icipe receives grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to support the PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) – the premier African-owned and managed pan-African science fund
The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), will strengthen doctoral training and postdoctoral research in applied science, engineering and technology in Africa (DOCTAS), through the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) programme, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY).
Launched in 2015, Rsif is the flagship programme of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an initiative established in 2013 by African governments and partners. Rsif provides doctoral scholarships and competitive grants for research and innovation. At least 40 percent of the scholarships and grants have been awarded to women. In 2018, icipe was competitively selected and appointed as the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) of Rsif.
Through DOCTAS, CCNY will provide a total of USD 950,000 to Rsif over the next two years. Part of the support will be chanelled through the Rsif Junior Investigator Research Award. It will enable up to five Rsif PhD graduates who hold positions in institutions in Africa to establish research, managerial and other complementary skills, as well as regional and international networks that will allow them to become independent researchers. An additional 20 grants will be given to ongoing Rsif PhD scholars, thus boosting resources for research and outcomes. The DOCTAS initiative will also strengthen the ability of researchers to engage with policymakers, to link research to policy and practice.
“The Corporation's Higher Education and Research in Africa program is pleased to support icipe and Rsif to implement the DOCTAS initiative, which will further our long-term commitment to collaborate with, and support universities and research organisations in Africa.” - Claudia Frittelli, Program Director, Carnegie Corporation of New York.
“We welcome the support from CCNY, which will be anchored in Rsif’s pan-African vision for scientific research and innovation capacity building. In just five years, Rsif has become one of the largest academic and research networks for nurturing the continent’s talent and leadership in applied sciences, engineering and technology.” - Dr Segenet Kelemu, Director General & CEO of icipe.
Rsif directly contributes to national developmental agendas; the African Union (AU) Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (STISA) 2024; the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa (CESA); and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. The importance of Rsif is signified by rising investments in the Programme by African governments including: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal. Further contributions have been provided by the World Bank, the Government of South Korea, and the ACP Innovation Fund of the European Union, through the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
Rsif has a unique approach that combines intra-Africa doctoral exchange and international training. This is achieved through a network of African Host Universities (AHUs) – competitively and rigorously selected universities; and international partner institutions (IPIs) – globally recognised universities, research institutes, public and private companies. This hybrid model ensures that the Rsif Phd scholars are initiated into research on challenges facing the continent, and that they also advance their scientific skills, broaden international networks, and strengthen industry linkages, among other outcomes.
Having started off with 15 PhD scholarships in 2018, by 2023 about 300 young African scholars (about 37 percent of them being women), from 24 African countries had been awarded Rsif PhD scholarships. The Rsif scholars have published a total of 142 peer-reviewed journal articles. Ten of the 15 cohort 1 scholars have completed their studies and they now hold various positions in universities in Africa, and eight of them have been awarded junior investigator research grants by Rsif.
Rsif also promotes research excellence, capacity for innovation, as well as enabling environments for entrepreneurship and research commercialisation in Africa. The Programme provides grants and support to faculty in AHUs to implement projects that are aligned to national and regional development priorities. A total of 32 research and innovation grants have been awarded; and through a special agreement, 12 research and innovation grants have been provided to faculty and researchers in Mozambique.
Notes for Editors
The PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) is the flagship programme of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an initiative by African governments to address systemic gaps in skills and knowledge necessary for long-term, sustained economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). PASET was launched in 2013 by the governments of Senegal, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Since then, the governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Rwanda, have invested in PASET. Other key partners and contributors are the World Bank and the Government of South Korea. In 2018, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), was competitively selected as the Rsif Regional Coordination Unit (RCU).
The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (www.icipe.org), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the only research institution in Africa working primarily on insects and other arthropods. icipe’s mission is to ensure better food security, health and livelihoods in Africa, by producing world-class knowledge and then developing solutions that are environmentally friendly, accessible, affordable and easy-to-use by communities. These objectives are delivered through four thematic areas – human health, animal health, plant health and environmental health, resulting in a unique framework to tackle the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, low agricultural productivity, and environmental degradation in a comprehensive manner.