Applications now open!

Ideas Matter: Doctoral Research Fellowships for West African Scholars

WARA is pleased to join with The MasterCard Foundation again this year to offer the Ideas Matter Fellowship Program for West African doctoral students conducting research on the continent. This fellowship supports the work of doctoral students whose dissertation research focuses on women, technology or entrepreneurship and who are based in West African institutions. The 2017 competition is now open. The Call for Applications is available in English, French, and Portuguese. Applications are being accepted online at

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017. Late applications will not be considered.

In 2016, its very first year, Ideas Matter received 63 applications from graduate students representing 10 West African countries and fields as diverse as biology, agronomy, political science, medicine, public health, chemistry and pharmacy. While only 17 of the 63 applicants were women, the three applications which rose to the top were all submitted by young women — attesting to the growing role of women in science and technology. Meet the three Ideas Matter fellows for the 2016 competition:


Osemudiamen Oseabhi Anao (Nigeria), University of Benin, is exploring the health effects of a toxic common component of e-waste, capable of acting as an endocrine disruptor, carcinogen and neuro-development toxicant.

kakpo-photo-1Akomoun Blandine Kapko (Benin), Université d’Abomey-Calavi, is developing an inventory of plants used in the traditional treatment of typhoid fever, further working to identify and isolate their active properties.

resizedGloria Tetteh-Kubi (Ghana), University of Cape Coast, is investigating measures aimed at reducing widespread pesticide use in cowpea cultivation, contributing to poverty reduction, food security and biodiversity conservation.


The Ideas Matter Fellowship Program reflects WARA and The MasterCard Foundation’s commitment to increasing opportunities for emerging West African scholars who are transforming ideas into active solutions to the challenges facing the region and the world at large.

WARA 2017 Fellowships

Applications for 2017 are now closed. Awardees will be announced in April. 

WARA fellowships and internships funded by a grant from the Educational and Cultural Affairs bureau of the US Department of State through CAORC make it possible for a broad range of educators and students to experience professional exchanges and carry out research projects in West Africa.

WARA Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellowship programs support scholars’ research endeavors in West Africa. WARA’s Residency fellowships  support 6-8 week residencies for West African scholars at WARA member institutions in the U.S. for purposes of library research, guest lecturing, or collaborative work with colleagues. The WARC Travel Grant Program supports West African scholars conducting research on the continent. In 2017, WARA held competitions for

The Diaspora Internship, Undergraduate Paper Awards, and Saharan Crossroads Fellowship programs have been suspended for this year.

Access the WARA fellowship application here. Before starting, please read the tips for preparing applications written by the WARA Fellowship Committee.


WARC Travel Grant-for research travel within the continent. Competitions for the WARC Travel Grant are held twice yearly: In September and in March. The next deadline for applications is September 15, 2017.




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