The Cambridge-Africa Programme has emerged from a number of individual, long-term, collaborations between Cambridge and African researchers.
Established in 2008, Cambridge-Africa is the University of Cambridge’s institutional strategy to support African research in African universities and research institutes. It is a University-wide umbrella programme comprising a range of proactive, coordinated, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary initiatives in Cambridge and Africa that help to strengthen African research capacity and scholarship.
Cambridge-Africa’s core aim is primarily achieved through the provision of training and mentorship for African researchers in Africa, and African PhD and postdoctoral fellowship visits to Cambridge. Cambridge-Africa also facilitates linking up between researchers in African and their colleagues in several Cambridge University Departments/Faculties/Schools, as well as key staff in Offices across the University of Cambridge (e.g. Research Operations, Development and Alumni Relations, External Affairs and Communications) to Africa, for sustainable, mutually-beneficial collaborations, networking, fundraising activities and communication. Other affiliated institutions such as the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Babraham Institute and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) are strongly involved in the programme.
Cambridge-Africa is directed by Professor David Dunne (Department of Pathology), with support from Professor James Wood (Department of Veterinary Medicine), and Dr Devon Curtis (Department of Politics and International Studies). Our current coordinated initiatives are interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, extending across subject areas such as the social sciences and humanities, engineering, biological and health sciences, as well as research management and administration. The on-going initiatives are:
- Wellcome Trust -sponsored Makerere-UVRI Infection & Immunity Training Programme (MUII) (2008-2020)
- Wellcome Trust-sponsored Training Health Researchers in Vocational Excellence (THRiVE) (2009-2021)
- Carnegie-sponsored Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx) (2012-2018)
- Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Trust Research Fund (2012-2026)
- Isaac Newton Trust-sponsored Cambridge-Africa Fellowship Fund (2012-2016)
- Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research (WT-CCGHR) (2013-2018)
- Cambridge-Africa PhD Scholarship Scheme (2015-2020)
For several initiatives within the Programme, African researchers are carefully matched with leading Cambridge academics to collaborate on a research project. African fellows can also spend up to one year in their Cambridge mentor/collaborator's research group or laboratory. Fellows attend lectures and courses when visiting Cambridge, and receive training for their personal and professional development. Cambridge and African researchers also take part in exchange visits to provide maximum support to the African fellows. Our African fellows are often affiliated to Wolfson College, King's College, Churchill College and Hughes Hall as Visiting Fellows/Scholars. Our African fellows are therefore able to interact with other members of the Cambridge Community outside of their Cambridge host department, thus enriching their social lives and experience of Cambridge during their stay.
The Cambridge-Africa Programme also provides support to African students at the University of Cambridge, and is helping to reconnect African alumni to the University of Cambridge (and vice-versa). Furthermore, the programme is supporting Cambridge students and staff who want to teach and/or initiate/enhance research training workshops and entrepreneurial activities in Africa.