Call for Proposals – Excellence in Africa Junior Faculty Development Project

Excellence in Africa Junior Fcaulty Development Project

EPFL is one of the world’s top institutes of technology and Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It welcomes students, professors, and collaborators from more than 120 countries.

EPFL is a public institution endowed with three missions: teaching, research, and innovation. EPFL collaborates with an important network of partners, including other universities, secondary schools, and high schools, industry and the economy, political actors, and the general public, with the aim of having a real impact on society on both a national and a global level.


The Junior Faculty Development program is the cornerstone of the Excellence in Africa initiative.

It is designed to bring together talented and highly educated early-stage professors in Africa with professors at EPFL striving for common goals: scientific excellence, the promotion of knowledge, and the wish to have a positive societal impact in Africa.

The program is based on the creation of tandems, each composed of an early-stage professor already employed, or tangibly due to be hired by an African higher education or research institution (host institution), and an EPFL professor working with them for a period of 4 to 5 years.

Africa-based early-stage professors will complete a secondment in the laboratory of the EPFL professor. This secondment will involve several stays of up to 12 months in total. Africa-based early-stage professors will implement the research project funded by this program at their host institution in Africa, working closely with their EPFL co-applicant for the full duration of the project.

The Junior Faculty Development program will thus lay the ground for the launch of the scientific career of young promising professors in Africa, in a potentially lasting scientific collaboration with EPFL.

Call for proposals

The first call for proposals is now open for projects within all current domains of scientific or technological research activity at EPFL to be submitted by early-stage researchers currently or soon to be working as professors at a higher education or research institution in Africa. Applications must be received before the deadline of 15th April 2020 (17:00 CET) (extended from 31st March 2020). Female applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.

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Eligibility and requirements

  1. Citizens of any nationality may apply to the Junior Faculty Development program; they may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application but must be employed during the project by a higher education or research institution in Africa.
  • Applicants must hold a doctorate (PhD) from a recognized higher education institution,

and the PhD must have been awarded between 1st January 2011 and 31st March 2020 (inclusive).1

  • Applicants must have an outstanding and proven track record of activity and publication in their research field and be qualified to independently conduct the proposed research project and supervise doctoral theses.
  • Applicants must already be employed or due to be hired by a higher education or research institution (host institution) in an African country before the start of the project.
  • The African host institution must provide appropriate conditions for granted applicants to independently conduct research and manage funding.
  • During the project, granted applicants must remain employed by the African host institution at a 100% rate for the full duration of the program (4 to 5 years).
  • Successful applicants must spend at least 60% of their working time on research.

Eligible costs

The Junior Faculty Development program awards funding to outstanding researchers looking to set up or consolidate their own independent research team, laboratory, or project.

The program awards funding for a period of a minimum of 48 months to a maximum of 60 months. The maximum total amount that can be granted to each project across all beneficiaries is 720’000 Swiss Francs (approximately 650’000 Euro).

How to apply

The application and evaluation process includes two stages.

Stage 1 consists of a preselection of Junior Faculty applicants, based on an application prepared by them with the support of their host institution. Once applicants are shortlisted, the EPFL office will look for a match with an EPFL professor. If a match is found, candidates will be admitted to Stage

  • Please note that candidates are not to contact EPFL professors before or during this stage of the process: identification of, and any discussion with, EPFL professors is to be done only by the EPFL office before the start of Stage 2 in the application process.

Stage 2 consists of the submission of a full research proposal describing the collaborative project and authored by the shortlisted Junior Faculty applicant and an EPFL professor identified at the end of Stage 1.

Applicants must submit their initial application (Stage 1) via the on-line submission platform before the submission deadline of 15th April 2020 (17:00 CET) (extended from 31st March 2020).

For information contact: [email protected] or the Excellence in Africa website.


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