African Women in Agricultural Research & Development (AWARD)










AWARD: Successful Women, Successful Science

AWARD is now acceptingaccepting applications for the
2010 AWARD Fellowships

African women working in agricultural research and development from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia who have completed a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in selected disciplines are invited to apply. Applicants must be nationals of the above listed countries and be available in Africa throughout the fellowship period.


The deadline for all applications is March 22, 2010.


Click on the document name to download:

a) Call for 2010 AWARD Fellowshipapplications
b) Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
c) Post-doctorate application
d) Post-master's application

e) Post-bachelor's application



All queries should be sent to AWARDFellows@cgiar.org


AWARD Fellowships: tackling complex challenges with bold innovations

Helping poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa overcome food crises and improve livelihoods is a complex challenge. It requires bold, innovative action. An essential step is strengthening the voice of Africa’s knowledgeable women, both on the farm and in the laboratories.


Acting on this conviction, in 2007 the CGIAR Gender & Diversity Program launched African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). AWARD offers two-year fellowships to fast track the careers of African women delivering pro-poor research and development. The program is generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.


AWARD is unique because it:

         selects women scientists already working closely with the rural poor on tackling poverty and hunger;

         focuses on career development, adding value to existing academic training programs;

         nourishes the talent pipeline for agricultural research and development (R&D)through carefully tailored fellowship packages for women with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees;

         engages with African leaders of agricultural R&D, both men and women, to raise awareness and build networks.


AWARD works across 16 agricultural research and development disciplines

 The fight against hunger, poverty and environmental degradation cannot be fought on one front. AWARD fellows are specialists in topics of direct relevance to struggling farmers. They help:

·         improve seed quality and supply;

·         increase poultry and livestock production;

·         promote sustainable management of pests, trees, soils and water;

·         enhance crop yield; improve child nutrition;

·         protect biodiversity;

·         support rural producer groups to raise incomes.

AWARD invites fellowship applicants from the following 16 disciplines and seeks mentors from these areas as well.


Agricultural economics


Animal and livestock sciences

Aquatic resources and fisheries

Biodiversity conservation

Crop sciences





Extension education

Food sciences and nutrition

Forestry and agroforestry


Molecular biology (plant/animal breeding)

Natural resources management

Soil sciences

Water and irrigation management


Building in three directions at once

AWARD cornerstones: mentoring, science and leadership


The AWARD Fellowships are built on three cornerstones: 

1.       establishing mentoring partnerships

2.       strengthening scientific skills 

3.       developing leadership capability


Throughout history, African village elders have shared their knowledge, passing on what they know to the next generation. AWARD mentoring builds on this tradition. Every fellow is carefully matched with a senior professional who serves as her mentor for one to two years. Together, they set their goals and meet at least once a month.


Hundreds of men and women—Africa’s most senior leaders in agriculture—volunteer their time as mentors to AWARD fellows. In exchange, mentors are offered the opportunity to participate in two of AWARD’s special events, such as courses in leadership or writing research proposals.


During the second year of an AWARD Fellowship, fellows with advanced degrees reach a new level of experience. These more experienced fellows become mentors themselves, to junior scientists in their institutions—“sharing forward” what they have learned. This creates a ripple effect, spreading the benefits of AWARD to yet hundreds more young women.

One of the keys to improving livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa is to build and sustain a strong, effective talent pool for the delivery of agricultural (R&D). This requires fostering  individuals’ capacity while strengthening R&D systems.


AWARD offers the resources to strengthen science competence while broadening horizons. With variations by discipline and career level, AWARD’s science cornerstone provides fellows with:



•membership in aprofessional association of choice,

•laptop withinternetaccess, plus training on how to make the most of theonline


•training in sciencewriting and presentation skills,

•training in writingresearch proposals for funding,

•support to attend ascience conference of choice,

•the option to competefor advanced science training with world-class agricultural R&D institutionsfor three to nine months.


AWARD helps ease fellows’ access to the latest methodologies and technologies, while strengthening their skills and professional networks. It also brings the groundbreaking work of African women to the national, regional and global stages, where it is much needed.




African women in agricultural R&D often find themselves invisible. They can be the last ones in line for budget allocations and without influence research priority-setting. Tackling Africa’s hunger requires tackling the dynamics that keep women outside of decision-making leadership bodies. Investing in African women’s leadership skills sends a powerful message.


Leadership training helps AWARD fellows learn to:

      manage successful R&D teams;

      navigate organizational dynamics that tend to favor men;

      build alliances and take risks;

      promote gender-sensitive policies and practices;

      influence their institutions on behalf of rural women and poor farmers.


AWARD fellows are called upon to practice their newly-acquired leadership skills.  They serve as role models to inspire the next generation of girls and boys. During her second year, each fellow organizes a community event at a school, career fair or farmers’ market. She talks about her work and her personal journey, but also stresses the importance of agricultural R&D and the key role of Africa’s women.


AWARD Fellowships: Who is eligible to apply?

AWARD is currently available to female African agricultural scientists from:

Ethiopia                  Nigeria

Ghana                     Rwanda

Kenya                     Tanzania

Malawi                   Uganda

Mozambique         Zambia



African women professionals from these countries, who are conducting research and development in AWARD’s 16 related disciplines (see above), are strongly encouraged to apply.




This opportunity is open to 2009 post-PhD and post-MSc AWARD Fellows

For more information, please go to:  http://fellowsupdate.wordpress.com/announcements/science-capacity-building/attachments/




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