Researcher Development

West Africa continues to be challenged by the existence and spread of infectious diseases and disasters which pose threats to the achievement of positive health outcomes in the region. This calls for stronger measures to combat public health challenges and increased research in eradicating prevalent infectious diseases affecting the continent. To this end, there is a need to create opportunities for education, training and skills transfer, fostering mentorship and collaboration and building leadership capacities and enhancing resource mobilisation. As such, WANETAM invests in scholarship and fellowship awards to early, mid-career and senior researchers and scientists within the sub-region.

To build a West Africa-led community of scientists and researchers contributing to tackling these issues, WANETAM facilitates opportunities for mentorship, strategic collaboration, coaching and cross-generational interaction. This is supported through the participation of individual scientists, research institutions and recipients of academic fellowships/scholarships in scientific communities and events to aid them in building their social capital.

The network also supports initiatives to strengthen the capabilities of researchers to lead projects, institutions and processes thus creating an opportunity for them to develop independence in their careers, advance the science and be models to inspire new and aspiring researchers. These efforts will empower them to compete globally as world-class authorities in their various areas.

As part of its efforts to strengthen WANETAM institutions and individual researchers’ capacities to secure resources to support their work, the network invests in grant and manuscript writing workshops and training. These are aimed at promoting collaborative grant writing within the network and encouraging researchers to secure funding for their individual work and on behalf of their institutions.

To complete their training, recipients of WANETAM’s academic fellowships at the end of their training are supported to apply to career development grants by renowned funders such as EDCTP, AREF, Wellcome Trust and WHO/TDR.

As a membership-based network, researcher development efforts cut across all its work packages.