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 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.

Rsif aims to train quality PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to address the human resource gap of highly qualified specialists in the fields of applied sciences, engineering, and technology (ASET) and to contribute to improving research and innovation capacities in those fields in SSA. Rsif also supports the strengthening of research and innovation ecosystems at selected African Host Universities (AHU) by providing funding through competitive grants. Rsif supports training, research and innovation in five Priority Thematic Areas: (1) ICT including big data and artificial intelligence, (2) Food security and agri-business, (3) Minerals, mining and materials engineering, (4) Energy including renewables and (5) Climate change.

The specific objectives of Rsif are to:

  1. Create a stock of highly skilled scientists, professionals and innovators in ASET areas.
  2. Identify and nurture young talented Africans who wish to further their studies in ASET fields where expertise is needed most.
  3. Address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in ASET fields in Africa.
  4. Build African university capacity to provide relevant ASET training and to ensure continued investment in scaling up ASET education and workforce.

About the PASET-Rsif PhD Scholarship Program

  • Rsif PhD Scholarships are open to candidates interested in receiving international-quality PhD training.
  • Applicants apply for a scholarship to conduct PhD research in a PASET Priority Thematic Area.
  • Applicants apply simultaneously to the icipe online portal indicating their preference for a PhD program at approved AHUs (a current list of Rsif AHUs and PhD programs is available here). This is an indication of application to the selected PhD program.
  • The AHU and Rsif selection panels will review applications and make recommendation to the PASET EB for scholarship awards.
  • On award of Rsif Scholarships, awardees must immediately complete registration to the selected Rsif AHU.

The duration of the PhD Scholarship is 3 to 4 years, including 6-12 months in a ‘sandwich’ training placement at an international partner university, research institute or private company. Priority for the scholarships will be given to women and existing young academic faculty who do not have a PhDs. The Rsif scholarships will be awarded in July 2023.


In order to be eligible for the Rsif PhD Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of Rwanda and Nigeria.
  • Have a relevant master’s degree in one of the fields of study.
  • Meet the specific admission requirements of the Rsif African Host University where they would like to pursue a PhD.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are 35 years of age and below.
  • Be willing to enroll full-time in a PhD program at an Rsif AHU in the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • Should not be holding another PhD scholarship when applying to the Rsif PhD scholarship.
  • Be willing to spend 6-12 months in a ‘sandwich’ training at an international partner university, research institute or private company.
  • Demonstrate that their research goals are well aligned to the Rsif Priority Thematic Areas and contribute to Africa’s development.


Rsif PhD Scholars will receive the following benefits:

  • The Rsif PhD Scholarship covers university tuition and related fees, competitive stipend to cover living expenses, travel, medical insurance, and research costs.
  • Rsif PhD scholars will be supported to spend 6 -12 months in a ‘sandwich’ training at an international partner university, research institute or private company.
  • Rsif PhD scholars become part of a growing network of emerging leaders in ASET fields in SSA.
  • Rsif PhD scholars will have access to Rsif competitive research grants upon completion of their PhD.


Applications are accepted through icipe’s online application platform. Applications submitted by email or in hardcopy will not be accepted.


Deadline for submission is 26th May 2023 at 5:00 pm (East Africa Time; UTC+3)

Please address any questions to: The Manager, Regional Coordination Unit (RCU), icipe

The Scholarship benefits are subject to change based on the discretion of the PASET Executive Board

For more information on Rsif please visit:

See the call in French |English

Reference Documents for Rsif’s Fifth Call for PhD Scholarships for Rwanda and Nigeria Nationals 2023:

ENGLISH Rsif Fifth Call Guidelines

FRENCH Rsif Fifth Call Guidelines

ENGLISH Rsif Fifth Call Concept Note

FRENCH Rsif Fifth Call Concept Note

Application Link