Manager, Cambridge-Africa Programme, University of Cambridge
Dr Pauline Essah is the Cambridge-Africa Programme Manager at the University of Cambridge. This Programme is a key strand within the University of Cambridge's international strategy, and incorporates the THRiVE, CAPREx and MUII initiatives, the Alborada Research Fund, and the Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research (which has a key focus on Africa).
A core aim of the Cambridge-Africa Programme is to strengthen research capacity in African institutions, and to support the next generation of African researchers to become internationally competitive and self-sustaining leaders. It is also vital that knowledge exchange takes place between Cambridge University and Africa, through mutually beneficial collaborations. The Cambridge-Africa Programme therefore links up Cambridge University researchers, lecturers and students to their colleagues in Africa, and provides them with advice and support for a range of Africa-related research projects and activities (e.g. teaching, volunteering, development and consultancy work, etc.). Cambridge-Africa also supports Africans currently studying at the University of Cambridge, and African alumni.
Dr Essah completed her BSc honours degree in agriculture at the University of Ghana, Legon, before pursuing MPhil (Pembroke College) and PhD (Churchill College) degrees in biological sciences at the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. This was followed by a three -year postdoctoral research in the same Department.
In 2006, she redirected her career from laboratory to office-based scientific research, and project management. She successfully completed a professional project management qualification and joined a private Life Sciences research company based in Cambridgeshire. Following this spell in private enterprise, she returned to the University of Cambridge in 2008 to work temporarily in the School of Clinical Medicine, and also in the Department of Biological Anthropology. She was then appointed to initiate and coordinate the THRiVE Programme in Cambridge on a part-time basis in November 2009, and has been instrumental in growing THRiVE into the continually expanding, multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary Cambridge-Africa Programme.