Rsif partners with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Sakina Kahindi
29 Aug 2023 0

Rsif and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has joined the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) as an International Partner Institution (IPI). ICRISAT joins 28 other Rsif IPIs, which widens opportunities for Rsif scholar-sandwich placements in an advanced research facility. Rsif scholars visiting ICRISAT will study alongside world class experts in food and nutrition security and other areas like climate change.

Rsif IPIs are world class universities, research institutes/centres 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.

As an IPI, ICRISAT will contribute to strengthening institutional capacity for doctoral training, research, and innovation particularly in food systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Through sandwich placement in international training programs, Rsif scholars gain exposure to diverse research environments, collaborate with experts from different cultures, access specialized resources, and foster personal and professional growth. The importance of this “sandwich” training option lies in its ability to cultivate a global perspective, allowing the scholars to thrive in a competitive academic landscape. It also facilitates cross-cultural communication, enhances interdisciplinary collaborations, and broadens horizons through engagement with diverse research methodologies.

“ICRISAT values the partnership with ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ as it strongly believes that academic and scientific research cooperation and capacity building is fundamental to develop priority sectors such as agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Agriculture is the driver of rural development and a robust research capability at the national level can help countries achieve food and nutrition security.  We look forward to collaborating with African Universities to empower smallholder farmers in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa.” ~ Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes, Director General of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, 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 the region 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 focuses on building high-quality training, research, and innovation environments, as well as developing institutional capacity in SSA to benefit the entire region. The program supports PhD students, post-doctoral scientists, and universities in SSA, with the goal of advancing research and innovation in priority economic sectors.

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.