Photo credit: The African Climate and Environment Center – Future African Savannas (AFAS)

AFAS scholarship program on Nature Based Solutions regarding Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity Conservation in West and East African Savannas.

This initiative is part of the Global Centres for Climate and Environment program of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD.


Programme summary

The African Climate and Environment Center – Future African Savannas (AFAS) is hosted conjointly at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny (UFHB) with its African Centre of Excellence on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (CEA-CCBAD) in Côte d’Ivoire and the University of Nairobi (UoN) with its Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) in Kenya.

AFAS will link with CEA-CCBAD’s MSc program on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (in French language) by adding an additional focus on the potential of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to address climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation in West and East Africa’s savannas (in English language). For this MSc program UFHB and AFAS are inviting applications for a total of 10 fully funded fellowships.

AFAS complements the already existing expertise in the regions with a new and innovative component on the science-policy-practice interfaces to co-produce capacity development and research outputs that are relevant to policy and practice and implementable for the public and private sectors. AFAS will establish synergistic South-South and South-North partnerships, building upon the long-standing collaboration of UFHB and UoN with the Universities of Bonn (UoB) and Cologne (UoC) in Germany.

Supplementing the regular MSc curriculum, AFAS scholars will have free admission to mandatory additional courses with the focus on NbS regarding Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity Conservation in West and East African Savannas. Also, the topic of the MSc thesis will be related to the AFAS research scope on Climate, Ecosystem Services and NbS in African Savannas. The MSc thesis and all AFAS-related coursework will be conducted in English language.

After graduation and successful participation, scholars will receive a specific AFAS certificate issued by all four universities from Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Germany participating in AFAS.

Aims of the scholarship program

This programme aims to create experts capable of engaging in science-policy-practice interfaces, specifically related to Climate, Ecosystem Services and NbS in African Savannas. The programme will specifically:

  • provide the students with a general understanding of NbS and their relevance from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives;
  • facilitate inter- and transdisciplinary thinking to create and enable a new generation of scientists to tackle global environmental challenges in a participatory way; and
  • provide tools to translate research findings into policy and practice relevant outcomes to support decision making.

The offer

UFHB/ UoN and AFAS promises an academically challenging environment through highly qualified personnel, quality teaching and research infrastructures, access to online library and journal publications and strong connections to regional and international networks. Furthermore, the successful completion of this post-graduate programme qualifies the graduates to take up lead roles in biodiversity science-policy interfaces, opens opportunity to work in international non-governmental and governmental organisations and/or launch an academic or consultancy career.

Scholarship and Research Support

The programme offers full scholarship to all successful candidates. The scholarship covers the tuition fees of the two-year Masters programme, and in addition provides a monthly stipend of €350 (~ 220,000 FCFA), as well as a valid health insurance for the duration of the programme.

A laptop computer and research funds will also be made available to all students. The research funds will be disbursed only upon completion of the all course modules and the approval of the research proposal and associated budget by the constituted committee.

Students are expected to submit regular progress updates. Any form of misconducts, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress and non-compliance with the university’s regulation could result in the termination of the scholarship.


Candidates willing to apply must have:

  • Concluded a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree in environmental sciences (biology, ecology, climate, economics, law, sociology), or any other relevant discipline.
  • Must not be older than age 30 years. Exempted from this age limit are those with demonstrated professional activities and/or with children.
  • The call for applications is open for eligible students from all over Africa. We are particularly happy to receive applications from female applicants.

Documents required

  • A filled and signed application form (English language)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) (English language)
  • Copy of passport data page
  • All diplomas/Bachelors/Masters certificates – these should be certified by the issuing institution.
  • Transcripts of academic record – these should be certified by the issuing institution.
  • Language Certificates
  • Two signed letters of recommendation (one at least from a staff member from the institution of last degree).

Selection and admission process

Shortlisted applicants will be notified about their interview dates via email. The list of candidates retained will be published on our website no later than September 30, 2021.

Students are expected to bring along original copies of their certificates/transcripts and finalize admission processes at the UFHB before the course start.

Only applications submitted through the online portal will be considered: (link).

Application deadline:

DEADLINE EXTENDED to September 15, 2021 (23h 59 CET) or until all positions are filled

*This information is shared on behalf of the African Climate and Environment Center – Future African Savannas (AFAS) via AFAS call for applications – Côte d’Ivoire – deadline September 15th – AFAS