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The AWARD Fellowship

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 tailored 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.

Established in 2008, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) was launched following a successful three-year pilot program in East Africa supported by the Rockefeller Foundation from 2005-2008.

AWARD Fellows benefit from a two-year career-development program focused on fostering mentoring partnerships, building science skills, and developing leadership capacity. Following a highly competitive process, the fellowships are awarded on the basis of intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of the scientist's research to improve the daily lives of smallholder farmers, especially women.

Since its inception, AWARD has received applications from more than 4,200 women for a total of 460 available fellowships. On average, only the top nine percent of applicants are selected each year.

To date, 460 African women scientists from 11 countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) have benefited directly as AWARD Fellows.

AWARD partners with more than 300 organizations and institutions, including many national institutes of agricultural research.

AWARD Francophone Pilot Program

In 2013, AWARD launched a two-year pilot program for francophone African women agricultural scientists, in partnership with Le Conseil ouest et centre africain pour la recherche et le développement agricoles/West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) in Dakar, Senegal, and Agropolis Fondation in Montpellier, France.

Five scientists, representing Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal, participated in the English-language pilot program, which ended in August 2015. The partner organizations hope the pilot will lay the groundwork for what may become a larger program in the future, if funding becomes available.