AWARD’s Winning Partnerships for Advanced Science Training

21 07 2009

Twenty one AWARD Fellows will soon be traveling across the world, heading to laboratories and research institutions where they will have the chance to learn new skills or to conduct advanced trials in their areas of specialization. They are the recipients of AWARD’s first round of advanced science placements.

The advanced science placement is an optional addition to the AWARD package for African Women in Agricultural Research and Development, granted only following a competitive review of the fellows’ research proposals. All fellows with masters or doctorate degrees have the opportunity to compete. Selection is conducted by the AWARD Steering Committee while the AWARD team has the task of matching the fellows’ specific research goals with the most suitable institutions offering to host them.

“Strengthening the science capacities of African women in agricultural R&D is the backbone of AWARD,” said Margaret Kroma, AWARD Project Manager. “Each institute offers not only its laboratories and field sites, but also a carefully selected supervisor who will guide and support the fellow during her time there. We are grateful that these outstanding institutions recognize the importance of supporting African women scientists.”

Host institutions in this first round of AWARD advanced science placements include: CSIRO, BecA, Novus, UNEP, Parco Technologico Padano, three of South Africa’s top universities and eight of the CGIAR Centers.

Dr. Mahmoud Solh, Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), says, “ICARDA is delighted to welcome our first AWARD Fellow, Dr. Halima Mogesse of the Andassa Livestock Research Center, Ethiopia. Starting in August she has a 9-month attachment at ICARDA’s headquarters in Aleppo, Syria. Dr. Mogesse will work alongside our scientists to acquire skills in molecular genetics to better characterize, conserve and utilize indigenous goat breeds. This will enable her to help select the best goat stocks for breed improvement in Ethiopia. Improved goats deliver better products (e.g. wool, meat, milk, yoghurt, cheese) vital to farm communities, especially among poorer households. ICARDA is grateful to AWARD for this opportunity.”

Most of these science placements are made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The opportunity to host AWARD Fellows has also attracted exciting new partnerships. Novus is AWARD’s first corporate sponsor. NOVUS International is an animal, health and nutrition company, headquartered in St. Charles, Missouri. Science and technology anchor Novus’s products and Novus’s drive to put social, environmental and economic sustainability as core factors in supporting animal production globally. Novus is providing comprehensive support for a 9-month attachment at its headquarters.

Says Novus CEO Thad Simons, “We’re looking forward to hosting AWARD Fellow, Filomena Dos Anjos from Mozambique. With sustainable productivity being integral to our research, we hope we can assist Filomena in realizing her goals of improving the profitability of poultry in Africa with local feed ingredients, which would contribute to improving the livelihoods of farmers and consumers, alike.”

UNEP is AWARD’s first UN partner. With support from the Government of Spain, UNEP is supporting a 7-month-placement to ICRAF to work in Kenya’s Mau Forest for another AWARD Fellow from Mozambique, Isilda Nhantumbo. Dr. Nhantumbo is studying environmental services accounting and its livelihood impacts for smallholders.

“This is such an important step for AWARD, to have this kind of support from the public and private sectors,” said Vicki Wilde, AWARD Director. “These science placement opportunities will greatly add to the expertise of African women striving to deliver pro-poor R&D. It’s exciting to think ahead about how all of these individual advanced science training opportunities will add up, contributing to Africa’s agricultural R&D. It is hard to express adequately how much we appreciate the partnership and support of everyone involved.

AWARD is proud to announce its first round of winning fellows and partnerships for advanced science training:

Australia Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
Australia:  Stella Ennin (Ghana, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Biological nitrogen fixation (6 months)

Biosciences Eastern & Central Africa (BecA)
Kenya:  Dora Chao Kilalo (Kenya, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research:  Molecular characterization and pest diagnostics (6 months)

International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Syria:  Halima Hassen Mogesse (Ethiopia, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Characterization of indigenous animal genetic resources (9 months)

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Colombia:  Isabel Wagara (Kenya, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Disease management technologies in bean and cowpea systems (9 months)

Uganda:  Pamela Paparu (Uganda, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Molecular techniques of snap bean rust characterization (7 months)

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Nigeria:  Pamela Paparu (Uganda, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: DNA extraction of soybean rust pathogens (2 months)

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Kenya:  Sónia Maciel (Mozambique, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Nguni cattle ecotypes (4 months)

Kenya:    Patricia Aboe (Ghana, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment in livestock research (3 months)

International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Kenya:    Florence Birungi Kyazze (Uganda, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Impact assessment methodologies and frameworks in maize based cropping systems (6 months)

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Philippines:   Grace Esi-Kyirem Bolfrey-Arku (Ghana, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Weed management practices (4 months)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Ghana:   Jean Tiyamika Mtethiwa (Malawi, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Socio-technical research in water management (3 months)

Novus International Inc.
USA:  Filomena Rosa Dos Anjos (Mozambique, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Profitability of poultry production (9 months)

Parco Tecnologico Padano
Italy:  Sheila Cecily Ommeh (Kenya, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Gene expression in chicken (9 months)

University of Free State
South Africa:  Sónia Maciel (Mozambique, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Nguni cattle ecotypes (5 months)

University of Pretoria
South Africa:  Emma Verah Kambewa (Malawi, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Trade policy, marketing and value chain analyses (6 months)

South Africa:  Ivy Drafor (Ghana, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Value chain analysis of rice/maize (6 months)South Africa:  Susan Chikagwa-Malunga (Malawi, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Evaluating & improving nutritive value and quality of poor quality forages (6 months)University of Stellenbosch


South Africa:  Jesca Njeri Mbaka (Kenya, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Molecular characterization of Phytophtora cinnamon (9 months)

South Africa:  Margaret Aanyu (Uganda, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Aquaculture nutrition (6 months)

South Africa:  Miriam Judith Otipa (Kenya, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Molecular markers for disease resistance in passion fruits (9 months)

South Africa:  Sheila Okoth (Kenya, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Detection and quantitative determination of aflatoxins in foods and feeds (9 months)

South Africa:      Victoria Ndolo (Malawi, Post-Masters fellowship)
Research: Nutritional value of moringa leaves (6 months)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Kenya:  Isilda Nhantumbo (Mozambique, Post-Doctoral fellowship)
Research: Natural resources management and policy analysis/Mau Forest (7 months)




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