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One Planet Fellowship Programme

The One Planet Summit organized on 15 December 2017 in Paris outlined concrete steps to meet the objectives set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The 12 commitments that resulted out of this event consist of 30 actions intended to intensify and accelerate global efforts to fight climate change. One of these actions is the implementation of the One Planet Fellowship Programme (OPFP) with a duration of 5 years (2019-2023).

Objectives: science, leadership, networking

The One Planet Fellowship Programme with a budget of 19,2 millions US dollars (17,3 M €) 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.
  • 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 mentoring skills.

Activities

Implementation of One Planet Fellowship is led by AWARD and Agropolis Fondation and involves several activities:

  • Open competition to select One Planet Laureate Candidates
  • Identification and appointment of mentors
  • A variety of learning experiences including building science writing skills, leadership skills, mentoring skills and gender integration in agricultural research
  • Support to build a community of practice of outstanding climate adaptation researchers in Africa and Europe
  • Knowledge exchange forums

A three year programme is proposed to the Fellows:

During the first year of the programme, the selected Fellows high potential African agricultural researchers whose research focuses on climate change are selected. Referred to as the One Planet Laureate Candidates, these researchers are paired with more established African researchers who are carefully chosen to match their area of expertise and career goals. These are the One Planet Fellowship Mentors. These Laureate Mentor-Mentee pairs commence a year-long mentorship relationship and are supported to build a successful partnership geared toward enhancing the fellows’ career growth. The pairs are also supported to attend a variety of leadership and science research skills courses.

In the second year of the Fellowship, the Laureate Candidates select emerging African scientists and emerging European scientists to whom they serve as mentors, creating a mentorship chain of three generations of scientists.

In the third and final year of the Fellowship, the top performing One Planet Laureate Candidates are supported to enhance their research skills by participating in a research placement (Advanced Science training AST) at a leading European research institution that has a strong emphasis and reputation for climate change science. Here, the Candidates are also carefully paired with outstanding European researchers who serve as supervisors to mutually agreed research projects aimed at strengthening a specific skill for the One Planet Fellow.

Each Fellow is in the center of an ecosystem of 5 persons with an African mentor, a European supervisor, a young African mentee (less than 30 years old) and a young European mentee (less than 30 years old).

The programme actors

OPFP consists of 3 cohorts of 45 Fellows.

The first cohort, composed of 45 high-potential scientists, selected from a pool of more than 1,500 candidates, was launched in September 2019.

Nearly 1,000 candidates applied for the 45 places in the second cohort identified in April 2020, in a world struggling with COVID-19.

This second cohort launched the opening of the program to French-speaking countries in North Africa, bringing the number of target countries to 14 (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia).

The call for applications for the third cohort Call for Applications : 3rd Cohort – One Planet Fellowship Programme - Agropolis Fondation (agropolis-fondation.fr) will end on February 28th, 2021.

Ultimately, a total of more than 600 researchers - women, men; Europeans, Africans; young, experienced; Anglophones, Francophones - will thus have benefited from the program.

(c) Award
(c) Award

The Science Advisory Panel

The Science Advisory Panel provides advice and overall guidance to both AWARD team (Africa) and Agropolis Fondation (Europe) on all scientific matters regarding the Fellowship. It is comprised of up to 10 leading agriculture and climate scientists representing the diversity of disciplines covered by the Fellowship.

Funding partners

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.

Implementers

One Planet Fellowship Programme is jointly implemented by Agropolis Fondation and AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development).


OPFP presentation film

Contact and brochure

For OFPP activities in Europe
Vincent Fautrel
fautrel@agropolis.fr
Head of International Partnerships Agropolis Fondation,
Montpellier, France

For OPFP activities in Africa
Michèle Mbo’o-Tchouawou
mmboo-tchouawou@cgiar.org
Deputy Director, AWARD
Nairobi, Kenya

The One Planet Fellowship Programme (brochure)

OPFP Brochure