Call for applicants 2019
The speed and quality of the development of science capacity in
Africa and the rest of the developing world depends not only on
infrastructure and the technical training of people, but is intimately
linked to the quality of leadership to lead change. It is widely
accepted that the future of scientific development lies in enabling
interdisciplinary, interconnected and often large, international teams.
Training structures are, however, often not set up to prepare a next
generation of scientists for the complexities that an interconnected,
interdisciplinary approach to science entails. There is an
internationally emerging paradigm that recognizes that the focus on
individual leadership is often inadequate to address complex
challenges, which require skills across many sectors and collaborative
processes. The ASLP will therefore focus on developing collective
leadership skills that will help fellows contribute to the UN
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Overview of the Programme
The ASLP is an initiative of the University of Pretoria in
partnership with the Global Young Academy, funded by the Robert Bosch
Stiftung. It serves early- to mid-career researchers in basic and
applied science, engineering, social sciences, arts and the humanities.
The programme aims to grow mid-career African academics in the areas
of thought leadership, team development, engagement and collaboration,
with the intention of enabling them to solve the complex issues that
face both Africa and the global community.
The leadership programme:
- Identifies early- to mid-career academics who have demonstrated
leadership potential and an interest in developing key leadership
- Supports them to apply the acquired skills to projects that are
relevant to the academic development on the continent and its impact on
- Creates a network of academic leaders on the continent, spanning
not only across countries, but also across disciplinary boundaries
- Advances a curriculum for academic leadership development, which can be utilised in institutions in Africa and beyond.
The programme will use a highly interactive approach to training,
application of skills to a leadership project, peer support, and
mentorship. Fellows will attend an initial 5 day, intensive on-site
programme in Pretoria, South Africa from 16-21 March 2018 (departing on
the 22nd). The process will involve an approach that cycles between
theory, application and reflection. Participants will be challenged to
work collaboratively to design initiatives that advance a new paradigm
for African science.
The training will cover:
- Core elements of collective leadership
- Creative and systems thinking
- Development of effective networks
- Stakeholder engagement for change
- Maximising the efficiency and impact of collaborative efforts
- Advanced dialogue and communication skills
- Effective problem solving and decision making
Following the first training week, fellows will apply their skills
to a project relevant to their context and the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). As described above, projects will aim to contribute to a
new paradigm for Africa science. During the year, participants will
continue to engage with the group and have access to professional
support. The costs incurred during the workshop (training, relevant
travel, meals and accommodation) will be covered by the programme. In
March 2020, fellows will complete their projects and present them at
the second in-person training, which will consist of 3 days.
The ASLP is seeking candidates who are committed to developing
leadership in Africa. The training itself requires the time commitment
of the two multi-day training sessions. Furthermore, fellows will be
expected to develop their leadership project and engage with other
fellows for peer support.
There will be some costs, which are not covered by the programme,
such as visas, vaccinations or local transport expenses, for which you
may need to seek support from your local institution or fund
personally. You will also be required to provide us with your personal
travel insurance details as a condition of participation.
Selection criteria and application process
To be selected, applicants need to display a compelling vision of
their future involvement in the development of research projects,
programmes, human capacity, specific policies or societal structures.
The selection process will consider individual qualities but also focus
on ensuring a diversity of culture, subject background (Natural and
Social Sciences, Humanities) and gender among the fellows. Where
possible the programme will also attempt to create small ‘cores’ of
leadership; multiple strong applicants from the same centre or country
will thus be considered.
The following criteria are used as a guide for the nomination and selection of fellows:
- A PhD degree or equivalent qualification;
- A faculty or a continuing research position at a research institution;
- Active in research and teaching at an African institution of higher education or research;
- A sustained record of outstanding scientific outputs;
- Interest in translating and communicating the results of their work for impact in society;
- Demonstrated leadership ability in research and beyond;
- Interest in the role of research in addressing complex issues affecting society;
- Interest in collaborations across disciplines and sectors (e.g. industry, government, etc.);
- Commitment to participate in all the activities of the fellowship; and
- Intent to share what is learned in the programme with their broader networks.
All applicants have to provide two support letters by academic
referees (details are provided in the application form). One of the two
referees has to commit to be involved in future communications and
mentorship in case of selection of the applicant into the programme.
This referee will be informed about the progress of the fellow and
should be willing to support the fellow if he or she requires it.
All applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by representatives
of the University of Pretoria, the Global Young Academy, national young
academies, and ASLP Management. The ASLP Management team will make the
final selection of candidates.
A special part of the 2019 programme is that it will
culminate in the official opening of the Future Africa campus. We would
like to request that you stay up to the 29th to celebrate this moment
To apply click on the link below: