Zimbabwean scientist Dr Gift Mehlana receives huge research grant

Share via:

ZIMBABWEAN research scientist Dr Gift Mehlana has landed a huge research and funded by the European Union (EU) working with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

Dr Mehlana is only one of the 44 African recipients of the African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence Pilot Program (ARISE-PP), from a pool of over 900 applicants from the continent.

EU funds the ARISE program while the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) takes care of its implementation on the continent.

Dr Mehlana is based at the Midlands State University (MSU) in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Winning the grant is a huge milestone for the outstanding early- to mid-career researcher.

“I am very excited to be an ARISE fellow. It gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my ability to conduct meaningful research that has the potential to address problems facing African societies and the world at large.

“The grant will give me an opportunity to network with researchers from the United Kingdom and in our region and I am looking forward to the prospects of carrying out research on carbon dioxide capture and conversion.

Dr. Gift Mehlana

“My project has two goals. It addresses climate change by reducing carbon emissions, and it produces an energy material (methanol) that is essential in the twenty-first century as we transition to green economies,” said Dr Mehlana, speaking to the MSU website.

Dr Mehlana said the grant will enable him to train the next generation of scientists for Zimbabwe and improve the research culture at MSU.

“This fellowship will provide an opportunity for me to train the next generation of scientists in Zimbabwe. Through this grant, MSU will acquire sophisticated equipment which will allow us to carry out quality research.

“The research culture at the institution will be influenced through this, the university will have free access to the Royal Society journal which will immensely boost our research.”

Dr Mehlana holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a BSc degree in Chemical Technology from the MSU.

Dr Mehlana holds a PhD in Chemistry

His research interests include the development of novel materials and their applications in heterogeneous catalysis, biomedical science and sensing.

He attended the ARISE inception meeting from 15 to 17 June 2022 in Nairobi Kenya, where he presented his ground-breaking work on “Water stable porous Metal-Organic Frameworks as host materials for biological catalysts in carbon dioxide conversion to methanol.”

His study employs natural processes that have evolved over time to produce methanol from carbon dioxide.

As a result, natural enzymes will be used in a controlled chemical environment to convert carbon dioxide captured by metal-organic frameworks into methanol.

Since enzymes are sensitive to pH and temperature changes, their use in industrial processes is limited.

As a result, metal-organic frameworks provide a platform that prevents enzymes from unfolding, allowing them to be highly active and applicable for industrial applications in harsh environments.

The ARISE program complements the work of African research institutions and universities in developing role models for upcoming African researchers and also prevents brain drain from the continent.

ARISE strengthens Africa’s science base by assisting early- to mid-career researchers and developing African scientists’ capacity to conduct pioneering research that improves Africa’s long-term development.

Program recipients have a wide range of research interests, from renewable energy, climate change, food security, health and environmental solutions for people living on the African continent.

A total of 38 African countries were angling for this five-year fellowship program.


  1. LATEST Entry-Level Jobs in SA
  2. LATEST Internships & Learnerships in SA
  3. LATEST Bursaries in SA
  4. LATEST Career Tips & Resources
  5. LATEST Grants & Funding 
  6. LATEST Contests for South Africans

  • Join our Telegram channel so you’ll never miss an opportunity. Simply CLICK HERE, and you’re in!

Share via:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button