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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Cambridge and Africa

As one of the world’s leading research-based multi-faculty universities, the University of Cambridge is committed to using its outstanding research capabilities and influence to support the development of African science.

Established in 2008, Cambridge-Africa is an umbrella programme at the University of Cambridge that comprises a range of proactive, coordinated, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary initiatives in Cambridge and Africa that help to strengthen research capacity and scholarship in African universities and research institutes.

Cambridge-Africa’s core aim is primarily achieved through the provision of training and mentorship for African researchers in Africa, and African PhD and postdoctoral fellowship visits to Cambridge. Cambridge-Africa also facilitates linking up between researchers in African and their colleagues in several Cambridge University Departments/Faculties/Schools, as well as key staff in Offices across the University of Cambridge (e.g. Research Operations, Development and Alumni Relations, External Affairs and Communications) to Africa, for sustainable, mutually-beneficial collaborations, networking, fundraising activities and communication. Other affiliated institutions such as the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Babraham Institute and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) are strongly involved in the programme.

Cambridge-Africa is directed by Professor David Dunne (Department of Pathology, CID), with support from Professor James Wood (Department of Veterinary Medicine, CID), and Dr Devon Curtis (Department of Politics and International Studies).

Initiatives of Cambridge Africa include THRiVE (Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa) and MUII (Makerere University-UVRI Infection and Immunity Research Training Programme), both sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.


Through these research capacity building programmes, Cambridge is making an important contribution to training African scientists in seven East African institutions (in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda) to tackle regional health problems and to develop their own regional centres of excellence for scientific education and training.

Central to these programmes is the principle of supporting African PhD and post-doctoral research on African priorities, in Africa. African researchers register for PhD and post-doctoral research fellowships in their home universities with local supervisors, but receive support in the form of mentorship and training from leading Cambridge researchers.

African fellows can spend up to one year of their research programmes in their Cambridge mentor’s laboratory. Supervisors or mentors from Cambridge and Africa take part in exchange visits to provide maximum support and mentorship. A Cambridge register of more than 95 world-class research groups is currently available to provide a wide range of mentorship expertise for African researchers.

This exceptional resource has been incorporated into a searchable and easily accessible website to provide African researchers and students with a menu of Cambridge expertise within clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, biological sciences, social sciences, mathematics, engineering and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. This expertise is being combined with taught courses and training modules to develop personal training portfolios for visiting MUII and THRiVE African Fellows. Both the THRiVE and MUII Pogrammes also provide expert visiting lecturers for neuroscience workshops and infection and immunology courses in Uganda, respectively.