Postdoctoral Training Opportunity in Medical & Health Sciences


The Africa Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) provides fellowships to African researchers to spend two years at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for professional training and to conduct research in priority areas. APTI is a postdoctoral programme through the partnership of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).  

APTI fellows will train in a global health research area of priority for their home institutions and countries, and AAS, BMGF and NIH, while building bridges and lasting connections between the partner organizations and African scientists and institutions. While at the NIH, the fellows must be on leave or sabbatical from their home institution under the NIH Intramural Visiting Fellow Program (  

The research priority areas are in infectious diseases, nutrition, and reproductive, maternal, and child health and developing skills for clinical and translational research. Research on other significant burdens of disease in Africa will also be considered.  More information available   

APTI fellows will be expected to lead important research programs in their home countries and institutions. After successful completion of the two-year postdoctoral fellowship, trainees will be provided with 50% salary support for an additional two years to assist their transition into independent researchers. 

The main objective of APTI is to train a cadre of African scientists so they return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, help solve Africa’s challenges in global health and development, and in turn become trainers of the next generation. A key ingredient is a focus on the home institutions. As such, APTI expects commitment from home institutions to provide a conducive research environment and dedicated research time for the fellows upon their return home. APTI fellows are expected to be a part of an African regional and global web of collaborations connecting to their home institutions. APTI fellows will linked to an existing African and global scientific networks and are expected to nurture these scientific collaborations and relationships. 

Candidate requirements: 

  • Must be citizens of and currently employed in an academic, research, or government position in an African country.  
  • Must have a relevant doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, MD, MBBS) awarded no more than 15 years earlier. 
  • Must have less than 5 years of relevant research experience following the award of their doctoral degree by their start date at the NIH.  The maximum five years of research experience are only after the doctoral degree has been earned.  Research conducted before the award of the doctoral degree does not count against this time. 

Selection criteria: 

  • Professional merit, scientific ability, and potential future career impact (based on CV, letter of interest, and two reference letters). 
  • Assurance and availability of resources from the home institution for a designated, funded research position for the postdoc upon completion of their fellowship (expressed in letter from director/head of research of home institution). 
  • Commitment to return to their home country following completion of training (expressed in a letter of interest). 
  • A selection committee will ensure the best match of outstanding candidates and NIH laboratory positions. Additional selection factors may include diversity in scientific research areas, geographic origin, and gender.

Application deadline: December 1, 2019, 1700hrs EAT

First selection: February 2020 
Interviews: May 2020 
Final selection: by May 31, 2020 

APTI fellows must be prepared to begin their fellowship at NIH no later than September 30, 2020  Visit this link to access the call: The AAS Ishango Online Grants Management System

For inquiries, please contact: 

Susan Gichoga
Grants Officer, African Academy of Sciences
Phone: +254 709 158100 /101/102/103. Email:     
Jackie Officer 
Program Specialist, Fogarty International Center, NIH 
Phone: +1-301-496-4784. Email:  
Stacy Wallick 
Program Officer, Fogarty International Center, NIH 
Phone: +1-301-496-4784. Email: