The Mawazo Institute Fellowship Programme 2023 for African Women PhD Students | Apply Now

The Mawazo Institute Fellowship Programme supports African women PhD students from across the continent working on emerging development issues and provides them with virtual, on-demand training, mentorship and access to funding that supports research activities, conference travel, research translation and cross-sector collaborations.

This programme is a 15-month, non-residential fellowship where Mawazo Fellows participate in a virtual training programme that features professional development courses designed by the Mawazo Institute.

Fellows also benefit from mentorship and networking to enhance their career progression, financial support for research activities, and platforms for policy outreach and public engagement that increase their visibility and potential for impact.

This programme is designed to build a network of African women experts who are poised to influence policy and public discourse in academia and beyond, increasing the application and implementation of practical, evidence-based ideas that drive Africa’s development.

All Fellows join our network of past Fellows and will continue to benefit from Mawazo’s support through its Mawazo Voices programme.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for the Mawazo Fellowship Programme, applicants must:

  • Be a woman (woman/women includes cisgender women and transgender women. Mawazo also welcomes Assigned Female At Birth (AFAB) non-binary, AFAB gender non-conforming, and other AFAB genderqueer individuals, who have historically been excluded from decision-making spaces)
  • Be a citizen of an African country
  • Have a good command of written and spoken English
  • Be enrolled for their PhD at an accredited university in an African country.
  • Have completed their course work (if applicable) and passed their departmental or graduate school proposal defence (i.e., in the dissertation/thesis phase of their PhD)
  • Demonstrate that their PhD research is related to African development and is relevant to a global, regional, national or subnational policy priority.
  • Demonstrate that they have a “Big Idea” to transform Africa through their research (By “Big Idea” we mean an innovative research-based solution to help address Africa’s emerging societal challenges)
  • Demonstrate potential for leadership both within and outside academia, and a strong passion to leverage their expertise for impact in society.
  • Be available to fully participate in the programme in 2023-2024

In 2023, the Mawazo Fellowship Programme will support up to forty (40) women pursuing their PhD studies at accredited universities across Africa.

While all eligible PhD students are more than welcome to apply, Mawazo Institute encourages applications from those working in the following thematic areas:

Agriculture and Food Security
Business, Trade and the Economy
Climate Change, Natural Resources and the Environment
Education and Pedagogy
Energy and Engineering
Gender, Rights and Governance
Information and Technology
Life and Health Sciences
Mathematical and Physical Sciences


Participation in Mawazo’s in-house virtual training and professional development programme offered through the Mawazo Learning Exchange (MLEx) e-learning platform.

  • Connections to expert and peer mentors through a structured mentorship programme, as well as exposure to leaders from academia, industry, government and other sectors.
  • Funding for research activities with access to grants worth up to US $2,500.
  • A stipend worth $500 for discretionary use.
  • Data bundles worth $150 to help access MLEx platform
  • Research and editorial support from the Mawazo team and their partners.
  • Visibility via Mawazo Voices, their public policy and engagement, strategic communications and strategic partnerships programme.

Application Requirements

Interested candidates are required to fill out and submit their applications via the online portal. Applications will not be accepted by email or in hard copy.

Applications will be considered complete when the following are provided:

  • A completed online application form
  • A current 2-page CV
  • A letter confirming current enrollment in an accredited PhD programme
  • A letter confirming that you have completed your course work (if applicable) and passed your departmental defence.
  • A recommendation letter from your PhD supervisor.
  • A recommendation letter from a second referee.


The due date for the application is 11:59 pm EAT on 12 March 2023.

Applicants will receive a final decision on the status of their application in late April 2023.

For questions pertaining to the application portal, kindly contact the programme staff at [email protected].

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