Preloader Icon

Alumni Spotlight: AREF Grant Writing Programme Participant wins international grant

Researcher at work

Paul Alain Tagnouokam Ngoupo is a Cameroonian scientist and researcher who attended the AREF Grant Writing Program (GWP) in 2022. Paul recently won an Early Career Award grant of USD 26,750 to study the determinants of HIV cure and infection in Cameroonian and Sub-Saharan African children. This award is granted to researchers who have promising plans to improve the lives of children through health research.

As a participant of our Grant Writing Programme, Paul used tips and comments from our workshop facilitators to submit a grant proposal to the Thrasher Research Fund. Our GWP is designed to support researchers’ skills to write compelling grant proposals for international funding. You can read more about the program and check if you’re eligible to apply. Participants get practical advice and tips from experts about what funders are particularly looking for.

Sub-Saharan Africans are highly vulnerable to HIV infections due to poverty and other environmental factors, with 25.7 million people living with HIV in 2018. Paul has been working on this topic since his PhD studies and has collaborated with many researchers within and outside the continent. His long term goals are to build and lead a strong research team that can address health problems in Cameroon and sub-Saharan Africa and also to support the training of other young leading African scientists.

Paul started working on his proposal during the AREF 2022 Grant Writing Program: “The biggest lessons from the programme that impacted my proposal outcome were the tips AREF provided in improving grant proposals and how to choose the right funders based on our project focus”.

For the next two years, Paul will be using the grant to study and identify alternative diagnostic markers for HIV in persistently seronegative HIV-infected children who present negative result with conventional tests routinely used for the diagnosis of HIV.

Find out about Paul’s work and how to get in touch

Paul completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Biochemistry (B.Sc.) and Medical Microbiology (M.S.) with a particular interest in HIV genetic diversity and HIV drug resistance and their implication in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of infected patients. His PhD is in Virology from the joint supervision of the University of Rouen in France and the University of Yaoundé 1 in Cameroon, where he researched on people co-infected with HIV-1 group M and HIV-1 group O or infected with recombinant forms from the two groups of HIV-1 so-called HIV-1 M/O intergroup recombinants in Cameroon. After completing his PhD studies Paul then joined the HIV research group at the Centre Pasteur of Cameroon (CPC) as Research Scientist. He has worked as co-investigator on several projects ranging from studies on HIV in children to HIV-1 non-M variants.

Paul’s work is published in over 22 scientific papers. He primarily wants to focus on making an impact on population health in Africa through research and is happy to collaborate and receive training and mentorship on HIV and other infectious diseases. If you would like to get in touch with Paul you can reach him on LinkedIn.

About AREF Grant Writing Program

AREF works to strengthen the health research capacity of scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa who are tackling the region’s health challenges. The programme is fully online and is held over eight 3-hour sessions between May and July. Participants also get up to six weeks after the first set of programme sessions to draft proposals as part of the practical exercise. We receive applications from active and emerging biomedical/health scientists and researchers resident in Sub-Saharan Africa. Applicants would normally be seeking for international funding to lead their own projects and have not previously won a grant more than GBP 250,000. Find out more about the programme on our website.

Published: 22 February 2023