The AWARD fellowship

The AWARD Fellowship is a career-development program that since 2008 has, through tailored fellowship, equipped top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their science and leadership skills. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers.

AWARD Fellows benefit from a two-year fellowship focused on fostering mentoring partnerships, building science skills, and developing leadership capacity. Following a highly competitive process, the fellowship is awarded on the basis of intellectual merit, leadership capacity and the potential impact of the scientist's research to improve the livelihoods of small holder farmers. During the two-year fellowship, AWARD Fellows remain in their institutions, continue their research, and travel to AWARD training courses held in various locations across Africa.

African women scientists from 16 countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal) have benefited directly as AWARD Fellows. In 2017, the scope of the African countries increased to 28 with a particular focus on francophone countries including: Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Togo.


Each fellow participates in leadership skills courses that focus on building self-esteem and offer insights into how to thrive in a workplace through teamwork and negotiations. She also has the practical experience of hosting a role-modeling event to introduce other women – young students or colleagues – to the importance and rewards of careers in agriculture.

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Each fellow is offered a range of courses designed to improve her ability to share her knowledge, through science- and proposal-writing courses, and to improve her presentation skills through AWARD-sponsored travel to scientific conferences and memberships in scientific organizations. 

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Each fellow is matched with a mentor – a respected male or female senior scientist in her area of expertise. The fellow and mentor attend an orientation workshop where they contract their goals for the year they will be working together. After being mentored for a year, the fellow takes on a junior scientist as her mentee. 

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