What We Do



Science is flourishing in parts of Africa. Thanks to improved investment in PhD training programmes, a new generation of talented African health researchers is emerging. But this boosted training investment is not matched by opportunities for early-career researchers aiming to take the next steps and develop their own research ideas.

Many researchers cannot access essential opportunities needed to develop compelling research ideas, access world-class advisors and mentors, build and manage collaborations, win scared funding and eventually to lead their own research team.

Carrier barriers like these obstruct transition from an emerging, postdoctoral researcher to an independently thinking researcher pursuing their own life-saving ambitions. It means many of the brightest young stars are being held back in their ambitions, tempted abroad or out of research and into other sectors.

This loss of talent is to Africa’s detriment, because African researchers are well equipped to meet the challenges of improving health in their country. Their linguistic knowledge, understanding of social and cultural challenges and appreciation of how technology can best be used gives them crucial expertise.


Nurturing the next generation of leaders

To stem the loss of young talent, our focus is on supporting emerging health researchers on the early steps of their career ladder – those who have received their PhD within the last six years.

We provide outstanding postdoctoral researchers with great opportunities to strengthen technical and transferable skills, extend their professional relationships, and develop high-quality and competitive research ideas and proposals to become tomorrow’s leaders.


Please read more about our programmes and how you can join us:


Every country in Africa needs its own health research. Without it, we are just adapting public health interventions, not understanding what works in our countries, not finding the answers to our own questions. The data is here in Africa, but our scientists need training. AREF’s approach gives researchers access to things that are not yet abundantly available in Africa – the highest levels of skills, facilities and international networks – so they can remain in Africa and still progress.  This is good for Africa and for the world – in a globally mobile era, a threat in one place threatens the whole planet.  If we have more capacity in Africa, we’ll be better at facing those threats together.

Professor Fred Binka Vice Chancellor, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana, West Africa