host organisation by virtue of the AREF Research Development Fellowship. 6 P age

7 6. Funding Supported costs The maximum funding that an applicant may seek for a nine-month award will be 40k (pro-rata for shorter awards). Additional funding up to a maximum of 3k towards follow-on/re-entry costs of the fellow to their employing organisation can also be applied for. The funding requested will need to be justified by the applicant and the host organisation in relation to specific activities proposed. The funding may include contributions to the following: Accommodation in the host country; Fares, visas, medical, insurance and costs associated with direct travel to and from the host country (one return journey); Reasonable travel within the host country; Reasonable research costs, which must justifiable in relation to the work specified; Research conference participation; A short appropriate training course (e.g. advanced methods or technologies directly relevant to the applicant s proposed development programme); Engaging with potential collaborator s and independent mentors. Preparation/re-entry costs at the employing organisation, which can include (i) a contribution of up to 50% of the Fellow s salary excluding special allowances (such as housing, furnishing, transport, schooling) for the re-entry/integration period of the Fellowship; and (ii) reasonable research costs directly following on from the placement and targeted to achieve the desired longer-term outcomes of AREF Fellowships. The AREF Research Development Fellowship will contribute towards the costs of the host organisation that are directly attributable to Fellow s research and learning. The contribution will not be above 1.5k per month and must be justified. What we do not fund The following items are not supported under the AREF Research Development Fellowship: Salary for the Fellow during the placement; Housing, furnishing, transport, schooling or other benefits that the Fellow may be entitled to under his/her existing contract of employment7; Fees to advisors or mentors; Residential or distance-learning Masters course fees or other examination or professional fees; Unspecified research and training costs or contingency funds. The direct costs of collecting or generating substantial new datasets or the costs of taking a research project from start to completion (i.e. the kind of project that can be supported through a standard research grant). Indirect costs costs that are not specific to the Fellow s research and training set out under the application. These include general office costs, the costs of basic laboratory or other workplace consumables, library and learning services, secretarial support, financial, communications and departmental services, central and distributed information and technology services, estates costs (building and premises costs) and utilities such as electricity; and clinical infrastructure. Contribution of the Sponsors The Host Organisation is encouraged to contribute to the direct costs of the Fellowship as follows: 7 AREF Research Development Fellowship is not intended to support them if their employment contract is about to end. 7 P age

8 The costs of consumables and services required to undertake and complete the agreed practical work defined in the application and any subsequent documentation over and above that which AREF agrees to support. AREF s support is capped. The indirect costs of hosting the placement (see the preceding Section on Responsibilities and the specific provisions requested by the applicant in their application). Additional fellowship benefits Each Fellow will be able to apply after their fellowship for up to two follow-on research conferences/mentoring visits, to sustain and extend collaborative and mentoring relationships built up during the AREF Research Development Fellowship. The follow-on conferences/mentoring visits will be assessed in competition and against criteria that we will publish. To access these benefits the Fellow will need to have delivered on their Fellowship and met the requirements of the AREF. The award of these additional Fellowship benefits does not extend the Fellowship itself. How we pay the Sponsors Payments are made through inter-bank transfers. In 2015, the whole AREF award was paid to the Host Organisation (HOs) on the basis that that is where the training and development would take place. A consequence of this arrangement is that the Host Organisations are asked to manage the funds made available for the Fellow s flights and accommodation. This year, 2016, we will in addition pay Employing Organisation up to 3k per Fellow towards the costs of preparation and re-entry to the EO, subject to justification and to the EO being able to meet AREF s due diligence requirements. AREF will discuss the award details with the parties before issuing an award letter (see next section). Negotiation and Due Diligence AREF will issue the award letter only after the employing organisation and host organisation have discussed, amended if necessary, and agreed the requested funding with AREF so that the funding package is consistent with AREF s aims for the competition / award and our terms and conditions. The discussion takes the form of a four-way international teleconference that includes the shortlisted applicant, the two sponsoring organisations and AREF officials. It is normally held within two weeks before the AREF Board meeting that approves the awards: this year that is 16 November. The teleconference will be organised by the AREF Fellowships Manager. The agreement of any changes is documented in an exchange of s as part of the funding agreement. AREF may conduct a due diligence process for any organisation to which it may award funding to ensure the organisation has appropriate systems for managing and reporting on the use funds received. Financial management The majority of the funding will be for the Awardee s training, work and accommodation at the host organisation. Most of the Fellowship award will therefore be made to the host organisation, which will be responsible for the receipt and administration of the awarded funds. The award will only fund specified direct costs of the award; no funds are allocated to indirect cots. The costs requested for the employing organisation for preparation and re-entry must be clearly identified in the application. The host and employing organisation must have effective policies and systems in place to monitor, control and report on the use of funds as required by AREF Terms and Conditions (Annex 1). 8 P age

9 7. Useful Links AREF home page AREF Fellowship Competition 2016 AREF How we review applications Medical Research Foundation Terms and Conditions If you have comments on this information or would like to know more, please contact us at [END] 9 P age

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