ACTG Academic
Scholarship

African Center for Translational Genomics (ACTG), an initiative of 54gene, is pleased to announce the 2021 Academic Scholarship open to emerging genomic scientists.



The objectives of the center are to empower the next generation of African genomic scientists through the provision and implementation of grants, fellowships, and internships; enable better health outcomes by powering the discovery of disease variants which will significantly improve responses to drugs especially among African populations, and enhance therapy on the African continent by enabling individualized and precise care that utilizes patient unique genetic identity to develop new targets for medicine.

ACTG is committed to empowering the next generation of African genomic scientists to enhance Africa’s competitive advantage globally. As one of its early undertakings, the ACTG has, in collaboration with the scientists at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research and the National Biotechnology Development Agency in Nigeria, established the Non-Communicable Diseases Genetic Heritage Study (NCD-GHS) Consortium. Through the Consortium, the ACTG is facilitating studies that would help unravel the genomic determinants of non-communicable diseases with special attention to cardiometabolic diseases among African populations. The studies also aim to develop insights that would facilitate precision medicine and translational research in Africa.

Aims:

This scholarship will enhance Africa's competitive advantage in the genomics research and development space, globally, by reaching and assisting young scientists as early as possible in their career. The successful candidates will be working with the NCD-GHS team and expected to either focus on exploring the genetic epidemiology or the molecular genetics of some Non-Communicable Diseases (cancers, diabetes, thyroid disorders, parkinson's, alzheimer’s and sickle cell).

Scholarship Details:

The scholarship offer is competitive based on prevailing rates in both public and private universities in Africa. Up to $4,000 is available per scholar per year for up to 4 years . Scholarship awards may be applied towards tuition, housing, study related travels as well as other study related activities. The total allocation approvable will be determined based on the Scholarship Committee’s evaluation of the applications submitted. Up to 4 scholarships will be awarded this year. This scholarship will be offered annually in subsequent years.

Eligibility:

These are the conditions to be met by scholars applying for available scholarships from the African Center for Translational Genomics (ACTG)

  • Nationality
    Open to African graduates with a passion for research and excellent academic results.

  • Degree level/Type
    This scholarship is for students enrolled in full-time PhD programs and who are committed to the completion of their program within the three or four year period of their study as defined by their academic institutions.

  • Subject
    Applicants admitted to study molecular genetics or genetic epidemiology or related fields.

  • Application and Admission
    All applicants must be bonafide students of any University located in Africa, having gained admission through procedures defined by such Universities. ACTG would neither facilitate nor influence admission of applicants into any University.

  • Equality
    The ACTG is committed to equality of opportunity. No applicant will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of gender (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. The primary consideration in the selection of Scholars will be applicants' ability to meet the selection criteria for each scholarship.

Selection criteria:

All applicants that meet the eligibility criteria at the close of application deadline, will be shortlisted for an interview. At the interview stage, successful awardees would be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding academic record
    As the ACTG’s aim is to empower the next generation of African genomics researchers, a good academic record is a must-have for scholarship recipients. This can be demonstrated through the final graduation points received by the applicant from an undergraduate degree.
    An exceptional performance in a master’s degree can compensate for a moderate first degree performance. Other evidence of high academic achievement may include individual marks on student transcripts; evidence of previous university prizes or awards; information on your overall position within your cohort; and publications. We expect that program chairs or supervisors would only support applications from the most outstanding students for this scholarship.

  • Applicant’s aptitude for the program and potential for genomics leadership in the future
    Consideration is given to an applicant’s future academic potential and aptitude of the proposed PhD program. This may be assessed by reviewing references and research proposals to determine evidence of an applicant’s aptitude for research, and the likelihood of contributing significantly to the field of study. Direct PhD applicants (and MPhil/PhD applicants) will need to contact a potential supervisor with whom they will develop a research project, a summary of which is part of the application. Publications from the applicant’s Master’s degree dissertation especially in the area of genomics will be an advantage.

  • Student motivation
    This is assessed through evidence of the applicant’s commitment to the proposed course as well as evaluation of the personal statement and the referees’ reports.

How to Apply:

The applicant should submit the following documents in a single PDF file:

  • Statement of interest from the applicant indicating academic qualifications, research interests, his/her suitability to work with the NCD-GHS and career goals (one paragraph for each criterion). Additional information on past research projects, on-campus or off-campus activities and accomplishments that would aid the Committee in reaching its decision can also be included (max. 2 pages)
  • CV of the applicant
  • Research proposal summary in either genetic epidemiology or molecular genetics of any of the NCDs highlighted above (max. 4 pages)
  • Letter of support from the department chair or faculty supervisor of the applicant stating the student’s academic qualifications and accomplishments, career goals, and reasons for selecting the candidate (max. 2 pages)

Applications are now open. Deadline for applications is August 15th, 2021. For enquiries, please send email to hello@actginitiative.com

ACTG Academic Scholarship
Application Form