Fondation Botnar and Novartis Support EDCTP Fellowships on Child and Adolescent Health

May 6, 2020 4:00 AM ET
Press Release

May 6, 2020 /3BL Media/ - Fondation Botnar and Novartis will support research capacity development in sub-Saharan Africa within the framework of EDCTP’s 2020 Career Development Fellowships. Collectively, the two organisations will contribute up to a maximum of €2.25 million to the initial EDCTP call budget of €1.5 million. Their investments will support successful proposals to conduct research on child and adolescent health with a focus on the interaction between poverty-related infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. Proposals for the fellowships can be submitted until 5 August 2020.

These collaborations exemplify the value of strategic partnerships aimed to bridge critical research and capacity gaps. Through this joint venture, EDCTP is driving change towards creation and retention of a new generation of African scientists.’’

Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director


Fondation Botnar will contribute up to €1.5 million for proposals conducting research in the area of child and adolescent health and wellbeing. The foundation’s contribution aims to address the shortage of suitably trained early- to mid-career paediatric researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. Of interest are research proposals aimed at improving the wellbeing, including mental health and better nutrition, of adolescents affected by poverty-related infectious diseases, through the development, validation and/or implementation of new solutions. As a champion of harnessing emerging technologies for the wellbeing of young people, Fondation Botnar also strongly encourages applications aiming to utilise scalable and sustainable digital technologies such as artificial intelligence.

”We are pleased to co-fund the EDCTP Career Development Fellowships for future researchers, especially post-doctoral candidates, to further scientific research on child and adolescent health challenges. We see the call as an excellent opportunity to leverage emerging technologies to accelerate better health outcomes for young people around the world” – Aline Cossy-Gantner, Chief Learning Officer at Fondation Botnar

Novartis International AG has agreed to support at least five additional fellowships (to a maximum value of € 750,000) for proposals to conduct research in the area of maternal and child health with a focus on the interaction between poverty-related infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases including, for example, sickle cell disease. The contribution from Novartis aims to address a shortage of suitably trained mid-career researchers in sub-Saharan Africa working on maternal and child health in the context of a growing burden presented by infectious diseases, malnutrition, and child and maternal mortality, in combination with emerging challenges from non-communicable diseases.

“Strengthening healthcare systems is crucial for patients and a key objective for Novartis in sub-Saharan Africa. We are excited about contributing to this EDCTP initiative. The research fellowships will empower local experts to find solutions for the needs of two of the most vulnerable populations in the region: mothers and their children.”

                                                                        Racey Muchilwa, Head sub-Saharan Africa, Novartis

More information

EDCTP Career Development Fellowships

The objectives of the EDCTP Career Development Fellowship are to promote career progression, encourage entry and reintegration of African scientists trained abroad, and enable the retention of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. The fellowship grants will equip the fellows to establish themselves as independent researchers with the ability to initiate their own research teams at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately these grants aim to contribute to building a much-needed critical mass of researchers and institutional research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar is a Swiss-based foundation which champions the use of Artificial Intelligence and digital technology to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing urban environments. To achieve this, the foundation supports research, catalyses diverse partners, and invests in scalable solutions around the world. Find out more at:


Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at