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Grantees Profile

Dr Samson Kinyanjui

Country (Nationality)


Grantee Title

Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL)

Grantee Description

Dr Samson Kinyanjui is the Director for the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL), a high-quality training programme designed to develop outstanding young African scientists into world-class research leaders.

Based at the Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya, IDeAL will be available to young researchers, from intern to postdoctoral level, with the aim of keeping scientists at African institutions through a defined programme of recruitment, supervision, mentorship, multidisciplinary approaches and clear career paths.

IDeAL will look to spread expertise by engaging with universities in the region and supporting researchers who want to gain appointments in these institutions. Collaborations between graduates of the IDeAL programme and other institutions will aim to foster training across the whole spectrum of health research, from basic biology to health systems research.

The £8 million initiative builds on a previous Wellcome Trust Strategic Award, which has attracted and trained more than 200 people since 2008. Of those, more than 50 are now postdoctoral researchers, 32 are PhD students and more than 50 are research officers in various organisations across Africa. The award has led to more than 250 publications, with significant impact on scientific knowledge and health policies in Kenya and globally.

Strong mentorship is at the heart of IDeAL. All PhD students will have at least two supervisors and three additional mentors from leading local and international researchers. The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme provides a vibrant research environment, and IDeAL is expected to result in a highly successful scientific output.