The AREF Excell programme is currently CLOSED for applications. 

The aim of the AREF Excell programme is to transform the research leadership capabilities of our Partner Institutions and their nominated Fellows - to enhance research capacity for global health in Africa for Africa – and ultimately to transform health and save lives. 

Our Learning Themes and Lead Facilitators 

  1. The Researcher as Leader: led by Anthony Kasozi and Emma Mairs
  2. The Effective Researcher: led by Dr Hazel McCullough
  3. The Compelling Applicant: led by Dr Jane Kengeya-Kayondo and Dr Peter Dukes
  4. The Researcher as Manager: led by Dr Roger Tatoud
  5. The Responsible Researcher: led by Dr Peter Dukes
Our 2-year programme is structured with five workshops and two conferences. Our approach promotes interaction and collaboration between individual scientists and across African institutions in a climate of transformative, experiential learning. 

Dr Akhere Omonkhua is an AREF institutional lead at the University of Benin’s Centre in Reproductive Health Innovation (CEHRI) in Nigeria - one of the institutions which has strengthened its own research capacity thanks to the Excell programme. Akhere says there is also a stronger culture of research excellence, and this is now built into the centre’s programmes.

The leadership programme has particularly helped with embedding mentoring into our activities. We now see a better mentor-mentee relationship, meaning people come to you and ask how they can advance their career, and you have that opportunity to guide them. My centre was initially built on masters and PhD programmes, and with AREF’s support we’ve also been able to develop a postdoctoral offering, which starts in 2021.

Most of the nominated researchers have been able to attract more grants, and I think that is a positive effect. Because of course if you get more grants, you can do better research and better serve your communities.