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DOCTAS - Call for Application for Rsif Sandwich Placement Research Funds Support


The Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) is an African-led initiative with the goal of strengthening skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology to further socio-economic transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) is the flagship program of PASET. Rsif focuses on transformative technologies that have a far-reaching positive impact on society. It supports PhD students, post-doctoral scientists and universities in SSA to establish high-quality training, research and innovation environments and to develop institutional capacity for the benefit of the whole region. It is funded by contributions from African governments, the World Bank and the Government of Korea and facilitated by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya, as the Rsif Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU).

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) 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.

icipe has received a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to support the PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) doctoral scholars undertake research. The project for strengthening doctoral and postdoctoral training in applied science, engineering, and technology in Africa (DOCTAS), will provide 20 Sandwich Placement Research Funds to ongoing Rsif PhD scholars, to undertake research as part of their sandwich placement, thus boosting resources for research and outcomes.


The sandwich placement research funds will support Rsif scholars undertake their sandwich placement at any of the PASET-Rsif designated IPIs. This call targets scholars currently enrolled for PhD studies in any of the fifteen AHUs. Scholars must have their research proposals approved and are undertaking research activities of their PhD studies. The proposed research at the IPIs should form part of the scholar’s planned doctoral dissertation.

The sandwich placement research funding available is $10,000 per scholar to support the research activities. The sandwich placement should be between 6 to 12 months at the IPI. The research funds will support relevant direct project activities such as a) Data collection; b) Capital research equipment and software; c) Laboratory consumables; d) Publications; and e) Scientific Conference attendance. The research funds will be implemented by the International Partner Institution that is hosting the Rsif PhD scholar.

The recipients of the sandwich placement research funding will be expected to publish at least one peer reviewed publication from the results of the research supported by these funds. All research activities including the publication must be completed by 30 April 2025. 

Eligibility Criteria  

To be eligible for the Sandwich Research Funds, applicants must:

  1. Be an ongoing Rsif PhD scholar registered in any of the fifteen (15) Rsif African Host Institutions (AHUs).
  2. Have completed all course work requirements for the degree.
  3. Have successfully defended their proposals and they are in the research phase of the studies.
  4. Ensure the proposed research is addressing key development challenges in sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. Be matched with an IPI, not yet commenced the sandwich placement and have a clear plan to undertake sandwich placement for at least 6 months.
  6. Not have received any other funding to support their sandwich research activities.
  7. Not have previously undertaken the sandwich placement.

Rsif International Partner Institutions

Rsif IPIs are approved universities, research institutes/centres or companies (public or private) that offer sandwich opportunities for Rsif PhD Scholars from Africa. Rsif PhD Scholars are able to spend time at an IPI for a strategic research placement as part of their PhD programme. Rsif has engaged 29 IPIs that provide strategic research internships offered in a sandwich program model in collaboration with the Rsif African host universities to Rsif PhD scholars. See more details on the Rsif IPIs here.

Application and Selection: Summary

  1. Rsif scholars apply for sandwich placement research funds support to conduct research in an Rsif IPI.
  2. An Independent Review Committee (IRC) will review applications and make the final selection for research funds awards.
  3. Further details will be provided to successful scholars.
  4. Once research funds are awarded, successful scholars will be provided with further details.
  5. Recipients of the sandwich placement research funds will be required to complete research activities including a peer reviewed publication by 30 April 2025. 

Application Guidelines

Carefully read the application instructions. Please note that only complete applications submitted online will be accepted. Applications submitted by email or hardcopy will not be considered. Opening date for applications: 2 October 2023

  1. Applications are accepted through the online application platform:   
  2. The form should be submitted together with the required supporting documents (Table 1, below).
  3. The online platform will accept the following file types: doc, docx, pdf, jpg, jpeg, png. The maximum file size accepted for any single file is 32 MB.
  4. The application must be completed in English.
  5. There are only 20 research fund grants available, and therefore there is no deadline for receiving applications. However, applications will be evaluated every two months until all the available research funds have been successfully awarded. The 1st round of review will start on 30 October 2023.

Application form

Click here to download the application form. Once filled out, click on the 'APPLY' link to submit it along with the other required documents.

Required supporting documents. 

Application Procedure Requests should be supported by the following documentation:

  1. Approved research proposal, complete with clearly defined objectives, literature review, a well‐outlined analytical framework as well as a pertinent research methodology.
  2. A description of the plan of work for the thesis research.
  3. A detailed budget.
  4. A curriculum vitae

Conditions for application

  1. The applicant agrees to comply with all rules for participating in this call.
  2. icipe reserves the right to reject applications that fail to meet the eligibility and selection requirements.
  3. All decisions made by the Independent Review Committee and icipe are final.

Further information

Contact information and support:

The Manager
Regional Coordination Unit (RCU)
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)