A monthly newsletter for 2014/2013 AWARD Participants
June 4, 2014

2014 AWARD Liberian Delegation: The Honorable Seklau Elizabeth Wiles (second from left), Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia, is volunteering as an AWARD Mentor to AWARD Fellow Cheryl Williams (far right), of the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture. Mentor/fellow pair Sayba Yawai Tamba (far left) and Cleopatra Felecia Jallay are also with the ministry. They are among the 140 fellows and mentors who attended the recent Mentoring Orientation Workshops in Nairobi, Kenya.
For more fun photos of all 2014 AWARD Fellows and Mentors, visit Flickr

"Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway"

Zambian 2014 AWARD Fellow Chapwa Kasoma finds fresh motivation post-MOW

Chapwa Kasoma (left), AWARD Fellow and Research Associate at Zambia Seed Company (ZAMSEED)  with her mentor, Evelyne Nguleka, President, Zambia National Farmers Union.

By Chapwa Kasoma

Like other AWARD laureates and mentors, I left the Mentoring Orientation Workshop (MOW) as a very motivated young scientist, enlightened with the understanding that it is up to me to create my future, based on my daily decisions.

Arriving home from the workshop, I was asked to give an introductory session on biotechnology at a maize technician training course organized by the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT). At this regional training, agricultural technicians are equipped with skills and knowledge pertaining to crop research and production.

Motivated and confident following the MOW, I agreed to speak at a session on March 27, which gave me a few days to prepare. However, on Monday evening I was informed that my session was now scheduled for the next day. This shift in schedule made me somewhat nervous and apprehensive, as I doubted my ability to prepare in such a short time. Read more


Can Women Succeed Without a Mentor?
Turns out, they may have to: Why female workers are failing to pay it forward
By Peggy Drexler, Forbes Magazine
Do you have a “Queen Bee” in your workplace? Are you one yourself? Tell us how your AWARD experience as a mentor/mentee is making a difference in your career via our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

AWARD Advanced Science Training: Call for Applications

We are pleased to announce the call for applications for AWARD’s Advanced Science Training Competition. This year, 45 post-master’s and post-doctoral 2014 AWARD Fellows are eligible to apply for up to 25 fully funded training opportunities at global institutions of excellence, including Agropolis Fondation, Dow AgroSciences, and DuPont Pioneer, among many others. Read more
AWARD Science Skills Course

for post-master’s and post-doctoral 2014 AWARD Fellows/Mentors
Eastern/Southern Africa  June 15-21, Nairobi
West Africa   June 29 -July 5, Accra
Read more
Professional Associations

AWARD Fellows can connect with the latest debates, methods, and findings relevant to their research through a two-year membership in a professional association of your choice (subject to budget limits). This opportunity is part of your fellowship package so sign up today and take full advantage of it. Find the right association for you.

Please review this extensive list of upcoming conferences, and the guidelines for participation. Contact Dr. Josephine Songa ( for advice on the conference that will best enhance your career.

The Quest for Work-Family Balance

Struggling to achieve the elusive “work-life” balance? You’re not alone! Pauline Bomett, AWARD’s Leadership and Training Coordinator, recommends these thought-provoking articles. You can also glean wisdom from Dr. RoseEmma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah’ speech on career and family, presented at MOW 6.2.  
Do you have effective tips and recommendations that have helped you juggle workplace and family responsibilities? Share them with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Moving from Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Passion: the Successful Woman Scientist’s New Paradigm
Dr. RoseEmma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, Deputy Director-General, CSIR, AWARD Steering Committee Member
Respected Ghanian scientist Dr. Entsua-Mensah shares insights and lessons learned on her career journey in an inspiring speech delivered to 2014 AWARD Fellowship laureates in Nairobi, Kenya. Watch video

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All
Anne-Marie Slaughter | Atlantic Monthly
It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change.

Forget Work Life Balance – Seven Paradigm Shifts for the New 24/7 Normal
By Henna Inam, Forbes Magazine
Call for More Plant Pathologists in Ghana During Fellow’s Role-modeling Event

AWARD Fellow Dr. Mary Apetorgbor recently held a successful role-modeling event at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, that attracted more than 500 participants from primary and secondary schools, universities, colleges, and farming communities.
(Be sure and send us news about your role-modeling event, as well as good, high-resolution photos.)

AWARD Leadership Skills Course

for post-bachelor’s 2014 AWARD Fellows
August 4--8, 2014
Venue: to be announced
Participants will soon receive information about extensive pre-course online preparation to be completed before the start of the course.
AWARD Women’s Management and Leadership Course for Partner Organizations

October 5--11, 2014
Venue: to be announced
Back by popular demand, this course is being offered to non-AWARD women who work for national, regional, and international agricultural research and development organizations, including their donors and partners. Staff members from the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) are especially encouraged to apply. Encourage your colleagues and friends to attend this outstanding course.  Read more

Welcome to Game Changers

If Africa is to feed a projected 2.4 billion people—double its current population—by 2050, it must increase its food production by 260 percent. To meet this challenge, we need the best minds in agricultural research working on innovative food-security solutions together, both men and women. These visionaries will help transform the face of food security, equipping smallholder farmers with the adoptable research results they need to feed a continent. Who are these dynamic game changers? You—the growing movement of AWARD Fellows and Mentors.
Game Changers is a new monthly newsletter for current (2013 -14) AWARD Fellows and Mentors. It is designed to help optimize your fellowship experience by providing regular information about the program, as well as additional opportunities. You will find valuable information on MyAWARD, the private section on our website for AWARD participants. Check it out often.
Write and let us know how you are changing the game in your workplace or community.

Karen Homer, AWARD Communications Manager (

Enhanced Visibility: Your AWARD Profile

All 2014 AWARD Fellows’ profiles are now up on the web. Take a look here.

Last Call!  2015 AWARD Fellowships 

In 2015, AWARD will offer the last round of fellowships under our current grant. Spread the word and encourage qualified women agricultural scientists you know to apply. Watch the AWARD website for the call for applications, which will be announced in July.

AWARD on the Road

Director Speaks at Gates Foundation, USAID

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg recently returned from a month-long trip to the U.S.A. where she met AWARD donors, supporters, and partners. She spoke at the Gates Foundation Annual Employee Meeting in Seattle, Washington and met with top officials at USAID’s Human and International Capacity Development-Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (HICD-BIFAD) in Washington, D.C. Read more

Bellagio Conference

Dorothy Mukebi, AWARD Mentoring Coordinator, participated in a collaborative conference on “Emerging Infectious Plant Diseases of Africa in the Context of Ecosystem Services,” held in April at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.


Upcoming Events

A number of AWARD Fellows and staff members will participate in these influential regional meetings.

International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA)
June 16-19, 2014 Cape Town, South Africa
WECARD/CORAF Science Week/General Assembly
June 16--20, 2014 Niamey, Niger
2014 RUFORUM Biennial Conference
July 21-25, 2014 Maputo, Mozambique
World Food Prize
October 15-17, 2014, Des Moines, Iowa


AWARD in the News

AWARD Grows Women in Agricultural Research
University of Cape Town News | May 28, 2014 
Kenyan AWARD Fellow Jacqueline Karithi, a doctoral student at the University of Cape Town, is featured in this article about her field research in Kenya’s Mount Elgon region. Read the full story


Fellows’/Mentors’ Publications

Owureku-Asare, M., Adu-Gyamfi, A., Agyei-Amponsah, A., Selorm, W., Adom-Mensah, J., Acquah, S., Quayson, E., Saalia, F., Effect of Gamma Irradiation Treatment and Storage on Physico-chemical, Microbial and Sensory Quality of Minimally Processed Pineapple (Ananas comosus)
Musyimi D. M., Okello S. V., Sikuku P. A. Mutevu J. M., Effects of fresh leaf materials of Sesbania sesban (L.) Merrill on the growth and photosynthetic pigments of nightshade (Solanum nigrum L. var. popolo)

Breaking the myth of urban consumers’ rice preference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Africa Rice Training by AWARD Fellow Gaudiose Mujawamariya

Read more


Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Scientist – Feed and Forage Biosciences Programme

International Livestock Research Institute
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Deadline: June 16, 2014
Read more


More Recommended Reads

Lean In
by Sheryl Sandberg

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg recommends this book by Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook and a former vice president at Google. She shares her personal stories, uses research to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges readers to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.
Consider starting a Lean In circle in your workplace. Take a peek at the site to find out more about these small peer groups that can help you learn and grow together.  We plan to start a reading group on leadership issues here at AWARD. We’ll keep you posted on our progress!
AWARD is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women. Learn more at

AWARD is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Agropolis Fondation.
  Connect with us on Facebook...  Forward to a friend...

Copyright © 2014 CGIAR. All rights reserved.