Request for Applications: Project Africa GRADIENT

Call for Research Proposals: Project Africa GRADIENT

Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimising Therapeutics


Call for Research Proposals
Call Focus
Launch date
Application for Intent to submit Letter of Intent deadline
Project Africa GRADIENT Evaluate genetic diversity as the contributing factor to variability in exposure and/or safety and efficacy to drugs used to treat tuberculosis and malaria in Africa
18 January 2021
1 March 2021
Monday, 29 March 2021

Project Africa GRADIENT (Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimising Therapeutics) was initiated in 2018 as a collaboration between GSK and Novartis. The primary aim was to establish a consortium to collaborate with expert academic centers and organisations in Africa to support high quality research on African genetic diversity of relevance to drug therapeutics.

The primary focus will be to evaluate genetic diversity as the contributing factor to variability in exposure, efficacy and/or safety to drugs used to treat tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in Africa. All datasets collated or generated through the program are intended to be released in a public database with the ultimate goal of catalyzing a positive change in approaches to understanding treatment efficacy and toxicity for regionally appropriate standards of care for patients across the continent.

GSK and Novartis have partnered with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to facilitate the administration of Project Africa GRADIENT. The mission of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) is to improve the nation's health and quality of life by conducting and funding relevant and responsive health research, development, innovation and research translation. The SAMRC is the largest local funder of health research in Southern Africa and supports high quality research, innovation and capacity development through a variety of grant programs and strategic partnerships.

Project Africa GRADIENT aims to provide funding for up to 5 years, in two independent stages with the possibility of extensions.

Research question

An individual’s genetic makeup is one of the important factors affecting the response to drugs. Treatment tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup may be the ultimate goal with genotyping as a key component to achieve “precision-therapy”. However, prospective genotyping can be challenging in many settings and may be unrealistic in resource constrained regions. In such settings, ethnicity may be regarded as a proxy of a patient’s probable genotype risk, based on overall population frequency distribution data for the relevant genetic polymorphisms. Currently, such population information is missing or inconsistent for large populations in Africa. The understanding of genetic variations associated with specific populations, that can influence the safety and efficacy profile of therapeutic interventions, can therefore rationalize drug dosing and improve therapeutics. The primary focus of Project Africa GRADIENT will be on collecting, identifying and evaluating genetic diversity as the contributing factor to variability in exposure, efficacy and/or safety to drugs commonly used to treat TB and malaria in Africa.

Request for applications (RFA)

The RFA will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will be a Letter of intent submission and applicants successful during Phase 1 will progress to Phase 2 and invited to submit a full proposal.

The applicants will have the opportunity to apply for one of two initiatives:

  1. Fellowship for individual researcher
  2. Investigator sponsored research

Eligibility criteria

This is an open call for proposals from researchers based at African (Northern, Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa) universities or institutions, science councils and other public research organizations.


Required documentation to be submitted:

Any queries or questions related to this program can be addressed to the following email address:

Monday, March 29, 2021 - 23:59