North-South: Bridging the gap

North-South: We are building Research Networks to sustainably explore Africa's rich Bioresources

Research Awake Africa Initiative, in collaboration with the Jena School for Microbial Communication at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena is organizing the North–South Scientific Meeting on Natural Product Research come February 2023. This meeting creates an avenue for African young scientists who are active researchers, ranging from Physicists to Biochemists, to Microbiologists, to Molecular biologists, and a long list of other scientists interested in Natural Products Research to share their research and ideas with top-tier, accomplished, and well-established international professors and scientists cum stakeholders. This meeting is expected to result in collaborations, alliances, and partnerships in the form of research visits, access to facilities, and exchange of expertise or materials. It’s no news that the global south, particularly Africa to a large extent is dealing with the underdevelopment of research infrastructure and this, in turn, has resulted in the potential of its bioresources and biodiversity being underexplored. One purpose of this meeting is to create a collaborative environment where African bioresources can be characterized by state-of-the-art techniques and the research infrastructure of foreign partners. Not only are we keen on an exploration of bioresources, but we are also particular about their preservation. With the long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns alongside human activities that pose harm to the planet, bioresources and biodiversity are threatened. We are therefore asking questions on how to harness these resources and preserve them for the long run in Africa. This meeting presents the opportunity for these questions, to not only be answered but action be taken in line with the answers.

Eligibility: Who can Participate?

The meeting is a 3-day online event and is open to young, outstanding, passionate and driven scientists from Africa who already have their first degree and are working towards an advanced degree or already have one. Participants will be shortlisted through a competitive process based on merit. Interested applicants are expected to submit:

- An academic CV

- Certificates

- An extended abstract detailing the applicant's Research Project

- Motivation letter

(Outlining the importance of their project, the major milestones they have been able to cover, their prospective research plans, and how this event could better their research outcomes and help attain their project goals.)

Each application will be ranked with a points-based system. Points are obtained from the extended Abstracts, academic track record, Motivation Statement, and an interview where necessary. Not all candidates may be interviewed. Candidates may only be interviewed when necessary for additional information and/or clarification purposes. Preference will be given to women and people with disability of equal qualifications. A total of 40 participants will be shortlisted for the meeting. In the course of the event, participants will attend seminars and workshops where state-of-the-art techniques in Data mining for Bioinformatics, Chemical Structure Elucidation using NMR, and Function Prediction of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in Genomes and Metagenomes, as well as the strategies in applying for funding in the global north, will be taught.

All selected applicants must prepare for a poster presentation session and ensure access to, and availability of, a suitable device like a laptop or tablet as well as a good quality internet connection for the online event. Verifiable certificates of participation will be awarded at the end of the event.

Application begins 1st of November, 2022 and ends on the 31st of December, 2022.