Call for Applications: Epidemic Science Leadership and Innovation Networks


January 31, 2024
At any one time, the African continent experiences 100 or more ongoing disease outbreaks. As Africa undergoes rapid demographic growth, as the continent becomes increasingly connected, and as environmental degradation persists, the risks of outbreaks and novel disease emergence will likely intensify.

Investment in African epidemic and pandemic sciences research and preparedness will protect and enhance national and regional healthcare systems and help to safeguard African economic stability by mitigating adverse socio-economic impacts. Developing a thriving epidemic and pandemic sciences sector across academia, industry, government and policy organisations, and preparing an emerging generation of high-calibre scientists, policymakers, and healthcare leaders in Africa will enhance health security and economic prosperity on the continent, and leverage African expertise to influence epidemic and pandemic research, preparedness and response priorities at a global level.


This call will foster a vibrant ecosystem of Epidemic Science Leadership and Innovation Networks (EPSILONs) across Africa. Each EPSILON will comprise three to eight organisations in a ‘hub and spoke’ consortium. Each consortium will establish a network of research excellence in a thematic area relevant to epidemic and pandemic sciences research, preparedness and response.

These networks will nurture and promote world-class epidemic and pandemic sciences research and innovation in Africa, building a critical mass of experts across all health sectors in the continent to address ongoing health challenges while strengthening capabilities to respond to future infectious diseases health threats. They will contribute to developing communities of practice that may be leveraged for long-term collaboration and during future outbreaks to respond to urgent research and policy needs.

Impact areas


Increased health, resilience and wellbeing among the African and global population

Long term outcomes

Epidemics and pandemics in Africa effectively predicted, prevented and managed
Health, social and economic impacts of epidemics and pandemics in Africa effectively mitigated
A vibrant epidemics and pandemics science ecosystem in Africa undertaking high-quality research and innovation

Medium term outcomes

Increased translation and uptake of epidemics and pandemics research outputs into contextually relevant solutions, regulations, approaches and policies
Sustainable career pathways for young researchers and professionals working on epidemics and pandemics
Enhanced professionalism and a well-resourced (financial and human resources) epidemics and pandemics sector to support research in Africa

Short term outcomes

Enhanced epidemics and pandemics scientific research quality
Increased innovations to address epidemics and pandemics trends
Young researchers transitioning to dignified and fulfilling work at scale
Increased engagement and collaboration leveraging areas of synergy in epidemics and pandemics research, policy and practice
Increased leadership influence of African epidemics and pandemics researchers across science networks, local communities, funding partners, private sector, industry and policy actors
Supportive professional service and research management culture and structures in place across institutions
Young professionals transitioning to dignified and fulfilling work at scale

Applicant 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.

Thematic research areas
Vaccinology / early-stage vaccine research and development
Virology – genotype to phenotype
Clinical research and clinical trials on epidemic and pandemic prone infections
Epidemic and pandemic public health policy research
Climate change, biodiversity and pandemic prevention
Advanced data assembly and analytics for threat assessment and mitigation
Social and behavioural sciences

Apply Here 

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