PhD Scholarships available to support 3-4-year doctoral training in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Call for applications is now open.

Deadline for submission: 15th June 2020 at 5:00 pm (East Africa time; UTC+3)


The Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) is an African-led initiative with the goal of strengthening skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology to further socio-economic transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) is the flagship program of PASET. RSIF focuses on transformative technologies that have a far-reaching positive impact on society. It is funded by contributions from African governments, the World Bank and the Government of Korea and facilitated by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya.

RSIF aims to train quality PhD students and post-doctoral researchers at selected African universities (‘African Host Universities’) to address the human resource gap of highly qualified specialists in the fields of applied sciences, engineering, and technology (ASET) and to contribute to improving research and innovation capacities in those fields in SSA. RSIF also supports the strengthening of research and innovation ecosystems at the African Host Universities by providing funding through competitive grants.

RSIF supports training, research and innovation in five PASET Priority Thematic Areas: (1) ICT including big data and artificial intelligence, (2) Food security and agri-business, (3) Minerals, mining and materials engineering, (4) Energy including renewables and (5) Climate change.

The specific objectives of RSIF are to:

  1. Create a stock of highly skilled scientists, professionals and innovators in ASET areas.
  1. Identify and nurture young talented Africans who wish to further their studies in ASET fields where expertise is needed most.
  1. Address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in ASET fields in Africa.
  1. Build African university capacity to provide relevant ASET training and to ensure continued investment in scaling up the ASET education and workforce.

About the PASET-RSIF PhD Scholarship Program

  • RSIF PhD Scholarships are open to candidates interested in receiving international-quality PhD training.
  • Applicants apply for a scholarship to conduct PhD research in a PASET Priority Thematic Area at one of the African Host Universities.
  • Independent selection panels will review applications to select candidates for scholarship awards.
  • Once scholarships are awarded, successful candidates will be instructed to register with their selected African Host University. Further details will be provided at this time.
  • The duration of the PhD Scholarship is 3 to 4 years, including a 6-24 month ‘sandwich’ placement at an international partner university, research institute or private company.
  • RSIF PhD scholarships will be awarded in September 2020.


To be eligible for a RSIF PhD Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Have a relevant master’s degree in one of the fields of study. The master’s degree must have been completed less than six years before 30 April 2020.
  • Meet the specific admission requirements of the African Host University they are applying to.
  • Be a citizen of a sub-Saharan Africa country.
  • Be willing to enroll full-time in a PhD program at an African Host University in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Be willing to spend 6-24 months in ‘sandwich’ training at an international partner university, research institute or private company.
  • Demonstrate that their research goals are well aligned to the RSIF Priority Thematic Areas and contribute to Africa’s development.
  • Priority for the scholarships will be given to women and existing young academic faculty who do not have a PhD.


RSIF PhD Scholars will receive the following benefits:

  • The RSIF PhD Scholarship covers university tuition and related fees, competitive stipend to cover living expenses, travel, medical insurance and research costs.
  • RSIF PhD scholars will be supported to spend 6-24 months on ‘sandwich’ training at an international partner university, research institute or private company.
  • RSIF PhD scholars become part of a growing network of emerging leaders in ASET fields in SSA.
  • RSIF PhD scholars will have access to RSIF competitive research grants upon completion of their PhD.

Further information and application guidelines available here: (English) or (French)


Applications are accepted through the online application platform: Applications submitted by email or in hardcopy will not be accepted.

Submission deadline

15th June 2020 at 5:00 pm (East Africa Time; UTC+3)

Please address any questions to:

The Manager

RSIF-Regional Coordination Unit (RCU)

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)