Institutional strengthening programme

Institutional strengthening programme

The institutional strengthening programme (ISP) will run alongside the fellowship programme with the objective of helping to create a more enabling environment for returning fellows within their home institutions and thereby enhance the long-term impact of the programme.

Experience from existing international postgraduate scholarship and fellowship schemes indicates that where a returning scholar or fellow works in an academic role, the long-term impact of the scholarship or fellowship is in large part determined by the institutional context in which the scholar or fellow works. After completing such a period in another country, many African academics struggle to establish successful research careers on their return to organisations that, for a wide variety of reasons, either constrain or do not adequately support their career development.

The purpose of this element of the programme is to enhance the potential of the CIRCLE fellows to capitalise on the experience gained during the fellowship and to build a successful research career, thereby helping to secure the long-term contribution of African Scientists to the body of knowledge on climate impacts.

The institutional strengthening programme will have two main strands:

  • Enhancing professional development support for early career academic staff.
  • Developing a stronger institutional framework for supporting research, both in general and with reference to climate change.

Activity will proceed in two phases:

  1. Undertaking in-depth institutional needs analyses with each of the participating institutions.
  2. Capacity strengthening activities designed to respond to common needs and challenges identified in phase 1.

Active participation in the institutional capacity strengthening programme will be a condition of involvement in the CIRCLE programme for home/nominating institutions. Host institutions that are not also nominating will also be invited to participate, but this will not be compulsory.

Training and bespoke support to strengthen early career research support within the participating institutions will be provided by Vitae, an international programme focused on enhancing the professional and career development opportunities for researchers.

Circle Logo


ACUAfrican Academy of Sciences UK AID - Department for International Development

Related content