Apply: Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund 2023 Scholarship

The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund was established in 2012, with generous support from The ALBORADA Trust. The Fund supports pairs of researchers (post-doctoral level and above) from the University of Cambridge (or an affiliated institution such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, NIAB and British Antarctic Survey) and sub-Saharan African institutions, across all disciplines, to initiate and/or strengthen research collaborations. To date, 300 awards have been made, to enable Cambridge researchers to engage with African colleagues from 34 African countries. Some awardees have been able to use the preliminary results from their seed fund / research collaboration to apply for and win significant funding (e.g. Royal Society/Leverhulme Awards, Global Challenges Research Fund, etc.). For this round, we may be able to consider applications from North Africa.

About Cambridge-Africa

Cambridge-Africa is a University programme that supports African researchers and promotes mutually beneficial collaborations and equitable partnerships between Africa and Cambridge. We aim to do this by prioritising Sub-Saharan Africa, and: Catalysing new, and strengthening existing collaborations, between Cambridge and African researchers and their Institutions Providing an enabling academic environment for African early career researchers Supporting training activities for institutional research support teams Encouraging, facilitating and informing networks of researchers dedicated to contributing to outstanding research in sub-Saharan Africa The ethos of the programme and its partnerships are based on equity, transparency and trust. Activities should be driven by needs identified by African partners in order to address African (research) priorities.

Benefits of Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund

The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund competitively awards grants of between £1,000 and £20,000, for:

  • Research costs (such as reagents, fieldwork and equipment)
  • Research-related travel between Cambridge and Africa (bearing in mind feasibility of travel due to COVID restrictions)
  • Conducting research training activities in Africa (e.g. setting up courses/workshops).

Requirements for Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund Qualification

The purpose of the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund is to encourage research, training and engagement activities between Cambridge and sub- Saharan Africa. Applicants from Cambridge apply jointly with applicants from universities/ institutes in sub- Saharan Africa and co-create the projects. It is important that the funding is not simply used to provide services that will be carried out at one institution on behalf of the other, and that true collaboration is demonstrated in the application.

An important function of the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund is to act as a seed fund/catalyst to enable the development of new research activity and further joint funding applications. Priority will be given to applications that build new partnerships (or expand existing ones) with the potential for long-term collaboration. Projects should also ideally strengthen the research capacity of the African researcher and/or the African research institution/university. Both applicants must be at post-doctoral level or above, and by completing an application, it is understood that they are both doing so with support from their Head of Department or equivalent.

Both applicants should have a formal link to a research group/department/faculty in their home institution. It is also expected that both applicants remain employed beyond the end date of their ALBORADA awards. The awards are not intended to support post- graduate students, however, limited support for students (e.g. as part of a research project or training visit) will be considered when there is a clear demonstration that this will enhance the relationship between the Cambridge and African Principal Investigators (PIs).

The Cambridge applicant must be either working at the University of Cambridge, or at a Research Institute affiliated with the University. Previous successful Cambridge applicants have included those from Wellcome-Trust Sanger Institute, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and British Antarctic Survey. The Cambridge applicants will act as the lead applicants, for administrative purposes, as the awards have to be paid to their Cambridge Departments/Faculties/Institutes.

The African applicant must be based in a sub-Saharan Research Institution or University

Documents Required for Application

Both applicants must register and complete a saveable online application form, available on Final submissions should include the following documents:

Case for support and a lay summary

  • An itemised budget (template provided)
  • A letter of support from the department/faculty of the CambridgePI. For the Department of Engineering, a letter of support from the Head of Division is needed
  • A letter ofsupport from the department/institution of the AfricanPI
  • CVs (maximum 2 pages) for both the Cambridge and Africa PI

The details of two suggested referees are also required; these should be individuals who have no conflicts of interest with the project or investigators (e.g. they should not be from the same Department).

How to Apply

The deadline for submission is 4th September 2023 and applications can be submitted at any time before this. Any queries should be sent to

For more details, visit

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