CIRCLE celebrates the success of its Institutional Strengthening Programme

CIRCLE celebrates the success of its Institutional Strengthening Programme

Published on 15 November 2018

Last month, representatives from 20 higher education institutions across sub-Saharan Africa came together in Accra, Ghana, to celebrate the success of the CIRCLE Institutional Strengthening Programme (ISP).

Bringing together institutional champions who participated in the ISP programme, along with CIRCLE Visiting Fellowship alumni, the workshop showcased how participating institutions are improving support for their early careers researchers (ECRs) working in the field of climate change.

Throughout the workshop, institutional champions detailed their successes, such as Professor Philippa Ojimelukwe from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, who shared how she has introduced a formal mentoring programme, while Professor Maria Tsvere from Chinhoyi University of Technology described how she has improved support beyond her academic department. Vitae – a partner in the CIRCLE programme – provided tailored support and advice throughout.

CIRCLE ISP workshop 2018

Since CIRCLE began in 2015, the ISP has improved career and professional development opportunities at institutions involved in the programme. Crucially, the programme has created a network of climate change researchers and staff who are working together to address the support needs of ECRs, boosting the input African academics have on climate change research.

What's next for the programme?

Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that the CIRCLE network is maintained long after the programme ends in March 2019. To help achieve this, CIRCLE is funding a series of case study visits, where each institution sends a representative to visit another participating institution, encouraging knowledge sharing and further developing relationships between universities engaged in climate change research across sub-Saharan Africa.

Reports from these case study visits will feed into a series of good practice guides, developed in partnership with Vitae, which can be used by any institution to help them design and develop their own ISP. This will ensure these valuable approaches to building support for ECRs can be shared and expanded by any institution outside the network.

To further explore the impact of the CIRCLE programme, the programme team will be collecting data on climate research outputs and researcher networking. Read the latest reports here.

More information

CIRCLE is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The programme comprises two core activities: a series of fellowships and the Institutional Strengthening Programme – read more here.

Find out more about the ISP workshop over on the CIRCLE blog

For all further enquiries, please email verity.buckley@acu.ac.uk