Making it to the PhD:

Gender and Student Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Diverse perspectives are important to scientific advancement. A priority goal of RSIF is to “Address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in applied sciences, engineering and technology fields in Africa”. As in other regions, women’s participation drops progressively moving up the education and career ladder, with women currently constituting around 30% of Africa’s researchers.

The RSIF gender study has informed RSIF’s gender strategy and is now also adding to the body of knowledge on how to break the barriers for women in science. A newly published paper examines the association between gender and PhD performance in sub-Saharan Africa. This study elucidates gender-based differences in PhD performance using new survey data from 227 alumni of PhD programs in 17 African countries. It uses new survey data collected as part of the 2020 RSIF gender research study. 

Findings suggest that having a female supervisor, attending an institution with gender policies in place, and pursuing the PhD in a department where sexual harassment by faculty was perceived as uncommon were enabling factors for women’s timely completion of their doctoral studies. 
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Project of the Week

RSIF awards competitive research and innovation grants that complement the PhD training offered to scholars by supporting knowledge generation, promoting scientific excellence and use of knowledge for development impact. 

Towards Affordable Solar Energy for Rural Homes
Project Title: Research and Development of Photovoltaics based on Lead-Free Perovskite Solar Cell Technology
Grant Type: RSIF Research Award
Project leader:  Prof. Francis Nyongesa, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Collaborating partners: RIKEN Research Centre, Japan; Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland; and Masinde Muliro University, Kenya.

Solar cells, as a source of renewable energy, has been recognized as having great potential to supply a significant portion of the world’s energy requirements. The major beneficiaries of this kind of energy source would be the large human populations residing in rural areas and in scattered homesteads, who are not connected to the national electricity grid due to the high costs involved.
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Meet Three of RSIF’s 82 PhD Scholars

Name: Yeo Yefoungnigui Souleymane
Nationality: Ivorian
African Host University: University Felix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire, African Center of Excellence in Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Agriculture (CEA-CCBAD)
PASET Thematic Area: Climate Change
Research Area: Diversity, distribution, and management of Botryosphaeriaceae species associated mango diseases in Côte d’Ivoire, in the context of climate change
Name: Rogia Saïdath Adéline Gomez
Nationality: Beninese
African Host University: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania, Africa Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans & Animals in Southern & Eastern Africa (SACIDS)
PASET Thematic Area: Food Security and Agribusiness
Research Area: Characterization of duck populations raised in Benin and comparative study of their meat quality
My research interests relate to genetics and food quality.
Name: Sami Florent Palm
Nationality: Burkinabe
African Host University: University of Nairobi, Kenya
PASET Thematic Area: Energy including renewables
Research Area: Techno-economic impact of photovoltaic solar power plants connected to the electrical network under Sahelian climate
My research interests are photovoltaic (solar energy) research & training; materials for solar energy conversion; nanotechnology for technology applications and thin film characterization.






Date: 27 January 2021, at 3pm EAT
here to register