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The AWARD Programme

AWARD is a career development programme aimed at strengthening the scientific and leadership skills of African women scientists involved in agricultural research. AWARD Fellows benefit from a two-year fellowship focused on fostering mentoring partnerships, building science skills, and developing leadership capacity. Following a highly competitive process, the fellowship is awarded on the basis of intellectual merit, leadership capacity and the potential impact of the scientist’s research to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

During the two-year fellowship, AWARD Fellows remain in their institutions, continue their research, and travel to AWARD training courses held in various locations across Africa. 

The Agropolis Fondation partnership with the AWARD programme, established in 2010, concerns:

  • hosting African women scientists financed by AWARD within the Foundation’s network units;
  • co-organising and co-funding AWARD and Agropolis Fondation events;
  • the Foundation’s participation in the extension of the AWARD programme to French-speaking African countries.
    The AWARD programme is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and Agropolis Fondation.

Hosting the 2015 AWARD Programme fellows
The Foundation supports the hosting of (English-speaking) AWARD fellows in the research units of its scientific network. The Foundation invest up to €20, 000per fellowship for a duration of between three and nine months, thereby supplementing the amount granted by the AWARD Programme. The allowance provided by the Foundation covers laboratory, health insurance, and accommodation costs (including water, electricity, etc.), as well as costs linked to family responsibilities (healthcare, costs for children), transport and food.

French-speaking component of the AWARD Programme
Agropolis Fondation and CORAF/WECARD (West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development) co-funded the pilot phase of a French-speaking component of the AWARD Programme (launched officially in January 2013). Five French-speaking African women scientists (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal) were chosen within this framework.

Following the pilot programme, the Foundation provided additional grants in 2017 to support the expansion of the AWARD programme to African women agricultural scientists from francophone Africa and to maximize interactions between women scientists from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This marked the launch of a new round of AWARD Fellowships that saw AWARD expand into francophone Africa.