On Thursday 21st July the first 10 recipients of the Her Excellency Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim PhD Scholarship Programme were announced in a press release issued by the Planet Earth Institute.
The closing date for applications was May 31st, after which the Planet Earth Institute academic board travelled to Mauritius to review the PhD proposals. After careful consideration, the board has now chosen 10 of the proposals to be funded by the scholarship programme. Each recipient will have their academic fees payed for and the cost of their research covered. Alongside these funds, students will receive funding for their personal, living costs, travel expenses and accommodation.
On top of the financial benefits, recipients of the scholarship will be given the opportunity to undertake placements within industry and to present their work at events hosted by the Planet Earth Institute. By linking the funding to industry, the scholarship foundation feels that students will have the chance to apply their findings directly to existing social, developmental and economic problems in a practical way.
The scholarship has been organised chiefly by the Planet Earth Institute in partnership with the African Academy of Science. Support has also been garnered from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Finances have been predominantly derived from the aforementioned partners, as well as a selection of international institutions, business and Planet Earth Institute chairman, Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, who has given generously to the scholarship programme.
Dr Sobrinho described the awarding of the 10 scholarships as a “proud day for the Planet Earth Institute”. “We are heavily investing in some of our brightest minds to give them the opportunities not to be good, but to be great, world leading scientists” he continued.
The awarding of the scholarships represents nearly two years of planning and organisation carried out by Dr Sobrinho and the Planet Earth Institute and is part of a long-term strategy by the foundation to fund and support scientific education across the African continent.