African Early Career Mobility Programme Call 2023

African Early Career Mobility Programme Call 2023

Call for applications for


The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. The University of Helsinki has an Africa Programme 2021-2030 with the aim of boosting collaboration and partnerships with African higher education institutions.

The University of Helsinki opens a call intended for early career researchers working in a higher education institution in Africa for a stay at the University of Helsinki. The programme supports the best and brightest minds in their postdoctoral research stage, connecting them with world-class academics and leading researchers at the University of Helsinki.

Applications must be written jointly by the early career researcher (hereafter: visitor applicant) and a staff member working at the University of Helsinki with a Principal Investigator status (hereafter: PI applicant). The PI applicant submits the application. Applications from all disciplines are welcome but the project proposed in the application must relate to one or several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The PI applicant acts as a host for the visitor applicant with whom future collaboration is being planned (as demonstrated by a joint work plan for collaboration and Letter of Intent by the applicant). The visitor applicant is the receiver of the grant.

During their stay, the visitors will enjoy opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exchange and community engagement, joining a network of outstanding scientists and scholars engaging in research and education collaboration with African institutions and researchers. The visitors are expected to be active members of the University of Helsinki Africa Programme community, e.g. through giving a public talk, an open seminar or a workshop during the visit.

The call is open from February 1 until 15 March, 2023 (the call closes at 16:00 EET).

• A monthly grant of 3400 € to the visitor applicant during a stay of 3-10 consecutive months, starting no earlier than September 1, 2023 and ending no later than June 30, 2024
• A travel grant to cover one-time travel costs to and from Helsinki
• Visitor applicants who are guardians of underage children and accompanied by them during the visit may receive additional financial support (up to 500 € per month).

The visitor applicant will be offered office space at the University of Helsinki at the PI applicant’s faculty or unit. Visitor applicants are required to take a health insurance which is valid during their stay in Finland. Note that the University of Helsinki is not able to assist with obtaining housing and the visitor applicant is responsible for accommodation and insurance costs.

The PI applicant will have an option of receiving a monthly grant or other support of 3400 € for 1-2 months, allowing a return visit to the visitor’s home university. Alternatively, this option can be extended to a member of the PI applicant’s research group.

Successful applicants who have received funding must submit a report about the visits within two months after the end of the visit.



The call is intended to boost the mobility opportunities for early career researchers working at the time of the application period in a higher education institution in Africa (all African countries are eligible). As the University of Nairobi is a strategic partner of the University of Helsinki, we particularly encourage applications with researchers working at the University of Nairobi. At the same time, we reserve the right to limit the amount of funds allocated to the University of Nairobi not to exceed 50 % of total months funded through this call.

Applications are submitted by Principal Investigators at the University of Helsinki who would like to host a visit of an early career researcher.

Eligibility criteria:
1. The visitor applicant should be affiliated with a higher education institution in Africa and demonstrate proven expertise in an area of research from the thematic spectrum of the SDGs. Visitor applicants who received a grant in 2022 from this programme are not eligible to apply in this round. (Please note that visitor applicants with a double affiliation with a higher education institution in the Russian Federation or Belarus are not eligible.)
2. Visitor applicants who have received their PhD diploma no earlier than August 31, 2016 are eligible. Allowances are made for parental or medical leave.
3. The PI applicant must demonstrate on-going or planned collaboration with the visitor applicant, related to the UN sustainable development goals. The application must include a work plan for collaboration and a Letter of Intent.

We value applications where the ambition of planned collaboration is high. Collaboration can relate to future research collaboration (such like applications to future EU and other funding calls and joint publications), education collaboration (such like future joint teaching activities), or plans for various capacity building and outreach activities.

The evaluation criteria for applications are:
• Track record of the PI applicant and the visitor applicant
• Quality and ambition of the planned collaboration and the planned outcomes of the visit
• The benefit and relevance of the planned collaboration to the Sustainable Development Goals

Applications will be peer reviewed. We reserve the right not to process an application if the program’s eligibility criteria are not met or if the application has not been completed in full or is received after the submission deadline.


How to apply?

The online application form will open at the start of the application period and close on Wednesday 15 March 2023 at 16:00 (EET). Applications submitted after the end of the application period will not be considered.
Applications are submitted using an online form:

In addition to the online application form, the following attachments are required, as one single PDF document to be named PI applicant’s lastname_visitor applicant’s lastname.pdf:
1. Letter of introduction (max. 2 pages) by the visitor applicant, containing a presentation of the visitor applicant and the main motivation to apply for a grant at the University of Helsinki and work together with the PI applicant
2. Degree certificates of the visitor applicant’s PhD degree
3. Curriculum Vitae of the visitor applicant, including a list of most important publications (max. 3 pages)
4. Curriculum Vitae of the PI applicant, including a list of most important publications (max. 3 pages)
5. Work plan for the visit of future collaboration (max. 2 pages)
6. Letter of Intent from the PI applicant, showing commitment to support the visit and planned collaboration (max.1 page)

The funding decisions will be made by the end of May 2023 and the results will be emailed to all applicants.

Further information on the call can be requested from:
Anna-Maria Salmi, Head of Development,, +358 50 415 1687