The University of Cambridge’s wide-ranging and long-term strategy of engagement with African higher education institutions moved into its next phase following the recent announcement of a $1.2 million grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and a $1 million grant by The Alborada Trust.
The University very much values these links and these awards will help us to build further and deeper institutional relationships in order to help the development of higher education"
—Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
The 36-month award approved by the Carnegie Corporation’s Board of Trustee, alongside the four-year grant made by The Alborada Trust, will significantly enhance the funding already provided by the Isaac Newton Trust, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and the University of Cambridge for the establishment of the Cambridge-Africa Partnerships for Research Excellence (CAPREx).
CAPREx aims to strengthen Africa’s capacity for sustainable excellence in research through close collaborative work with the region’s most talented individuals.
Building on successful partnerships with the University of Ghana and Uganda’s Makerere University, CAPREx’s goal is to widen the scope of engagement to include the whole of the University of Cambridge and involve a greater number of higher education institutions in Africa.
The University of Cambridge has a long and rich tradition of research in Africa, although most of it had previously depended on discrete collaborations between individuals or specific academic departments.
A more joined-up strategy has recently emerged for holistic engagement with African universities, based on existing initiatives such as THRiVE (Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa) and MUII (Infection and Immunity Research Training Programme), both sponsored by The Wellcome Trust.
These capacity-building programmes focus on PhD and postdoctoral researchers in health-related disciplines. Young African researchers are matched with leading Cambridge academics who provide mentorship and support.
Fellows spend up to one year of their research programme at their Cambridge mentor’s laboratory. Supervisors or mentors from Cambridge and Africa take part in exchange visits to provide maximum support and mentorship.
Other successful Cambridge initiatives include the Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme at the Centre of African Studies, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Isaac Newton Trust and the A.G. Leventis Foundation.