Research in Africa and Asia

We invest in researchers, large programmes of research and co-funded initiatives in Africa and Asia.

To support this work, and make sure that research has the most possible impact in these regions, we’ve made strengthening research ecosystems in Africa and Asia one of our strategic priorities. 

Africa and Asia Programmes

Over the past 30 years, we've invested in five major research programmes in Africa and Asia.

The research programmes:

The five Africa and Asia Programmes are:

The Africa and Asia Programmes have had a significant impact in their regions.

For example, in South East Asia, early clinical trials using artemisinin derivatives showed they were more effective than quinine in the treatment of severe malaria. This led to a global policy recommendation by the World Health Organization to use artemisinin-based combination therapies as the first line treatment for all forms of malaria.

Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa

The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) is an initiative to catalyse long-term health and development progress in Africa.

It was set up in 2015 by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency (NEPAD) with support from Wellcome, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

AESA aims to:

We have shifted the centre of gravity of our funding for African science from the UK to the continent by handing over two major research programmes, DELTAS Africa and H3Africa, to AESA.

Developing Excellence in Leadership and Training in Africa

The Developing Excellence in Leadership and Training in Africa (DELTAS Africa) programme is a scheme funded by Wellcome in partnership with the UK Department for International Development.

Eleven DELTAS awards have been made to leading African researchers to establish cutting-edge research and training programmes across the continent. 

DELTAS Africa is managed by AESA in partnership with the funders. AESA leads on decision making for African science, technology and innovation supported through the scheme.

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance is a co-funded initiative between Wellcome and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. The Alliance was launched in 2008 and supports future scientific leaders in India through fellowship awards.

Wellcome Trust Centres for Global Health Research

Our Wellcome Trust Centres for Global Health Research (WTCGHR) work in partnership with institutions in the UK and low- and middle-income countries. The Centres support career development for individual researchers and help institutions to develop their expertise in global health.

Unlike other Wellcome Centres, they do not receive research funding. 

There are five Wellcome Trust Centres for Global Health Research.

Wellcome Trust – Bloomsbury Centre for Global Health Research 

The Centre focuses on tuberculosis and respiratory disease, infection and immunity, mental and neurological disorders, and maternal and child health. It has partners in the UK, sub-Saharan Africa and India. 

Wellcome Trust Liverpool Glasgow Centre for Global Health Research

The Centre supports research in vaccines, clinical trials, infection and immunobiology, translational public health, and pharmacology. It has strong links with Malawi, as well as other research sites in low- and middle-income countries. 

Wellcome Trust – Imperial College Centre for Global Health Research 

The Centre supports research in clinical trials, diagnostics, health systems and policy, environment and health, drug discovery, and population health.

Wellcome Trust – Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research

The Centre focuses on three areas:  maternal, neonatal and reproductive health, infectious diseases, and non-communicable diseases.  It has partners in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research 

The Centre covers African population genetics, podoconiosis, tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, mycetoma, and ethics in global health. It has partners in the UK, Sudan, Ethiopia and Cameroon. 

Other funding

MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories 

MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a partnership between Wellcome and Merck Sharp & Doeme Corp, is a not-for-profit vaccine research and development initiative based in India. Hilleman Laboratories complete research into affordable vaccines, to combat disease in low-income countries.

Human Heredity and Health in Africa initiative 

The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative aims to improve the health of African populations through the study of the genomics of common diseases. The initiative is co-funded by Wellcome and the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

We have made a £9 million grant to AESA to run a second phase of the initiative. AESA will call for proposals for this funding in early 2017.

Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) 

The Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa aims to combat infectious diseases related to poverty, with a particular focus on TB and HIV. Find out more about our other Wellcome Centres

Investment in science through our funding schemes

We also fund individuals and teams. For example, in Malawi, funded work has led to new ways of screening for TB in people who are HIV positive. This research led to World Health Organization recommendations for TB screening and has the potential to save half a million lives.

Investment in public engagement

Alongside investments in science, we support engagement with the public and policymakers to raise the profile of research and encourage discussion about its impact on society.

For example, we supported:

People we've funded

Many of our grantholders carry out research in Africa and Asia. See our directories: