Frequently asked questions and answers for those pitching to the Africa Science Desk and for public use

What is the name of the project?

The project is called the Africa Science Desk.

Who are the partners in the project?

The Africa Science Desk is a collaborative effort between the African Academy of Sciences, the African Federation of Science Journalists and the South African Science Journalists Association. It is implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It will, over a course of two years, provide funding and mentor early career African science journalists.

Who can submit a pitch?

This funding is open to individual journalists and media outlets in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. Journalists can either be employed by a media house or be freelance.

How can I submit a pitch?

Pitches are accepted by the 5th of every month via the AAS Ishango Grants system, an online application portal.

Please note to include all your details in the registration form, particularly about your country as the system will not allow you to submit your pitch if this is missing.

Please follow the instructions below:

  1. Follow this link to get to the AAS Ishango Online System: https://aasishango.ccgranttracker.com/
  2. Register as a new user if you have not used the system before. If you have used the system before please proceed to step 4.
  3. New users will receive a temporary password from the system.
  4. Follow the link https://aasishango.ccgranttracker.com/ again to access the system
  5. Go to existing user and log in with your password (first time users will be requested to replace their temporary password with one of their choice).
  6. Once you log in go to new grant application and go to click here
  7. Select Africa Science Desk and click on apply to begin filling in the online form.
  8. Once you have provided all the required information, please validate and submit the form. Please note that you will be directed to a different page for submission.

How often can I pitch?

Journalists and media institutions can pitch as often as they want to during the two years of the project. Please note to submit pitches by the 5th of every month.

 What happens after my pitch has been accepted?

The AAS will send you an acceptance letter, after which you will be paired with a mentor to guide you through the research and writing process.

The mentors are seasoned senior science journalists from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

How will funds be distributed?

Please note that the budget limit is $700 per story and is accountable. The AAS will therefore require receipts for every expense.

Once your pitch has been accepted, the AAS will contact you to discuss how the funding will be distributed.

There is an additional $350 paid after the story has been published, which will not be accountable.

Who do I contact for enquiries about the Desk and my pitch?

Please email AfricaScienceDesk@aasciences.ac.ke