Our Academy and Awards



AREF invests in health research leaders of the future in two ways.

Firstly, our Academy Programme provides training and development programmes, such as our Grant-writing workshops and the newly launched Excell leadership development programme.

Secondly, our Awards Programme provides grants to emerging researchers to develop an original research idea into a project for which they can win highly-competitive funding.

AREF’s Academy

Our long-term aim is to promote a sustainable programme of career development training in Africa, focusing on research and transferable skills. These sets of skills are fundamental for researchers to progress in their career, and to promote high-quality international standard research practice. The Essential Skills for Grant-writing Workshop gives researchers access to training in writing research proposals, which improves their chances of winning grants or fellowships.

With the support of the Robert Bosch Foundation, AREF launched the Excell programme in December 2017. Our aim is to accelerate the development of excellence and leadership of researchers and institutions dedicated to solving Africa’s health-related challenges. Researchers will receive the support essential to acquire the knowledge and skills for productive, impactful careers and leadership roles. Participants will share insights, engage with role models and practice the sophisticated leadership skills that are essential to turning ambition and vision into research success.

Competitive Awards

AREF Research Development Fellowships enhance the potential of talented researchers to become leaders by strengthening their research skills, supporting mentorship and new collaborations, and enabling them to generate preliminary results and develop research proposals that can win funding. They give researchers financial support to work for 3-9 months in a world-class institution in Africa or Europe.


Equality & Diversity

We are committed to striving for balance and diversity in all our programmes, aiming to empower equal numbers of men and women researchers, who represent all geographical sub-regions of Africa and Anglo/Franco/Lusophone countries, and include all research disciplines able to contribute to advancing health through research.