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HomeGrants & ProgrammesApplication is now open for The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA 2023 for brilliant African...

Application is now open for The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA 2023 for brilliant African Researchers


The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund calls on African researchers to apply for their Grant opportunity to foster collaborative research between Cambridge and African institutions, contributing to knowledge exchange and impactful discoveries. This will help researchers build meaningful research partnerships and networks.

About  the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund
The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund was created in 2012 with support from The ALBORADA Trust. This fund helps researchers from the University of Cambridge and African institutions collaborate on research projects. The fund is open to researchers at the post-doctoral level and above, and it covers various academic fields. So far, they have given out 300 awards, allowing Cambridge researchers to work with colleagues from 34 different African countries.

Some recipients of these awards have used their initial findings from the research collaborations to apply for and receive additional funding from organizations like the Royal Society/Leverhulme Awards and the Global Challenges Research Fund. In this 2023 round, they are also considering applications from North Africa. You can register your interest with

Funding information

  • The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund provides funding through a competitive process. The grants awarded range from £1,000 to £20,000 and can be used for various purposes such as:
  • Research costs: This includes expenses related to conducting research, such as purchasing reagents, conducting fieldwork, or acquiring the necessary equipment.
  • Research-related travel: The fund considers the feasibility of travel due to COVID restrictions, but it supports travel between Cambridge and African countries for research purposes. This can cover expenses like transportation, accommodation, and other related costs.
  • Research training activities: This fund also supports initiatives aimed at conducting research training activities in Africa. It also involves setting up courses or workshops to enhance research skills and knowledge.
  • Kindly know that the fund does not provide financial support for overheads or administration costs. As the awards are of a small scale, they do not cover the salaries of principal investigators (PIs) either. Additionally, the fund does not support conference registration and attendance expenses. If you have any inquiries regarding eligible costs, please reach out to
  • Eligibility
  • The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund encourages research, training, and engagement between Cambridge and sub-Saharan Africa. Both Cambridge and sub-Saharan African applicants collaborate and co-create projects. It is essential that the funding is not used for one institution to provide services on behalf of the other, but rather to demonstrate genuine collaboration in the application.
  • The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund serves as a seed fund and catalyst for new research initiatives and joint funding applications. Priority is given to applications that establish new partnerships or enhance existing ones, with the potential for long-term collaboration. The projects should ideally strengthen the research capacity of the African researcher and/or the African research institution or university.
  • To be eligible for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund, both applicants must hold a post-doctoral level position or higher. Their application should be supported by their Head of Department or equivalent. Additionally, both applicants should have a formal affiliation with a research group, department, or faculty at their home institution. It is expected that both applicants remain employed beyond the end date of their ALBORADA awards. The fund does not specifically support post-graduate students, but limited support for students may be considered if it can enhance the relationship between Cambridge and African Principal Investigators (PIs).
  • To be eligible for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund, the Cambridge applicant must be affiliated with the University of Cambridge or a Research Institute associated with the University. Previous successful Cambridge applicants have come from institutions such as the Wellcome-Trust Sanger Institute, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), and the British Antarctic Survey. The Cambridge applicants will act as the lead applicants for administrative purposes since the awarded funds are paid to their respective Cambridge Departments, Faculties, or Institutes.
  • The African applicant must be working or studying at a research institution or university in a sub-Saharan African country.
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Applications should fit into one of the following five research-related categories, and funding should typically fall within the indicated standard limits. However, requests exceeding these limits may be considered if strong justification is provided. If you have exceptional requests, contact before submitting your application. Also, know that you cannot submit applications for the same project under multiple categories. For example, if you have a science research project, it should include required travel and equipment costs within the £20,000 limit.

Please consider whether the required services, such as sequencing, are available either within the applicant’s country or elsewhere on the African continent.

Category 1. Travel Award (Cambridge/Africa or Africa/Cambridge)
Standard limit:  £3,000

Category 2. Support for a workshop or research training course in Africa
Standard limit: £5,000
Exceptions: Up to £10,000

Category 3. Equipment
Standard limit: £20,000

Category 4. Research project (Social Sciences)
Standard limit: £6,000

Category 5. Research project (Science)
Standard limit: £20,000

All equipment purchased using the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund must be intended for use within Africa and must be retained by the collaborating African partner institution or university once the project is concluded.

For projects in the field of social sciences that typically have lower costs, a lower funding limit is established. However, if there is a strong justification for a higher budget requirement, it may be considered and exceeded on a case-by-case basis.


  • To apply for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund, both applicants need to register and complete an online application form, which can be found on the CambridgeAfrica website. The final submission should include the following documents:
  • The case for support and a lay summary: This document should outline the purpose, objectives, and significance of the research project in a detailed manner. Additionally, a lay summary should be provided, which presents the research in clear and accessible language for non-specialist readers.
  • Itemized budget: You are required to provide a detailed breakdown of the budget for the project.
  • Letter of support from the department/faculty of the Cambridge PI: The Cambridge PI needs to obtain a letter of support from their respective department or faculty. For the Department of Engineering, a letter of support from the Head of Division is required.
  • Letter of support from the department/institution of the African PI: The African PI needs to obtain a letter of support from their department or institution endorsing the research project.
  • A maximum of 2 pages CV for both the Cambridge and Africa PI. These CVs should highlight the qualifications, research experience, and relevant achievements of the respective PIs.
  • Additionally, you will need to provide the details of two suggested referees who have no conflicts of interest with the project or investigators. The referees should not be from the same department as the applicants.
  • Ensure that all required documents are included in the final submission of your application.
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How to apply

  • The online application form has been designed to allow both applicants (Cambridge- and Africa-based) to log in, update, save, and eventually submit electronically.
  • To access the form, the Cambridge-based applicant must Register Here. If you have already registered, please Log In to access the form.
  • Only applicants with,,,, and email addresses can register.
  • The Cambridge-based applicant must then log in to the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund application form, where they will see the words “Invite a 2nd applicant to view/edit this submission”. Click on the link in order to invite the Africa-based applicant to register and edit the forms.
  • If you are eligible to apply but are unable to register on the page above, then please contact


Research conduct and standards

It is mandatory that all research activities and equipment transfers comply with the national laws, institutional policies, and guidelines of both the University of Cambridge and the African institution involved in the project. This includes adhering to the import and export laws of both the United Kingdom (UK) and the African country.

It is crucial to ensure that all research activities are conducted in accordance with the relevant regulations and ethical considerations to maintain compliance and uphold the integrity of the project.

For research projects in the field of health that involve humans, their tissue, and/or data, additional guidance is available. The link for the requirements and guidelines for the projects is below.

All projects should consider:
Ethics and sensitive data 
Material transfer
• Transport of scientific materials
Other safety considerations and codes of practice 


Returning recipients
Returning recipients of the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund may request additional support in the following circumstances:

Supporting courses and workshops in Africa: Funding may be considered for previously funded courses and workshops in Africa, as well as for new ones. Applicants must provide justification, including evidence that they have sought other sources of funding and plans for future funding sustainability. Additionally, they should have submitted a report(s) for the previous funding received.

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Funding for research: Returning recipients can request funding for research-related expenses such as reagents, equipment, or travel. This funding can be for a collaboration with either the previous collaborator or a new collaborator, but it should be for a new project. Similarly, report(s) should have been submitted for the previous funding received.

Pre and post-award administration

Awards will be handled by the Department/Faculty of the Cambridge-based principal investigator (PI). It is required to designate a staff member within this department/faculty who will be responsible for the administration of the grant. In the application form, the applicant must provide the name of this staff member and confirm that prior discussions have taken place with them.

successful applicants will be provided with an award letter. This letter should be signed by the Cambridge-based PI and returned as confirmation of acceptance. Additionally, if necessary, a research collaboration agreement may be provided. This agreement must be executed by the delegated legal authority at the partner institution before any funds are transferred. See Templates.

Please note that the collaboration agreements/side award letters are not negotiable.

Upon receipt of signed Award and Collaboration Agreement Letters, the Research Operations Office at Cambridge University will activate the awards and assign a project number. The Cambridge University Department is expected to provide an advance portion of the funds to the collaborating institution upon execution of the collaboration agreement.

The collaborating institution must acknowledge the receipt of equipment purchased with the Fund. In the final report, the collaborating institution should also acknowledge the equipment receipt, and the administering Cambridge department will reconcile the expenditure against the advance provided.

Research conduct and standards

All research and equipment transfers must be in accordance with national laws and institutional policies and guidelines. This includes the policies of both the University of Cambridge and the African Institution and the import and export laws of both the UK and the African country.

For health-related research projects which involve humans, their tissue, and/or data click here for guidance.

All projects should consider:
• Ethics and sensitive data
• Material transfer
• Transport of scientific materials
• Other safety considerations and codes of practice

The deadline to submit an application for the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Funding is Monday 4th September 2023.

Timelines for the 2023 Call

5th June 2023 Applications open
4th September 2023 Applications close
September-October 2023 Referees contacted
Further information may be requested from applicants by the Panel
End of October 2023 Application outcomes confirmed


Types of opportunity: Grant
Deadline: 4 September
Worth: £1,000 to £20,000
Organizer: Cambridge-Africa
Country: Sub-Saharan Africa

Any queries should be sent to
For more information visit Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund Cambridge-Africa

You can also watch videos about their programs at

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