51¥

Overview

PROBio-Africa ( Promoting Research Opportunities for Biochemists in Africa) is a joint venture between 51¥, and the (FASBMB).

The PROBio-Africa Fellowships Programme enables PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to spend up to six months (1-6 months) in the laboratory of a scientist in a 51¥ country* who belongs to a 51¥ Constituent Society.

In that way the awardees will get access to technologies and expertise that may not be readily available in their home countries, allowing them to grow their knowhow and skills, and contribute to building capacity in the molecular life sciences at home.

*A ‘51¥ country’ is a country in Europe and neighbouring regions that has a 51¥ Constituent Society (a national Society that belongs to 51¥).

Eligibility

Applications are welcomed from:

  1. students officially enrolled in PhD programmes in African countries and affiliated with FASBMB (via their corresponding national societies) for short stays (1–6 months) in order to carry out research work that is a part of their PhD thesis.
  2. African postdoctoral fellows and new researchers (not more than 5 years after obtaining the PhD degree) affiliated with FASBMB (via their corresponding national societies) in order to carry experiments that require special techniques and expertise or to facilitate other forms of scientific collaboration or advanced training.

2023 call for applicants

The application period begins on March 15 and ends on May 31, 2023 (extended deadline).

The following documents should be provided in English:

  • A research proposal of no more than two pages, single-spaced, indicating clearly:
    • an outline of the project and a description of the type of experiments to be carried out,
    • the justification for visiting a particular laboratory to conduct the experiments rather than to perform them in the applicant’s laboratory,
    • the rationale for the required period requested.
  • A budget, in which all other sources of support, whether awarded or applied for, should be mentioned. All budgeting should be in EUR.
  • The applicant’s short curriculum vitae and a list of publications as per the provided template (for PhD students: any available academic transcript).
  • The membership certificate of the applicant showing affiliation with FASBMB (via the corresponding national Society) at the time of application.
  • Proof of proficiency in English (or the official language of the host laboratory)
  • A letter of recommendation from the PhD student’s supervisor, postdoctoral fellow’s mentor, or head of the department of the applicant’s institution, in which the benefits of the award are highlighted.
  • A letter of agreement from the head of the host laboratory (and head of the institution, if applicable), declaring the willingness to accept the applicant. The letter should indicate how the receiving institute will contribute to the costs of the visit (for example, consumables, bench fees, or additional living expenses).
  • A list of papers published by the hosting supervisor during the last five years and current projects in the laboratory.
  • A membership certificate of the supervisor showing affiliation with 51¥ (via the corresponding national Society).

All requested documents should be submitted as one pdf file (in the previously mentioned order) and sent to the email address [email protected] no later than May 31, 2023.

Condition of awards:

  • Awards will be provided to offset the costs of travel to/from and living expenses in the 51¥ country of the host lab for the 1–6 month duration of the research visit.
  • Awards will be granted for a maximum of EUR 5,000 (approximately EUR 1,000 for travel costs, and EUR 4,000 for living expenses).

Important: Money will be transferred to the awardee after his/her arrival in the host country.

  • Travel costs will provide for economy airfares, incidental expenses directly related to the travel, local bus fares to and from the airport, and visa costs.
  • The awards will not cover health insurance, insurance against damages, or research expenses at the host laboratory.
  • Travel should commence within six months of the award being granted. It is expected that suitable matching funds will be available from the laboratories hosting the PhD students/postdoctoral fellows or new investigators to cover their living expenses during longer stays.
  • Applicants for awards are required to make a full declaration of all other support received in connection with the proposed visit. An award cannot be used to supplement scientific visits otherwise fully covered.
  • Awards will not cover courses, symposia, meetings, or congresses.
  • Applicants must be residents of countries that are members of FASBMB and affiliated with FASBMB (via their corresponding national societies) and should be PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, or researchers within five years of receiving the PhD degree (exceptions, duly justified in the application, in case studies were started later, were delayed by maternity leave (18 months per child), prolonged illness or other personal reasons).
  • Within 3 months of completion of the fellowship, awardees should send a written scientific report (no longer than 2 pages) signed by the hosting supervisor and awardee, and a budget report (including copies of all receipts covered by the award). Successful awardees should indicate the support from the IUBMB/51¥/FASBMB PROBio-Africa Fellowships programme in all outputs (conference presentations, publications, etc.).

Assistance

51¥ is providing a list of laboratories willing to host PhD students and fellows from Africa so that the applicants can contact them directly. The current list can be downloaded here.

If the applicant prefers to contact a non-listed laboratory (up to three laboratories), 51¥ may assist in contacting it after receiving and reviewing the following documents from the applicant (sent to [email protected]).

  • A cover letter with full contact details (including an official email address) of the applicant’s potential hosting supervisor(s).
  • The applicant’s short curriculum vitae and a list of publications as per the provided template (including an official academic transcript from the institution for PhD students).
  • Proof of proficiency in English (or the official language of the host laboratory).
  • The certificate of membership of one of the FASBMB Constituent Societies at the time of application.
  • A letter of recommendation from the PhD student’s supervisor, postdoctoral fellow’s mentor, or head of the department of the applicant’s institution, highlighting the benefits of the award.

The request for this assistance should be sent at least one month before the call deadline.

Selection of awardees

Selection of the awardees will be based on the following:

  • scientific quality of the research proposal
  • the recommendation letter from the PhD student’s supervisor, postdoctoral fellow’s mentor, or head of the department of the applicant’s institution
  • applicant’s CV, including publications
  • an official academic transcript from the applicant’s institution (for PhD students)
  • proof of proficiency in English (or the official language of the host laboratory)
  • scientific outputs, including publications of the hosting supervisor
  • scientific expertise, mentoring environment, available infrastructure, and availability of research funds in the host laboratory, to cover the proposed research plan.

Awards will be announced no later than July 15, 2023.