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.