African Early Career Researchers Meeting | Tabitha Amollo

FAR-LeaF fellow Dr Tabitha Amollo of Kenya recently participated in the African Early Career Researchers Meeting (AECRM) at the University of Pretoria.

The UP Department of Research and Innovation coordinated the four-day interactive meeting. It brought together 80 postdoctoral and early career researchers to work with senior academic mentors and skills development consultants. The participant postdoctoral fellows were drawn from the 13 current African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centres of Excellence and post-PhD development projects on the continent supported by the Carnegie Corporation New York (CCNY).

Dr Amollo is a lecturer in the department of physics, Faculty of Science at Egerton University. She holds a PhD in Physics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and specialises in solid-state physics and materials sciences. She is developing cutting-edge solar energy conversion nanomaterials to fabricate a solar-driven refrigeration system for her FAR-Leaf research.

Her energy devices – solar cells and thermoelectric power generators – are built from graphene and germanium quantum dots-based nanomaterials. The devices will revolutionise sustainable energy in the health and agricultural sectors, contributing to the achievement of accessible, portable, reliable, and clean energy sources in Africa. She aims to increase environmental and food security by getting Africa powered through renewable energy sources.

While carving a niche for herself through innovative scientific research that translates into alleviating societal challenges, Dr Amollo mentors the youth, especially the girlchild, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She is involved in transdisciplinary innovative scientific research that solves problems facing Africa – and explicitly translates research outcomes to society.

The devices will revolutionise sustainable energy in the health and agricultural sectors, contributing to the achievement of accessible, portable, reliable, and clean energy sources in Africa.


The AECRM was an experiential learning exercise structured around developing a mock research concept note for a collaborative, transdisciplinary research project within a broad thematic area.

The AECRM seek to leverage the networks developed via the African CCNY-funded postdoctoral programmes to create a platform for peer learning and to facilitate the establishment of collaborative research, capacity building and networking opportunities. It has also been scheduled to coincide with the launch of the Peer-Learning for Emerging Researchers’ Knowledge and Advancement (PERKA)-guidelines for designing impactful post-PhD support programmes in Africa early in December as part of the Science Granting Councils Initiatives series of side events to the World Science Forum.

This exercise aimed to offer the early career research participants the opportunity to work through the process of developing team-based, thematic, problem-focused research concept notes — from problem conceptualisation and research design to research communication and policy engagement.

Heidi Sonnekus | FAR-LeaF Program

 

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.