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Sub-Saharan Africa

Professor Esther Mwaikambo, President of the Tanzanian Academy of Sciences, at an event to induct Fellows to the Academy

The Royal Society has a long history of promoting science in Africa by supporting collaborations, networks and exchanges between scientists and building the capacity of scientific institutions.

Our work aims to build sustainable research capacity to support economic growth and development.

Recognising excellent science

Each year we present the Royal Society Africa Prize (previously the Royal Society Pfizer Award, last awarded in 2016) to a scientist making an innovative contribution in the biological sciences to promote capacity-building in Africa.

Previously, the Royal Society Pfizer Africa Academies Programme provided training, mentoring and project support to develop and strengthen national science academies in Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia in partnership with Network of African Science Academies (NASAC).

Supporting excellent research and researchers

Our Africa-focused grant schemes support the development of promising individuals within the African research community.

The Royal Society-DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative is for scientists who want to develop collaborative research consortia between scientists in sub-Saharan Africa and a research institution in the UK.

The Future Leaders – African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowships are for talented African early career researchers who have the potential to become leaders in their field. These fellowships provide the opportunity to build an independent research career in a sub-Saharan African institution and to undertake cutting-edge scientific research that will address global challenges facing developing countries. The scheme is run in partnership with the African Academy of Sciences.

The Royal Society - Royal Society of Chemistry International Exchanges Award is part of the International Exchanges programme. These awards support collaborations between researchers in the UK and those in Sub-Saharan Africa working on projects in the field of chemistry through one-off visits and bilateral travel. This scheme is run in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The majority of grants offered by the Society are open to researchers of all nationalities, with many supporting international researchers working in institutions both in the UK and globally. For more information on these opportunities, visit the grants page.

Advice for policy makers

Many of our policy projects tackle issues relevant to Africa. We promote evidence-based policymaking through our global partnerships and support of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

Improving access to journals

We are partners in a number of international schemes to make scientific journal articles available immediately and free of charge to the world's poorest nations.

Support for African Diaspora

The InterAcademy Partnership’s Project on Harnessing Science, Engineering, and Medicine to Address Africa’s Challenges was published in 2019 – copy of the report available here.

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