The Africa-India Mobility Fund (AIMF) is a two-year programme designed to provide researchers from Africa and India with opportunities for short visits in either direction to explore opportunities for building and strengthening scientific collaboration.
The AIMF initiative by the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) and the African Academy of Sciences intends to encourage South-South collaborations and learning between the two ecosystems. This is in recognition of the fact that Africa and India face similar challenges, both in the diseases that affect their populations and socio-political issues as well as the leadership required to address these. The exchanges are expected to enhance their skills and contribute to the growth of knowledge and leadership towards common health challenges.
In Africa, the travel grants will be administered by the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) and in India by the India Alliance.
“We are pleased to be launching these two schemes, which provide an opportunity for researchers to build strategic partnerships to harness science to transform lives of Africans and Indians. Shared challenges between African and India, including a high disease burden for both communicable and non-communicable diseases, require a multi- and interdisciplinary research approach to problem solving and knowledge creation,” said AESA Director Prof Tom Kariuki.
“Africa and India share many problems of health and the asset of a young population. India Alliance is pleased to join hands with AESA and AAS in launching this Africa-India Mobility Fund. We hope that the coming together of researchers from these geographies would lead to sustainable solutions for our common problems”.Dr. Shahid Jameel, CEO, Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance.
The AIMF comes on the heels of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit held in October 2015 and where Heads of State adopted the Delhi Declaration renewing their commitment to work with each other, and outlining the priority areas and ways in which Africa and India can work together to improve the lives of their people. It is also one of many efforts to exploit the synergistic relationship between Africa and India outlined in the India Africa Health Sciences Summit held in 2016. Over the last two years, the India Alliance and AESA have also hosted African and Indian biomedical researchers, respectively, at their Annual Grantees Meetings.
“The relationship between India and Africa is mutually beneficial. India has the technological advances, including the production of generic drugs and being one of the world’s leading filers of patents, hence providing learning opportunities for African scientists. While Africa provides a conducive environment for research with its high disease burden, genetic diversity, fairly well developed capacities for clinical trials. With the AIMF, we hope to exploit this relationship and contribute to efforts to building a highly skilled science technology and innovative workforce and thereby advance knowledge economies and ensure more people live healthy, productive lives,” said Dr Evelyn Namubiru-Mwaura, the AAS Strategy and Policy Manager
These travel grants will be supported by the India Alliance (for Indian researchers) and the Wellcome (for African researchers, administered through AAS and AESA).
Dr Simon Kay, Wellcome’s Head of International Operations and Partnerships, said “At Wellcome we are passionate about supporting researchers in Africa and India to become leaders in biomedical and health research, inspiring and training the next generation and helping more people lead healthier lives. One of the ways individuals grow as leaders is through mobility, collaboration and broadening of experience.”
Purpose, Objectives and Scope of the Initiative
To establish links and cultivate a culture of collaboration between African and Indian researchers that will serve as a vehicle to improve research capacity and build leadership in biomedical and clinical research for Africa and India.
To strengthen research & innovation capacity and knowledge exchange
To strengthen scientific collaboration between Indian and African teams
Applications broadly focused on infectious and non-communicable diseases of relevance to local, national, or global health will be accepted every month. The scope of the collaborative opportunity may include but is not limited to HIV/AIDS, TB, dengue, malaria, vector-borne diseases, parasitic infections, emerging infections, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, health systems research, antimicrobial resistance, drug development, microbiome and general biomedical sciences.
While applications that involve existing collaborations will be considered, applications that target new collaborations and encourage diversity especially female and young applicants are particularly encouraged.
Application Process, Review and Deadlines
Applications for the Africa India Mobility Fund open on 3 April 2018. All application forms should be submitted through the AAS Grants Management System (Ishango). Register as a user to apply. See sample application form here
Submitted complete applications will be shared with our expert reviewers (Funding Committee) that will include external scientific experts nominated by India Alliance and the AAS. The review process will be conducted online using the AAS online grants system. The outcome of the selection of funded applications will be final and not open to appeal.
Click here to find out more about these travel grants.
Why it’s time African researchers stopped working in silos. The Conversation. May 2016
Health research: Africa–India health-science partnerships. Nature. September 2016
Outwards to Africa. The Hindu, September 2016
Bringing together African and Indian Biomedical Researchers. India Alliance Newsletter, September 2016
India meets Africa again: Recognising common research goals and mapping the road ahead. India Alliance Newsletter, September 2017