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Call for Applications: Johnson & Johnson-AESA Research & Development (R&D) Fellowship Programme

Funding Call Details

Deadline:
Call for Applications: Johnson & Johnson-AESA Research & Development (R&D) Fellowship Programme

 

Application window: [Start: 03rd July 2020; Close: 31st July 2020 1700hrs EAT]


Johnson & Johnson and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), with the support of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, are committed to address this gap, by building drug development capacity and networks in Africa to enable countries to address diseases with high medical needs, locally. Through the establishment of a Research and Development (R&D) training fellowship programme for highly talented, suitably qualified and experienced African physicians, pharmacists, epidemiologists and/or MSc’s in public health to help close the R&D knowledge and experience gap that exists in many African countries.

This fellowship programme is managed by the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) is an Africa-led, Africa-centred, and Africa-specific funding and agenda setting platform created to accelerate scientific excellence, leadership and innovation.  AESA is an initiative of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency. For more information about AESA, visit https://www.aasciences.africa/aesa.

Within this fellowship programme, Johnson & Johnson, through its dedicated Global Public Health organization, together with the selected Fellows, consider the specific needs of the countries of origin and build upon the valuable knowledge which the fellows bring to the programme to optimize the course curriculum. The majority of the 2-year training will be ‘on the job’ when fellows are being assigned to a late-stage development programme at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, primarily in areas of infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and vaccines. In addition, the training shall comprise of:

  1. Training modules on all aspects of drug development with focus on clinical development;
  2. Training modules in leadership, communication, project management, etc. to strengthen leadership skills;
  3. Selective modules of the master programmes of Public Health or Tropical Medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp;
  4. Other opportunities as identified during the programme (conferences, other trainings).

The entire Programme package maximally strives to strengthen the fellow’s skills and capacities and, upon return of the fellow, contribute to the creation of qualitative clinical development centres of excellence at sites across sub-Saharan Africa, and on the long run contribute to prosperity and welfare of the continent.

Fellowship Details

Purpose

The Johnson & Johnson-AESA R&D fellowship programme is committed to building drug development capacity and networks in Africa to enable countries to address diseases with high medical needs, locally. In that spirit, Johnson & Johnson has established an R&D Training Fellowship Programme for highly talented, suitably qualified and experienced African doctors and scientists, to help close the R&D knowledge and experience gap that exists in many countries in Africa to be hosted by the AAS.

Programme Design

Year 1-2 | Training at the Janssen R&D campus in Belgium

siteThe Fellowship Programme entails extensive on-the-job training in drug development at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen R&D Campus in Belgium, with major focus on clinical development. Additional theoretical training covers all essential drug development core activities such as label-driven drug development, regulatory & quality, discovery activities, chemical pharmaceutical development, preclinical development, clinical development & clinical trial execution, biomarkers & diagnostics, vaccines, and commercialization & access. In addition, the fellows can participate in courses in epidemiology, public health, or tropical medicine at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine. Finally, courses in leadership, communication, and project management are also provided. These trainings focus on strengthening the fellow’s skills to interact successfully in an international and very often still male-driven environment.

On a whole, the courses are modularly built which allows to adapt the curriculum based on the fellow’s background and expertise, and the needs of the institute. The final curriculum is discussed with the fellow and home institute together.

During the on-the-job training,n fellows either shadow a Medical Leader, Study Responsible Physician, or Compound Development Leader, three key functions in R&D, and connect and closely collaborate with many other core functions at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen R&D Campus in Belgium and international R&D development sites.

Year 2-3 | Return to home country in Africa

The AAS and Johnson & Johnson will support the fellows for a 1-year period on their return to their home country. Elements of this support may include:

  1. Training materials for academic teaching, capacity building and networks.
  2. Clinical trial expertise to support initiation of local clinical research.
  3. Evaluate opportunities and feasibility of institution to participate in international development programmes and networks

Monitoring

A Steering Committee is established for every fellow to monitor progress through the Programme. The committee includes the representatives of the AAS, Johnson & Johnson and of the institutes in the fellow’s home country and will:

  1. Discuss Fellow’s practical arrangements in the hosting country and find solutions for any existing or potential future anticipated issues;
  2. Discuss Fellow’s integration into Johnson & Johnson teams and find solutions for any existing or potential future anticipated issues;
  3. Consider any adjustments to the course curriculum which may be deemed appropriate by the steering committee;
  4. Review current thinking on the proposed position in which the Fellow will be deployed upon repatriation, and post-training completion support.

With the objective of repatriating the knowledge and expertise which the Fellows will gain during the course of the programme and aligned with the Committee’s proposed position of the Fellow when returning to sub-Saharan Africa, the AAS and Johnson & Johnson will evaluate how to best support sustainable capabilities across sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to the creation of clinical development centres of excellence at sites across sub-Saharan Africa.

Desired results

As such, the entire Programme package maximally strives to strengthen the fellow’s skills and capacities and, upon return of the fellow, contribute to the creation of qualitative clinical development centres of excellence at sites across sub-Saharan Africa, and on the long run contribute to prosperity and welfare of the continent.

Individual

  1. A citizen of any of these listed sub-Saharan African countries that lie within geographical and language zones currently not represented in the ongoing Johnson & Johnson Fellowships: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Swaziland, Senegal, the Seychelles, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe; 
  2. Employed in public, not-for-profit, or academic institutions, or industry;
  3. Holding of a scientific University degree (PhD, MD, physicians, pharmacists, epidemiologists, relevant master’s qualifications) with high interest to expand knowledge and experience in drug development and clinical development;
  4. Holding a degree and / or demonstrated experience in Public Health and/or local healthcare;
  5. Aged between 30 and 45 years at the time of application.

The profile of a successful candidate under this programme is a mid-career professional with very strong leadership qualities. S/he should be able to arrange a 2-year leave of absence from their current place of work during which time their salaries and normal employment conditions will be paid for 50% by their employers (the Programme will support the remaining 50%), be eligible to receive a visa for one of the European countries or USA, able to work cooperatively in a diverse group in a new environment and culture, and, demonstrate an energetic and positive attitude. Upon completion of the fellowship, s/he should be committed to return to the sub-Saharan African region and apply drug development leadership skills and training in their local context.

Institution

  1. Is a legal entity;
  2. Is based in any of these listed sub-Saharan African countries that lie within geographical and language zones currently not represented in the ongoing Johnson & Johnson Fellowships: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Swaziland, Senegal, the Seychelles, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This Call for Application (CfA) utilizes an online application form on AAS Ishango Online Grants Management System (Ishango). Use this link to access the grants management system: https://aasishango.ccgranttracker.com/Login.aspx. Only applications submitted through Ishango shall be eligible for consideration.

Section 1: Applicants Details

1) ORCID iD

Among the fields mandated for this section, the ORCID iD is required regardless of your status as a researcher. Therefore, active researchers and non-researchers alike should provide this identity in their application. An ORCID iD can obtained through https://orcid.org/ at no charge.

2) Institution currently employed

List the institution where you are primarily affiliated and where you draw your salary. This institution should provide a letter to support your candidature in this programme.

 

Section 2: Accompanying Details

All letters in this section should be addressed to:

The Programme Manager, CTC

The African Academy of Sciences

P.O. Box 24916, 00502,

Nairobi, Kenya

 

1) Your Letter of Motivation

Upload your letter of motivation detailing why you would like to be considered for this programme in .pdf format. This letter is not a summary of a research proposal, rather a summary of the strengths you would bring into the programme if you are considered, your motivation to participate in the programme, the alignment of this programme to your career goals, and a commitment to return to sub-Saharan Africa after your fellowship. The maximum allowed length is 2-pages. This letter should bear your signature.

2) Resume

Upload a brief and concise resume in .pdf format. The maximum allowed length is 2 pages.

3) Professional Letter of Recommendation

Upload one letter of recommendation from your work supervisor or academic supervisor detailing your suitability to this programme. Do not send the letter for recommendation under a “confidential” cover by email as this will not be accepted.  Rather, upload the letter in the relevant section in the application form.

4) Institutional Letter of Support

Upload a letter of support from your institution in .pdf format. This the letter should be signed by your head of department of head of institution and be on official institutional stationery. The maximum allowed length is 2-pages.

The contents of the letter should express the institution’s intentions to:

  • grant you 50% paid leave of absence from your work during the duration of the programme
  • create an environment and/or opportunity at the home institution for you to return to after the 2-year programme, to optimally deploy the expertise, knowledge, and network acquired during the programme