We are delighted to introduce you to the AfOx Research Development Awardees. Launched in 2019, the AfOx Research Development Awards (AfOx ReDA) build on existing AfOx funded collaborations between researchers in African institutions and University of Oxford to address one or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We received 50 applications that were made collaboratively between previously AfOx Fellows and their Oxford-based partners. These applications were reviewed by a panel of interdisciplinary researchers, and 8 awards made. Each project has a lead researcher from an African institution and a University of Oxford collaborator. The awards address at least one Sustainable Development Goal through their research and aim to generate societal benefits beyond creating knowledge in their area of specialisation.
Find out more about the awardees and their projects below.
Caesar Atuire & Ilina Singh: A roadmap co-created by caregivers on navigating the mental healthcare streams in Ghana
Caesar and Ilina’s collaboration began in 2018 when Caesar visited Oxford as an AfOx Visiting Fellow. During their reserach they created a culturally attuned framework of bioethical concepts. This addresses the complex challenges facing the understanding and treatment of people with mental disorders in Ghana. With the support of the AfOx ReDA they aim to further their work supporting families and caregivers in Ghana in navigating mental health. The overall goal of the project is to empower families and caregivers in navigating pluralistic mental healthcare, by developing a peer support network and co-producing a roadmap that guides users in navigating local mental healthcare options.
Dr Caesar Alimsinya Atuire | University of Ghana, Ghana
Senior Lecturer & Coordinator Bioethics Section, Department of Philosophy & Classics
Prof Ilini Singh | University of Oxford
Professor of Neuroscience and Society, Department of Psychiatry
Salome Bukachi and Alexandra Alvergne: Food safety in households with young children and its impact on their nutritional and health status in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya
During her AfOx Fellowship in 2019, Salome was affiliated with Oxford’s School of Geography, where she worked and published on gender and water security. While an AfOx Fellow she established collaborative relationships with colleagues at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. Salome is a social anthropologist with an interest in infectious diseases, gender issues and community engagement. Through the AfOx ReDA she will build on her collaborations with colleagues at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography to explore food safety in households with young children in Nairobi’s informal settlementsand the impact of food security on their nutritional and wider health status.
Prof Salome Atieno Bukachi | University of Nairobi, Kenya
Associate Professor I Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies
Prof Alexandra Alvergne | University of Oxford
Associate Professor I School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
Tongai Maponga and Philippa Matthews: Clinical and virological characteristics of chronic hepatitis B in Maputo
As an AfOx Visiting Fellow in 2018, Tongai collaborated with Phillipa to work on a laboratory project to sequence hepatitis B virus (HBV) from South African patients, and on analysis of HBV viral load data from international cohorts. The AfOx ReDA will strengthen this collaboration by enabling them to establish a new chronic HBV infection cohort in Maputo, Mozambique and develop a network of linked HBV clinical research sites in the region. The data generated in these research sites will be used to inform a detailed description of the clinical characteristics and outcomes of HBV infection.
Dr Tongai Gibson Maponga | University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Junior Researcher I Division of Medical Virology I Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Prof Philippa Matthews | University of Oxford
Group Head, Wellcome Research Fellow & Honorary Consultant in
Clinical Infection I Nuffield Department of Medicine
Mazvita Muchengeti and Maxwell Parkin: Childhood Cancer Surveillance in Southern Africa
Mazvita and Max first formed a research collaboration in 2018 with the support of an AfOx Travel Grant, which led to joint publications and seminars on cervical cancer. The AfOx ReDA will enable them to further their research and establish childhood cancer registries in Southern African countries which will in turn lead to regular reports on the incidence, stage distribution, and survival outcomes of cancer cases. Such data will provide unique insights intothe role aetiological factors, diagnostic delays (due to lack of awareness or service provision) and treatment outcomes.
Dr Mazvita Muchengeti | National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa
Senior Epidemiologist I National Cancer Registry
Dr Maxwell Parkin | University of Oxford
Senior Research Fellow I Nuffield Department of Population Health
Cynthia Danquah and Christopher Scofield: Natural product drug discovery to tackle antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is described by the World Health Organisation as the single greatest challenge to infectious diseases, including Tuberculosis. The treatment duration, extensive side effects, and limited drug availability in TB therapies hinders successful treatment. With the support of an AfOx Travel Grant, Cynthia visited Chris and his research team in Oxford in 2019 to share knowledge around antibiotic resistance and synthetic medical chemistry. The ReDA award will enable Cynthia and Chris to collaborate and develop new antibacterial agents to combat worsening antibiotic resistance especially in tuberculosis, a priority area in anti-infective research.
Dr Cynthia Amaning Danquah | Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Senior Lecturer I Department of Pharmacology
Prof Christopher Scofield | University of Oxford
Head of Department I Department of Organic Chemistry
Augustino Mayai and Christopher Adam: Understanding the impacts of development policies in fragile contexts: the case of South Sudan
During their first collaboration supported by the AfOx Visiting Fellowship Programme in 2019, Augustino and Chris evaluated the health extension programme on child health in Ethiopia. During this time, they also incubated the idea of evaluating the government fuel subsidy and DfID funded Girl Education programmes in South Sudan. With support of the AfOx ReDA, they will measure the impacts of the fuel subsidy policy and the Girls education programmes to Inform local and international policy on the economy and human capital development in South Sudan.
Dr Augustino T. Mayai | The Sudd Institute, South Sudan
Director of Research
Prof Christopher Adam | University of Oxford
Professor of Development Economics I Oxford Department of International Development
Lea Toe Pare and Javier Lezaun: Developing the Social Science of Malaria Control for Areas of High Transmission
Over the last fifteen years, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have witnessed significant declines in the levels of mortality and morbidity associated with malaria. In the last few years, however, the trajectory towards a decreasing malaria burden has been halted, and in some cases reversed. Several new methods of mosquito control are being tested across sub-Saharan Africa to reverse this trend, and Burkina Faso is at the forefront of much of this innovation. In 2019, an AfOx Travel Grant enabled Lea and Javier to develop a new social sciences agenda to control vector borne diseases in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries. The AfOx ReDA will enable them to strengthen the contribution of the social sciences in malaria control and introduce novel approaches to mosquito control in Burkina Faso.
Dr Lea Toe Pare | Institute of Research in Health Sciences, Burkina Faso
Dr Javier Lezaun | University of Oxford
Director I Institute for Science, Innovation and Society
Fredrick Manthi and Susana Carvalho: Ecology and the deep roots of our African origins
Fredrick Manthi received an AfOx Travel Grant in 2019. During his visit to Oxford, he met with researchers in Oxford’s School of Anthropology and began discussions with Susana Carvalho’s team researching ecology and African origins. Through this award, they plan to further their collaboration by pooling resources at the University of Oxford and the National Museums of Kenya to develop our understanding of the ecological and environmental contexts in which the first hominins emerged in Africa. In addition, the project will promote education through outreach activities in Kenya, develop innovative research tools at the museum in Nairobi and promote international partnerships amongst African and UK based institutions.
Dr Fredrick Kyalo Manthi | National Museums of Kenya, Kenya
Senior Researcher & Head I Department of Earth Sciences
Prof Susana Carvalho | University of Oxford
Associate Professor in Palaeoanthropology I School of Anthropology & Museum Ehtnography