CIPHER Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship Programme 2018/2019 for Medical Practitioners from sub-Saharan Africa

CIPHER Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship Programme 2018/2019 for Medical Practitioners from sub-Saharan Africa

Deadline: January 7, 2019,

Applications to the 2018/2019 CIPHER Fellowship Programme round are now open. Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) launched its Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship Programme in 2017 to build and support clinical research leadership in paediatric and adolescent HIV in low- and middle-income countries, particularly high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

CIPHER Fellows are medical practitioners from sub-Saharan Africa with clinical research experience and the potential to become the next generation of leaders in paediatric and adolescent HIV clinical science. Each fellow receives $70,000 over two years, and has already linked with a potential mentor. The mentor is an internationally renowned researcher in paediatric and adolescent HIV with an established clinical research collaboration based at an institute of excellence in sub-Saharan Africa.

By supporting this link, the programme strengthens each fellow’s research skills, facilitates their integration into international clinical research networks, and enables them to compete more effectively for international research funding. At the same time, it helps address priority research gaps in paediatric and adolescent HIV clinical science and contributes to building institutional capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Fellow/mentor pairs submit an applications to the Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship Programme.
  • Awardees will be selected to receive a two-year fellowship of up to US$ 70,000 (US$ 35,000 per year) in total, including indirect costs and travel expenses. Second-year funding is contingent upon demonstration of satisfactory progress during year one. Funding for the last quarter of the fellowship is contingent upon proof of submission of an application to an intermediate fellowship or equivalent development award or grant.


Mentor’s eligibility criteria

The mentor must:

  • Be either an Associate or Full Professor or Chief/Principal Research Officer with an established position at a research institute in SSA;
  • Submit their CV, including publication record in paediatric HIV clinical research;
  • Demonstrate that they are the principal investigator of the proposed research project that the fellow will be contributing to and that direct research expenses and adequate infrastructure for the period of the fellowship will be provided for by other grants or sources of funding;
  • Establish a mentorship plan that demonstrates how the fellowship will contribute to skill building and professional development of the fellow, as well as ensuring successful completion of the research project.

Fellow’s eligibility criteria:

  • The fellow must be a junior investigator with a doctoral degree (PhD) or a doctor of medicine degree (e.g., MD, MBBS or equivalent) obtained no more than ten years before the application deadline and who has less than five years of relevant research experience.
  • The fellow must hold a passport from a country in SSA1 .
  • The fellow must fulfil one of the following criteria prior to the application submission deadline:
    • He/she is a clinical/research trainee (e.g., research or clinical fellow, senior medical resident/Registrar) at an SSA academic institute or an SSA institute whose primary mission is research.
    • He/she has a faculty or comparable position (e.g., assistant professor, lecturer, research officer) at an SSA academic institute or an SSA institute whose primary mission is research.
    • He/she is working at an SSA organization with adequate research infrastructure to undertake the proposed research activities.
  • The fellow (and mentor) must demonstrate that funding to support the direct costs of the proposed research is available.


Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, United Republic of, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


  • Duration: Fellowships must be served continuously for the duration of the award. The fellowships must be started between July and November 2019.
  • Reporting: Fellows and mentors must provide narrative and financial progress reports every six months during the fellowship period and a final fellowship report, including a final financial report to the IAS based on a template that they will receive.
  • Terms: All fellows must apply for at least one intermediate fellowship or equivalent career development award or grant by the end of their two-year fellowship.
  • Capacity building component: Awardees must attend the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in July 2019 where an official awards ceremony will be held and they will be engaged in capacity building events. Additional financial support will be provided for awardees to attend the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) and IAS 2021.


Applications for the programme must be submitted by the fellow through the online application form that will be available on the CIPHER website from 12 November 2019 until 7 January 2019 18:00 CET. Applicants will be asked to detail past achievements of the fellow and mentor, their research goals, provide an abstract of their proposed project, and write a research plan and mentorship plan for the duration of the fellowship.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit CIPHER Fellowship.