September 28, 2021
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CANTAM 3 Virtual Steering Committee Meeting

COVID-19 pandemic and its global restrictions led the CANTAM Steering Committee (SC) to switch the planned first face-to-face SC into a virtual session.

The determination and engagement of the team generated a very fruitful and enjoyable meeting.

We all reviewed the activities already undertaken within the framework of CANTAM3 (Official start date- 01 July 2021) and clarify the roadmap for the next months ahead.

The different partners institutions will meet again soon to analyse and proceed with activities as best as possible to keep the network of excellence the flag bearer in central Africa.

The Gender Capacity building in Clinical Research for Female Scientist in Central Africa (WISE) is a project under the Central Africa Regional Network on Clinical Research (CANTAM), which is an EDCTP-funded network of excellence. The main aim of WISE is to meet the following objectives in order to address several discipline gaps in the Central African region:


  • To increase the number of skilled female PhD and Masters candidates in clinical research in Central Africa
  • To increase research capacity of women in clinical research in diverse disciplines with an emphasis on immunology for an efficient outbreak response in Central Africa countries
  • To generate missing data on COVID-19 infection in Central Africa countries
  • 4) To promote science and female scientists in all Central Africa countries by stimulating interested in sciences within the next generation of learners.

  • Female applications are strongly encouraged.

    The current health crisis due to COVID19 pandemic highlighted deficiencies of African health systems in managing outbreaks and the crucial need for a pool of skilled female Ph.D. scientists in clinical research in collaboration with the Ministries of Public Health, as well as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa.

    With funding from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), WISE- CANTAM project will conduct a multidisciplinary PhD training programme to equip up to seven female scientists from under-represented countries in the Central Africa region with skills and knowledge in infectious diseases research.

    The PhD Programme

    This WISE PhD programme will be delivered by five partners from CANTAM including Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale - Republic of Congo (FCRM), University of Yaoundé-1 Cameroon (UY1), Université des Sciences de la Santé - Gabon (USS), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen Germany, and Acadiemisch Ziekenhuis Leiden - Netherlands (LUMC). At the end of the four-year period, CANTAM expects to have new research groups led by female WISE PhD fellows s established in Cameroon, Republic of Congo (RoC), Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This PhD programme will focus on: immunology, infectious diseases, non-Communicable diseases, Epidemiology and clinical research.

    Each track will have one PhD fellow, an MSc student attached to a PhD fellow and will be delivered by one of the partner institutions. It is highly recommended that the research projects focus on emerging diseases, especially COVID-19 as limited data is available for the region.

    The programme will include specific courses prescribed by the enrolling Universities including cross-cutting courses in bioethics, research methodology, and data sharing which will be coordinated through CANTAM. In addition, each PhD candidate will be required to develop a research proposal, conduct her research and publish at least three manuscripts in peer reviewed journals in addition to a PhD thesis. The requirement for three manuscripts will be a minimum requirement regardless of the normal practice of the enrolling university. Each fellow shall train and co-supervise an MSc student under her research project and shall collaborate with a team of experts across CANTAM in many activities which also includes attending networking meetings in the region and networking with other PhD fellows from other EDCTP networks of excellence.

    Selected candidates will register at universities within the Central Africa region and will be required to sign a WISE fellowship agreement expressing commitment to undertake and complete the training.

    Duration of training

    The PhD fellowship will be for three years with a possible six-month extension. Successful PhD candidates will be awarded a €75,000.00 grant. Research costs, travel allowance, essential equipment such as laptops, maternity cover and other justifiable eligible expenditures will be included in the grant.

    Eligibility Criteria

    This programme is open to female candidates from all Central African countries especially those with less established institutions within CANTAM. Central African countries under-represented in previous EDCTP funding and/or are disadvantaged due to political conflicts, will be prioritized. Candidates from Chad, Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), are encouraged to apply.

    Applications from disadvantaged groups within the society in the region such as people with physical disabilities are also encouraged. Pregnancy should not be a limitation to apply. Candidates will be selected based on the strength of their academic background and track record in research verifiable through documents like certificates, letters of support, documentation of the candidates experience in research, evidence of at least one research publication, etc.

    How to apply

    Applications must be submitted to the secretariat of the CANTAM selection committee via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , copying This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    The Application package should contain the following:

  • A motivational statement of not more than 300 words indicating the professional development plan of the applicant during and after PhD studies.
  • One page concept notes of the proposed PhD research project. Projects focusing on emerging diseases such as COVID-19 are encouraged.
  • A recent CV indicating previous and/or current employer(s) and position(s) held, as well as a list of peer reviewed publications (if any). Maximum of 2 pages.
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts and relevant certificates
  • Supporting letters from two professional referees, together with their telephone numbers, institutional addresses and e-mail addresses.
  • Daytime contact details of the applicant including email, and telephone contacts.

  • Closing date for receipt of applications is 5:00pm (WAT) on Tuesday 30th September, 2021

    NB : The selection of candidates will involve a 2-step process that will be based on review of motivational statement and assessment of the PhD concept note. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for virtual or face-to-face interviews if conditions allow.Final award of scholarship to selected candidates will be subject to successful university registration for the PhD by November 2021.

    CANTAM institutions :

  • University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon
  • University of Buea, Cameroon
  • Centre de Recherche sur les Filarioses et autres Maladies Tropicales (CRFiLMT), Cameroon
  • Unite De Pharmacologie Clinique et Pharmacovigilance, University of Kinshasa (UPC-PV), Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
  • Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL), Gabon
  • Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon
  • La Faculté de Médecine Universite des Sciences de la Santé (DPM-USS-LIBREVILLE), Gabon
  • HerpeZ Limited (HerpeZ), Zambia
  • Academisch Medisch Centrum, Netherlands
  • University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
  • 12. Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen , Germany
  • Call budget: € 400 000
    Funding level: 100% of eligible costs
    Open date: 1 September 2021, 17:00 CAT
    Close date: 30 October 2021, 17:00 CAT
    Starting date for the selected applicant: between 01 January and 30 March 2022

    One-stage application procedure:

    The purpose of this Call for Proposals for CANTAM Career Development Fellowships (CDF) for Research within Central Africa is to support up to 4 Emerging Career Researchers (ECR) and key trainees, preferably from the previous CANTAM program or otherwise (wishing to establish in central Africa and collaborate with one or multiple CANTAM PIs). This funding is geared towards the conduct of post-­‐ doctoral research on poverty‐related diseases (PRDs) and re-emerging diseases with focus on COVID-19 in the home country of CDFs in collaboration with one or multiple institutions in which CANTAM PIs are based. The aim of the collaboration is to acquire specific skills in clinical research and development and get adequate mentoring that will guarantee success.



    The Central Africa Clinical Research Network (CANTAM) was established in January 2009 for strengthening/developing capacities for the conduct of clinical trials on poverty related diseases in Central Africa. The network is currently made up of 12 institutions, 9 in Africa (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, DRC and Zambia) and 3 in Europe (Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom).

    Over the past three years, CANTAM significantly strengthen its clinical research capacities, with the first multicenter clinical trial on malaria conducted successfully, the large number of trainees and high level impact factor publications, as well as more emphasis on gender balance in research. The success of CANTAM activities led to further funding by the European Union (EU) through EDCTP.

    For this third phase, the network envisage to support more young scientists in development of their career in the science field by attributing four (4) post-doctoral research grant. In this case, four countries within the Central Africa network (Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Republic of Congo) will be awarded at least one Career Development Fellowship (CDF) with the objective to support four post-­‐doctoral researchers / Emerging Career Research(ECR) fellow and key members of clinical trial research teams from Cameroon, Gabon, DRC, and Republic of Congo to establish their research within their home institutions. While preference will be given to CANTAM trainees, the scope of this scheme will also include ECR fellows who have acquired a PhD and/or post-doctoral training and wish to establish their research these Central Africa sub-region, and collaborating with a PI from any of the CANTAM institutions.

    The scheme targets early to mid‐career clinical researchers or staff (clinicians, pharmacists, medical statisticians, data managers, and other health researchers) who are employed by a legal institution in Cameroon, Gabon, DRC, or Republic of Congo, and who are currently working on activities in the scope of the EDCTP2 programme. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme. Grants awarded are not transferrable from one individual to another. Fellows must be committed to stay in their home organization for a minimum of two years after completion of the fellowship.

    Post doc/ Emerging Career Research fellowship

    Independent; can handle multiple projects training and supervision of students, writing manuscripts, proposals \ small grants, teaching activities, should be able to run lab independently; troubleshoot day to day activities, should have at least two publications in peer-reveiwedt journals (one first author), be recommended by earlier supervisors.

    Expected impact

    This CDF Call for Proposals will result in the development of additional human resources that will increase high quality research and development of required interventions against PRDs, epidemiology andCOVID-19 related topics in the target countries. Fellowships are expected to add significantly to the development of the best and most promising researchers from the Central Africa sub-region. Apart from serving to establish ECR in Central Africa, this scheme will strengthen collaboration between research institutions, clinical researchers and staff within CANTAM 3.


    Candidate must be from Central Africa Region. At the deadline for the submission of proposals, the fellow must:

  • Be holder of a PhD or medical graduate with clinical and/or research experience in infectious diseases.
  • Have been a researcher or clinical staff member employed for the last 3 months in an organization with a registered legal entity in the sub-region, conducting clinical research activities in the scope of the EDCTP2 programme.
  • Funding requested shall be for a minimum period of 12 months up to a maximum period of 36 months, followed by a two-­‐year research stay at the home institution with satisfactory research conduct.
  • The fellow must be a national or citizen, and resident in Cameroon, Gabon, DRC, or Republic of Congo.

  • Female applications are strongly encouraged.


    1. This is an intra‐network, country specific funding scheme and targets past trainees of the CANTAM Network. Preference will be given to applications from former CANTAM trainees from the network institutions. However, applications will be accepted from ECR willing to establish their research /lab in Cameroon, Gabon, DRC, or the Republic of Congo.
    2. In the EDCTP2 programme, “poverty-related diseases (PRDs)” include HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and the following neglected infectious diseases (NIDs): dengue/severe dengue; rabies; human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); Leishmaniases; cysticercosis/taeniasis; dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease); echinococcosise; foodborne trematodiases; lymphatic filariasis; onchocerciasis (river blindness); schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminthiases; Buruli ulcer; leprosy (Hansen disease); trachoma; yaws; diarrhoeal infections; lower respiratory infections; as well as emerging infectious diseases of particular relevance for Africa, such as Ebola, with the recent world pandemic COVID-19.

    3. Procedure and application process

    4. Full CV
    5. List of publications
    6. Title of the project
    7. Background (justification)
    8. Proposed study
    9. Analysis/statistics: methods
    10. Bibliography
    11. Project plans: milestones and deliverables
    12. Training activities
    13. Networking activities
    14. Budget
    15. 3 contacts (names, institution and phone number and email), serving as references for the applicant.
    16. Home organization has to show a strong support to candidate application for this grant.

    17. The full application must be submitted to the secretariat of the CANTAM selection committee via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , copying This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

      More information

      Award criteria

      CANTAM will be very careful in the selection process of individuals who are unstable and who are not in line with CANTAM vision to build local health research capacities. CANTAM will set up a selection committee for this award. The role of the selection committee will be crucial to advise the steering committee. The latter has to endorse the decision of the selection committee. The Selection committee will assess and score proposals against the following three criteria:


    18. Alignment with the scope and objectives of the EDCTP2 program and the CANTAM business plan.
    19. Importance, relevance and clarity of the objectives
    20. Reliability of the proposed approach.
    21. Suitability of the candidate, considering their track record, degree of independence and/or potential, and how the fellowship will further the individual’s career
    22. Quality of the project and it’s fit with the fellow’s expertise and career development plan, including acquired competencies and skills to be developed further through adequate mentoring.

    23. Impact: The evaluation committee will examine the expected impacts listed in the work plan under the relevant topic.

    24. Contribution to strengthening clinical research capacity in the target country’
    25. Contribution of the fellowship to the fellow’s clinical research skills and career development.
    26. Effectiveness of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate the project results (including management of IPR), to communicate the project, and to manage research data, where relevant
    27. Sustainability and retention of capacity post‐award.

    28. Quality and efficiency of the implementation

    29. Effectiveness and coherence of the proposed work, including appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources.
    30. Feasibility and appropriateness of the methods and project management to achieve the objectives within the timeframe of the grant.
    31. Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management, and how responsibilities for research data quality and sharing, and security will be met.
    32. Compliance with national and international standards of research, Good Clinical Practice, ethics and safety related issues.
    33. Complementarity of the participants within the consortium and gender balance among consortium members (when relevant).
    34. Participants have the operational capacity, to carry out the proposed work, based on the competence and experience of the individual participant(s).
    35. Suitability of the fellow’s home organization to support the fellowship project
    36. Intention of the fellow’s home organization to develop and commit to a career post-­‐fellowship or re-­‐integration plan.

    37. For full applications involving projects with human participants, and/or human tissues, cells or personal data, the evaluation process will include an assessment of ethical issues

    December 31, 2020
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    Regulatory capacity building in the Republic of Congo

    To foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines, for the benefit of public health, the Ministry in charge of health of the Republic of Congo has initiated a plan to strengthen the regulatory capacity of its Department of Pharmacy and Medicines implemented by its director, Dr Boniface OKOUYA.

    This process is based on a strong commitment to pharmaceutical reform for which the law will be promulgated shortly. It is in this momentum that the Directorate of Pharmacy and Medicines in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africlinique project, a regulatory capacity building project in Central Africa (funded by the European Union through EDCTP), will carry out a self-assessment of its pharmaceutical regulatory system using the Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) developed by the WHO.

    This self-assessment will allow the assessment of the level of maturity of pharmaceutical regulation in the country as well as the identification of gaps and the establishment of an institutional development plan.

    All parties are committed to an effective implementation of the improvement measures that will result from this assessment

    As part of its capacity building activities for regulatory authorities in Central Africa through the CANTAM and Africlinique projects, the FCRM participated from the 23rd to 24th October 2020 at the Cristal Hotel de Kintele, (north of Brazzaville) in developing a draft decree creating a national pharmacovigilance system in the Republic of Congo organised by the Directorate of Pharmacy and Medicines. This workshop aimed at:

    Updating the above-mentioned draft decree (developed since 2011), before its submission for signature to the Minister in charge of Public Health;

    Development of the national pharmacovigilance guide. The FCRM was represented by Mr Jolivet Mayela, in charge of the CANTAM and Africlinique projects

    Our junior CRFilMT researcher, Ms Linda DJUNE, made substantial findings in the fight against Soil Transmitted helminths

    December 31, 2020
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    Webinar on grant writing

    Webinar on grant writing, scientific writing and publication of articles in journals.

    The Central Africa Clinical Research Network (CANTAM), with the aim of improving the writing capacities of scientific publications and project proposals of scientists in the subregion organised two training webinars on :

    1. Writing of a scientific publication, led by Prof TP Velavan from the University of Tubingen (Germany) on July 09, 2020, with objective of learning and transferring to participants the necessary skills required for writing and publishing quality articles in peer reviewed journals.

    2. Project and grant writing webinar, led by Dr Sylvie Kwedi from University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon), from 29th to 30th October 2020 with the objectives of strengthening the writing capacities of scientists in the sub-region was a serious identified gap.

    These trainings brought together participants from all parts of Africa and beyond with an excellent feedback from these participants. Periodic sessions on these themes will henceforth be organised to better support scientists in the sub-region in particulared helminths

    December 31, 2020
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    Two days Webinar

    Two days Webinar for regulatory authorities and research ethics committees in Central Africa, 05th - 06th August 2020.

    As part of CANTAM activities (project to strengthen clinical research capacities in the Central African region) and also Africlinique (project to strengthen the capacity of regulatory authorities in Central Africa), FCRM organised a join event of two days ( 05th - 06th August 2020) webinar on theme: “Conditions of research conducted in preparation for or response to epidemics of infectious diseases”. This brought together regulatory authorities from Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, CAR, DRC and Chad. The participants presented the level of research regulations in their respective countries and brainstormed on the various challenges encountered in this season of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    December 31, 2020
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    Ethics training workshop

    The EDCTP networks of excellence project managers (Networks acting in the strengthening of capacities in clinical research in the four regions of Africa) participated from 10 to 14 February 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to training on the evaluation of procedures for evaluating scientific protocols by the Ethics Committees, organised by the Pan-African Bioethics Network (PABIN). This workshop, which focused on the development of Ethical review capacities and good research practices, was a practical case because it involved a real time evaluation of the ethics review procedures of scientific protocols from Armauer Hansen Research Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Central African network (CANTAM) was represented by the CANTAM project manager, Mr Jolivet MAYELA

    Jointly organized by EDCTP (The European and Developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa partnership on Clinical Trials), WHO-AFRO and the Republic of Congo. A Consultative Meeting for the Development of a Regional Strategy to Strengthen National Health Research Systems (NSS) in sub-Saharan Africa was held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo on 17-18 October 2019.

    The purpose and objective of this meeting was to review the results of NSS surveys in 2018 and to propose strategies to address the gaps and challenges identified by the NSS in the 2018 reports.

    The main expected outcome of the meeting is the development of a regional strategy to improve the results of the NSS barometer for Member States






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