BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0410.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: ARISE; research funding; early-career research support; African research; research for development
Online: 23 February 2023 (11:18:22 CET)
Through an ambitious development blueprint called Agenda 2063, Africa is on a mission to creating the ‘Africa We Want’ by the year 2063, centred on science, technology, and innovation. While the 2063 development agenda portends attainment of socio-economic development and prosperity in Africa, it brings with it an enormous need for strategic investment in research to ensure that no one is left behind. This paper presents insights from the African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence (ARISE) programme on inclusive research capacity strengthening investment in Africa. The insights are drawn from a comprehensive candidate selection process for ARISE, from which 45 researchers (from a pool of 929 applicants) are recruited for ARISE Fellowships. The 45 early-to-mid-career researchers, 37% of which are women, are hosted in 45 institutions of higher learning located in 38 countries across Africa, conducting 5-year research fellowships with grants of up to €500,000 each. The insights from the ARISE programme contribute to the debate on effective approaches to programme scoping, design, and delivery, underscoring the need for consideration of scientific excellence in the context of diversity in research support capacity and investments across Africa.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0370.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: early-career research; institutional capacity strengthening; research; funding; research capacity strengthening; SSHA
Online: 22 February 2023 (02:46:29 CET)
Global and human development and freedoms increasingly thrive on robust and policy-oriented research and related activities. Yet, the African research landscape faces a myriad of challenges, resulting in a very unequal continent in terms of research and research capacity. The prevailing research inequities and challenges in Africa are even more pronounced in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and related fields (SSHA). Here, the strengths and impact of scholarship in SSHA fields are often overshadowed by deficits and apparent preferential investment in research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields. In response, the African Academy of Sciences commissioned a study in 2020 to generate evidence on the SSHA research support landscape in Africa. This paper summarizes findings from the literature review, key informant interviews, a bibliometric analysis, a survey with a sample of 670 respondents from SSHA communities in Africa, and a series of focus group discussions. We highlight key messages and make recommendations focussing on lessons learnt opportunities, and priorities for intervention to enhance significant SSHA research leadership capacity strengthening and, ultimately, minimize research inequalities in Africa.