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One Planet Fellowship Programme

The One Planet Summit organized on 15 December 2017 in Paris outlined concrete steps by private and public sector actors working together to meet the objectives set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The 12 commitments that resulted out of this convening consist of 30 actions intended to intensify and accelerate global efforts to fight climate change. One of these actions, under Commitment 3 (Mobilizing researchers and young people to work for the climate), is the implementation of One Planet Fellowship Programme.

Objective and structure

The One Planet Fellowship Programme aims to build a vibrant, connected and intergenerational network of African and European scientists equipped to lead research on agriculture - climate change in Africa.

It is designed to enhance the capacity of high potential researchers focused on agriculture and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Its three pillars include:

  • Building science skills. One of the keys to improving livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa is to build and sustain a strong, effective talent pool in agricultural R&D. This requires building the Fellows’ science skills while strengthening R&D systems. The Fellowship expands the laureates’ world of science, facilitating their access to the latest methodologies and technologies, while building their professional networks. In turn, it brings the groundbreaking work of African agricultural and climate scientists to the national, regional, and global stages, where it is much needed. A crucial element of this pillar is the Advanced Science Training (AST) where Fellows are given the opportunity to hone their science skills in state-of-the-art laboratories and institutions and be mentored by a senior scientist in their field of specialization. Fellows will be hosted in major French and European "Advanced Research Institutions."
  • Developing leadership skills. Each fellow participates in leadership skills courses that focus on building self-esteem and offer insights into how to thrive in a workplace through teamwork and negotiations. They also have the practical experience of hosting a role-modeling event to introduce other young students or colleagues to the importance and rewards of careers in agriculture.
  • Fostering mentoring partnerships. Mentoring is a proven and powerful driver for career development and particularly for retaining women in science. A Fellow is paired to a mentor—a senior professional who volunteers to guide the fellow’s career path. Each Fellow is mentored for one year as part of the fellowship package. In the second year of the fellowship, all fellows pass on their knowledge by mentoring junior scientists, thereby providing an opportunity to practice their leadership skills.

Selection of candidates, mentoring and networking

Three successive Calls for applications in Africa are launched in 2019-2020. For each Call, up to 45 candidates (25 women, 20 male) are selected to take part in a 3-year fellowship cycle.

Each candidate Fellow is matched to an African mentor. Those who will have the opportunity to do an AST in Europe will be matched with a European science supervisor as well. Each candidate Fellow will also be paired with and mentor a junior African scientist and a junior European scientist. This group of laureates, mentors and mentees constitute this network of African and European scientists working on African agriculture adaptation to climate change.

Country coverage

  • The OPFP 1st Call for Applications was open for candidates from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia.
  • The 2nd Call for Applications will include, in addition to the 12 above, candidates from Morocco and Algeria.
  • Countries to be covered by the 3rd Call will be finalized in due course.

Implementers and funders

  • One Planet Fellowship Programme is jointly implemented by Agropolis Fondation and AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development).
  • It is co-funded by the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the European Commission through the DeSIRA Initiative.

Call for application: second cohort

The first cohort, composed of 45 high-potential scientists, selected from a pool of more than 1,500 candidates, was launched in September 2019. The call for applications for the next cohort of the One Planet Fellowship is now open. The One Planet Fellowship aims to create a dynamic, highly interconnected and intergenerational network of African and European science leaders able to use a gender perspective to help African smallholder farmers adapt to climate change.

This second call for proposals includes two North African countries, Algeria and Morocco, in addition to six English-speaking countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia) and six French-speaking countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Togo).

Inspired by the AWARD scholarship model, this five-year, US$19.2 million (€17,3 million) initiative aims to reward up to 630 competitively selected agronomists.

Selected candidates will participate in an intensive three-year non-residential career acceleration process aimed at fostering the development of leadership skills, strengthening scientific research skills, including gender integration in their research, and fostering research partnerships and networks. Candidates who complete the three-year process will become One Planet Award winners.

The BNP Paribas Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the European Commission’s DeSIRA program jointly fund OPFP. It is implemented jointly by the AWARD programme and Agropolis Fondation.

The application for a scholarship is made through an online registration form.

The call for applications closes on 31 March 2020 at 23:59 Nairobi time (GMT+3). No applications will be accepted after this date.

Brochure One Planet