Sickle Pan-African Research Consortium (SPARCo) Research Grant Fellowship

Applications are invited for research grant fellowships from the Sickle Pan-African Research Consortium (SPARCo), Kumasi-Ghana site, as part of the project supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the US National Institutes of Health.

A contributory aim of SPARCo is to build capacity in sickle cell disease research in project sites in Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. SPARCo-Kumasi Ghana invites proposals from candidates who are currently enrolled in postgraduate programs in any public or private higher learning institutions, faculty working in such institutions or other health and allied professionals (residents in training) for research fellowships that will contribute knowledge on SCD. Fellows are expected to conduct research that shall lead to at least one publication in the following priority areas as an output of the grant:


  2. Cohort studies describing spectrum of disease:
    1. Understand Hematology And Immunology of sickle cell disease (SCD) across the lifespan.
    1. SickleAGE: Understanding Anemia, Genomics and Erythropoiesis in sickle cell disease.
  3. Cohort studies to describe and identify factors associated with/modifying disease:
    1. Comparative studies of sickle cell disease (SCD) modifiers in Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania: Investigation of fetal hemoglobin parameters and clinical manifestation.
  • Newborn screening:
    • Newborn Screening (NBS) and Early Intervention for SCD in Africa.
    • What are the characteristics for successful newborn screening for Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa: Lessons from NBS for Sickle Cell Disease program in Ghana
    • Should NBS be done in pregnant women or newborns?
    • Should NBS be done at birth or at first immunization visit?
    • The most effective and innovative way that feedback of results can be done to improve enrolment in comprehensive care?
    • Can genetic counselling for primary prevention of SCD be done in Africa?
  • Prophylaxis against Pneumococcal Infections in sickle cell disease in Africa:
    • Frequency of use of pneumococcal vaccine and penicillin prophylaxis in sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa
    • What is the impact of penicillin prophylaxis in reducing infections?
    • Which pneumococcal vaccines are effective in Africa?
    • What is the appropriate administration of penicillin (oral, daily vs monthly, intramuscular?)
  • Hydroxyurea for sickle cell disease in Africa:
    • Utilizing Evidence-Based Strategies to Increase Hydroxyurea Uptake in Africa
    • Making Hydroxyurea Affordable for Sickle Cell Disease in Ghana
    • Developing a strategy to engage stakeholders (public, private) to improve access of Hydroxyurea through public and private pharmacies and health facilities.
    • Implementing a pilot project to compound Hydroxyurea
    • Establishing a registry of SCD patients who are on Hydroxyurea: Indications, response and outcome
    • What are the factors limiting use of hydroxyurea in sickle cell disease?

General Eligibility

Applicants are expected to conduct original research and publish at least one (1) manuscript within 3 months of end of the tenure of the grant.

All research conducted under the grant will receive mentorship and technical support from the SPARCo Team at KATH and will be required to acknowledge funding and support of the SPARCo and the Sickle Cell Clinic of KATH.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Two types of fellowship are available as described below:

Early Career

  1. Eligibility criteria
    This is open to individuals currently pursuing a Master’s degree at an accredited public or private higher learning institution in Ghana.

    Applicants will be required to provide a letter of certification and support from their primary supervisor and accept to co-supervised by a member of the SPARCo Kumasi-Ghana
  2. Funding
    Funding for the master’s dissertation research costs is up to GHC 10,000 per project.
  3. Number of awards
    Five (5) such fellowships will be supported

Regular Award

  1. Eligibility criteria
    This is open to:
    Registered Postdocs/recent PhD graduates (within the past 5 years) aspiring for Postdoc position.

    Academic staff at public or private higher learning institutions in Ghana.

    Applicants employed in academic or healthcare institutions, especially those already working at the respective departments and Sickle Cell Programs, have an added advantage.

    Applicants will be required to provide a letter of certification and support from their primary supervisor and accept to co-supervised by a member of the SPARCo Kumasi-Ghana

2. Funding
Funding for this category research costs is up to GHC 32,000 per project (including administrative costs/overheads/F&A at maximum of 8%).

3. Number of awards
Four (4) such fellowships will be supported.


Applicants should apply by completing an online application from Application form

Applicants will be required to upload the following:

  1. Letter of motivation.
  2. 3-5-page Concept Note with its budget presenting a synopsis of the study to be conducted in any of the SPARCo areas of interest above.
  3. Letter of support / reference from supervisor / mentor (on institutional headed paper).
  4. Proof of enrollment/ continuity of studies in higher learning institution (where relevant).
  5. Most current resume with applicant’s contact details including email address.
  6. The maximum duration of the Early Career Fellowship is Nine (9) Months and for the Regular. Fellowship Twelve (12) Months. Proposals with budgets exceeding the total award limits will not be considered.
  7. Deadline for submission of applications will be on Friday 28th August, 2020.


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