Call for Applications: Essential Grant Writing Skills Programme- October/November 2023

Deadline: 16-Jul-23

AREF is calling for applications from scientists who are active, emerging biomedical/health researchers in African countries to participate in in the forthcoming Essential Grant Writing Skills Programme.

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) works to strengthen the health research capacity of scientists in Africa who are engaged in tackling the continent’s significant health challenges.

This fully on-line programme will be held over eight 3-hour sessions during the weeks of 9 October 2023 and 27 November 2023. There will be a six-week break in between the two sessions, where you will be expected to write a mini proposal. This is an intensive programme that is designed to produce tangible progress towards a grant proposal by the end of the workshop series. Your commitment to the entire series and to the additional work outside of sessions will be necessary to achieve these outcomes.

To fully benefit from this workshop series, you will be at a stage in your research career where you are actively seeking independent funding, or have won smaller grants, but have yet to secure that big grant necessary to support your research independence.

Workshop Aim

The Workshop aim is to enable talented early-career health- and health-related researchers from countries in Africa to build skills to develop their own research and fellowship proposals of the quality required to win competitive international, regional, and national funding.

What the Workshop will cover?

Developing and expressing your unique research niche

Formulating your compelling research question

Understanding funders’ requirements

Writing in plain English

Writing the different sections of a proposal

Key parts of a typical Case for Support / Project Description

Planning your proposal project plan and budget

Principles of managing your collaboration and team

Understanding and practicing peer review

Preparing for a Fellowship interview

What the Workshop will not cover?

The workshop will not cover the following: how to research ethics approval; how to complete individual funders’ application forms; the details of intellectual property management; practice in research communication.

The facilitators will use examples of real funding applications. However, they will not be assisting participants directly with the participants’ own specific proposals.


AREF does not provide funding for participants to access equipment or internet services with which to participate, nor do they reimburse you or your institution for any other expenses associated with the programme or any form of per diem payment.

Expectations of Participants


You must

commit to all on-line sessions for the full duration of each session. These sessions are interactive and will require your active participation.

commit an additional hour each day to prepare for each session through reading and pre-work assignments/reflections.

dedicate significant time during the five-week period in between workshop sessions to write a draft of your own research proposal, which will then be utilised in the final three sessions.

have access to good bandwidth and a computer or laptop that is set up to use the Zoom platform (IT department may control your ability to use online platforms)

be able to use a smart phone simultaneously with the Zoom platform.


You will also be expected to participate in AREF monitoring and evaluation surveys to track outcomes.

Eligibility Criteria

AREF welcomes applications for this Workshop from researchers who are actively working on challenges to human health and are trained and experienced in one or more of the following disciplines: biomedicine; physiology and pharmacology; clinical sciences; epidemiology; mathematics and statistics; environmental health; “one health” (veterinary science); behavioural, social, and economic sciences; and health policy and systems research.

To be eligible, you need to provide evidence that:

You are a citizen of a country in Africa

You are in the early stages of your research career, having completed your research education



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