RUFORUM receives $1,500,000 grant to unleash potential of African science leaders through post- Doctoral fellowships


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has received a 2 year grant of 1.500,000 United States Dollars from Carnegie Cooperation of New York to support post-doctoral fellowships in Africa. Specifically, the grant aims at increasing and ensuring high retention rate of brightest and most promising academic graduates in Africa who will ultimately help strengthen African universities to meet the growing demand for higher education and for a more visible presence in creating and adapting knowledge that is relevant to local environments.

The project will support the recently graduated doctoral fellows to have a soft landing in their new positions at home institution. A key frustration is that often after finishing studies, the newly graduated students have no means to put their new ideas into practice. They are often left alone to float, find their own way and many opt to go abroad for better opportunities. The proposed post-doctoral fellowship will attach the fellows to mentors who will help them to settle in and re-orient them to what is expected of them as doctoral fellows and as a new crop of leaders. Furthermore, the research support under the grant will provide opportunity for the fellows to advance their PhD work or initiate new research and strengthen their teaching and supervision capacity. The two years are expected to allow fellows time to transition, settle down, and find their level and sense of direction in their new career path. This will allow them to quickly become leaders and also initiate support for training of a new generation of African Scientists. Ultimately it is hoped that this will induce in the fellows a sense of home belonging, social responsibility to make a difference and opportunity to leverage other resources for their career advancement.

The project will provide 19 post-doctoral fellows to former PhD beneficiaries of Carnegie Cooperation of New York who were funded through RUFORUM since 2012. These fellows will be based at an African University within the RUFORUM network. Some of the tangible benefits to the grantees include; opportunities to build their own careers, lead research teams, get international exposure and receive training and mentorship. The post-doctoral fellows in turn will strengthen university doctoral programs by supporting, supervising and integrating post-graduate students (MSc and PhD’s) into their research teams. The Fellows will also be supported as they make connections internationally in their disciplinary areas, and will have the opportunity to network with each other and across Africa in support of both higher education and their disciplines.

At the end of the grant implementation, the project expects the following as long term outcomes;

  1. Capable and innovative research leaders with high level skills retained in African universities and are contributing to institutional leadership for improved Agricultural training and research
  2. Increased research quality and outputs leading to excellence and improved visibility of Africa’s agricultural research activity and scientific leadership
  3. Functional networks facilitating national and regional scientific collaborations and knowledge exchange that serve the improved quality of Africa’s university systems

The Carnegie post doc call for application is now open for the former PhD beneficiaries of Carnegie Cooperation of New York funded through RUFORUM from 2012 to 2017 who are also academic teaching staff at a RUFORUM member universities and have graduated at least by December 2017. To apply for the scholarship, please follow this website link http://rims.ruforum.org/scholarships/applications/ call ID RU/2018/Post Doc RTP /01.

About RUFORUM

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is a member-driven organization is a network of 85 African universities in 35 African countries, established in 2004. RUFORUM has a very strong and active interactions with university administrators, faculty and students from 85 universities in Africa. RUFORUM’s mission is “to strengthen the capacity of universities to foster innovations responsive to the demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, famers, national agricultural research institutions and governments”. Importantly RUFORUM operates through its member universities with Vice chancellors as the main champions and Board members, purposely to revamp higher education in Africa. Through the Universities, RUFORUM operations go beyond agricultural and environmental sciences, to the broader STI fields. RUFORUM is currently, supporting training of over 400 MSc and 70 PhD students under various programs. Through RUFORUM there is an operational MOU to facilitate staff and students exchanges and credit transfer system across its 85 member Universities.

About Carnegie Cooperation of New York

Is a philanthropic foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 with a vision of promoting the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding through education and while promoting international peace. While Carnegie’s primary aim was to benefit the people of the United States, he later determined to use a portion of the funds for members of the British overseas Commonwealth. Currently, this area of its grant making focuses on selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of the organization is to do real and permanent good in this world to create ladders on which the aspiring can rise. With the aim of enhancing training, research, and retention of academics in select countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the organization has been a key catalyst for enhancing higher education in Sub Saharan Africa. This is based on its goal of supporting Africa’s institutions of higher learning and academic communities which are key to reaching the continent’s potential. To date, RUFORUM has received grants worth over $3.5 Million dollars through support from Carnegie to actualize this goal. The Carnegie’s current day grant making continues to carry out this mission through programs and initiatives that address today’s problems by drawing on the best ideas and cutting-edge strategies that draw strength from deep knowledge and scholarship.

Download Grant Announcement here: Grant Announcement – Post Doctoral Grant

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