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Calling All Talented African Health Researchers! Apply Now for AREF Research Development Fellowships 2023/24 and Transform Your Career!

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is excited to announce the call for the AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme for 2023/24. This fellowship program aims to provide opportunities for talented health researchers based in Africa, allowing them to lead research projects that are relevant to the African context and can help alleviate the burden of disease in the region. The primary objective is to nurture emerging African scientists by enhancing their skills, experience, confidence, and research contributions.

Through these fellowships, awardees have the chance to develop their own research ideas, improve their research skills and capabilities, establish research collaborations and mentorships, and work towards securing significant research funding. Many past AREF Fellows have shared how the fellowship has positively impacted their careers, with some successfully securing funding from renowned institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, African Academy of Sciences (AESA, FLAIR), the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and others.

Programme Overview:

The main aim of the AREF Research Development Fellowship Programme is to support emerging leaders in the African research community who are tackling crucial challenges in human health. The focus is on providing these researchers with the necessary support and resources to grow as accomplished researchers.

What’s Offered:

The fellowship program provides a three to nine-month placement at a leading research institution in the UK, Europe, or Africa. Additionally, selected fellows receive additional support at their home institution both before and after the placement. AREF offers up to £47,000 in funding to support the research project.


The fellowship is open to early-career researchers, including research-active post-doctoral scientists and clinicians with higher qualifications, who are nationals of and employed in Africa. Detailed eligibility criteria must be carefully reviewed before applying.

Information for Potential Applicants:

Prospective applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review the provided guidance documents before developing their research proposals and beginning the application process. The application form and all required supporting documents must be completed and uploaded online. It is crucial for applicants to engage in discussions about their AREF Fellowship plans with leaders at both their Employing Organisation and Host Organisation at an early stage. Securing support from sponsors and senior individuals is vital for the application process.

AREF does not cover the salary expenses of fellows while they are away on placement. However, the organization does provide support for reasonable accommodation, travel, and training costs.


Applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their applications by the end of March 2024. Successful fellows are expected to commence their fellowships between July 2024 and no later than December 2024.

Deadline for submission of all application documents: 13:00 GMT, 14 September 2023

What you need before starting your application:

  1. Read the Application Scheme Information.
  2. Thoroughly review the Guidance on Completing the Application Forms.
  3. AREF Terms and Conditions.

Application documents:

  1. Online Application Form PART A 
  2. Download the Application Form Parts B-F, to fill and upload on to the online application form.
  3. Download and complete the Application Form Part G – Signature Page, then submit on to the online application.

You can read more about our fellowship, and what kind of topics our Fellows who come from Africa have been researching.

Should you have any further questions that are not contained in information, please email by 8 September 2023. 

Cite this article as (APA format):

African Researchers Magazine (2023). Calling All Talented African Health Researchers! Apply Now for AREF Research Development Fellowships 2023/24 and Transform Your Career!. Retrieved from


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