Reach & Teach
Science in Africa
Reach & Teach Science in Africa is a flagship initiative of the JR Biotek Foundation created to provide African agricultural researchers with world-class training in modern biosciences and opportunities to form new, strong and equitable collaborations to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger) and 4 (Quality Education) in African nations. It was developed out of the need to reach, teach and provide more opportunities for researchers and students in African research institutions to apply modern bio-scientific concepts and laboratory techniques to improve their research, especially food security-related research.
JR Biotek Foundation encourages and empowers African female scientists to become leaders in their field.
The Reach & Teach Science in Africa initiative mobilizes research experts from top world Universities including the University of Cambridge to provide bespoke scientific teaching on various aspects of plant molecular biology, genomics, crop breeding and bioinformatics. To date, we have successfully reached 250 African agricultural researchers (through our in-person workshops) and thousands more (through our virtual bioscience lecture series) in over 19 African countries. Most of our alumni are involved in lecturing or supervising undergraduate and master’s students, therefore, the more we reach, the more they reach, and together we are strengthening capacity for agricultural research in African nations.
Reach & Teach Science in Africa
In July 2021, our Foundation partnered with the world-famous University of Cambridge to hold our 2021 Reach & Teach Science in Africa hands-on Plant Molecular Bio-Laboratory Training Workshop in collaboration with the Centre for Dryland Agriculture, CDA, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.
In July 2021, we were pleased to partner with the University of Cambridge to hold our 2021 Reach & Teach Science in Africa hands-on Plant Molecular Bio-Laboratory Training Workshop in collaboration with the CSIR-Crops Research Institute in Kumasi, Ghana.
In July 2021, our Foundation partnered with the University of Cambridge to hold our 2021 Reach & Teach Science in Africa hands-on Plant Molecular Bio-Laboratory Training Workshop in collaboration with the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega, Kenya.
In 2019, our Foundation worked with researchers from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge to organize a large-scale bio-science lab training workshop in collaboration with the Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seed Science (GBioS), University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin Republic.
In September 2018, our Foundation collaborated with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge to host a
hands-on Plant Molecular Bio-Laboratory Training Workshop and the inaugural UK-Africa Food Security Symposium in Cambridge. The residential program provided 17 outstanding PhD scholars from six African nations (Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Benin Republic) with excellent knowledge, skills and hands-on experience on key aspects of bioinformatics and molecular biology lab techniques, which they can apply to advance their research at their home institutions.
In partnership with Cambridge University’s Department of Plant Sciences, our Foundation held a Plant Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory Training Workshop for Africa-based agricultural researchers, academics and PhD students in Cambridge from 27th March to 3rd April 2017. This was followed by our inaugural African Diaspora Biotech Summit held on 4th April 2017.
JR Biotek’s very first hands-on training Workshop took place at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria in September 2014. It involved 15 ECRs from African Universities.
Reach & Teach Science in Africa on Zoom
During the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we started the virtual ‘Reach & Teach Science in Africa’ program to support the continued learning and professional development of researchers in Universities and Research Institutes across Africa. We offer online training courses on important topics/subjects (such as statistical data analysis, molecular biology and molecular plant breeding, plant virology and pathology, genomics (High Throughput Sequencing), protein biochemistry, and bioinformatics) that are useful and directly applicable to researchers and research students in African Universities.
In addition to the virtual Reach & Teach program for researchers, we launched an online Bioscience Lecture Series for undergraduate students in African Universities to provide an opportunity for them to learn important aspects of molecular biosciences, especially topics that are generally not well-taught in African Universities due to lack of expertise. The virtual Reach & Teach has reached over 3,000 researchers and students in 30+ African countries and South Asia.