The African Forest Forum is providing research fellowships for post graduate research that will address these issues, as well as contribute to capacity development and professional expertise in forestry among young professionals in Africa. The research will therefore advance our understanding of these issues and also inform forest and related policies and practices in Africa.

The research fellowships will provide grants to support a maximum of 6 postgraduate students to undertake in-depth studies in selected countries covering various forest types (including rain forests, mountain forests, mangroves, woodlands and savannas, and parklands of the Sahel). The generated information is expected to support development and/or strengthening sound gender sensitive adaptation policies and measures that could improve the resilience of the biophysical and social-economic systems to changing climate.

The Call

Fellowships will be awarded to undertake in-depth studies using appropriate methodology to assess, in selected countries, measures on how to increase the resilience of biophysical and social-economic systems, taking into account relevant gender and marginalized groups interests. The research tasks will be developed within the following context:

1. Gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures and/or strategies to adverse effects of climate change and variability on forests, trees outside forests and people who depend on them. The following are some key research questions to consider in this regard: a. What kind of livelihoods, disaggregated by gender and marginalized groups, are obtained from different biophysical and socio-economic systems in the selected study sites? b. How vulnerable are the sources (forests and trees outside forests) that supply the identified livelihood support identified in (a) to climate change and climate variability? c. What are gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures and/or strategies employed and/or could be employed to address the adverse effects of climate change on the forest and tree resources that women, youth and marginalized groups depend on in the selected study sites? d. What conditions enable or constrain the enhancement of adaptive capacity of women, men, youth and other marginalized groups who depend on forests and trees outside forests in the selected study sites?

2. Developing and/or strengthening existing capacity for implementing gendersensitive resilience measures in selected biophysical and socio-economic systems. Key research questions could include the following: a. What are the capacity needs in the study sites, disaggregated by gender, for co-designing, planning and implementation of measures and/or strategies to increase adaptation and resilience of women, youth and marginalized groups, to adverse effects of climate change on the forest and tree resources they depend on? b. What is the level of engagement and institutional arrangement of different partners in the selected country, and more specifically in the study sites, in implementing relevant adaptation and resilience measures? c. What are the benefits (to who?) and challenges associated with the engagement of identified partners in the implementation of the measures and/or strategies? d. What are the promising forest-based resilience and adaptation measures for each gender groups in selected biophysical and socio-economic systems?

3. What are the promising institutional frameworks to support effective implementation of gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures to adverse effects of climate change and variability that are also relevant to other marginalized groups.

Research fellowships will be provided to a total of 6 postgraduate students (4 PhD and 2 MSc), at least one for each forest type and from 6 countries who are based in African institutions as well as those working in relevant forestry-based research institutions to support their doctoral or master’s studies at an African university.


Applicants must meet the general and the specific eligibility criteria outlined below.

General eligibility criteria

a) Applicant must be a citizen of an African nation. b) Proposed fellowship project and activities must be clearly related to, and likely to advance people and forest adaptation to climate change in Africa within the thematic focus area selected. c) All application materials must be complete and received by the AFF Secretariat on or before the application deadline. d) All applicants must be supervised by a faculty member with expertise in the thematic focus of the fellowship.

Specific eligibility criteria

Prospective research fellows must: a) Have a master’s degree for PhD studies or bachelor’s degree for MSc studies, plus 2 or more years of professional experience related to forest management, climate change or environmental policy and planning. b) Be enrolled in a university as a graduate student and must have completed course work in a relevant field at the time of application.

The application package: a) An institutional support form or letter that confirms the applicant’s university/college formal endorsement of his or her ability to participate in the research fellowship with the name of a potential main research supervisor indicating his/her willingness to supervise and guide the student research from inception to completion. b) A research proposal description with clearly defined research questions/objectives, methodology on the research area and targeted tasks that can be completed within the fellowship period and explaining how the supported research activities will contribute in achieving the overall study’s outputs as well as how the results will support the resilience and adaptation capacity of different gender groups. results. Evidence must be provided that the proposal has been accepted for that level of study by the university/college. c) A budget estimate showing the approximate cost related to each research activity.

Grant Terms

Research fellows will be matched with an African host institution, where they will reside for at least part of their fellowship experience. Each PhD fellow will receive up to USD 10,000 for research and USD 2,000 for professional supervision; and each MSc fellow will receive up to USD 7,500 for research and USD 1,000 for professional supervision.

Application assessment and selection research fellows

All applications that meet the general and specific eligibility criteria will subsequently be evaluated against the following criteria: a) Quality of the research proposal with clearly stated objectives and methodology. b) Technical merit of the proposed work. c) Qualifications and capabilities of the applicant to undertake the proposed research work. d) Appropriateness of the proposed budget. e) Appropriateness of proposed host institution and supervisor’s expertise.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted as follows: a) Complete the AFF Fellowship application form “Assessment of gender responsive resilience to climate Change of biophysical and socio-economic systems with particular emphasis on gender responsiveness and marginalized groups depending on critical ecosystems for their livelihood”. b) Attach all the supporting documents and submit by email to: d.mutta@cgiar.org, h.bouda@cgiar.org and v.oeba@cgiar.org with a copy to exec.sec@afforum.org

To download the Call and Application Form click on the links below:

AFF Fellowship Call for Proposals (English)

AFF Fellowship Application form (English)

AFF Fellowship Call for Proposals (French)

AFF Fellowship Application form (French)

Deadlines a) Applications must be received by the Secretariat before or by 06 December 2019. b) Successful applicants will be informed by 13 December 2019. c) Fellowship research activities should begin no later than 1 February 2020

Should you have any questions, please contact the AFF Secretariat at the following address: d.mutta@cgiar.org, h.bouda@cgiar.org and v.oeba@cgiar.org with a copy to exec.sec@afforum.org