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AREF launches first Impact Report highlighting key achievements

Researcher at work

AREF launches first Impact Report

Thursday 17 September 2020

Five years after AREF’s launch, we are delighted to announce the publication of our first Impact Report. The report highlights how AREF has made its mark through investing in talented early-career African researchers over the last five years. You can read the report in full here.

AREF was founded by Professor Tumani Corrah KBE and established by the Medical Research Foundation with the aim of transforming the leadership potential of Africa’s health researchers. Through our work, we aim to support emerging African researchers early on in their career to help them develop the skills, networks and capabilities they will need for a successful and impactful career.

Since 2015, AREF has trained and mentored over 200 talented young researchers from 30 different African countries. They in turn have gone on to raise over £5 million in internationally competitive research grants, transforming their ideas into fundable projects that are tackling Africa’s most pressing health issues.

The new Impact Report details how AREF is transforming African health through projects tackling issues such as depression, malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, and HIV, and highlights key achievements from the last five years, including:

  • 141 researchers have participated in AREF’s grant-writing workshops
  • 27 researchers have been awarded Research Development Fellowships, with placements across 17 research centres of excellence in Africa and Europe
  • 20 Fellows have benefitted from the Excell Researcher and Leadership Development Programme
  • 10 Fellows have benefitted from the Towards Leadership Programme
  • 11 researchers have taken part in a Communications Masterclass
  • 5 AREF Fellows have been awarded scholarships to attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Introductory Course in Epidemiology & Medical Statistics (The Gambia)

Professor Tumani Corrah KBE, Founder and Director of AREF, said:

“I’m deeply proud of what we have achieved together in the last five years. When I founded AREF in 2015, I never imagined the impact we would have in our first five years. In this short time, we have offered potentially life-changing opportunities to over 200 early career researchers across Africa, setting them on the path to leading their own research teams within the continent.

“We have supported researchers across a wide range of disciplines – from discovery scientists to clinicians, in the African bush, at the lab-bench, and at the bedside. These talented African scientists are providing real-world solutions to real-world problems ranging from mental health to malaria and tuberculosis.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of individual donors, philanthropic foundations and research funders – without you, none of this would have been possible. And with you by our side on this exciting journey the future is bright for global health.”

It has never been more crucial to train researchers on the ground to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge they need to tackle major public health challenges. Ensuring we have a community of African scientists who can deliver world-class research and collaborate across borders is vital, and AREF remains committed to supporting the next generation of African science leaders to deliver life-saving health research in Africa – for Africa and the world.

Published: 17 September 2020