1. Activities of the AGNES Governing Board in 2016
Prof Jens Gebauer, will be in Cameroon to represent AGNES at a Humboldt-Kolleg, during April 2016.
AGNES "Intra-Africa Mobility Grant for Junior Researchers’ is now open: Call opened in February 2016; Closing date 10th May 2016; Selection meeting in June/July 2016. Interested junior scientists should submit their electronic applications directly to the AGNES Desk via email : firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers 2016: Call opens in June; Closes in August/September 2016; Selection meeting in November/December 2016.
AGNES Governing Board Meeting in Cape Town, November / December 2016.
AGNES Governing Board elections in Benin, December 2016.
AGNES representation at a Humboldt Kolleg , in Benin, December 2016.
Activities of the AGNES Governing Board in 2016 (updated: May 2017)
AGNES Intra-Africa Mobility Grant for Junior Researchers 2016: the Call opened in February 2016 and closed on 10 May 2016. At a Selection meeting in July 2016 held in Cape Town, 17 postgraduate applicants were earmarked for the Grant. Many of the grantees have completed their research visits by April 2017.
AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers 2016: the Call opened in June and closed in September 2016; At the Selection meeting in December 2016 in Benin, 15 recently graduated postdocs were selected to receive the Grant. The Grants were sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, TWAS and BMBF.
AGNES Governing Board Meeting took place in Ouidah, Benin in December 2016. A Board of Trustees was elected: Prof. Remi Sonaiya (Linguist & Politician); Prof. Alexander Ferrein (Robotics); Prof. D. Simo (Germanistic); Prof. Romain Glele Kakaï (Biomathematics); Prof. Christa Rautenbach (Law); and Prof. Tsige Gebre-Mariam (Pharmacy).
The AGNES Governing Board elections took place in Benin in December 2016. The elected Governing Board is: Dr Heather G. Marco (Chair/President), Prof. Jens Gebauer (Vice-Chair/Vice-President) and Prof. O. Clement Adebooye (Secretary).
AGNES representation at Humboldt Kollegs around the continent: e.g. in Cameroon, (April 2016), Kenya (April 2016), Benin (December 2016).
AGNES BOARD ACTIVITIES 2015 / 2016 (updated: June 2016)
2015 was a busy year for the AGNES Governing Board: the AGNES Desk was started in Cape Town to co-ordinate AGNES matters and to provide administrative support to the Chair;
We redesigned our website (www.agnes-h.org); welcomed online-membership
applications; and we participated in the Jahrestagung of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin in June (by invitation), where we presented AGNES to an interested forum of Humboldtians and took comments/questions from the floor.
Once again our Call for Nomination of Junior Scientists for an AGNES Grant (sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and TWAS) was heeded, and in November, ten recently-graduated post-docs from sub-Sahara Africa were selected as our grantees from a total of 37 nominations.
The Grant Selection Meeting dovetailed with a Board meeting in Cape Town, which was followed by the participation of AGNES at a Humboldt Kolleg in Potchefstroom in the north-west of South Africa.
2016 promises to be an exciting year too! The Board is very pleased to announce that the AGNES proposal for an intra-Africa Mobility Grant met with approval from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), via the Humboldt Foundation.
This Grant will enable Masters and Doctoral students from sub-Saharan countries to spend between one and two months at a research institute/university in another sub-Saharan African country. We hope that AGNES can count on you to host Grantees, where possible. The Call for Applications opened in February 2016; the closing date is in May 2016, so please spread the word to younger colleagues to act fast....
In April AGNES will participate in a Humboldt Kolleg in Cameroon.
In June the Call for Nomination of Junior Scientists for an AGNES Grant (sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and TWAS) will once again be opened. A total of 10 Grants will be awarded to recently-graduated postdocs. Watch this space......
The membership drive continues.... invitations will be extended to our identified research collaborators in Germany to join AGNES.
In November the AGNES Board will meet in Cape Town for its annual business/general meeting.
In December the AGNES Board looks forward to participating in a Humboldt Kolleg held in Benin. Here we also hope to have a Board election meeting.
2. Activities of the AGNES Governing Board in 2015
AGNES panel presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin (June 2011, Lunchtime Fair).
AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers 2015: Call opened in June; Selection meeting in November 2015.
Governing Board & Selection Meeting in Cape Town, November 2015.
AGNES representation at a Humboldt Kolleg , Potchefstroom, November 2015.
3. Activities of the new AGNES Governing Board in 2014
The AGNES Acting Steering Committee ceased to exist on 06 March 2014, when AGNES was fully constituted in Nairobi (Kenya) at a Humboldt Colloquium themed "The Power of Excellence in Science – Enhancing Academic Capacities in Africa". At a Constitutive and First Ordinary Meeting of AGNES, the Draft Constitution was ratified by Founder Members, and a Governing Board was elected: Dr Heather Marco (Chair), Prof. Jens Gebauer (Vice-Chair) and Prof. Hamadi Boga from Kenya as Secretary. The AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers was officially conferred to the 10 recipients selected in Nov. 2013, at a ceremony held at the German Ambassador’s Residence in Nairobi. On 08 March 2014 the Humboldt Colloquium culminated in a plenary discussion on AGNES in which the Board members, four Founder Members and representatives from the DAAD and various German Federal Ministries participated. In September the Chair and Vice-Chair visited the Alexander von Humboldt offices in Bonn and discussed, amongst others, funding proposals to secure funding for an AGNES Office and further activities; the Board was successful in its application to the Humboldt Foundation and BMBF. The Governing Board met in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) in October, following a Humboldt Kolleg that was organized by Prof. Ernst Uken; AGNES was presented by the Chair to the Kolleg participants. A final meeting of the Board was held in Yaoundé in November; there another 10 AGNES Junior Researchers were selected – Grants funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and TWAS. Board members also participated in a special seminar series on "The challenge of Urbanization in Africa", and visited the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Limbe. The AGNES Chair was interviewed for the Humboldt journal, KOSMOS, in which she elaborated on AGNES; the interview appeared in the December 2014 publication (vol. 103) under the title "Humboldtians with a mission".
4. Activities of the AGNES Acting Steering Committee during 2013
A meeting was held in April in South Africa to piggy-back onto a Humboldt Kolleg organized by Prof. Strydom in Johannesburg. Founder Members who had nominated successful AGNES Junior Scientists were invited to the meeting, which was also attended by Dr Scheidtweiler. The meeting focused on the preparation of AGNES for the launch in 2014 at a planned Humboldt Colloquium in Kenya. A logo for AGNES was selected and the central office reported on the creation of a website for AGNES. AGNES offered a total of 10 Junior Scientist Grants (each worth EUR 1000.00) for doctoral graduates from sub-Saharan Africa — 5 of those were funded jointly by the AvH Foundation and TWAS (the Third World Academy of Science), and 5 were funded solely by the von Humboldt Foundation. The grants are therefore, respectively, titled "AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers - supported by AvH and TWAS", and "AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers - supported by AvH". Once again, these AGNES Grants aim to strengthen the scientific capacity in Africa. It also supports the alumni of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in their efforts towards coaching and mentoring high potential junior researchers, helping them to access international networks of scientiﬁc excellence. TWAS and AvH are committed to supporting the goals of AGNES in this manner for a four year period. The 10 successful junior scientists were selected at a committee meeting held in November in Yaoundé. In November, Prof. Uken gave an invited talk on AGNES at the 5th African Regional Conference of Vice-Chancellors and Deans of Science, Engineering and Technology (COVIDSET-2013), in Gaberone (Botswana).
6. Activities of the AGNES Acting Steering Committee during 2012
The steering committee, led by Prof. Uken (Interim Chair), Prof. Jens Gebauer (Interim Vice-Chair) and Dr Heather Marco (Interim Secretary), started to establish a database of sub-Saharan African Humboldtians and their project partners in Germany. A legal advisor was co-opted to the committee, Prof. Hendrik Strydom (South Africa), to assist with drafting a Constitution for AGNES. The draft Constitution refined the objectives of AGNES as
promoting regional networking and professional exchange between excellent scientists and scholars in sub-Saharan Africa and their cooperation partners in Germany;
introducing young researchers to the Alexander von Humboldt Network and to Germany as a research destination;
participating in the ongoing discourse on the expansion of scientific and academic capacities, including the role of research and innovation for sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.
A central office for AGNES was established at the facility of the Deutsch-afrikanischen Wissenschaftszentrums (DAW-Centre) in Yaoundé (Cameroon), with Prof. David Simo as the Interim Office Manager. This idea was discussed during a telephonic conference with Dr Thomas Scheidtweiler (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Sponsorship and Network Department, Head of Division: Africa, Middle East), Prof. Uken, Dr Marco and Prof. Simo in September, and it was agreed that the AGNES Interim office shall function and exist separate from and independent of the affairs of the DAW-Centre. Funding for the AGNES office was realized by a successful application between Proff. Simo (DAW-Centre) and Gebauer (Hochschule Rhein-Waal) for an Alexander von Humboldt Institutional Partnership to support the administration of AGNES until December 2014.
Further funding for sub-Sahara Africa became available via the von Humboldt Foundation (from the German Federal Ministry of Research and Development) that enabled AGNES to select 15 excellent young postdoctoral candidates out of 24 (nominated by Founder Members) to receive an AGNES Junior Scientist Grant of EUR 3000.00 each. The selection took place in December at the central office; the nominating Founder Member is expected to mentor and advise his/her candidate to successfully apply to the Humboldt Foundation for a postdoc fellowship.