Welcoming Katja Becker
(05.05.23) In a first step researchers were invited in 2021 to summarize their expertise and fields of interest in a poster. On the basis of these 154 submitted posters from Germany and Subsaharan-African countries, researchers were then able to identify potential cooperation partners and eventually submit a proposal for the Initiation of International Collaboration at the DFG.
The 22 approved research teams, with participation from 17 Subsaharan-African countries, were invited to participate at a two-day Status Workshop in Königswinter, near Bonn to present their cooperation progress, identify further pathways for their research and exchange ideas regarding the framework conditions for African-German Scientific Exchanges with the DFG.
The president of DFG Prof. Dr. Katja Becker welcomed the researchers and highlighted the increasing relevance of scientific collaborations with the African continent. A keynote lecture was given by Prof. Dr. Manuela de Allegri from the research unit on “Climate Change and Health in Subsaharan Africa” This research unit is a collaboration between researchers from Burkina Faso, Kenya and Germany and resulted from a strategic engagement in the field of Public Health by the DFG. Afterwards the 22 approved research teams presented their projects in four thematic blocks: One Health, Infectiology, Digital Technologies, Non-Communicable Diseases & Public Health, to identify synergies and discuss research questions.
A survey showed that the initiative had a positive impact on the researcher’s networks, and that especially the posterbooklet countered the challenges of Covid in a successful way. “Exciting”, “Inspiring” and “Eye-opening” were frequently used words of the researchers to describe the initiative and workshop.
As a result of the two-stage Call and the integrated Status Workshop new collaborations between African and German researchers could be initiated and more concrete project proposals developed. The DFG’S funding instruments are available for this purpose, in particular the “Individual Research Grants”. Through the funding module “Cooperation with Developing Countries” researchers in Germany can also apply for project funding for their cooperation partners in the African countries.