WASCAL Doctoral and Masters Fellowships

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Center designed to help tackle severe challenges posed by climate change and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The WASCAL Capacity Building Program through the Graduate studies program handle helps educate the next generation of scientists attain an intimate knowledge of different climate related issues in order to help the region develop suitable management strategies. WASCAL graduate studies program are implemented in ten lead Universities across 10 West African countries. WASCAL provides full scholarship to the doctoral and Masters Students in all the ten lead Universities with comprehensive training and research support. The language of instruction is English. English and French language training programs are provided for all graduate students. Graduate students have access to the research facilities set up through WASCAL funding and located at various watersheds in West Africa. The German partner universities collaborate with the Doctoral and Master’s Programs in the areas of curriculum development, visiting professorships and co-supervision of graduate.

The WASCAL Graduate Studies Program offers its students: High quality research and education on climate change and its impact on human environmental systems, Up to six months at a host institution in Germany (Doctoral Research Programs), Interdisciplinary working approach, International lecturers and supervisors, English language classes Scholarship and research budget, including a personal laptop computer.

Time frame:

The time frame of the doctoral programs is three and half years. During the first 3 months students take English language, French and common courses at the language centers. During the next 6 months student participate in lectures at their Graduate Research Program and prepare their proposals. After their proposals have been approved by their supervisors, the students conduct their field research for 12 to 24 months. For the remaining period of time, students will write up their thesis and are offered to spend up to six months at a German host institution.

The time frame for the Master‘s programs is two years. During the first year students participate in the course program of their Graduate Research Program and work on their research outline. Research will be conducted during the second year within a period of six to nine months. Students finish the program with writing up their thesis during the last three to six month.

Application process and requirements:

The application process is handled by the individual Graduate Programs. Applications can be submitted online to any of the Graduate Studies Program for the 2015/2016 session from Nov 30, 2015 to January 8, 2016. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for interviews by January 15, 2016.


  1. Candidates applying for masters program (MRP) must have a minimum BSc degree (second class upper division) in a discipline relevant to the MRP.
    Candidates applying for doctoral program (GRP) must have a masters degree in relevant discipline in addition to BSc degree (second class upper division). Other general requirements include:
    1. Citizen of WASCAL member country.
    2. Five credits including Mathematics and English Language that are also equivalent to Francophone university grading system.
    3. Gender-balanced selection decision.
    4. Proficiency in English Language.
    5. Meet additional requirements of the Lead University.

More information on the Graduate Studies Program and on open applications can be found at www.wascal.org or at the respective universities websites.

Application guidelines for the 2015/2016 session are available on-line at www.wascal.org.


WASCAL also offers 10 awards per country annually towards PhD and MSc thesis research. To be eligible for consideration, the request must come from a West African national enrolled in a doctoral or Masters degree program in a relevant field at a recognized university within West Africa. Applicants must have completed all course requirements for the degree as well as be in the research and/or writing phase of the dissertation. The dissertation must be on Climate Change and any of the thematic areas of Biodiversity, agriculture, adapted land use, climate systems, education, human security, economics and energy. In addition, applicants should not have received any other funding to support the dissertation activities outlined in the PhD or MSc proposal/budget. Priority is given to candidates pursuing a career in government ministries, research and/or teaching at a public institution in West Africa.

Requests should be supported by the following documentation:

  • Evidence of an attachment to, or sponsorship by, an institution in West Africa engaged in government ministries, research and/or training in the public sector in the region.
  • Evidence of registration in a recognized PhD or MSc program in relevant area.
  • An approved research proposal, complete with clearly defined objectives, substantial literature review and a well-outlined analytical framework, as well as pertinent research methodology.
  • A statement of limitations and policy relevance of the study.
  • A letter of reference from the thesis supervisor, and a letter of Institutional support from the Head of Department.
  • A detailed budget including evidence of any additional financial support that may be necessary to complete the program.
  • Curriculum vitae.

Processing of Application for PhD Thesis Research Award

Upon the receipt of the proposal and the supporting documentation, it is sent to two external reviewers in the relevant WASCAL GRP/MRP, who comment on the adequacy of the proposal. In the event that the reviewers suggest corrections to be made and give positive feedback, the comments are sent to the students to incorporate and then resubmit the revised proposal for a final review. Once the proposal is cleared by at least two reviewers, it is presented together with the comments from the external reviewers to the Graduate Studies Department Thesis Grant Sub-Committee (GRP/MRP Directors), who will go through the recommendations of the reviewers and make recommendation to the Capacity Building Department of WASCAL to approve for thesis funding. It is after this that research grants can be awarded.

Application Deadlines for 2015/2016 Academic Session

The PhD and MSc thesis research awards applications deadline is January 30, 2016.

Proposal and supporting documents for thesis grant should be sent to:

The Director of Capacity Building,
WASCAL Accra Office, CSIR Office Complex,
Agostino Neto Road, Airport Residential Area, PMB CT 504, Cantonments-Accra.

Email: intern.w@wascal.org;weto.s@wascal.org

Source: http://start.org/announcements/call-for-applications-wascal-doctoral-and-masters-fellowships