Scope and Objectives

Scope

The scientific scope of applications responsive to this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) should be broadly focused on using genomics and other cutting-edge approaches to understand how human genetic variation combined with environmental risk factors affect specific disease outcomes, exposures to specific disease, or impact other specific health-related traits in Africa. 

In this document, the term “genomics and other cutting-edge approaches” is used broadly and is intended to include approaches such as genetic epidemiology, phenotyping, biomarker development, pre-clinical research including the use of model organisms, and research on clinical utility, among others.  The term "environmental contributors" is also used broadly and includes physical, chemical, biological, behavioural, and social environmental factors, among others. 

It is envisaged that studies funded through the initiative will inform subsequent strategies to address the health inequities in both non-communicable (NCDs) and communicable diseases (CDs), leading to new approaches for public health benefits such as the use of precision medicine for Africans.

The scope for NCDs may include but is not limited to cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, neurological disorders, and others.  Research involving communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, ebola, lassa fever, and others of significant public health importance in Africa will be considered. Applications that explore the link between infectious disease and NCDs will also be considered.

Objectives and Purpose of the Call

In order to enhance the capacity for genomics and environmental health research, in Africa by African scientists, and to understand the genetic and environmental factors that determine disease susceptibility, H3Africa has four main objectives:

  • To support human genomics and genetics research that will not only generate important findings and discoveries relevant to human health but will also serve as a vehicle to improve the research capacity of African laboratories and provide research opportunities for young scientists at the institutions where the research is carried out.
  • To expand expertise and experience in genomics-based biomedical research and environmental epidemiology in Africa through research excellence, skills development and mentoring of the next generation of genomics researchers and enhanced collaborations with regional, national, and international partners.
  • To improve infrastructure including bioinformatics and biorepository capacity needed to support genomics-based and environmental research and associated data and sample sharing.
  • To cultivate a culture of community engagement within research projects across the consortium. Community engagement can include a variety of activities, such as broad consent for sharing of samples and data, recontact of research participants, return of results to individual participants, or other relevant topics.

The purpose of this FOA is to solicit applications for new H3Africa collaborative projects that aim to carry out research within the remit of the H3Africa initiative.