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University of Basel

Swiss - African Research Cooperation (SARECO)

Eine Studierende im Labor

Developping out of the Swiss - South African Joint Research Programme (SSAJRP), the Swiss - African research cooperation (SARECO), in place since 2013, enlarges the field of actors and countries. This web entry informs about background elements of this program and about the calls launched in the cooperation period 2013 - 2016. Among these, the latest call for advanced PHD candidates and early Postdoctoral researchers in the fields of Global and Environmental Health as in Nanosciences.
For information about Swiss - African research cooperation and fundings going beyond this page readers are invited to consult the newly launched database at www.sareco.org or to follow the most recent developments on twitter.com/SwissAfrica.

Mapping Africa

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) within the framework of its international strategy 2010 has mandated the Leading House Basel (University + Swiss TPH) to map the research potential of countries in Africa and to identify promising African countries for scientific collaboration.

In 2013, LH Basel has interviewed Swiss Higher Education Institutions both about their long term scientific engagements and their short term relations or plans to establish connections in Africa. Further actors in Switzerland like the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing countries (KFPE) , the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF),  associated research institutes of universities as well as partners from the private sector have contributed with their views to complete the Swiss activities’ landscape.

At the same time, LH Basel has tried, wherever possible, to include opinion leaders from the South and in the South in order to develop a fully bilateral view of the picture like the African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), representatives from the African Union (AU) and the European Union in Africa. All inputs went into the mapping of results that were finally presented at the University of Basel Africa Day on 19 February 2014.

Outcomes of the Mapping Process

Based on the results of the mapping process and the feedback from participants of the Africa Information Day on 19 February 2014 the Leading House Basel has further developed its outlines for 2013 – 16 entailing

  1. to give preference to a regional approach and to include by that the following geographical areas:
  • French Speaking countries in Western Africa with Senegal and Cameroon and linking to the RESCIF engineering network
  • Ghana and its developed higher education system
  • Eastern Africa with Kenya and Uganda
  • South Eastern African region with Zambia and Mozambique
  1. To focus on institutional hotspots in the designated partner countries

Call for Kick-Starting Projects – closed

The kick-start fundings for Swiss and African researchers incentivized and furthered already ongoing collaboration by supporting activities in form of

  1. Exchange visits
  2. Joint seminars
  3. Joint Workshops

For the period of 2013 – 16, a total of 47 projects with a max. amount of 10'000 CHF per project were selected.
Swiss researchers could apply for travel grants (flight costs up to CHF 1’500) as well as for daily allowances for incoming researchers on the basis of current SNSF rates.

The Swiss – African kick-start funding instrument has been complimentary to all other funding sources in Switzerland.

Call for Kick-Starting Projects


The following countries were eligible as partner countries:

  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Senegal
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
Funding Instruments
  • Kick-starting exchange visits
  • Kick-starting joint seminars
  • Kick-starting joint workshops

The call has been closed.

Call for Visiting Fellowship Proposals - closed

The Leading House Basel (University of Basel and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute) together with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) have selected five research proposals in the area of Global and Environmental Health and one project in the field of Nanosciences. Advanced PHD students and Early Postdoctoral researchers were invited to submit their proposals.

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