About RISE

The Regional Initiative in Science and Education (RISE) was established in 2008 to support scientists and engineers in sub-Saharan Africa pursuing master's and doctoral degrees through competitively selected, university-based research and teaching networks.

It was designed to strengthen science research and education in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing the population of qualified academic staff in the region’s universities, with a longer-term goal of building STI capacity to stimulate economic development.

RISE was supported for a decade by grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York totaling $15.5 million, with an additional $27.5+ million* leveraged by the networks.

By early 2017, over 120 master’s and doctoral degrees had been awarded to students from 18 different African countries, most of whom were employed by universities in their home countries; enduring partnerships had been forged among institutions and individuals; and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), a longtime RISE partner, was poised to take over responsibility for the future of the program. Please see RISE in Numbers for more detailed data.

Its successor initiative, the AESA-RISE Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, commenced in April 2017 when AAS was awarded a $2 million, three-year Carnegie grant.

This new program recognizes the importance of the period immediately following completion of the doctoral degree for an academic in Africa, where postdoctoral research support is rare. Teaching and administrative responsibilities can be overwhelming, leaving neither time nor resources for research and resulting in professional stagnation.

RISE doctoral graduates will form the pool of eligible applicants for postdoctoral support through AESA-RISE. Up to ten RISE postdoctoral fellows will be selected in a competition to receive research funding and small stipend for postdoctoral placements in Africa, supplemented with research visits of several months at partner institutions outside of Africa.

(*Data on leveraged funds only collected for the six-year period from 2011-2016.)

Want to learn more about the students, graduates, and staff? Check out our blog!