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Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund 2021 For African Researchers

The purpose of the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund is to encourage research, training and engagement activities between Cambridge and sub- Saharan Africa. Applicants from Cambridge apply jointly with applicants from universities/ institutes in sub- Saharan Africa and co-create the projects.

It is important that the funding is not simply used to provide services that will be carried out at one institution on behalf of the other, and that true collaboration is demonstrated in the application.

The Fund supports pairs of researchers (post-doctoral level and above) from the University of Cambridge (or an affiliated institution such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, NIAB and British Antarctic Survey) and sub-Saharan African institutions, across all disciplines, to initiate and/or strengthen research collaborations. 

To date, more than 240 awards have been made, to enable Cambridge researchers to engage with African colleagues from 31 African countries. Some awardees have been able to use the preliminary results from their seed fund / research collaboration to apply for and win significant funding (e.g. Royal Society/Leverhulme Awards, Global Challenges Research Fund, etc.).

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About Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund

The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund aims to catalyse new and strengthen existing collaborations between researchers in Africa and Cambridge and support high quality training activities. Awards are made to pairs of researchers, one from a sub-Saharan African university or research institution and one from the University of Cambridge or allied research institutes (including Sanger Institute, NIAB and Babraham Institute). We encourage applications across all academic subject areas. The fund was established in 2012, with a generous £1million donation from The ALBORADA Trust, a UK ... read more


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Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund


Aim and Benefits of Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund

Applications should generally fall into one of these five research-related categories and within the standard limits of funding indicated. Exceptional requests above the standard limits will only be considered where strong justification is given.

You may wish to discuss exceptional requests before submission by contacting [email protected] . It is not possible to submit applications for the same project in multiple categories, e.g. a science research project should include necessary travel and equipment with the £20,000 limit.

Please note that the fund cannot cover overheads or administration costs.

As the awards are small, we do not cover salaries of either PI. Furthermore, the fund will not support conference registration and attendance. For queries on eligible costs please contact [email protected]

Category Standard limit Exceptions Travel Award (Cambridge/Africa or Africa/Cambridge) £3,000 Support for a workshop or research training course in Africa £5,000 Up to £10,000 Equipment * £20,000 Research project (Social Sciences) ** £6,000 Research project (Science) £20,000 * All equipment purchased using the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund must be for use in Africa, and must remain with the collaborating African partner institution/university upon completion of the project ** A lower limit is set for projects in social sciences that generally incur lower costs. However, this limit could be exceeded where well justified for the project.


Requirements for Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund Qualification

An important function of the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund is to act as a seed fund/catalyst to enable the development of new research activity and further joint funding applications. Priority will be given to applications that build new partnerships (or expand existing ones) with the potential for long term collaboration.

Projects should also ideally strengthen the research capacity of the African researcher and/or the African research institution/university. Both applicants must be at post-doctoral level or above, and by completing an application it is understood that they are both doing so with support from their Head of Department or equivalent. Both applicants should have a formal link to a research group/department/faculty in their home institution.

The awards are not intended to support postgraduate students, however, limited support for students (e.g. as part of a research project or training visit) will be considered when there is a clear demonstration that this will enhance the relationship between the Cambridge and African Principal Investigators (PIs).

The Cambridge applicant must be either working at the University of Cambridge, or at a Research Institute affiliated with the University. Previous successful Cambridge applicants have included those from: Wellcome-Trust Sanger Institute, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and British Antarctic Survey.

The Cambridge applicants will act as the lead applicants, for administrative purposes, as the awards have to be paid to their Cambridge Departments/Faculties/Institutes. The African applicant must be based in a sub-Saharan African Research Institution or University.


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Documents Required for Application

Both applicants must register and complete a saveable online application form, available on the CambridgeAfrica website. Final submissions should include the following documents: 

  1. Case for support and a lay summary
  2. An itemised budget (template provided)
  3. A letter of support from the department/faculty of the CambridgePI
  4. A letter of support from the department/institution of the AfricanPI
  5. CVs (maximum 2 pages) for both the Cambridge and Africa PI The details of two suggested referees are also required; these should be individuals who have no conflicts of interest with the project or investigators (e.g. they should not be from the same Department).


Application Deadline

September 3, 2021


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund on www.cambridge-africa.cam.ac.uk to apply

The online application form has been designed to allow both applicants (Cambridge- and Africa-based) to log in, update, save and eventually submit electronically.

To access the form, the Cambridge based applicant must Register Here. Only applicants with @cam.ac.uk, @sanger.ac.uk, @babraham.ac.uk, @bas.ac.uk and @niab.ac.uk email addresses can register.

The Cambridge-based applicant must then log in to the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund application form, where they will see the words “Invite a 2nd applicant to view/edit this submission”. Click on this link in order to invite the Africa-based applicant to register and edit the forms.

If you are eligible to apply, but are unable to register on the page above, then please contact [email protected]

For more details, visit Cambridge-Africa website



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