Connecting Science to Humanity

The NEF is a New Global Forum
for Science in Africa

...Connecting Science to Humanity

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an AIMS initiative in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, is a new global forum for science in Africa that will propel Africa onto the global scientific stage.

The NEF will unite more than 500 outstanding thinkers and distinguished stakeholders from around the world together in Africa. NEF Global Gatherings, held every second year, will showcase 15 of Africa’s top young scientists and connect them with leaders from Africa and the rest of the world in high-profile, invitation-only forums. These leading scientists, policy-makers, business people, journalists, civil-society representatives and entrepreneurs will highlight breakthrough discoveries and catalyze scientific collaboration for human development.

To be held in Senegal as a 3-day event in March 2016, the NEF will touch on the three pillars of science, society and policy.

Why a Next Einstein Forum in Africa?

A new global economic and scientific landscape is emerging, with Africa’s rapid transformation driven by the power of demographics, economic growth and political will. Science, technology and innovation are driving this process. Given the continental scale of change, there is a pressing need for a global forum in Africa where science can meet society, the media and policy-makers. To accelerate this transformation from promise to progress, African scientists must pursue international-class scientific work in Africa and science in Africa must develop an internationally-visible cohesive identity.

The NEF will foster a strong African scientific community as an influential member of the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.

What makes the Next Einstein Forum unique?

The NEF has been carefully conceived to have broad, transformative and sustainable impact. More specifically, the NEF will:


gaps between science in Africa and the world


the transformation of ideas into action


for science in Africa and smart science policy


a scientific community

Global Gatherings

NEF Global Gatherings, held every second year, will showcase 15 of Africa’s top young scientists and connect them with more than 500 leaders in high-profile, invitation-only gatherings. This distinguished group of scientists, policy-makers, business people, journalists, civil-society leaders and entrepreneurs will engage in deep and inquisitive discourse, and go beyond discussion to action.

The first historic gathering will be hosted by the government of Senegal in March 2016.

Interested in partnering with the Next Einstein Forum?

The Next Einstein Forum is seeking relevant partnerships and to connect with supporters. Contact the NEF Secretariat for further information.
Electronic: | +27 21 671 4262 |
Physical: c/o AIMS-NEI Secretariat | 11 Grove Avenue | Cape Town 7708
South Africa

...Our dream is that the next Einstein will be African

  • Download our High-Resolution Brochure

  • En
  • Fr

The Next Einstein Forum will be held in March 2016.
Sign up below to stay informed:

Searching for Africa’s best young scientists to showcase on the global stage

The Next Einstein Forum welcomes applications from all over the world from exceptional African scientists in all fields of science (including the social sciences) for a special opportunity to become part of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF).


Application Phase

Selection Phase

Publication of Results

December 15 2014 (Closed)

January to February 2015

March 2015

The Next Einstein Forum welcomes applications from all over the world from exceptional African scientists in all fields of science (including the social sciences) for a special opportunity to become part of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF).

  • Download the NEF Fellows Call for Applications

  • En
  • Fr

  • Download NEF Posters

  • En
  • Fr

  • Download NEF Launch Press Release

  • En
  • Fr

As a NEF Fellow, you will:

  • Attend the prestigious, invitation-only NEF Global Gathering in March 2016 alongside Nobel Prize winners, Heads of State and representatives from leading global corporations
  • Increase your global visibility among scientists representing Africa, leading thinkers, policymakers, industry and civil society leaders, and be featured, interviewed and showcased widely to an expected 100 million viewers and readers worldwide
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to mentor and inspire other young, exceptional scientific talent from Africa
  • Interact with, receive mentoring from, and partner with leading scientists, policy-makers, industry representatives and civil-society leaders, as well as other exceptional young African scientists
  • Contribute to the establishment of a positive global view of science in Africa
  • Application and programme participation are completely free

Conditions of Eligibility

  1. 42 years of age or less as of 31.12.2015 (Born after 1 January 1973)
  2. Hold a passport from an African country
  3. Have advanced studies in STEM or social science fields
  4. Have a track record of research/findings that have impact globally
  5. Passionate about raising Africa’s profile in science and/or social science
  6. Can clearly present their work to an audience in English or French

Criteria for Selection

  • Outstanding academic qualifications, as measured by the standards of the particular academic discipline. Examples of notable achievements include
    • Publication record
    • Prizes and other awards, such as especially distinguished fellowships or memberships in prestigious academic circles (for example, in high-ranking committees, bodies, academies, etc.)
    • Independently raised funding from outside sources in a competitive process
    • Number of patents
    • The type and number of invited talks at international conferences
  • Academic maturity and clear evidence of own research profile and direction. Examples of this include being the leader of an independent research group
  • Demonstrated commitment to improving and impacting society, notably Africa
  • Exceptional communication ability

Selection will be done by a panel of eminent scientists and is expected to be done via in-person interviews.

Instructions for application

The application form requires the following information.

  • Contact information
  • CV
  • Photograph
  • A link to a 2 – 3 minute recorded YouTube video where you tell us more about yourself, responding to the three points below. The video does not have to be professionally done (it can be taken with a camera or phone, for example) as long as image and sound are clear.
    • Tell us about yourself
    • Tell us about your previous work clearly demonstrating impact
    • Why you should you be a NEF Fellow ("I am a NEF Fellow...")
  • Answers to the following questions (250 words max for each)
    • What would you do with the opportunity of being showcased as a NEF Fellow
    • What 3 questions do you want to know the answers to
    • Which 5 people do you want to bring on stage with you and why
  • Name and contact information of two referees who can speak to your professional experience, character and potential