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African Union/USDA 2021-2022 Scientific Exchanges Program

Applications are open for the African Union Commission/United States Department of Agriculture Scientific Exchanges Program 2021. The Scientific Exchanges Program (SEP) supports USDA’s agricultural research goals of promoting collaborative programs among agricultural professionals of eligible countries, agricultural professionals of the United States, the international agricultural research system, and U.S. entities conducting research. SEP is implemented by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Global Programs, Fellowship Programs. 

The SEP Fellowships in general was created to operationalize the joint effort of the AU and USDA to promote food security and economic growth in eligible countries by educating a new generation of agricultural scientists, increasing scientific knowledge and collaborative research to improve agricultural productivity, and extending that knowledge to users and intermediaries in the marketplace.

The collaborative nature of the SEP training and research programs benefits the fellow, his or her home institution, and partner country; the U.S. host institution, its professors, researchers, and students; and the global agricultural sector by improving agricultural productivity, systems, and processes in partnering nations through the transfer of new science and agricultural technologies. 

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About African Union

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999). The main objectives of the OAU were to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonisation and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity amongst African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and to promote international cooperation... read more


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African Union/USDA Scientific Exchanges Program


Aim and Benefits of African Union/USDA Scientific Exchanges Program

  • Support AU-RECs to establish SPS regulatory regimes in the African Continental Free Trade Area based on science and the international standard setting bodies (Codex, International Plant Protection Convention, and World Organization for Animal Health) that allows for the safe cross border trade of agricultural products.
  • Create synergies among agricultural policy practitioners in the AU-RECs, and all relevant stakeholders including but not limited to U.S. regulatory agencies and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, to work together in formulating a road map for the implementation of the SPS policy framework.
  • Provide leadership and science communication to empower fellows to advocate for sound policy to peers, decision-makers, and the general public.
  • Contribute to the strategic goals and objectives of individual fellows, the host institutions, and USDA, providing opportunity for application of research agendas in a “real-world” environment which can have a direct impact on international trade, food security, and economic growth in emerging economies.
  • Collaborate with and gain input from relevant stakeholders, such as U.S. regulatory agencies and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
  • Develop knowledge of SPS regulations and gaps which currently exist in the AU-RECs with special attention to policy frameworks, implementation capacity, actors and synergy of regimes

Requirements for African Union/USDA Scientific Exchanges Program Qualification

  • Open to a citizen of a country in the AU.
  • Good reading, writing, and speaking skills in English language.
  • Master’s degree or higher with at least two years of practical experience (minimum).
  • Currently employed by a university, research institution, or other scientific institution in a country in the AU.
  • Intention to continue working in a country of the AU for a minimum of two years following the return from the United States.
  • Researcher with a clear connection to SPS regulatory regimes, who can adapt lessons learned from the U.S. SPS regulatory model at both national and state levels.
  • Proposal directly related to the research topic.

Checkout: How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

Documents Required for Application

  • Paper Application form(Download the application form)
  • Program proposal and research action plan.
  • Signed approval from applicant’s home institution.
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional preferred).
  • Copies of diploma(s) for college/university degree(s) received.
  • Copy of passport identification page.


Application Deadline

October 10, 2021


How to Apply

Submit applications by email to Cara Conley ([email protected]), CCing Joyce

West ([email protected]), at the USDA Offices in Washington, DC and Diana Akullo([email protected]).

For more details,visit AU/USDA website



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