Sustainability Fellowship Programme 2024

ACTS Pathways Academy



Vacancy Description


About the ACTS Pathways Academy

The ACTS Pathways Academy is a unique academy established in 2023, building on 35 years of experience of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) to provide individuals with access to flexible, informative training that fosters skills, knowledge, and collaborations related to science, technology, and innovation (STI). This aligns with ACTS’s mission to strengthen the capacity and policies of African countries and institutions to utilize STI for sustainable development and its vision of knowledge for better livelihoods. In addition to offering training programs, the academy also hosts summer schools in partnership with relevant institutions. The platform will convene dialogues (during and after the assignment) to review the capacity-building initiatives and update them to meet the apparent needs over time.

About the ACTS Sustainability Fellowship Programme

In the recent years, the global south has made commendable progress in aligning research policy and action with the principles of sustainable development. Governments, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations in these regions have increasingly recognized the importance of addressing environmental, social, and economic challenges through research initiatives. This shift reflects a growing awareness of the interconnectedness between research outcomes and the well-being of communities, ecosystems, and economies. Collaborative efforts, both regionally and internationally, have emerged to tackle shared challenges, such as climate change, poverty, and public health crises. These initiatives often involve interdisciplinary research approaches, recognizing the complexity of sustainable development issues and the need for comprehensive solutions.

However, the translation of the existing research into impactful policy interventions and action remains weak due to the limited avenues for sustained dialogue, collaborative learning, and capacity building. Additionally, traditional fellowship programs often fall short in addressing the unique needs and opportunities within the African research and policy context and addressing the evolving dynamics of the global research landscape, particularly in fostering cross-learning between early career researchers and their established counterparts from both the global south and north.

Recognizing this gap, our unique fellowship program is designed to be an inclusive, globally collaborative initiative that transcends geographical and career-stage boundaries. The program places a strong emphasis on creating a diverse community of practice that brings together the fresh perspectives of early career researchers and the wealth of experience from established researchers. In this way, the fellowship program represents a transformative step towards building a more equitable, inclusive, and impactful global research community.

The Fellowship therefore supportsmentors, trainsconnects and celebrates thought leaders in transforming research, policy and action trains and to help advance progress on Sustainable Development Goals.

Benefits of the Fellowship Programme

  • Specialized courses and Trainings – The purpose is to provide fellows with key principles in sustainability from a transdisciplinary lens to be applied during the fellowship. The courses will consist of a series of pre-recorded lectures, learning through games, readings, quizzes and discussion forums.
  • The ACTS Pathways webinar series delivered by our partners such as IDRC CS Hub among others, will provide an insight into the various topical issues. These sessions will also give you an opportunity for the fellows as panelists, present case studies as well as ask questions and help approach some of the most challenging aspects of their respective projects. In addition, these webinars aim to expand fellow’s professional network with experts in the different fields.
  • Engaging with the network of fellows to share knowledge and resources, collaborate and peer review each other’s work.
  • Monthly Case Study Simulations
  • Mentor/ Mentee sessions: Fellows will be paired with strategic mentors to support them on various areas including research methods, proposal writing among others.
  • The Mentorship Program: The mentorship program is designed to connect former Fellows with current fellows for knowledge sharing and networking purposes. The mentor will engage with the assigned fellow on a one on one basis and provide feedback at every stage of the program. Additionally, through matchmaking
  • Small Grants: Selected fellows will be awarded small grants on various thematic areas. The aim of the research grants will be to enhance evidence based research across Africa.
  • Engage in the Resilient futures podcast hosted under the Climate Resilient Programme: The Resilient futures podcast aims to explore and promote understanding of Climate Resilience Economies (CRE) through expert interviews, explored case studies, and discussions on current and emerging technologies. Fellows will be given an opportunity to discuss topical issues and give expert opinions.
  • Participate in ACTS Summer School: The Annual Summer School which brings together diverse stakeholders from academic and research organizations, researchers, policy makers, governments, international organizations, think tanks, NGOs, civil society, indigenous communities and others to discuss on topical issues.
  • Publications: The fellowship programme will inspire publications through journals, blogs, special issues and working papers on various topical issues among the fellows. Through a dedicated platform under the ACTS Pathways academy, fellows will be able to publish a joint working paper bringing together researchers from the Global South and the Global North. Fellows will be trained on publishing and research writing
  • Submission of Joint Proposals: Through the fellowship, fellows will be able to submit joint proposals across ACTS thematic areas and are able to implement through a consultancy model with the ACTS staff. Additionally, leveraging on ACTS expertise, fellows will be trained to writing bankable proposals and resource mobilization.


Seasoned researchers will act as mentors under the programme based on their strategic expertise and mentorship support they could offer to the other fellows.

The fellowship programme, will see mentors benefit through;

  • Certificates or awards for outstanding mentorship.
  • Collaboration with the mentor on grant proposals or joint funding applications.
  • An annual award recognizing outstanding mentors with accompanying rewards.
  • Public acknowledgment of their contributions to the success of the fellowship.
  • Opportunities to showcase their mentorship success stories through interviews, articles, or webinars.
  • Access to resources or courses that align with their professional growth.


The Sustainability Fellowship Programme targets both Early Career and seasoned researchers from the Global South and the Global North drawn from diverse sectors to contribute towards evidence based research, policy and action. Fellows are recruited for a period of 12 Months after which they become alumni to inspire sustained mentorship and cross learning.

The Sustainability Fellowship Programme is open to;

  • Hold a Masters or PhD in environmental science, sustainable development, public policy, or a related discipline and research interest in any of the ACTS thematic areas.
  • Demonstrate a strong research focus and interest in sustainability issues, particularly those related to the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and economic challenges.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to academic and policy-oriented publications, such as journals, blogs, and working papers.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across disciplines, acknowledging the complexity of sustainable development issues.
  • Senior Researchers will be invited to the fellowship based on their strategic expertise and mentorship support they could offer.
  • Able to commit to a 12-month programme requiring weekly engagement.


The Fellowship is a voluntary commitment and the fellows will not be compensated monetarily.

Based on the fellow’s performance and degree of engagement, the Fellowship Programme will support and recognize their accomplishments in the following way:

  • Connect the Fellows with relevant organizations when strategic opportunities
  • Provide small grants to fellows for strategic case studies and
  • Celebrate, promote and showcase fellows’ achievements, unique stories, experiences, and the projects through its networks, social media channels, website and presentations at global conferences and events.

Time commitment

The estimated time commitment on planned activities is 2-5 hours per week (8-20 hours per month) and will depend heavily on the fellow’s level of engagement.

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Application Guidelines

To apply fill in the application form and upload all the necessary documents.

 Timeline for selection

The 2024 ACTS Pathways Fellowship applications will be accepted from 28 February until March 24, 2024, at 11:59 pm (EAT). The selected fellows will be notified by April 5, 2024, and the Fellowship begins on April 15, 2024.

For more inquiries, please contact ‍Maureen Kabasa, Project Coordinator, at m.kabasa@acts-net.org

Applications have closed

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