An Internship at the Regional Scholarship innovation Fund: A student perspective

By Allan Ocholla, Former RSIF Annual Conference Intern

Having an internship at the Regional Scholarship innovation Fund (RSIF), International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) came at a time I was looking for an opportunity that combines my experience in participating in various open science programs and expertise in events management especially in an African setting.

The journey started when I was near completion of my Master’s degree in microbiology at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. I was also in my last few months of a fellowship program, and like any other student near completion of their studies, I was stuck in front of a relentless loop of career options and looking for where to put my skills to good use.  While checking LinkedIn groups, I found the opportunity of joining RSIF as a conference intern. I connected so closely with the RSIF mission of increasing and strengthening high quality PhD programs in applied sciences, engineering and technology in Africa. The whole application process, from the time of application, interview and selection took less than month. I remember the day when I received an email that I got the position. I was so excited and immediately checked through my folders and notebooks in preparation for the next four months of co-organizing RSIF virtual pre-conference.

Application process

Typically, vacancies are advertised on the RSIF Website. You can also follow the RSIF official accounts on social media platforms and consider joining their mailing list for updates. The entry requirements may differ from one advertisement to another. For the majority of positions, a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree is the minimum requirement.

When applying for an opportunity at RSIF, make sure that your application is well written. You need to highlight both your professional and personal experiences. Mention your academic background and its relation to the position, cite your leadership positions, achievements you feel proud of, or even awards if applicable. Finally, try to mention your extracellular activities or voluntary work as it will show that you are an active person aware of social issues and capable of tackling development challenges.

My role at RSIF

My workstation was the resource mobilization unit. A normal working day was a combination of diverse internal and external meetings with different partners and fulfilling a set of desk tasks such as preparing invitation letters, working with the communications team to support dissemination of relevant conference materials, as well as supporting in the review of information required and ensuring they are complete and accurate. Indeed, the resource mobilization unit was the right place to acquire a variety of vital skills such as critical thinking and collaboration required to solve real world problems.

Throughout my first weeks, my supervisor ensured I had access to the necessary tools that to help me to fit into my role and get to understand my position.  Being part of the resource mobilization unit also gave me a chance to learn various fundraising strategies and appreciate the critical role that the Governments, private sector, foundations and philanthropy institutions play in the education ecosystem in Africa. Fortunately, the conference preparation was just starting so I was lucky to be involved from the beginning.

Key Learnings

Acting as both a participant and a member of the organizing team, I gained a unique perspective on virtual conferences, their challenges and opportunities. I have attended conferences before, virtual and in-person, and being part of the team co-organizing the first RSIF virtual pre-conference exceeded my expectations. Many RSIF pre-conference speakers highlighted the importance of collaboration and adaptability amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while rooting for Science, Technology and Innovation to be an enabler in unlocking opportunities in Africa. For instance, Ms Safaa El Kogeli, Education Practice Manager, Eastern and Southern Region, World Bank, noted in her opening remarks the need to train a critical mass of highly skilled PhD workforce to find innovative solutions with an aim of accelerating socio-economic growth and continue on the path of development. She also underscored the need to have deliberate efforts of ensuring women participation in RSIF programs. Dr Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education in Rwanda and PASET governing council chair also emphasized the need to develop the necessary skills to solve African problems and affirmed the Government of Rwanda commitment in supporting RSIF to achieve and maximize its impacts.

My greatest takeaway from co-organizing the virtual conference was the increased inclusion that a virtual event can foster. Registration information revealed that the pre-conference reached a wider range of participants, in part, due to the multi-lingual options that were used to disseminate conference information and the translation features that were available during the virtual pre-conference. Taking an intersectional look, it is even more important for groups traditionally underrepresented due to language barriers in online spaces to have a strong presence so they can be part of these important discussions. Virtual conferencing offers many options for organizers to produce a successful event. They provide tools to implement measures that allow for both healthy and essential engagements through the use of digital solutions that facilitate peer-to-peer learning as well as networking. The RSIF virtual pre-conference provided a platform to have conversations that build relationships and generate ideas that underpin progress on the issues we all care deeply about. The shift to the online space, however, was not at all easy.  Several components required different type of planning and more in-depth consideration, and online convening is a new experience for many attendees and organizers. The challenges notwithstanding, it is without a doubt that online convening’s has now been established as an essential part of work and life since the COVID-19 pandemic begun, and its likely to remain with us for a while.


After four months at RSIF, I have enormous faith in the RSIF program. I hope that by embedding a decolonial critical approach within its technical practice, education stakeholders within Africa and beyond can develop foresight and tactics that can better align research and technology development with local needs.

At this pivotal moment of African history it is counterproductive and evil to even mice words. We need to be active shapers in African technological and innovation advances and not mere observers.

The experience gained from this internship has given me the privilege of developing an experiential and diverse learning experience and having the opportunity to interact with different groups of people and to learn from their insights and endeavours. I thankful for that. This experience will propel my short and long-term goals for the urgent positive change of the society and myself.

My Internship experience

By Juliet Mwaura, former RSIF Research and Innovation Grants Intern (July 2021-Dec 2021)

My experience while working with the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) as a Research and Innovation Grants Intern was very positive. I had the most welcoming, helpful and supportive colleagues who were willing to guide me during the internship period. As I had not dealt with grants before, this internship taught me that adjusting to different situations in life is important and when you put in the work, a lot can be achieved. Gradually working with the team, I realized that they were very talented individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and skillsets and were really passionate about the work they were doing. It didn’t take me long to get integrated into the team as everyone treated me as an equal contributor to the program even during chairing the team’s bi-weekly meetings. I hope that in future, I can find a team full of people just as encouraging and passionate about their work.

I got to learn a lot throughout the journey, through screening and eligibility checks of some of the projects such as Accelerating inclusive green growth through Agri-based digital innovation in West Africa (AGriDI), the PASET-RSIF MozSkills Subproject and Cohort 4 call for PhD Scholarship applications received, attending the Business Incubation Workshop for RSIF Innovation projects, Grants Independent Technical Committee (GITC) meetings held to select qualified projects to be funded, and virtually attending the 2nd Eastern Africa Bioeconomy Conference and RSIF Virtual Pre-Conference 2021. All these different aspects I was involved in helped me learn the different processes involved in ensuring that deliverables in the different components of providing Research and Innovation Grants are met.

After 6 months working together with the team, I have gained an enthusiasm for working on programs that promote and fund researchers to solve some of the complex problems that affect Africa especially in the areas of ICT including big data and artificial intelligence, food security and agri-business, minerals, mining and materials engineering, energy including renewables and climate change. I am particularly thankful to RSIF’s manager, for the confidence he had in me even as an intern to perform tasks, since interns are rarely involved in the day-to-day important activities in many organizations, unfortunately; and ensuring that we had a favourable working environment.

For future interns who will join the RSIF team, I would tell you; Always be curious and ask questions. Also, if you have a solution to something, say it. Show your creativity and don’t be afraid to take up new challenges. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to what’s in store for me, perhaps in the future I will also apply for the RSIF PhD Scholarship and benefit from the great opportunity that has been created.

Meet one of RSIF’s first PhD Graduates

Dr. Noel Gahamanyi was one of the two first RSIF Scholars to graduate with a Doctorate of Philosophy degree on Friday, 26th November 2021 during the 38th Graduation Ceremony of Sokoine University of Agriculture, one of the RSIF African Host Universities (AHUs) in Tanzania. The Rwandese national, who was among the 15 Cohort 1 RSIF PhD Scholarship recipients in 2018, had their research under the thematic area of Food Security and Agribusiness, on “Assessing the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of thermophilic Campylobacter species from human and animal faeces in South Korea and Tanzania.” In the interview below, Dr Gahamanyi shares his PhD journey.

Q. When did you defend your thesis (Dates)?

A. I defended my thesis on 9th November 2021.

Q. What did it feel like at the moment you defended your thesis and after?

A. I was eager to share my findings with the panellists and was confident in the experience I acquired throughout my four years of study.

Immediately after being told that the panel recommended that I be awarded the PhD degree that I registered for, I felt relaxed and thanked God for being with me. I may compare the feeling I had to the one a mother feels when holding her baby after delivery.

Q. What was your study about?

A. The title of my thesis was ‘‘Assessing the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of thermophilic Campylobacter species from human and animal faeces in South Korea and Tanzania”. For animals, I collected faeces from cattle and layer chicken.

Q. What does your PhD mean to you, your Country (Rwanda) and Africa?

A. Being a PhD holder means a lot to me since I have been in Academia for over six years. However, you cannot become a full Professor without having a PhD degree. The knowledge and skills acquired through my PhD journey are important to my career as an expert in Molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance. Also, with a PhD degree, I can work as independent researcher and apply for grants which is difficult for MSc Holders.

Since Rwanda is a land-locked country with limited resources and a shortage of PhD holders in higher learning institutions, completing my PhD program in the thematic area of Food Security and Agribusiness will benefit my country, which is a knowledge-based economy. I recently published a review paper on ‘Ethnobotany, Ethnopharmacology, and Phytochemistry of Medicinal Plants Used for Treating Human Diarrheal Cases in Rwanda’. This paper can serve as baseline for anti-diarrheal drug discovery or further research in this field.

Africa as a continent already benefited from my PhD work as I published a systematic review on ‘Prevalence, risk factors, and antimicrobial resistance profiles of thermophilic Campylobacter species in humans and animals in Sub-Saharan Africa’ which has already been cited 16 times. Also, Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat and using One Health Approach, I hope to collaborate with other researchers to fight against misuse of existing antimicrobials and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) especially the SDG 3 related to Good Health and Wellbeing.

Q. What message do you have for the RSIF students who are still pursuing their PhD?

A. With commitment, dedication, and honesty, you will achieve your goals. You should not be over-ambitious and remember that flexibility is required if you want to be successful. Dropping an objective or replacing it with another one should not be a hindrance to your progress. Also, you must make sure that the relationship with the main supervisor is near perfect. Finally, a balanced life is key to success as no one can be busy with PhD work all the time (24/7). If you like soccer or movies, you can schedule your activities and spare some two hours for your hobbies. There is a Latin saying, ‘Si isti et iste, cur non ego?’ which means ‘If others can do it, why can’t I?’ If I managed to do it, you can also do the same or do greater.

Q. What did it feel like to receive the Best Postgraduate Student Research Award and to Graduate?

A. Sincerely speaking, receiving the Best Postgraduate Student Research Award from Sokoine University of Agriculture was a surprise to me because I knew what I did in research, but was not aware of the publications made by other graduands. I was delighted to receive the award, which meant my contribution to the scientific knowledge was recognized.

Graduating as a PhD holder was satisfying because I finally got what I went for. Having my PhD degree is like holding a master key in my hands. I also considered it an honour and would like the sponsors (Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), the Government of Rwanda and the Government of Korea) to know that their investment was not wasted.

Q. How did RSIF help you achieve your PhD?

A. The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) contributed to the completion of my PhD program in different ways. First, RSIF organized various training sessions on Information literacy, Reference management and Leadership among others, which PhD scholars need in their writing. Second, a memorandum of understanding (MoU), through RSIF, was signed with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) to provide a two-year internship at the Natural Product Informatics Research Center, KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products. Last, RSIF gave me an opportunity to become confident through various presentations like the one I made in Kigali during the 5th PASET forum.

Q. What are/ were your expected outcomes of the research?

A. The PhD thesis had four outcomes that serve as a baseline for future studies:

(i) the usefulness of molecular techniques in emerging Campylobacter detection

(ii) the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter from layers

(iii) the importance of some natural products as alternative to conventional antimicrobials in the control of Campylobacter infections

(iv) Whole-genome sequencing data of Campylobacter from layer chicken for better understanding the Campylobacter epidemiology

Q. What are your hopes and vision for your career ahead/ what do you hope to work on?

A. I have been in Academia and like the profession of teaching, so there is a high probability that I will go back to Academia. In Rwanda, there is limited work on Campylobacter species and their antimicrobial resistance profiles despite being one of the major causative agents of diarrhoea. Therefore, I am planning to extend my research in Rwanda and know the extent of campylobacteriosis in both humans and animals. Sooner or later, I will go for a postdoctoral fellowship.

Q. You led the RSIF student association – any advice on how to kickstart the RSIF alumni association?

A. I enjoyed leading the RSIF student association. Pioneers always put in a lot of effort to lay the foundation for the next generations. Regarding the RSIF Alumni, we are the pioneers, and hope that once the majority of Cohort I scholars have graduated, we will have a sitting and adopt some terms and conditions that the RSIF alumni association will be based on. I would advise the PASET-RSIF team to strengthen the RSIF alumni association as it serves as an inspiration to continuing scholars; that the completion of the PhD program is possible despite the difficulties faced.

Q. What are your Scientific achievements?

A. I discovered new sequence types (STs) including ST-10645, ST-10647, ST-10648 that were isolated from layer chicken in South Korea. During the PhD journey, I managed to publish six papers in high impact factor journals. I suggested some medicinal plants and phytochemicals that can be used in the treatment/control of campylobacteriosis and/or diarrhoea in general. I also showed that layer chicken are neglected sources of Campylobacter species that are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials. The obtained strains are freely available in international databases and can be accessed by other researchers working in the same field. I attended various international conferences where I had an opportunity to disseminate the research findings by oral or poster presentations. I joined different scientific communities like the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and the Young East African Health Research Scientists Forum (YEARS) which is part of networking. The details of my publications can be accessed via my ORCID.

Q. Anything you would like to say to PASET/RSIF-RCU (Regional Coordination Unit)

A. I want to congratulate PASET/RSIF-RCU for the great initiative of training a pool of scientists from Africa with a mission to find solutions to the problems our mother Africa is facing. It is almost impossible to undertake the PhD program without funding especially in most of the low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The journey, however, is long considering the 10,000 PhD scholars to be trained. Therefore, efforts are needed in recruiting more qualified African Host Universities (AHUs) and International Partner Institutions (IPIs). I would like also to take this opportunity to ask the PASET/RSIF-RCU to continue supporting the graduates through the Alumni or by providing postdoctoral fellowships all aimed at capacity building of researchers from Africa.

Other stories about Dr. Noel Gahamanyi

1. Life, study and research at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST): RSIF PhD Scholar Noel Gahamanyi’s story.

2. Then and now: How smart technologies are changing life in Africa

3. Understanding antimicrobial resistance and way forward

4. Dr Gahamanyi’s published manuscripts can be accessed by visiting RSIF Scholars’ Publications through the RSIF repository

Two International Partner Institutions join Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF)

Two more International Institutions have  joined the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) as International Partner Institutions (IPIs), making it five IPIs since the start of 2021 and bringing the new over total to 19 .

RSIF IPIs are advanced universities, research institutes/centers or companies (public or private) that are willing and competent to offer research internship opportunities for RSIF PhD Scholars from Africa studying at universities in Africa Host Universities (AHUs). Advanced/international research centers and civil society partners and private sector firms in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and universities in South Africa, may also qualify as IPIs. Launched in 2017, RSIF is the flagship program for the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an African-led initiative which aims to build competencies and skills to support growth of key economic sectors that support Africa’s socio-economic transformation spanning upper-secondary level, technical, vocational education and training (TVET), postgraduate education and postdoctoral research and mentorship.

RSIF supports PhD students, post-doctoral scientists and universities in SSA to establish high quality training, research and innovation environments and to develop institutional capacity for the benefit of the whole region. The two new partner institutions will host PhD students in the competitive call expected to open soon.

University of Lisbon  (ULisboa), the largest, most prestigious university in Portugal and one of Europe’s leading universities, is a public research university located in Lisbon. ULisboa brings together various areas of knowledge and has a privileged position for facilitating the contemporary evolution of science, technology, arts and humanities. The quality of teaching, research, innovation and culture of ULisboa is attracting an ever-increasing amount of talent from around the world.

University of Michigan (U-M) is the oldest, public comprehensive research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a mission to serve the people of the State of Michigan and the world through pre-eminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art and academic values and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. U-M has ranked first among public universities in the United States of America in terms of research expenditures at least since 2010 and has strength in research and training in all the PASET focus areas. The African Studies Center (ASC) at U-M was founded in 2008 to serve as the conduit for U-M’s Africa focused research, teaching, partnerships and programming.

The other IPIs in the program include the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), Ghent University, The higher national school of mines of Albi-Carmaux (Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT), Institutes of Green-bio Science & Technology – Seoul National University (GBST-SNU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Maastricht University (MU), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Telecom SudParis, The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), The Seoul National University Global Research & Development and Business Center (GRC), University of Greenwich, University of Pretoria (UP), Virginia Tech and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

This increase in the number of partner institutions is a big step towards achieving one of the program’s objectives, which is to strengthen the institutional capacity for quality and sustainable doctoral training, research and innovation in transformative technologies in sub-Saharan Africa by incorporating sandwich training options. The program also aims to build research excellence in ASET fields by developing the capacity for PhD training and undertaking applied research and innovation in partnership with a network of renowned IPIs and strengthen research capacity regionwide by prioritizing the scholarships to African faculty that lack PhD training.

The number of RSIF scholars is set to triple from that planned in the original pilot project to reach close to 300 by early 2022.  Through PASET-RSIF the cost of PhD training is significantly lowered, while also reducing inbreeding in national universities since PhD training will be done in other African universities and international partner institutions. By working closely with academic institutions, relevant investors and governments and other stakeholders within sub-Saharan Africa; specialized knowledge will be integrated in the region and transferred to the future generation. Recent partnerships take into account the language diversity in the growing body of RSIF doctoral students, as more governments in Francophone Western Africa and Lusophone Southern Africa have contributed to RSIF.

RSIF aims to support doctoral training and post-doctoral research and innovation in the five priority economic sectors for growth and development across Sub- Saharan Africa. The program uses scholarships together with research and innovation grants that improve the quality and relevance of the PhD programs to guarantee continuity and sustainability of research and innovations once the scholars graduate. RSIF is currently funded by African governments, the World Bank, the Government of Korea, and the European Union through the ACP Innovation Fund and managed by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya, as the RSIF Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). More funders and partners are invited to join the first Africa-led Pan-African science fund.

Four African universities join Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF)


Four more universities have joined the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) as African Host Universities (AHUs), bringing the new total to 15. RSIF AHUs are universities or research institutes/centres (e.g. Africa Centers of Excellence) in sub-Saharan Africa that offer a strong PhD program in one of the priority thematic areas. Launched in 2017, RSIF is the flagship program for the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an African-led initiative with the goal of strengthening skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET) to further socio-economic transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

RSIF focuses on transformative technologies that have a far-reaching positive impact on society. It supports PhD students, post-doctoral scientists and universities in SSA to establish high quality training, research and innovation environments and to develop institutional capacity for the benefit of the whole region. The four new RSIF host universities will host PhD students in RSIF’s fourth cohort, for which the competitive call for PhD scholarships is currently open until 30 September 2021.

2iE – International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering is an international institute for education and research committed to covering areas of water, environment, energy, civil engineering, mining and managerial sciences through training of highly qualified and innovative entrepreneurial engineers in Africa. Located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the selected PhD program at 2iE is in Science and Technology of Water, Energy and Environment, in the African Centre of Excellence for Training and Research in Water and Environment Sciences and Technologies in West Africa (CEA-IMPACT 2iE).

Haramaya University  is a pre-eminent institution of higher learning in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia that have pioneered the field of agricultural sciences and the provisioning of the tripartite functions of education, research, and extension. The selected PhD programme at HU is in Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, under the Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (ACE Climate SABC).

Makerere University (MAK), located in Kampala, Uganda, is one of the oldest and most prestigious English Universities in Africa, having been established in 1922 as a humble technical school. Committed to providing transformative and innovative teaching, learning and research responsive to dynamic national and global needs, the selected PhD programme at MU is in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, within the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI).

The University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) is the principal public university in the west African country of Benin. Composed of 19 institutions and six campuses, the selected PhD program is in Information and Communication Technologies of the Institute of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, African Centre of Excellence in Mathematical Sciences, IT and applications (SMIA).

Competitively selected by an independent, international panel of experts and endorsed by the PASET Executive Board, the other AHUs in the program include the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Kenyatta University (KU) and The Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in the Minerals, mining and materials engineering thematic area; Bayero University Kano (BUK), and University Félix Houphouët-Boigny (U-FHB) in the Climate change thematic area; University of Nairobi (UoN) and University of Port Harcourt in the Energy including renewables thematic area; Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and University of Ghana (UG) in the Food security and agribusiness thematic area; University of Gaston Berger (UGB) and University of Rwanda (UR) in the ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence thematic area.

This increase in the number of host universities is a big step towards achieving one of the program’s objectives, which is to build African university capacity to provide relevant ASET training and to ensure continued investment in scaling up the ASET education and workforce by incorporating sandwich training options. The program also aims to build research excellence in ASET fields by developing the capacity for PhD training and undertaking applied research and innovation in partnership with a network of renowned International Partner Universities (IPIs) and strengthen research capacity regionwide by prioritizing the scholarships to African faculty that lack PhD training.

RSIF aims to support doctoral training and post-doctoral research and innovation in the five priority economic sectors for growth and development across Sub- Saharan Africa. The program uses scholarships together with research and innovation grants that improve the quality and relevance of the PhD programs to guarantee continuity and sustainability of research and innovations once the scholars graduate. RSIF is currently funded by African governments, the World Bank, the Government of Korea, and the European Union through the ACP Innovation Fund and managed by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya, as the RSIF Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). More funders and partners are invited to join the first Africa-led Pan-African science fund.


icipe holds orientation workshop for 102 newly recruited PASET-RSIF PhD Scholars

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), the Regional Coordination Unit for the PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund held a five-day orientation and training workshop between 28 June and 2 July 2021 for the recently recruited third cohort RSIF PhD Scholars. The 102 scholars will join the doctoral scholars selected in the previous years: 69 scholars from the second Cohort and 15 from the first, bringing the total number of PASET-RSIF scholars to 184, from 20 African countries.  Fully funded by African governments, the government of Korea and the World Bank, the prestigious program provides full PhD scholarships to citizens of Sub-Saharan, research and innovation grants towards using science to solve African challenges. 40% of the 184 scholars are female,  a big step towards in achieving one of the program’s objectives, which is to address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in ASET fields in Africa. Read more about the RSIF gender strategy here

The aim of the orientation was to introduce the new RSIF scholars to the RSIF program, the African Host Universities, and the RSIF team, and to make clear the guidelines for the program, and to each other, so that they are facilitated to begin their PhD program. It also aimed to clarify the expectations for their research and study. The training provided the scholars with an introduction to key skills that are necessary for undertaking doctoral study, including on science communication, PhD proposal writing, research methods, data analysis and use of social media to promote their research. Other topics included strategies for a successful PhD, PhD proposal writing, and the role of social media in higher learning. The training was delivered virtually.

During the opening session on 28 June, Dr Moses Osiru, the Manager, RSIF Regional Coordination Unit (RSIF-RCU) welcomed scholars and other participants on behalf of Dr. Segenet Kelemu, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of icipe. Opening remarks were delivered by Prof. Aminata Sall Diallo,  Executive Director of the PASET Executive Board. Prior to that, Mr. Michael Hughes, Advisor to the Minister of Education, Rwanda and Rwanda’s Representative to the PASET EB highlighted the importance of the RSIF program to developing science, technology and innovation on the Continent. The PASET EB thanked icipe for the role they play in implementing the RSIF initiative on behalf of African Governments. Fatoumata Thiam, a cohort one student beneficiary shared her academic journey to encourage the new scholars to stay focused and not to disappoint the African governments, who are investing in their education.

Trainers at the orientation included Dr. Daisy Salifu, Biostatistician, Data Management, Modeling and Geo-Information Unit, icipe; Prof. Baldwyn Torto, Principal Scientist and Head, Behavioural and Chemical Ecology Unit, icipe; Dr Rob Skilton, Head Capacity Building and Institutional Development, icipe; and Ms. Elizabeth Murimi, Mr. Bonface Nyagah, Ms Maureen Agena and Sakina Mapenzi from the RCU.

The 102 scholars selected for RSIF’s Cohort 3 will study in the 11 RSIF African Host Universities located across the continent: University of Rwanda, Rwanda, Bayero University, Nigeria, Kenyatta University, Kenya, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, University of Ghana, Ghana, University of Nairobi, Kenya, Université Gaston Berger, Senegal, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania ,University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire.

Similar stories

  1. RSIF Holds Orientation Training Workshop for Cohort II scholars. See Link
  2. RSIF Cohort lll Orientation Material. See Link