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The African Academy of Sciences collaborates with Janssen to Expand Research & Development Skills and Capacity Among African Scientists

Africa lags behind the rest of the world in discovering and developing innovative medicines and vaccines for the treatment or prevention of diseases, which threaten the lives of those who live on the continent.

To reduce the disease burden in Africa, the continent must develop its drug discovery capacity and networks to enable countries to find local solutions for diseases endemic to Africa.

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is collaborating with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to build the capacity of highly talented and experienced African scientists through a two-year training fellowship programme in drug development. Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

This is the third initiative the AAS has undertaken to strengthen drug discovery capabilities in Africa since 2018. The first two were provided through the Academy’s Grand Challenges Africa programme in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT) Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The fellowship programme entails plugging into the existing AAS grant management capabilities, the drug discovery network and postdoctoral programmes that provide support to improve research skills and to develop a wide range of research-related insights through the AAS Mentorship Programme and training workshops, including on leadership and media engagement.

It will also offer extensive on-the-job training at Janssen’s Research and Development (R&D) Campus in Belgium, mentorship from senior R&D leaders from the company, skills-based training in leadership, communication, & project management and course work in epidemiology, public health, or tropical medicine at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine.

The fellowship programme will help strengthen the fellow’s skills and capacities and, upon return of the fellow to their home country, contribute to the creation of critical clinical development centers of excellence across sub-Saharan Africa. By helping to expand critical research and development skills and capacity, the collaboration will contribute to the discovery and development of innovative medicines for unmet medical needs on the African continent and beyond, and ultimately contribute to prosperity and welfare of the continent.

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of any sub-Saharan African country listed here: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Swaziland, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
  • Be employed in public, not-for-profit, or academic institutions, or industry;
  • Hold a scientific University degree (PhD, MD, physicians, pharmacists, epidemiologists, relevant master’s qualifications) with high interest to expand knowledge and experience in drug development and clinical development;
  • Hold a degree and/or demonstrated experience in Public Health and/or local healthcare;
  • Be between 30 and 45 years of age at the time of application.

For more information on this call visit the AAS funding webpage.

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