AWARD Scales out its Fellowship Initiative to the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Monday, February 25, 2019 — Following a partnership agreement with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is launching a institutional version of the AWARD Fellowship for women researchers at EIAR. As part of a cocktail of interventions under AWARD’s Gender Responsive Agricultural Research and Development (GRARD) initiative, the customized AWARD Fellowship seeks to foster mentoring and build the leadership and scientific skills of women agricultural scientists at EIAR. It will see AWARD implementing, for the first time, an institutional Fellowship as a proof of concept for increased investments in gender-responsive agricultural research and development for individuals and institutions across Ethiopia.
A recent gender audit at EIAR revealed that even though there are gender focal persons in the institution, “they are not adequately trained or resourced, and most of the gender-focused sections in research design are insufficient to guide research teams on how to design budget and conduct gender-responsive research.” The audit also revealed that women account for only 24 percent of the institution’s total workforce and only seven percent have a bachelor’s degree and above. In a bid to increase the number of women agricultural researchers and responding to the gender audit, EIAR recently recruited 100 young women graduates for the position of agricultural scientists across the institution’s 17 research centers. Half of the beneficiaries of the customized AWARD Fellowship will be the newly recruited women scientists.
The customized AWARD Fellowship is a significant boost to AWARD's mission of creating a vibrant network of institutional actors committed to gender responsiveness in African agricultural research. It targets 20 women agricultural scientists and is scheduled to run for eight months. A total of 60 scientists will directly benefit from this pilot initiative including, 20 (female) Fellows, 20 (male and female) Mentors and 20 (female) junior scientists. The Fellowship will include mentoring orientation workshops (MOW) for AWARD-EIAR Fellows and Mentees (Learning partners), bi-weekly mentoring meetings, customized training to build science writing skills, management and leadership skills, progress monitoring meeting for Fellows and Mentors.
The Fellowship will also see AWARD deepening its partnerships with the John Innes Centre (JIC), the Roslin Institute, and the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH), to build and sharpen the scientific skills of the AWARD-EIAR Fellows. JIC, the Roslin Institute and CTLGH will support the Advanced Science Training (AST) component of the Fellowship. AST is a significant component that aims to strengthen the Fellows’ scientific skills by exposing them to the latest scientific advances and allowing them to learn from agricultural scientists in the world’s leading research institutions.
The EIAR institutional AWARD Fellowship kicks off today, February 25, 2019, with the Mentoring Orientation Workshop for AWARD-EIAR Fellows at EIAR Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) works toward inclusive, agriculture-driven prosperity for the African continent by strengthening the production and dissemination of more gender-responsive agricultural research and innovation. We invest in African scientists, research institutions, and agribusinesses so that they can deliver agricultural innovations that better respond to the needs and priorities of a diversity of women and men across Africa’s agricultural value chains.
The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) works to; (1) generate, develop and adapt agricultural technologies that focus on the needs of the overall agricultural development and its beneficiaries; (2) coordinate technically the research activities of Ethiopian Agricultural Research System; (3) build up a research capacity and establish a system that will make agricultural research efficient, effective and based on development needs; and (4) popularize agricultural research results.
The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics, and microbiology. The institute fosters a creative, curiosity-driven approach to fundamental questions in bio-science, with a view to translating that into societal benefits.
The Roslin Institute aims to enhance the lives of animals and humans through world-class research in animal biology. Its mission is to gain a fundamental understanding of genetic, cellular, organ and systems bioscience underpinning common mechanisms of animal development and pathology, and to use this knowledge to prevent and treat important veterinary diseases and develop sustainable farm animal production systems.
The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health supports programs that improve livestock-based livelihoods in the tropics. It is a strategic alliance of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College and the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi.