Glaxo Smith Kline Africa Open Lab Research Awards for African Scientists

GSK’s Africa NCD Open Lab was established in 2014 as part of a series of GSK strategic investments to provide long term support for scientific research in the field of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in sub Saharan Africa. The goal is to work in partnership with funders, researchers and academic groups to share expertise and resources to conduct research in Africa aimed at increasing scientific understanding of the unique attributes of NCDs.

In November 2014 the Open Lab launched its first call for proposals in eight African countries, with a total of £4 million made available to fund projects. In September 2015, a £5 million collaboration with the Medical Research Councils of the UK and South Africa was announced. This funding was used to launch a second call for proposals providing an opportunity to support researchers from South African institutions conducting research projects in NCDs.

Africa Open Lab Research Awards for African Scientists, 2017


  • The programme’s aims are to fund rigorous, high quality research that will address disease mechanisms, epidemiology, pathophysiology and aetiology, or prevention and treatment of primary disease and associated complications in at least one of the following priority NCD areas: cardiovascular disease, oncology, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes.


  • The award offers up to two years of funding. A total of up to £100,000 will be available per award.
  • The call will offer funding to cover the costs of an appropriate research project including costs for equipment, field work and data collection, consumables and research assistance, travel to conferences, subsistence and conference fees.
  • Funding is not provided for the applicants’ PhD/MD tuition fees. Funding may be requested for training activities relevant to achieving the aims of the project including short courses and training visits to relevant research institutions. All training requests must be fully justified in the application.
  • In addition to financial support, GSK will provide scientific support throughout the duration of the award term.  The level of interaction will be determined through the application process and will be tailored to the individual needs of the project. GSK is exploring links with academic groups in the UK and leading African scientists to provide mentorship to successful applicants.
  • GSK in collaboration with the British Medical Journal (BMJ) will offer up to 50 researchers from each shortlisted institution (those invited to submit full proposals) free access to the BMJ’s Research to Publication eLearning programme for 12 months. This programme provides six online courses with 48 modules aimed at supporting the academic writing of early career researchers.
Eligibility Criteria 
The applicant:

  • Will be the principal investigator and must be an early career researcher, defined as a basic biomedical scientist, clinically qualified investigator or public health researcher, who has not previously competed successfully as principal investigator for a major research grant, and is no more than ten years from their highest degree of study (career breaks and time out of academic research will be taken into consideration).
  • Must be currently employed by an eligible academic, health or research institution in Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal and Tanzania for the duration of the project.
  • Must hold a PhD or equivalent higher degree (e.g. DrPH) in a health related discipline. Applicants pursuing a clinical academic career, who have not obtained a PhD, must have completed their specialist training in a relevant aspect of medicine and demonstrate relevant research experience (e.g. MSc with a research component).
  • Must not currently hold positions above lecturer level or equivalent.
  • Must demonstrate that they have a track record and ongoing commitment to health-related research and the skills and experience required to carry out the proposed work. Evidence of research output, including publications in peer reviewed journals and/or presentations at scientific conferences, is required.
  • Must have a career development plan showing commitment to NCD research in Africa, of which support from relevant supervisors and mentors will be an important component.


  • This third call for proposals is targeted at outstanding African scientists in the early stages of their research and academic careers based in research institutions or universities in the following countries: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal and Tanzania.

Closing Date
12th January, 2017

How to Apply

  1. Please download and complete the preliminary application form available on our dedicated Africa NCD Open Lab website.
  2. Submit the completed form as an attachment via the submission portal. The preliminary application must be accompanied by the CV of the principal applicant and a statement of support from the proposed supervisor/mentor as well as an institutional statement of commitment from the principal applicants’ Institution.


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