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African Women in Science (AWIS)


Applying to the program

Thank you for your interest in the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE)'s African Women in Science program. The objective of this program is to build the capacity of students and early-career women working on large lakes and freshwater issues, specifically those on the African Great Lakes and their basins. The program will run for approximately 11 months, starting in January/February and ending in November. This program will include a one-month travel experience to North America, usually during May and June.


You must meet ALL the following criteria of the program:

  • A woman between the ages of 23-40

  • A national of one of the ten riparian countries of the African Great Lakes region (Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia)

  • Conducting scientific work, research, or studies on aspects of the African Great Lakes. Such work can include any focus on these lakes or their tributaries or wetlands and including human dimensions (management, value-chains, etc)

  • Appropriate vaccinations*

  • Be able to travel to the US and Canada mid-May through mid-June:

    • Have a valid passport

    • Have employer, university, family, and other obligations allowing you the time to travel

    • Approved to participate in the programme by your institution, organization, or university

    • Agree to return to your home country (or pre-determined location) after the excursion

  • Willing to submit an abstract to the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference to be held during the North American excursion. Accepted participants will be expected to give an oral presentation on your work, studies, or research. 

*ACARE follows the direction of each nation's health requirements. Participants should be prepared to have required vaccinations. 


Prior to filling out the application please be aware that you will need the following:

  1. A prepared CV or resume in PDF form

  2. Two (2) references from university, college, or work. You will only need their name, the organization/university they are/were affiliated with, and their email address.

  3. Answers to the following questions:

  • Please list your current affiliation (institution, organization, and/or university). If you do not have an affiliation, please put "none".

  • What type of research do you conduct (e.g. limnology, biology, meteorology, socio-economic, etc).

  • Please provide a summary (or an abstract) of your work, studies, or research on the African Great Lakes (AGL) or other freshwater bodies within the AGL region (200-300 words).

  • What is your motivation for wanting to be in the 2024 AWIS program? (max 250 words)

  • What is your motivation for working on the African Great Lakes or other freshwater resources? (max 200 words)

  • Where do you see yourself in five years, regarding your career? (max 200 words)

  • What do you think you can contribute to ACARE's AWIS program as a participant? State how you will contribute to the ACARE-AWIS program. (max 200 words)

  • What could be done to remove barriers that women in science face? (max 200 words)

  • What skills and knowledge would help you to be more successful in your scientific career? (max 100 words)

  • How did you find out about ACARE's AWIS program?

Once you have the above materials prepared, please apply.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What if I have applied to AWIS previously and not been accepted, should I apply again?

Yes. We strongly encourage you to apply again. Many different factors go into choosing participants, people change and grow, priorities shift. Go for it.  

Q. What level of education must I have attained to be admitted into the AWIS program?

You should have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree related to freshwater sciences and/or African Great Lakes. 

Q. Does my English proficiency matter?

Yes, it does matter. The expectation is that participants are proficient enough to participate actively in the program.

Q. What type of science is considered for the AWIS program?

All sciences (human dimensions, biological, limnological, etc.) related to the African Great Lakes and freshwater. This includes social sciences (economics, behavior, policy, management).

Q. Which countries have the highest chance?

All riparian countries of the African Great Lakes have an equal chance. The African Great Lakes Countries are: Burundi, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. 

Q. Do I have to come from the African Great Lakes region to be considered?

Yes. You should be coming from within the African Great Lakes Region with a focus of your studies or research on the African Great Lakes and freshwater sciences.

Q. What if I'm not working directly on an African Great Lakes?

 The Great Lakes are our priority focus due to the nature of our organization, however, water bodies that are associated with the Great Lakes of Africa (rivers, oxbow lakes, wetlands, marshes, lagoons, aquifers, etc) are critical aspects of these systems. Thus, we invite those working on associated water systems to apply. Additionally, we will consider those scientists working in one of the African Great Lakes countries (see above), but not on an African Great Lake or associated water system (some examples include Lake Tana (Ethiopia); Lake Baringo (Kenya); Lake Rweru (Burundi/Rwanda) and many others), however, work must be transferable in some way to the larger scientific body of work for the African Great Lakes.

Work/study in a non-African Great Lake country on a water system not in one of those countries, disqualifies for this program. 

Q. As an intern, how can I answer the question of research and work being done?

The expectation is that you share research, field attachment, or training experiences obtained from your place of work or study. If you are an intern working on fisheries or community engagement, use that.

Q. Can I submit only an abstract of a proposal if I don’t have work or a completed project?

Yes. The expectation is that you share completed or on-going research from your current employment, or Bachelor/MS/Ph.D. degree project. 

Typ of Sience

Applications are due August 15, 2024 by midnight, Eastern, North America time.

The African Women in Science (AWIS) program is a joint program through the International Institute of Sustainable Development and the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education.

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