Circulating the call to its network of young scientists and science academies in Africa, and providing evaluators for applications, the GYA assists in recruiting the cohorts of young scientists to benefit from the training. Selected fellows meet for a week-long workshop, followed by a year of project work and mentorship, with a follow-up workshop one year later.
The inaugural workshop commenced with the first group of 20 fellows– among them 7 from the GYA– from 7-12 June 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The second cohort of Africa Science Leadership Fellows consisted of twenty-two outstanding scientists from all major regions of Africa – among those, five GYA members. The scientists, spanning a wide variety of disciplines including the social sciences and humanities, met in April 2016 in Pretoria. The week-long workshop on ‘Leading a new paradigm for African Science’ delved deeply into topics such as collective leadership and science communication. Leaders in academia and research, science communication, and leadership theory and practice joined the fellows for interactive sessions.
An Africa Science Leadership Clinic was held in October 2016, to discuss leadership style, effective group and workshop structure, methodology, funding and organisation and to facilitate the further development of effective transdisciplinary networks across Africa.
In March 2017, the third group of ASLP fellows – twenty-two outstanding scientists from different disciplines all across Africa – took part in the third ASLP.
The ASLP programme ran annually for an initial period of 3 years, and has now been extended, with funding from the Robert Bosch Foundation, for another 3-year funding period starting in 2018.
The programme is creating a lasting network of science leaders on the African continent, spanning not only across countries, but also across disciplinary boundaries. It is successfully developing an awareness and a curriculum for leadership development in academia that can be applied in other institutions in Africa and beyond, and has created a focal point for connection with science leadership training programmes in other parts of the world. Inspired by the Africa SLP, an ASEAN SLP has run for two consecutive years, with the third meeting in planning for 2018.
Professor Bernard Slippers, project leader from the University of Pretoria and past co-chair of the Global Young Academy, describes the impact of the programme:
“There is such a big need to develop the skills of a next generation of scientists to lead more interdisciplinary and globally connected teams to resolve address the complex challenges the world faces. ASLP is fast becoming an example of the type of programme through which this development can be fast tracked.”
Visit the ASLP – Future Africa website for more information on the Africa SLP and other related projects: