Call for Applications: Ten (10) Master’s Scholarships


Deadline: 17 June 2020

1. Background
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a Union of Members composed of governments and civil society organizations. It provides public, private and nongovernmental organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary for human progress, economic development and the conservation of nature to proceed in harmony. Founded in 1948, IUCN has grown over the years to become the world's largest and most diverse environmental network. It draws on the experience, resources and strength of its 1,300 Member organizations and the expertise of more than 13,000 experts. Today it is an international authority on the state of nature and natural resources in the world and on measures to preserve them. Our experts are divided into six Commissions, dedicated to species conservation, environmental law, protected areas, economic and social policies, ecosystem management, and education and communication.

Following evaluations conducted by IUCN within the framework of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme (BIOPAMA), it has been clearly established that the provision of training and the number of managers trained on protected area management issues are very limited in the West African region. Meanwhile, conservation issues and pressures on biodiversity are constantly growing and becoming more complex. It is also noted that the vast majority of managers working in protected areas have basic training in forest management and/or forestry and/or wildlife management. The lack of skills specifically targeted at protected area management limits the ability of countries to provide sites with staffs who are sufficiently qualified in the field to ensure effective protected area management.

In order to contribute to raising the level and availability of regional expertise in protected area management, IUCN, through Component 2 of the Support Programme for Biodiversity Conservation, Environmental Governance and Climate Change (PAPBio) entitled "Regional Governance of Protected Areas in West Africa", plans to set up a regional support mechanism for the training of staffs in the fields of integrated management of protected areas and climate change.

The project, financed by the European Union for the benefit of WAEMU Member States and ECOWAS, is launching a call for applications for ten (10) Master's scholarships of 5,000 Euros each for staffs and students for Master's level training courses in schools or universities in West Africa as well as other higher education courses outside the region. This amount includes the coverage of all expenses until the validation of the Master's degree.

2. Objective
The objective of this call for applications is to select ten (10) recipients of Master's level training fellowships in order to contribute to strengthening the skills of protected area management staffs or to increase the availability of expertise in the field within West African States.

3. Profile targeted
Candidates will be required to :
 Justify an executive position within a protected area management team or in the forest administration. For students, justify an academic course in line with the targeted Master's degree;
 Hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree 1 or equivalent in Environment, Geography,
Planning and Management of Protected Areas, Agronomy or in a related field allowing them to enrol in the targeted Master's degree 2.

4. Selection criteria for eligible Master’s degree
The Master proposed by the student must:
 Be accredited by CAMES or by the certification mechanism of the country in which it is issued ;
 Focus on an area related to the management of protected areas, the protection of biodiversity, the fight against environmental crime or ecological monitoring.

5. Students’ eligibility criteria
Students will be required to:
 Provide a proof of enrolment in a Master's programme (M1 or M2) related to the areas specified above at the time of awarding the scholarship;
 Provide a proof of at least 5 years' professional experience or a university degree in the field of the environment;
 Be nationals of a country on the following list: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Sierra Leone;
 Be able to demonstrate adequate co-financing if the cost of the training exceeds the amount of the scholarship.

6. Application file
Candidates are requested to submit their application package containing:
 A letter of acceptance to a Master's programme that meets the eligibility criteria (or a request for enrolment in a Master's programme with the understanding that proof of enrolment will be requested before the final award of the scholarship) ;
 A cover letter ;
 A detailed CV ;
 A copy of the required diploma certificate ;
 A copy of the transcripts of the Bachelor (L1, 2 and 3) and Master (M1) degrees;
 A research topic that will be addressed during the final internship of the Master's degree as well as the recommendation of a qualified lecturer or researcher to supervise and coach the work;
 Details of the additional financial contribution, if required.

Letters of acceptance or certificates of enrolment in the Master's programme (M1 or M2) must mention the date of the targeted start of the academic year. Offers received may be evaluated before the closing date depending on the targeted start dates.

Scholarships will be awarded to beneficiaries on the basis of an assessment of :
a. The relevance of the Master's programme and the end-of-course internship project against the objectives of the project ;
b. The relevance of the professional experience against the protected areas management issue.

Applications must be sent no later than 15 June 2020 at 23:59 (UTC-GMT) :
 Either by deposit in closed envelopes with the mention "MASTER SCOLARSHIP - _IUCNGouvernanceRegionale_LAST NAME Firstname " " To be opened only during evaluation sessions " at the IUCN-PACO Regional Office located in Ouaga 2000, behind the Totalm Station Ouaga 2000, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
 Either by email in a single file in PDF format (to be named as followed: MASTER-
_SCHOLARSHIP_IUCN-Regional-Governace_LAST NAME_First name) to the following address
Subject "Regional Governance of Protected Areas : MASTER SCHOLARSHIP".