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Friday, December 1, 2023

APPLY: 2021 UM6P/EPFL Excellence in Africa 100 PhDs Scholarship Program For Young Africans

UM6P and EPFLhave launched the Excellence in Africa initiative (EXAF) to support the rise of the next generation of researchers in Africa. This ground-breaking initiative aims to enhance their research skills through collaboration with EPFL professors. It is based on the premise that it will contribute to building their career and enable them to heighten their economic and societal impact in Africa.

The programme ‘100 PhDs for Africa’ is one of three pillars of the EXAF initiative. It is designed to fund science and engineering graduates intending to complete a PhD at an African higher education institution.

The PhD candidates benefiting from this programme will be jointly supervised by a professor of an African institution and by an EPFL professor. They will conduct their doctoral studies and their thesis research at their home institution, and they will spend short periods of time at EPFL and at UM6P (summer and spring schools, workshops, conferences). Their degree will be awarded by their institution in Africa.

Scholarship Details

Outstanding science and engineering African graduates, who wish to complete a PhD at an African higher education institution in one of the EPFL research domains are strongly encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is the 20th of April 2021. Pre-selected applicants should be interviewed by their potential EPFL co-supervisor between the 22nd of June 2021 and the 6th of August 2021. Results are expected by September 2021.

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Scholarship Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • To be a national of an African country
  • To hold a Master’s degree awarded after the 1st of January 2018 or to be enrolled in the final year of the master study 
  • To have an outstanding academic track record
  • To be enrolled in an African academic institution when the fellowship will start, and to reside in an African country for the duration of the PhD
  • To have the endorsement of a professor of an African institution willing to supervise the doctoral thesis for its full duration

Scholarship Duration and Reward

The programme awards funding of a maximum of 80’000 Swiss francs in total for a period of at most 54 months. Eligible costs include and are limited to:

A living allowance for the PhD fellow, which must be in line with the standard documented practices of the home institution

  • Tuition costs may be included in the budget if there is written confirmation from the home institution that tuition fees apply for all PhD candidates
  • Consumables and direct costs for the use of infrastructure at the home institution or at EPFL
  • Open science costs: costs for data storage and for granting access to data (open research data) and open access publication costs
  • Conference, summer school and workshop costs for the PhD fellow, namely travel (economy class airfares, public ground transportation), lodging, visa, vaccinations, meals, and (if applicable) conference registration fees
  • During the fellowship, the PhD fellow must participate in two summer schools organised by UM6P at Ben Guerir Campus in Morocco. Travel costs for these summer schools will also have to be included
  • Travel costs for the PhD fellow to and from EPFL (economy class airfares, public ground transportation)
  • A supplementary living allowance for stay(s) at EPFL
  • Travel costs to and from the African home institution and EPFL for the supervisor and co-supervisor of the PhD fellow (economy class airfares, public ground transportation, lodging, and meals)
  • Other costs incurred by the joint supervision (e.g., joint participation in a conference, other costs related to stays at EPFL)

Required Documents

To apply, candidates must be ready to submit the following documents;

  • PhD proposal
  • Statement of objectives
  • CV
  • List of publications (if applicable)
  • Copy of all higher education grade
    transcripts and diplomas
  • Reference Letter 
  • Home institution supervisor
    support letter
  • Home institution support letter
  • Budget
  • Ethical issues form
  • Copy of Inetrnational Passport 

Method of Application

Interested applicants shall submit an application (see below for details) via the online submission platform before the 20th of April (17:00 CET). The EPFL office in charge of implementing the joint  UM6P-EPFL EXAF programme (henceforth the EPFL office) is responsible for checking the eligibility of applicants and for assessing the applications based on the criteria specified in the application guidelines (see below for details).

The EPFL office will then share the shortlisted applications with EPFL professors in the same or related field of research as each applicant. Shortlisted applicants who are pre-selected by an EPFL professor will be notified by the 21st of June 2021 that they will be invited to an online interview, which will take place between the 22nd of June 2021 and the 6th of August 2021. Applicants who are not shortlisted or who are shortlisted but for whom no EPFL co-supervisor was found will also be notified by e-mail by the 21st of June 2021.

The EPFL professors will communicate the results of the interviews to the EPFL office, which in coordination with the Programme Directors of the programme will prepare a list of applications recommended for funding. In addition some applications will be placed on a reserve list, should any of the candidates who were offered funding decline or were eventually considered ineligible. The Joint Steering Committee will make the final decision by the 06th of September 2021.

Deadline: April 20, 2021

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