Malaria Research Capacity Development in West & Central Africa

Malaria control activities in West and Central Africa have resulted in a substantial decrease in the incidence of malaria during the last five years. Despite these successes, new challenges such as the emergence of insecticide and drug resistance, a shift in the age groups most at risk, the maintenance of transmission at unidentified malaria hot spots and, lastly, difficulties in deciding the most cost-effective combinations of interventions call for additional research to better target existing interventions and identify new ones. In this changing environment, a new world-class generation of African scientists able to provide relevant answers to the challenges encountered by National Malaria Control Programmes is needed, possibly contributing towards the point where elimination becomes a realistic target in the near future.  

The Malaria Research Capacity Development (MARCAD) Consortium in West and Central Africa is launching a new PhD and Post Doc programme in the thematic areas of Malaria Elimination or Control/Scale up of Interventions. MARCAD is a group of institutions sponsored by the Wellcome Trust working in partnership with the Department of International Development and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). The University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Senegal is the leading institution working with the University Health &Allied Sciences (UHAS)in  Ghana; the University of Yaoundé 1 (UYI), Cameroun; the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia (MRCG), and the Malaria Research & Training Center (MRTC), Mali.

The program seeks to train African scientists toward building a critical mass for the control and the elimination of malaria, equip them to compete effectively for international funding, offer them international exposure, and facilitate their networking and collaboration with other institutions. These goals will be met by focusing on postdoctoral fellows and their progression to senior researchers/research leaders. PhD fellowships will be awarded competitively to promising young researchers, supervised by postdoctoral fellows and senior scientists from research teams in the established participating institutions. Fellowships may be held at one of the five African-based institutions and additionally, students will receive support from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) or the University of Copenhagen (UoC).


1 Example of on-going research programs in partnering institutions 



Research topic

University Cheikh Anta Diop Senegal

Monitoring resistance , Molecular markers studies

Malaria elimination program targetting hot spot

Primaquine safety study

Assessing SMC impact

Impact of resistance on the effectiveness of vector control strategies

Malaria Diagnostics

Malaria & Comorbidities



University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ghana

Malaria in pregnancy: effectiveness of recommended routine antenatal interventions for pregnant women

Malaria and other parasitic infections during pregnancy: Burden, potential effects and prospects for community intervention programmes



Malaria Research Training Centre, Mali

Effect of SMC  in malaria among school children

Transmissibility of gametocyte after treatment with ACT

Bio-informatic training program

 Clinical trials on malaria vaccine:  Phase Ib/II trials

Impact of gut microbiome on malaria immunity



University of Yaounde I, Cameroon



Modelling Optimal Configurations of Interventions for Cost-Effective Malaria Elimination.

Malaria Elimination: Pharmacological Indices during MDA in co-endemicities with NCDs & NTDs

Pharmaco-genomics:  Mapping of the Evolution of Markers of Resistance and Human responses/adverse drug reactions in areas with on going clinical trial research activities in Malaria




University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Improving access to ACT and RDT

Monitoring drug quality

Monitoring resistance, molecular markers of drug resistance

Acquired immunity in children and during pregnancy,

Pathogenesis of malaria



London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine UK

London School  Informal National Malaria Control programme Knowledge project

Assessing drug safety in high risk group


SMC plus azithromycin trial




Malaria Research Centre, Gambia MRCG, The Gambia

Cluster randomized trials on interventions aiming at interrupting transmission

Dynamics of malaria transmission in areas of low to moderate transmission

Malaria  Diagnostic


Surveillance of drug and insecticide resistance


Malaria in pregnancy



Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine  UK

Impact of resistance on the effectiveness of vector control strategies

Impact of insecticide resistance on immune response

 Testing of new vector control tools


Resistance Markers for A. funestus, gambiae, Culex (not only KDR)




2 MARCAD Fellowships  


a)        Five four-year PhDs fellowships will be offered which will cover: stipend, tuition fees, the costs of up to 6 months spent with a European partner University and research expenses for the project.

b)        Ten three-years Post-Docs fellowships which will cover:  stipend, tuition fees, the costs of up to 3 months spent with a European partner University and research expenses for the project.

The programme will also encourage the development of research teams, in which both PhD and Post-Docs fellows can be integrated.

Fellowships may be held at one of the five African universities. Applicants must be African nationals resident in a malaria endemic country of Africa or in the diaspora and have an intention to pursue a long-term career in malaria research.

Female gender are strongly encouraged to apply ; social science candidates are welcome to apply.

Further information on the programmecan be obtained bycontacting the MARCAD

Secretariat at UCAD (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Pr Oumar Gaye (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).