As part of the EPFLUM6P’s Excellence in Africa initiative, the EXAF centre has launched the first call for proposals of the ‘100 PhDs for Africa’ programme: Outstanding students, who wish to benefit from this fellowship to complete a PhD at an African institution, are encouraged to apply.

UM6P and EPFL have launched the Excellence in Africa initiative (EXAF) to support the rise of the next generation of researchers in Africa. This ground-breaking initiative aims to enhance their research skills through collaboration with EPFL professors. It is based on the premise that it will contribute to building their career and enable them to heighten their economic and societal impact in Africa.

The programme ‘100 PhDs for Africa’ is one of three pillars of the EXAF initiative. It is designed to fund science and engineering graduates intending to complete a PhD at an African higher education institution.

The PhD candidates benefiting from this programme will be jointly supervised by a professor of an African institution and by an EPFL professor. They will conduct their doctoral studies and their thesis research at their home institution, and they will spend short periods of time at EPFL and at UM6P (summer and spring schools, workshops, conferences). Their degree will be awarded by their institution in Africa.

Main eligibility criteria

  • To be a national of an African country
  • To hold a Master’s degree awarded after the 1st of January 2018 or to be enrolled in the final year of the master study 
  • To have an outstanding academic track record
  • To be enrolled in an African academic institution and reside in an African country for the duration of the PhD
  • To have the endorsement of a professor of an African institution willing to supervise the doctoral thesis for its full duration



The programme awards funding of a maximum of 80’000 Swiss francs in total for a period of at most 54 months. Eligible costs include and are limited to:

Living allowance

A living allowance for the PhD fellow, which must be in line with the standard documented practices of the home institution

Tuition fees

  • Tuition costs may be included in the budget if there is written confirmation from the home institution that tuition fees apply for all PhD candidates

Research costs

  • Consumables and direct costs for the use of infrastructure at the home institution or at EPFL
  • Open science costs: costs for data storage and for granting access to data (open research data) and open access publication costs


  • Conference, summer school and workshop costs for the PhD fellow, namely travel (economy class airfares, public ground transportation), lodging, visa, vaccinations, meals, and (if applicable) conference registration fees
  • During the fellowship, the PhD fellow must participate in two summer schools organised by UM6P at Ben Guerir Campus in Morocco. Travel costs for these summer schools will also have to be included

Costs related to joint supervision

  • Travel costs for the PhD fellow to and from EPFL (economy class airfares, public ground transportation)
  • A supplementary living allowance for stay(s) at EPFL
  • Travel costs to and from the African home institution and EPFL for the supervisor and co-supervisor of the PhD fellow (economy class airfares, public ground transportation, lodging, and meals)
  • Other costs incurred by the joint supervision (e.g., joint participation in a conference, other costs related to stays at EPFL)

Outstanding science and engineering African graduates, who wish to complete a PhD at an African higher education institution in one of the EPFL research domains are strongly encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is the 20th of April 2021. Pre-selected applicants should be interviewed by their potential EPFL co-supervisor between the 22nd of June 2021 and the 6th of August 2021. Results are expected by September 2021.

Method of Application

Applicants must submit their application with all required documents via the on-line submission platform.

Please read carefully the application guidelines.

Application Deadline:20th of April 2021

For More Information:

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