Nov 17, 2014
2014 AWARD Fellowship Laureates Set New Standards

AWARD selected the 70 2014 AWARD Fellowship winners recently following a rigorous selection process. The AWARD Steering Committee selected the laureates based on their intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of the scientist’s research to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, especially women.

The winners were selected from among 790 applicants from 11 sub-Saharan African countries. They have been informed and their names will be publically announced at a news conference in February when the 2014 program begins.

“AWARD is very impressed with the overall quality and depth of the applications, making the selection process even more difficult and competitive,” said Marco Noordeloos, AWARD Acting Director. “These applicants have set a new standard.”

The sixth round of AWARD Fellowships attracted the second largest number of applications to date.  Of the winners, 38 percent had applied at least once before.

“We had one very persistent applicant who has applied in every round,” says Noordeloos.  “She came close in several previous rounds, but finally succeeded on her sixth attempt.”

Since AWARD’s inception in 2008, 3,503 women scientists have applied for one of 390 available AWARD Fellowships. Women agricultural scientists, who are citizens of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda or Zambia, and have completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in selected agricultural disciplines, were eligible to apply. In addition, AWARD is concurrently running a two-year pilot program for five scientists from five selected francophone countries.

Out of the 70 winners, four were previously involved in the program as junior mentees of AWARD Fellows, and two have served as volunteer AWARD Mentors. “The news that my mentee won a fellowship this year is one of my happiest moments.  She has indeed made me proud,” reports an AWARD Fellow. “Since I won the fellowship in 2011, my institution has had AWARD winners annually.”

AWARD is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through two-year fellowships. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.

AWARD addresses many barriers facing African women in agricultural research, including a lack of role models and mentors, which prevent them from playing a more active role and from considering careers in agricultural science.

The AWARD Fellowship is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Agropolis Fondation and the United States Agency for International Development.


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