Excellence in Africa Initiative Scholarships: “100 PhD for Africa”

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The Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco jointly launched the “Excellence in Africa” ​​initiative ( EXAF) to support the training of teachers and doctoral students in Africa.

The “ 100 PhD For Africa”  program is one of the three pillars of the Excellence in Africa initiative. It is designed to fund science, technology, engineering or mathematics graduates intending to complete a doctorate in an African higher education institution (their home institution). Doctoral students benefiting from the program will be supervised jointly by a professor employed by their home institution and a professor EPFL. They can spend short periods at EPFL in the laboratory of their EPFL co-director.

IMPORTANT : YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MOVE LOCATION . The selected candidates will mainly carry out their doctoral studies and thesis research in their home institution . Their diploma will be awarded by their home institution.

The “100 PhD for Africa” ​​program in brief

DEADLINE : April 20, 2021.
FINANCING : 72,555 euros / 53 months
TARGET GROUP : African countries.
HOST COUNTRY : Country of origin of the candidate.
INITIATIVE BY : EPFL (Switzerland), UM6P (Morocco)

Benefits of the “100 PhD for Africa” ​​program

The “100 Doctorates for Africa” ​​program provides funding of up to CHF 80,000 (72,555 euros) in total for a period of up to 54 months . Funding will be disbursed periodically , from the start of the scholarship and ending no later than the award of the doctoral thesis.

The funding covers:

  • Living allowance
  • Tuition fees
  • Research costs
  • Conferences
  • Costs linked to the joint supervision (travel costs to and from EPFL, subsistence allowance at EPFL, meals, etc.).

Eligibility criteria

The “100 PhD for Africa” ​​program is open to graduates in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who have an exceptional academic record and wish to complete a PhD at an African higher education institution:

  1. The candidate must be a national of an African country.
  2. The candidate must be enrolled in an African academic institution and reside in an African country for the duration of the doctorate.
  3. The candidate must have a Master’s degree awarded after January 1, 2018, or must be enrolled in their last year of Master’s studies and will most likely complete their Master’s within six months of the deadline for this call for applications.
  4. The candidate’s Master’s degree must be issued by an institution of higher education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
  5. Candidates who have already started a doctorate can apply if they have been registered as doctoral students for less than six months before the deadline for this call.
  6. The candidate should have an outstanding academic background as evidenced, for example, by official transcripts from all higher education institutions they have attended.
  7. Applicants must have the endorsement of a professor from their home institution who is willing and authorized to supervise their doctoral thesis throughout its duration. This professor should have a PhD and have a solid background in research training and mentoring.
  8. The home institution of applicants must certify that the proposed thesis supervisor is authorized to supervise the applicant’s doctoral thesis for the duration of the scholarship.
  9. The home institution of applicants must provide suitable conditions for successful applicants to complete their doctoral project, including adequate facilities, mentoring and supervision.
  10. Scholarship candidates must devote on average 80% of their working time to the approved research thesis during the entire duration of their doctoral scholarship. The remaining 20% ​​of their working time can be spent on other activities at their home institution, such as teaching or attending classes.
  11. Scholarship applicants must present documentary evidence that they have been admitted to the home institution’s doctoral study program prior to the signing of any scholarship agreement.
  12. Funded applicants must participate in webinars, workshops, conferences, summer schools organized by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University or other events organized by the 100 doctorates For Africa.

Application procedures for the “100 PhD for Africa” ​​program

Applicants should submit their application with all required documents via the online submission platform before 20 April 2021 (5:00 p.m. CET).

The following documents are required as part of the application for the “100 PhD for Africa” ​​program:

  1. Doctoral proposal
  2. Statement of objectives
  3. CV
  4. List of publications (if applicable)
  5. Copy of all higher education transcripts and diplomas
  6. Letter of recommendation
  7. Letter of support from the supervisor of the sending institution
  8. Letter of support from the sending institution
  9. Budget
  10. A copy of the passport

Final decisions must be announced by September 6, 2021. In the event of an unexpected number of applications, the decision date may be postponed and applicants will be notified of the new decision date. Successful applicants can start their PhD scholarship once the scholarship agreement has been signed by all parties. The start date is October 1, 2021, at the earliest and no later than 12 months after the stock exchange notification date.

A joint steering committee made up of members of UM6P and EPFL constitutes the governance board of this initiative.


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