African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) Fellowship Program 2018

The African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) Fellowship 2018 is now open for applications. APTI fellows will train in a global health research area, while building bridges and lasting connections between the partner organizations and African scientists and institutions.

African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) Fellowship Program

The APTI Fellowship program is a partnership of the African Academy of Sciences, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Training will be at a world class institute, the intramural laboratories of NIH.

While at the NIH, the fellows must be on leave or sabbatical from their home institution under the NIH Intramural Visiting Fellow Program. The research priority areas are in infectious diseases, nutrition, and reproductive, maternal, and child health and developing skills for clinical and translational research.


APTI fellows will be expected to lead important research programs in their home countries and institutions. After successful completion of the two-year postdoctoral fellowship, trainees will be provided with 50% salary support for an additional two years to assist their transition into independent researchers.

The main objective of APTI is to train a cadre of African scientists so they return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, help solve Africa’s challenges in global health and development, and in turn become trainers of the next generation. A key ingredient is a focus on the home institutions. As such, APTI expects commitment from home institutions to provide a conducive research environment and dedicated research time for the fellows upon their return home. APTI fellows are expected to be a part of an African regional and global web of collaborations connecting to their home institutions. APTI fellows will be linked to an existing African and global scientific networks and are expected to nurture these scientific collaborations and relationships.


  • Must be citizens of and currently employed in an academic, research, or government position in an African country.
  • Must have a relevant doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, MD, MBBS) awarded no more than 15 years earlier.
  • Must have less than 5 years of relevant research experience by their entry on duty date at NIH.

Selection criteria:

  • Professional merit, scientific ability, and potential future career impact (based on CV, letter of interest, and two reference letters).
  • Assurance and availability of resources from the home institution for a designated, funded research position for the postdoc upon completion of their fellowship (expressed in letter from director/head of research of home institution).
  • Commitment to return to their home country following completion of training (expressed in a letter of interest).
  • A selection committee will ensure the best match of outstanding candidates and NIH laboratory positions. Additional selection factors may include diversity in scientific research areas, geographic origin, and gender.


  • The application must be written in English and completed online.
  • Accompanying documents
    • Candidate letter of interest expressing:
      • Research interest(s),
      • Long-term professional goals
      • Commitment to return to position in African home institution after completion of two-year fellowship at NIH.
    • Two (2) professional letters of recommendation
    • Letter of support from African home institution to express: ▪ Interest in collaboration with an NIH intramural laboratory
      • Intention to grant unpaid leave or sabbatical to candidate to pursue research at the NIH for two years
      • Intention to provide a fulltime position with at least 50% protected time for research (funded by APTI) for two years upon return to their home institution

Download Sample Application Form

Final selection: June 1, 2018. APTI fellows must be prepared to begin their fellowship at NIH no later than September 30, 2018.


For more information, visit APTI Fellowship.

Application Deadline

May 11, 2018

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