Africa-Europe Clusters of Research Excellence

The University of Glasgow has joined with partners from across Africa and Europe to form vital new Clusters of Research Excellence (CoRE).

The Africa-Europe Clusters were established by the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild) to bring together distinguished researchers across both continents to address head-on the inequity that has characterised research in relation to Africa, to the detriment of global science.

The clusters will help ensure that a common research agenda is at the heart of the African Union’s Africa 2063 strategy, which envisages Africa’s transformation to a knowledge society; and also strengthen the capacity of research and innovation to make a major contribution to each priority of the European Union’s Global Gateway.

These sustained partnerships aim to transform the nature of collaborative research and bring about positive, long-lasting change to common societal challenges.

The University of Glasgow is co-lead two Clusters of Research Excellence and is a partner in three more clusters.

Public Health CoRE: Advanced infectious diseases research and training (Co-lead)


This cluster will tackle some of the biggest global challenges posed by infectious diseases, while also ensuring an equitable working partnership model between researchers in Africa and Europe.

It will seek to understand better the fundamental biology of infections that are endemic in Africa and cause millions of deaths each year, to inform drug discovery and development and control and eradication programmes.

Co-Leads UniversityNetwork/Alliance
Gordon Awandare University of Ghana ARUA
Andy Waters University of Glasgow The Guild
Lilach Sheiner University of Glasgow The Guild

Public health CoRE: Non-communicable diseases and multimorbidity (Co-lead)


This cluster aims to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and their co-morbidities in African nations, where they are increasingly becoming the leading cause of death. The cluster's goal is to improve the health and well-being of populations in Africa by using a multidisciplinary approach to develop innovative and place-specific solutions for the prevention and management of a range of NCDs and their co-morbidities.

Co-Leads UniversityNetwork/Alliance
Frederick Bukachi   University of Nairobi, Kenya ARUA
Ibrahima Bara Diop  Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal ARUA
Mayowa Ojo Owolabi  University of Ibadan, Nigeria ARUA
Ntobeko Ntusi  University of Cape Town, South Africa ARUA
Pasquale Maffia University of Glasgow, UK The Guild
Xavier Jouven   Université Paris Cité, France The Guild
Tomasz J. Guzik  Jagiellonian University, Poland The Guild

Guild page: Non-communicable diseases and multimorbidity

Green transition CoRE: Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation (partner)


This cluster will respond to the fact that both Africa and Europe are highly vulnerable to climate variability and change, with human and wildlife consequences ranging from heat-related mortality and biodiversity loss to reduced food production and water scarcity. To tackle these urgent issues the research team plans to establish a climate service hub for Africa and a nature-based solutions innovation hub, as well as focusing on implementing innovative measures to combat climate change.

Glasgow’s Professor Fabrice Renaud, Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, will partner on this cluster which is led by the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa, and the University of Bologna, Italy.

Guild page: Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Public health CoRE: Food environment actions for the promotion of health (partner)


This cluster will tackle the triple burden of malnutrition: urbanisation, food systems transformation and socio-economic inequalities. The research team will also work collaboratively on education and policy-related activities, to better understand different food environment drivers and their implications for planetary and human health.

Glasgow’s Dr Graeme Young, Lecturer in Social and Public Policy (Urban Studies) at the School of Social & Political Sciences, will partner on this cluster which is led by the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Uppsala University, Sweden.

Guild page: Food environment actions for the promotion of health


Public health CoRE: Genomics for health in Africa (partner)


Although genomics can provide a better understanding of major health concerns such as rare diseases, cancers and infections, it remains under-utilised in Africa due to insufficient infrastructure, resources and scientific capacity across the continent. This cluster aims to build capacity for genomics work in African nations, so it can be used as a fundamental tool to revolutionise public healthcare for both infectious and rare non-communicable diseases.

Glasgow’s Professor Olwyn Byron, Professor of Biophysics at the School of Infection & Immunity will partner on this cluster, which is led by the Stellenbosch University, South Africa, the University of Tübingen, Germany, and the University of Bern, Switzerland, this Cluster aims to leverage the potential of genomics to revolutionise healthcare in Africa.

Guild page: Genomics for health in Africa