The College held a webinar today on: Opportunities for Researchers: Mentorship, Funding, and Research Policy & Early Career Researchers. This is part of the ongoing webinar series for UoN@50 celebrations that will be culminated end of June 2021
The first guest speaker was Prof. Catherine Ngila Acting Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences and member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Prof. Ngila spoke passionately on the African Academy of science on the opportunities available for researchers. AAS was mandate is to transform lives through science. It is the only continental academy in Africa enjoying support and recognition of the African Union.
AAS was founded 36 years ago by Prof. Thomas Odhiabo. Its headquarters is in Nairobi with other 5 offices in South, East, Central, West and North Africa. It operates on three tripartite mandates of recognizing excellence, advisory and think tank functions and implementing key STI programs
Prof. Ngila highlighted on the criteria AAs follows for a researcher to be elected as an AAS fellow; scientific excellence- key scientific achievements, demonstrable world class excellence in research; the nominees work must stand out in his/her discipline; publication quality-H-index of 20 or higher; alignment with AAS on whether the nominees work has transformed lives in Africa and globally
On research and development, Prof Ngila noted AAS agenda is to improve research links between outstanding early career researchers and with leading scientists from across the global North and South and to facilitate joint work on addressing global development challenges.
The Professor concluded by highlighting the role AAS plays in Mentorship. They do this by early career researcher monitoring circles (ECR Monitoring); vertical supervisor –mentee relationships for strengthening your career; peer support and peer mentoring
The 2nd speaker was Dr. Andreas Holtel, Scientific and Policy Officer, EU Commission. Dr. Andréa’s gave a presentation on horizon Europe which is a program that supports research and innovation though work programs, which set put funding opportunities for research and innovation activities. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. Dr. Andreas concluded by pointing out to the virtual audience on the institutional grants office whose objective is to boost soft money acquisition, enable best use of soft money and most importantly support acquisition of fellowships for students and post docs.
The horizon Europe program runs from 2021-2027