The Royal Society Africa Prize is to recognise early-career research scientists based in Africa who are making an innovative contribution to the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences. The prize was established in memory of Paul O’Brien FRS and his work encouraging excellence in science and education in Africa. The prize was previously the Royal Society Pfizer Award which was last awarded in 2016 in that name.
Winners will receive the bronze medal awarded annually and a grant to support their research.
The Royal Society Africa Prize is open to African citizens. There are no restrictions on career stage and nominations will remain valid and shall be considered by the award selection committee throughout three nomination cycles.
Nominations are now closed and will open in November 2022. The terms and conditions of the Royal Society Africa Prize should be read before submitting a nomination.
- The Prize is intended for researchers at an early stage of their research career with the potential to build a research project to follow on from the prize.
- The research must be based in Africa.
- The Recipients must notify the Royal Society of any change in their status or location.
- The Recipients will also be awarded a specially struck commemorative medal and they are expected to receive the Prize in person at a ceremony at the Royal Society, except in exceptional circumstances such as ill-health.
- Nominations can be made by senior academics and members of the national academies of science.
- The project and nominee should be linked with an African centre of excellence, which would normally be a University, or equivalent research centre.
- Normally the Prize is given to an individual who has not yet reached full Professorship status.
- Nominators are required to submit two referees for the nominee. These will be requested once nominations have closed and are shared with the relevant selection committee.
- Referees should be as independent as possible. not from the same department, nor have published/ collaborated together with the nominee in the last 5 years. The referees should also not be a member of the relevant selection committee nor the Council of the Royal Society.
Professor George Warimwe will be awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize 2021 for his work on zoonoses vaccine development, capacity building in Africa, and his innovative research proposal.
Dr Steven Runo was awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize 2020 for elucidating pathways for long distance RNA trafficking between parasitic plants and their hosts and identifying and developing transgenic protocol for characterizing and validating candidate host and parasite genes.
Dr Henry Mwandumba was awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize 2019 for his novel work in description of the TB phagosome in HIV infected alveolar macrophages and his leadership in the College of Medicine in Malawi.
Dr Dorothy Yeboah-Manu was awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize 2018 for her contributions and innovative approaches to understanding Mycobacterium ulcerans and Mycobacterium africanum, combining microbiology, genetic studies and epidemiology in the areas of her work.