Rsif and University of Maryland

Sakina Kahindi
08 Aug 2023 0

The University of Maryland (UMD) has joined the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) as an International Partner Institution (IPI). As an IPI, UMD will offer internship opportunities for visiting doctoral students to train, conduct research, and build capacity to innovate when they return to Africa. UMD joins the other 28 Rsif IPIs and widens opportunities for Rsif scholar-sandwich placements in an advanced research facility. Rsif scholars attending UMD will study alongside world class experts in the fields of food security, energy, climate change, data science, and materials engineering.

Rsif IPIs are world class universities, research institutes/centers or companies (public or private) with advanced research and training facilities willing to offer research internship opportunities to Rsif PhD scholars registered at the Africa Host Universities (AHUs). See other Rsif IPIs here.

Through sandwich placement in international training programs, Rsif scholars gain exposure to diverse research environments, and collaborate with experts from different disciplines and cultures. They access specialized Research and training facilities, which foster their personal and professional growth. The “sandwich” training opportunity enables students to cultivate a global perspective, allowing the scholars to thrive in a competitive academic landscape.

“By hosting PhD scholars from select African universities, UMD will strengthen its commitment to furthering research on the global grand challenges facing humanity, including climate change, natural resource preservation, food security, and energy. Our hope is that this partnership will help build on the success of African scientists and innovators in the applied sciences, engineering and technology.”

~Craig Beyrouty, Dean and Director of UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2023.

Scholars benefit from advanced facilities, cutting-edge equipment, and unique resources available at partner universities, enriching their research projects. As they navigate international academic systems, the scholars develop adaptability, resilience, and a global outlook, positioning them as exceptional researchers with international recognition and credibility. This forward-thinking approach not only elevates the quality of research outcomes but also opens doors to global career prospects and prestigious fellowships or grants. Through this initiative, the academic community remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing the next generation of exceptional scholars and advancing research excellence on a global scale.

Rsif aims to enhance research capacity in Africa by prioritizing scholarships for African faculty members lacking a PhD. The program emphasizes collaboration with academic institutions, investors, governments, and other stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa to integrate specialized knowledge and transfer it to future generations. Recent partnerships have considered the language diversity among Rsif doctoral students, with contributions from governments in Francophone Western Africa and Lusophone Southern Africa.

Rsif, launched in 2015, is the flagship program of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PASET). PASET is an African-led initiative aimed at fostering competencies and skills to support the growth of key economic sectors and drive Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

Rsif utilizes scholarships and research grants to enhance the quality and relevance of PhD programs, ensuring the continuity and sustainability of research and innovation once scholars graduate. The program is currently funded by African governments, the World Bank, the Government of Korea, and the European Union through the ACP Innovation Fund. It is managed by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya, serving as the Rsif Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). With the aim of establishing the first Africa-led Pan-African science fund, Rsif invites additional funders and partners to join this important initiative.