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Call for Applications: The Mawazo Institute’s PhD Scholars Programme

Call for Applications: The Mawazo Institute’s PhD Scholars Programme

IN Call for applications, UNESCO Prizes and Awards
Programme Director:
January 1, 1970
About the Programme

The PhD Scholars Programme is a one-year, non-residential fellowship where PhD Scholars receive a research grant worth up to $5000 to support their research, a travel grant worth up to $2000 for conference travel, and a training grant worth up to $500 for ongoing training. Scholars also benefit from professional and leadership skills trainings provided by Mawazo and our partners, research and editorial support, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities. This programme is designed to amplify our Scholars’ research and position them as the next generation of leading experts, thinkers, and innovators who are finding homegrown solutions to local development challenges.

The call for applications for the 2020 cohort of Mawazo PhD Scholars will be open from October 14th 2019 to November 22nd 2019. Eligible applicants are invited to apply following the instructions below.


In order to be eligible for the PhD Scholars Programme, applicants must:

  • be women below the age of 40 as at 1st January 2020
  • be citizens of an African country
  • be enrolled for their PhD at an accredited university in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania or Uganda
  • have completed their course work if applicable and passed their departmental proposal defence (i.e. in the dissertation phase of their PhD)
  • demonstrate that their research project is related to African development and is relevant to a global, regional, national or sub-national policy priority
  • demonstrate potential for leadership both within and outside academia, and a strong passion to leverage their expertise for impact in society
  • be available to fully participate in the programme in 2020-2021


Mawazo PhD Scholars will receive the following benefits:

  • A research grant of up to $5000
  • A travel grant worth up to $2000 for participation in regional or international conferences
  • A training grant worth up to $500 for field specific training not offered by Mawazo
  • A stipend worth $500 for discretionary use
  • Participation in Mawazo’s in-house professional development and leadership training programme, comprised of a mix of in-person and virtual training modules
  • Research and editorial support from the Mawazo staff and our partners
  • Connections to mentors, as well as exposure to leaders from academia, industry, government and other sectors
  • Visibility via Mawazo digital platforms and events


Interested candidates are required to fill in and submit their applications via our online application portal. Applications will not be accepted by email or in hard copy. Applications will be considered complete when the following are provided:

  • A completed online application form
  • A current 2-page CV
  • A letter confirming current enrollment in an accredited PhD programme
  • A letter confirming that you have completed your course work (if applicable) and passed your departmental defense
  • A recommendation letter from your PhD supervisor
  • A recommendation letter from a second referee
  • A completed budget and timeline for the project (Please download the template here)
  • A completed budget narrative of 500 words or less

For instructions on how to use our online platform, complete your application and meet all the requirements required for consideration please download the application guidelines here.


All applications will be reviewed by the Mawazo Institute staff and a panel of external expert reviewers. Successful applicants will demonstrate that they can do the following:

  • Meet all eligibility requirements
  • Identify a problem which has important implications for African development and is linked to a global, regional, national or sub-national policy priority
  • Demonstrate that their research is academically rigorous and addresses a unique and important gap in the field
  • Propose a research project which has clear objectives, is appropriately designed for the question being asked, and can be feasibly executed with the financial resources available and within a one- to two-year timeline.
  • Write a summary of their project which is clear, concrete, and accessible to scholars outside their own field

The Mawazo Institute is committed to non-discrimination in the application review process.


The Mawazo Institute is committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about the information we are collecting about you and what we do with it.

Mawazo Institute will hold all personal data in confidence and will not release it to any third parties without consent, except to those involved in the evaluation of the applicants and administration of the programme.


The due date for the application is 11.59 pm EAT on 22 November 2019.

Applicants will be given a final decision on the status of their application in early 2020 and the fellowship year will commence shortly afterwards.

For additional information with regards to the programme and the application process please download our FAQs document.

For questions pertaining to the application portal, please contact our programme staff on