Les femmes scientifiques africaines émergentes reçoivent une formation personnalisée pour améliorer leurs compétences en matière de publication

Science students from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT) during an ‘International Day for Women and Girls in Science’ event hosted by AWARD in 2023

Guided by its new strategy 2023-2027, African Women in Agricultural Research for Development (AWARD) has a renewed commitment to enhancing the capacities of younger women to excel in agricultural science careers and pursue leadership opportunities. In executing this mission, AWARD designed a special training program on Research Writing and Communications Skills and Gender-Responsive Research for the AWARD Leadership Program for Emerging African Women in Science.

The virtual courses were offered between January and April 2024 to a total of 52 participants from 14 African countries.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York funds the program offered to African women scientists under 35 years of age from sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, it targets citizens of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

The Gender Responsive Research Course is designed to introduce young researchers to the concept of integrating gender in their research and increase awareness of gender-responsive research in agri-food systems.

Participants recorded that participating in the gender in agriculture course has enhanced their awareness of gender issues as researchers and aspiring leaders in agrifood systems.

“I am now better equipped to incorporate gender more broadly. For instance, in my ongoing research assessing the diet quality of adolescents, before this course, I only disaggregated using sex and age group. Now, I have realized I can further analyze the data to capture the different unique identities of the adolescents, which I believe will give a better understanding in identifying problematic areas.” Rukayat Abdussalaam, Extension Fellow, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria.

Marie Dieudonnée Laure Tchiedjo is a PhD Student at the University of Lorraine in Cameroon and one of the participants who undertook the Gender-Responsive Course in January 2024. She attributes the change of perspective to developing a Literature Review of her study on fish polyculture in her home country, integrating gender as a key variable in her study.

” Recognizing gender differences in technology adoption and use within fish polyculture will allow for the design of technologies that are more accessible and beneficial for both men and women involved in the sector,” she says.

The “Research Proposal Writing and Communications Skills” course delivered in March 2024 sought to equip the participants with the tools to develop concept notes, problem statements, and skills in pitching and presenting at conferences.

This course also hones participants’ skills to produce compelling, high-quality publications and cement their place as credible researchers. Participants shared that they have grown their understanding of the processes that involve crafting publishable manuscripts and how to identify potential publishing journals.

“One of the most significant learning points for me has been understanding how to write a grant proposal for funding. Throughout this process, I have gained valuable insights into various components, such as problem tree analysis, problem statement formulation, justification, and objectives development, as well as creating a comprehensive work plan and budget,” says Emebet Sisay, a PhD Candidate and Researcher at Haramaya University in Ethiopia.

AWARD also emphasizes creating a pool of confident women leading research in AR4D institutions, an intervention mirrored in the program’s communication skills course.

Emmaculate Akinyi, a PhD student from Kenya studying at Makerere University, is among 84% of the participants who have expressed that the program’s focus on topics such as building confidence, assertiveness, and effective communication has equipped them to articulate ideas and expertise in scientific discussions confidently.

” The learnings from the topic on ‘elevating pitching skills’ significantly increased my self-confidence and my appreciation for its role in obtaining funding and inspiring teams, as well as how it is an essential component of effective leadership,” she says.


African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Hosted by World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri. P.O Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: awardqueries@cifor-icraf.org | Tel: +254 (0) 20 722 4242