Funding Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) call for proposals.

The purpose of this call is to support collaborative projects that aim to conduct research within the remit of the Human Heredity and Health (H3Africa) Initiative.




In 2012, the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Wellcome Trust, and the African Society of Human Genetics launched the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Initiative (H3Africa). Recognising that African researchers and populations have been, and still are, substantially underrepresented in genomics and environmental research and disproportionately affected by some environmental exposures,

H3Africa is designed to provide new opportunities for African scientists to lead research on the genetic and environmental contributors to health and diseases of importance to Africa through the use of genomics and other cutting-edge approaches.

For further background on the origin and development of H3Africa, see the article “Research Capacity: Enabling the Genomic Revolution in Africa” Science (2014) 344: 1346-1348, and the H3Africa website.

In October 2016, the Wellcome Trust announced it is shifting the centre of gravity of its funding for African science from the UK to the African continent itself.  Accordingly, the Wellcome Trust awarded the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) a grant to be managed and delivered through the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

AESA was launched in 2015 as an initiative of AAS and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency with the support of the Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

AESA ‘s mission is to drive Africa’s research and development agenda and build scientific capacity across the continent.  AESA seeks to achieve this mission by pursuing the following strategic goals:

1. Targeting critical gaps in the research landscape

2. Building R&D environments that support a vibrant research culture and leadership development over the long-term

3. Supporting the development of an innovative and entrepreneurial culture

4. Identifying and supporting rising research leaders to stay and build their careers in Africa.

Wellcome has made a £9m grant to AESA to run a second phase of the programme in partnership with the US National Institutes of Health. (NIH). The NIH will manage their awards, while AESA will be responsible for the delivery of the Wellcome Trust component of Phase II awards for the H3Africa initiative and will manage the H3Africa consortium in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and the NIH. In addition, AESA has entered into a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as part of the Africa NCD Open Lab initiative, where additional funding will be made available to fund projects aligned to the Open Lab’s objectives.

H3Africa is organised as a research consortium that brings participants together in a highly collaborative and synergistic effort.  The H3Africa Consortium includes all participants of research and infrastructure projects funded through H3Africa, as well as responsible Wellcome Trust and NIH staff. 

Groups funded under this initiative will be expected to participate in the H3Africa Research Consortium and to collaborate effectively with each other to maximise the chances of overall success of the programme. 

Each funded applicant is expected to participate directly or via proxy in consortium working groups that establish rules, guidelines, and resources for the Consortium (a list of H3Africa Working Groups can be found here).

Thus far the Collaborative Research Consortium has developed a number of overall policies and guidelines (see 

All applicants are expected to recognise and adopt these policies and AAS grant conditions and policies for those funded through AESA (or else provide justification why a particular policy cannot be followed). 

In addition, the Principal Investigator(s) are active members of the H3Africa Steering Committee, which meets regularly by teleconference. The H3Africa Consortium generally holds two meetings per year, usually in Africa.

The African Society of Human Genetics will participate as a non-funding partner.