Networks of research excellence in epidemic and pandemic sciences across Africa

The Science for Africa Foundation, in partnership with the Pandemic Sciences Institute at the University of Oxford and the Mastercard Foundation, is releasing a call to establish networks of research excellence in epidemic and pandemic sciences across Africa. Funds are offered for up to six years for or the Epidemic Science Leadership and Innovation Networks (EPSILONs), which aim to nurture and promote world-class epidemic and pandemic sciences research and innovation in Africa.  
This involves building a critical mass of experts across the continent to address ongoing health challenges whilst strengthening capabilities to respond to future infectious diseases health threats.  Activities will contribute to developing communities of practice across academia and industry that may be leveraged for long-term collaboration and during future outbreaks to respond to urgent research and policy needs.     
Preliminary applications are welcomed from visionary consortia, led by outstanding African scientists, to build their own programmes of research. Interdisciplinary applications are encouraged. Applications should be broadly focussed on one of the following thematic research areas: 
•    Vaccinology or early-stage vaccine R&D 
•    Virology, with a focus on how genetic changes affect key viral behaviours 
•    Clinical research and clinical trials on epidemic- and pandemic-prone infections   
•    Epidemic and pandemic public health policy research   
•    Climate change, biodiversity and epidemic and pandemic prevention   
•    Advanced data assembly and analytics for infectious disease threat assessment and mitigation   
•    Social and behavioural sciences   

Eligibility: Lead applicants can lead only one application but may be co-applicants in several applications. Lead applicants must be based at an eligible organisation and must fulfil the following conditions:Hold an academic or research post; Have a salary, or the guarantee of a salary, for the duration of the award period, or be required by their contract of employment to have a salary

Level of funding: Applicants should prepare a core budget for up to USD $4 million over five to six years, plus specific additional elements as detailed in the call guidelines. It is anticipated that successful consortia will attract additional funding from other sources over the duration of the programme.  

Additional information: For any questions or clarifications kindly send an email to .

Key dates

  • 06 November 2023: call webinar for applicants (sign up)
  • 31 January 2024: deadline for preliminary applications at 17:00 pm EAT

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