Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are these 40 existing scholarships for Mozambicans? Or is it destined for all of Africa? / Estas 40 bolsas de estudo existentes são para Moçambicanos? Ou destina-se a toda a África?

The 40 scholarships are for Mozambicans; there are other scholarships for other Africans.

As 40 bolsas de estudo são para Moçambicanos; existem outras bolsas de estudo para outros Africanos.

Q2. As a funder, can I align an RSIF contribution to my vision and focus areas?

Yes, RSIF design encourages scalable, demand-driven expansion, targeting of specific domains and beneficiaries. Priority aligned programmes can be set up within RSIF. Contact us for further details.

Q3. Can someone study in another university that is not an AHU

RSIF PhD scholarship holders must be register for their PhD degree at one of the RSIF AHUs.

Q4. Could we have a list of the African Host Universities for RSIF and how we can get in touch with them? / Podemos ter uma lista das Universidades Anfitriãs Africanas para a RSIF e como podemos entrar em contacto com elas?

Kindly visit our website https://www.rsif-paset.org/partners/ to get a list of our African Host Universities.  Upon request, the RCU may assist where possible to provide contacts to specific institutions within its network.

Visite o nosso site https://www.rsif-paset.org/partners/ para obter uma lista das nossas Universidades Anfitriãs Africanas. Mediante pedido, o RCU pode ajudar, sempre que possível, a fornecer contactos a instituições específicas dentro da sua rede.

Q5. Do scholarships include the statistics area

RSIF is focused on the applied sciences, engineering and technology fields.  Please visit our website https://www.rsif-paset.org/about-us/#about_rsif to learn more about our current priority areas. These are the areas that are eligible.

Q6. How are financial contributions utilized?

Building on global best practices and to ensure continuity and sustainability in research training and capacity building, RSIF has three windows: PhD scholarships, research grants and innovation grants

Q7. How are funds transferred from the donor to the RSIF account?

PASET has selected a professional RSIF implementing unit. The International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, icipe, an African scientific organization headquartered in Kenya with a 50-year history, administers and grows the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund on behalf of PASET and is supported by the World Bank. The fund pools resources from African governments, development partners and private sector to achieve results at scale with an efficient implementation mechanism.

Q8. How will the issue of language be managed? Is a command of the English language a requirement to apply for doctoral scholarships

To study in one of the AHUs, scholars have to use either English or French for their academic work. Intensive language courses for doctoral scholars might be arranged.

Applications for scholarships are accepted in Portuguese, English or French.

Q9. I would like to know if it is an indispensable requirement to apply for doctoral scholarships

RSIF doctoral scholarships are awarded on the basis of complete submitted and competitively reviewed applications according to the guidelines and procedures set by PASET.

When applying for the scholarship, candidates will also apply to at least one of the AHUs depending on their area of interest.

Q10. I would like to know if the 40 scholarship opportunities are broken down by thematic area

Each RSIF PhD scholarship will fall within one of the five thematic areas of food security and agribusiness; energy including renewables, mining, mineral and materials engineering; climate change; and ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence.

It is not predetermined if an equal number of scholarships will be available within each of the five areas, as this might vary depending on the number, quality and relevance of applications received.

Q11. If there is a course (in the eligible area) that universities in the region are unable to carry out the research, can it be done outside of Africa

Once a call for application of scholarships is announced, applicants are required to send in their proposed topic of research. The African Host Universities then select scholars depending on the quality of the proposal and the ability of the university to supervise the student to achieve their research goals. This means that the research topics proposed by successful applicants can be supervised at the AHUs. Additional support for the research will be provided by supervisors at the International Partner Institutions.

Q12. Is it possible to benefit from this scholarship and study in Mozambique

This can only be possible once you register at the AHU and then agree with your supervisor on the possibility of studying online. Most of our RSIF PhD scholars are based in their AHUs in their first and final years and spend the rest of the time at the International partner institution.

Q13. Is PhD research in the area of social sciences eligible

RSIF is focused on the applied sciences, engineering and technology fields.  Please visit our website https://www.rsif-paset.org/about-us/#about_rsif to learn more about our current priority areas. These are the areas that are eligible.

Q14. Is there any Mozambican University as an AHU in RSIF? What are the requirements for an HEI to be an AHU? What are the requirements to be an IPI

Currently there are no Mozambican University among the RSIF AHUs. There were four pilot RSIF African host universities (AHUs). Two competitive calls for applications for additional AHUs have so far been held. A further seven universities were selected after a competitive call in 2019, where 144 applications received, underwent a rigorous and independent desk review, on-site evaluation and selection process. Four additional AHUs will be added in 2021 after the second competitive call in 2020.

The requirements to be an AHU included a number of different criteria ranging from the PhD programme being offered, its academic and administrative staff, scientific contributions in recent years, university-industry partnerships; to research facilities and support structures available for international students.

The International Partner Institutions are also being selected following stringent criteria and sign agreements with PASET for collaboration on RSIF.

The selection criteria for IPIs include:

  • Academic excellence and contribution to knowledge globally.
  • Strong record of international partnerships, especially for postgraduate studies.
  • Active research program(s) aligned with PASET Priority Thematic Areas and the selected PhD programs at AHUs.
  • A lead faculty member in the concerned Department who shares the vision of the PASET RSIF.
  • Willing to host RSIF PhD scholars for 6 – 24-month sandwich attachment.
  • Willing to work with AHUs to provide joint supervision of RSIF PhD scholars and to continue to engage with RSIF alumni and their home institutions.
  • Willing to assign a supervisor to the RSIF PhD scholar who would be willing to work closely with the supervisor(s) at the AHU to provide joint supervision.
  • Able to provide financial and in-kind support for PhD scholars on the sandwich attachment.
  • Able to waive all costs of tuition for RSIF PhD Scholars.
  • Have an international office or personnel to support visiting international postgraduate scholars.
  • Willing to undertake joint resource mobilisation with AHUs and collaborate on joint capacity building, research and innovation projects with AHUs.
  • Willing to take part in the review of applications for RSIF PhD scholarships and grants.

Q15. What are the benefits of the scholarship – Does the scholarship support families or children

What makes the RSIF scholarships so attractive is that it is a fully funded and full-time scholarship covering up to 4 years of PhD studies, including a sandwich programme at an advanced international university. Benefits include a monthly stipend, medical insurance, relocation allowance, visa and travel costs. Tuition is fully paid for and research funding provided.


Some of the additional benefits of the scholarship include:

  • Opportunity to study in a nurturing environment and prestigious scholarship program that is relevant to Africa’s development
  • Access to high-quality research and researchers in countries within and outside of SSA
  • Opportunity to qualify for research and innovation funding following graduation (specifically Junior Investigators’ Research Award)
  • RSIF scholars may also participate in ongoing research and innovation projects being implemented at RSIF AHUs through their supervisors or respective faculty
  • Access to a strong network of researchers and mentors during the program and after graduating

The scholarship does not include financial support for families and children. Scholars are free to have their families with them in the host country but they have to make their own arrangements for the family.

Q16. What are the current RSIF international partner universities

RSIF International Partner Institutions (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.

Please visit our website https://www.rsif-paset.org/partners/#partner-institutions for a list of our International Partner Institutions.

Q17. What are the key objectives of the grants?

RSIF issues competitive research and innovation grants that compliment the PhD training offered to scholars by supporting knowledge generation, promote scientific excellence and use of knowledge for development impact.

Q18. What are the other eligibility criteria? Is there an age limit? Can anyone already enrolled in a Mozambican university apply? Can someone who has already registered for a PhD apply

There is no age limit; however, the targeted scholars are young academic faculty without a PhD. Anyone enrolled in a Mozambican university who have completed a relevant Master’s degree can apply. If the person is successful in getting the RSIF scholarship, they will have to discontinue studies in the university where they are enrolled and commence studies in the RSIF African Host University (AHU). Someone who has already enrolled for a PhD can apply but they need to discontinue studies in the current university and enroll afresh in the AHU. Please note PhD holders are not eligible for this scholarship. Those who already have another scholarship are also not eligible.

Q19. What are the research areas

The research areas are varied but they have to fall under one of the focus areas as outlined on our website: https://www.rsif-paset.org/about-us/#about_rsif

Q20. What are the types of grant and the requirements

Research Grants

  1. RSIF Research Awards (RSIF RA): These grants are awarded competitively to faculty engaged in PhD training in Host Universities in SSA. The primary objective of these grants is to help faculty to advance their research excellence and generate innovative ideas that could be commercialized.


  1. RSIF Junior Investigator Research Awards (RSIF- JIRA): These grants are also awarded competitively to RSIF graduates who obtain a post-doctoral or permanent position in an academic institution or research centre in SSA. The primary objective of these grants is to support junior scientists who are establishing their research career after completing a PhD degree. Grant will provide funding to enhance research excellence and unlock the innovation potential by allowing junior investigators to conduct research projects autonomously.


Innovation Grants

RSIF Institutional Innovation Capacity Building Program Grants ( ICBP): These grants are awarded to RSIF African Host Universities to support the development of an institutional framework to strengthen the innovation ecosystem within the RSIF African Host Universities thus increasing the investment of private sector in Research and Development projects and encourage commercialization of these innovations.


RSIF Cooperability Grants: These grants are awarded to faculty of African Host Universities with an aim of encouraging public-private partnerships. The grants support the opening of new companies/ spin off companies as a result of innovative scientific research ideas translated to the market ultimately contributing to economic growth and increase job opportunities. Read more

Q21. What is the process for becoming a funding country or other donor?

PASET welcomes both financial and in-kind contributions to the RSIF to create a Pan-African Science Fund to invest in Africa’s future scientific leaders. International Institutions, African governments, donors and private sector partners can contribute to RSIF.

Q22. What will be the cycle/frequency of calls for doctoral scholarships

The 4th call for doctoral scholarships will be launched in August 2021. Future calls after this will depend on the number, quality and relevance of applications received in the upcoming call and the availability of funding to award more RSIF PhD scholarships.

Q23. When will the call for PhD Scholarships be released / Quando será lançado o concurso para Bolsas de Doutoramento?

The RSIF Cohort 4 call for PhD Scholarships will be released by mid-August 2021.

A convocatória da RSIF Coorte 4 para Bolsas de Doutoramento será lançada em meados de Agosto de 2021.

Q24. Will there be funding for strengthening PhD courses at Mozambique institutions

Priority for RSIF PhD scholarships will be given to faculty in Mozambique institutions without PhDs. The Mozambican RSIF graduates will be equipped with advancing technologies and strategic research skills for innovation solutions. This provides opportunities for building new university departments or strengthening existing ones that respond directly to national priorities, boosting Mozambique’s capacity to train at the PhD and postdoctoral level.

Mozambique institutions and PhD programs can also participate in RSIF Research and Innovation projects.

Q25.  What is the link between PASET and RSIF and is there a minimum contribution required?

RSIF is the flagship programme of PASET in higher education. African governments, donor partners and private sector that contribute USD 2 million to RSIF can become members of PASET and get a seat in its governance bodies. Membership renewal will be determined at the discretion of PASET governing bodies. Learn more in the PASET charter.


FAQ - Portuguese