The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) Affiliates Membership Programme aims to stimulate and nurture the spirit of scientific discovery and technological innovation in Africa in order to promote sustainable development on the continent through research and development. It is intended to fill a gap in the professional growth of young and early-to-mid career professionals who intend to develop into research leaders in their home countries. Many countries and organisations are implementing PhD programmes to meet the teaching and research needs of higher education and research institutions. Most of these scholars train in well-established northern institutions or a few relatively well set-up African PhD training centres, but when they return to their home institutions they face significant challenges in developing as independent thinkers and leaders. Supportive/nurturing research environments and opportunities that enable them to generate new ideas, knowledge and innovative solutions to Africa’s problems are limited.
While African states and their sub-regional institutions have the responsibility to attract and retain well trained researchers, pan-African organisations like the AAS can play a catalytic and supportive role in inspiring and providing tangible support to such cohorts. Through the AAS Affiliates Membership Programme, up to 25 young scholars are selected every year to receive career development support and mentorship as well as support to their home institutions to provide an enabling environment for their development into research leaders in their respective fields.
2. Requirements and Nomination Procedures
The AAS Affiliates Programme is targeted at supporting African nationals who are aged 40 years or below, are employed in higher education or research institutions and have obtained their PhD within the last five years. Applicants must also have postdoctoral research experience. They may be in any field of specialization and must be nominated by one of their institutional leaders (Vice Chancellor, Director, Head of Department, etc.) or by a Fellow or Associate Fellow of the AAS. Applicants may not nominate themselves.
The intention is to develop capacity for the sustainable development of the continent and the AAS has a strict policy to work with the African home institutions of its Affiliates. It is therefore mandatory that candidates are Affiliated to an institution in Africa
Nominations are made online on the AAS Ishango Online System. Please follow the instructions given in section 4 below. Nominations must be received on or before 04 July 2018.
3. AAS Support to Affiliate Members
The designation of ‘Affiliate Member of AAS’ is a meritorious recognition awarded after competitive evaluation and review by a designated body of peers and a final approval by the Governing Council of the Academy. The designation of Affiliate Membership shall be held for a period of five years. There shall be no direct progression from Affiliate to Fellow.
AAS will organise a range of activities to enhance the professional development of the Affiliate members. Of particular interest may be special courses on proposal writing, manuscript preparation, writing and presentation, ethical conduct of research, intellectual property issues, reviewing papers and proposals, etc. These activities will be organised in partnership with publishing houses and other leading global organizations. Affiliate members have opportunities to establish mentor-mentee relationships with AAS Fellows and other experienced researchers in their fields of specialisation. AAS will also seek to support the participation of Affiliates in major conferences organised by the Academy and other sister academies. Additional exciting opportunities will be explored with AAS partners and will be communicated as they become available.