Call for Scholars

woman bent over using a jug in a field

Advanced Scholars - West Africa Program

The Program is currently receiving applications


Applications are invited from Western University PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers to participate in a project addressing climate change resilience, food security and sustainable livelihoods in West Africa.

This international training program is funded by the International Development Research Centre, QES Advanced Scholars West Africa Program and supports scholar projects to inform progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with preference given to those that focus on, or clearly integrate, SDG 5 (gender equality).

Western PhD candidates will be placed with participating universities in Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal for periods of 6 to 12 months, while postdoctoral fellows will be placed with partner universities for 3 to 6 months. 

Placement Options 2022-2023

  • 2 PhD positions at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal
  • 2 PhD positions at the University of Liberia
  • 1 PhD position Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  • 2 PhD positions at the S.D. Dombo University, Ghana
  • 1 PhD position at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • 1 Postdoc Fellowship in Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  • 1 Postdoc Fellowship in University of Liberia

Eligibility criteria

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and be willing to undertake the scholarship in West Africa. You cannot apply for a placement within your own country.
  • Be registered full-time as a PhD student, postdoctoral/research fellow, or early career researcher at Western University
  • PhD students must be at the thesis research stage and return to Canada to complete their studies.

Applicants’ research must address any of these thematic areas:

  • Climate change resilience
  • Climate change knowledge creation
  • Food security and sustainable livelihoods in West Africa
  • Developing strategies for sustainable agriculture
  • Inclusive resource governance and community outreach strategies
  • Using public participatory geographic information systems (PPGIS) for sustainable resource management
  • Using open source remote sensing for environmental change monitoring

Successful candidates must be prepared to participate in leadership development and community engagement activities in their country of placement and participate in the network of Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. The following supporting documents should be uploaded with the application form:
    • Official letter of support from your head of department, which must include confirmation of your current academic status and approval of your participation in the project
    • Summary of a research project (maximum 1 page) and a work plan
    • A statement of your motivation to participate in this project (1,000 words maximum)
    • A Curriculum Vitae

Shortlisted applicants will be required to provide proof of citizenship (National ID Card or passport) later on in the selection process.

For more information, contact

The QES Advanced Scholars West Africa program is jointly implemented by:

Western University