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New ICSU partnership will support integrated science in Africa

As part of its mission to support integrated, solutions-oriented science globally, the International Council for Science (ICSU) has signed a 5-year agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for a 5 million euro programme to strengthen research capacity for sustainability in Africa.

The programme, which ends in December 2020, will be delivered by ICSU in conjunction with its Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA) based in Pretoria, South Africa, the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) based in Paris, France.

By providing support for integrated research projects on global sustainability across Africa, the programme seeks to develop the potential of next-generation scientists in Africa in production and communication of policy-relevant knowledge.

The programme will provide two-year collaborative research grants with a thematic focus on global environmental change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable energy, human health and well-being in urban environments and related nexus issues. ICSU’s co-sponsored international research programmes – Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk and Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment – will provide an overall thematic framing for the programme’s activities. The programme will also promote the integration of gender and poverty reduction concerns.

The grants are intended to support integrated and solutions-oriented research by reaching across disciplines, and engaging with other knowledge partners (e.g. civil society, policy makers and private sector). The grants are expected to foster research collaboration among early-career scientists in Africa, with an emphasis on researchers based in low income countries. Two Africa-based institutions, NASAC and ICSU-ROA, will manage the research funding scheme.

Activities will also include training for early career scientists on co-design and co-production, science communication and science advice to governments. The training will be delivered by ISSC.

The first call for pre-proposals will be launched in the second half of 2016 through partners’ websites.  Representatives of successful pre-proposals will be invited to attend a training event on integrated research to be held during fall of 2016. Following the training, participants will be given two months to develop full proposals, which will be peer-reviewed. Based on the review, the programme advisory committee will make research funding decisions to be announced in the beginning of 2017.

Visit the programme’s pages for more information and for how to get involved. For any inquiry please contact