The Regional Scholarship and Innovation fund (RSIF) is organizing a six-day orientation and training workshop between 2-9 June 2020 for the recently selected 69 second cohort RSIF doctoral scholars. The 69 students join the 15 PhD scholars selected in 2018 who are now undertaking sandwich training in Korea, United States and Africa.
The orientation workshop aims to prepare new RSIF scholarship holders as they begin their PhD on key aspects of the RSIF program, including expectations for their research and as academics. The training will provide students with an introduction to key core skills useful to the new doctoral student, including science communication and PhD proposal writing, information literacy, research methods and data analysis. The training will be delivered virtually by the RSIF Regional Coordination Unit (RCU), International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya.
During the opening session on 2 June, the orientation training was opened by Prof. Aminata Sall Diallo, Executive Director of the PASET Executive Board. Welcome remarks were provided by Dr Moses Osiru, RSIF Manager, RSIF Regional Coordination Unit (RSIF-RCU), icipe, on behalf of Dr. Segenet Kelemu, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of icipe. Other remarks were delivered by Mr Sodedji Frejus Ariel Kpedetin, RSIF PhD Scholar (Cohort 1) at the University Felix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire and currently undertaking internships at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); Ms Ruth Charo, Senior Education Specialist and RSIF Task Team Leader, World Bank; Prof. Goolam Mohamedbhai GOSK, Chair – PASET Consultative Advisory Group; Former Secretary-General, Association of African Universities and Mr. Mike Hughes, Member of the PASET Executive Board, Advisor to the Minister of Education, Government of Rwanda.
In her opening remarks, Prof Diallo noted that “the five PASET priority areas of food security and agribusiness, climate change, mines, minerals and materials science, energy and ICT were carefully selected to contribute to the development agenda of sub-Saharan Africa countries. RSIF scholars will also support national governments to respond to challenges such as COVID-19”. She also thanked icipe for the leadership role they are playing to implementing the RSIF initiative on behalf of Africa.
Over the 7 days of the training, the scholars will benefit from specific trainings delivered by experts from icipe, the World Bank and the coordinators at the RSIF African host universities. Dr. Sajitha Bashir (Adviser for Science, Technology and Innovation, Office of Senior Director for Education Global Practice, World Bank) and Ms. Safaa El Tayeb El-Kogali (the Education Global Practice Manager for East and Southern Africa at the World Bank) based in Washington, DC will be among the speakers.
Topics that will be covered during the orientation training include how scholars can redress grievances; Sexual Harassment; Strategies for a successful PhD, including research planning and working with supervisors; PhD proposal writing; responsible conduct of research, including research ethics; information literacy; research methods and statistics, data analysis and management; research communication and social media and the role of social media in higher education.
The 69 students in RSIF Cohort II will study at RSIF African host universities across the continent including Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania; University of 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; University of Rwanda; Bayero University, Nigeria and Kenyatta University, Kenya.
The Second Cohort students all initiated their studies between March 2020 – April 2020, and were slightly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Icipe has taken steps, in partnership with the universities to ensure the PhD studies continue. For more information on PASET, please visit www.rsif-paset.org