FAR-LeaF is an Early Career Research Leadership Fellowship program focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, funded by the Carnegie Corporation in New York. In particular, the programme seeks to build a network of emerging African scientists who have the skills to apply transdisciplinary approaches and to collaborate to address complex challenges in the human well-being and environment nexus in Africa.

The Future Africa Campus will host 25 Early Career Researchers from across Africa as part of the Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) Program, at a week-long seminar during August. The seminar will present the FAR-LeaF Fellows with the opportunity to formally share their research, research experiences and challenges, to acquaint themselves with the University of Pretoria (UP) campus and services, and to meet with their UP mentors.

Program Director, Professor Stephanie Burton shares the value of the peer-to-peer experience. “It is great to see the levels of excitement about the upcoming seminar where the online faces will meet the FAR-LeaF team and each other in person. “Good relationships have already been established and we find that several online groups have formed to share experiences and help each other out regarding visas and travel arrangements.” Professor Burton is proud of the levels of communication that have been established with the Fellows who hails from 10 countries across the continent – this despite difficulties with connectivity. “We have designed a system enabling us to register the Fellows and to allow them access to University of Pretoria facilities, infrastructure, and support services."

FAR-LeaF fellows will also meet their research mentors for the first time. Every Fellow is paired up with a researcher from the University of Pretoria. The UP mentors are prepared to give guidance and wisdom beyond just the research, as the project supervisors reside at the fellows’ home institution. “The mentors are our way of giving the Fellows a connection to the University of Pretoria, someone to help them network in the UP community and guide them on a broader basis to stretch their reach. Our mentors are wise, experienced people that will guide the Fellows in building their careers and developing broader thinking.”

The FAR-LeaF program is all about sustainability, equity, well-being and the environment, and we have some cross-cutting presentations by experts who work in transdisciplinary fields. The seminar will include focused sessions on topics such as transdisciplinary research, leadership, ethics, and resilience.

“I am very excited about the range and quality of our presenters. One of the things we know about African researchers is that they tend to feel isolated – in part due to the size of the continent, in part due to weak communication systems. The seminar will create a space for the Fellows to build relationships and establish networks and develop them. The home institutions of these Fellows will also benefit from the experience, as the new cohort of research leaders are required to plough back their skills and experience."

“We are extremely fortunate to host them at the Future Africa Campus– this was exactly what the campus was intended for, and it makes for an excellent venue. Future Africa is a community, a hub, a meeting place – and the FAR-LeaF Fellows are an integral part of that.”

Future Africa is looking forward to welcoming and hosting them from the 8th to the 12th of August.


 

 

Prof Stephanie Burton

Prof Stephanie Burton

Research and Postgraduate Education
FAR-LeaF Program Director
University of Pretoria
South Africa

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“We are extremely fortunate to host them at the Future Africa Campus– this was exactly what the campus was intended for, and it makes for an excellent venue. Future Africa is a community, a hub, a meeting place – and the FAR-LeaF fellows are an integral part of that.”

 

 

The Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) is a fellowship programme, focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, to address the complex, inter-linked challenges of health, well-being, and environmental risks in Africa