Tuesday, January 25, 2011

French Government Scholarships for Kenyan Citizens


French higher education system, modern and dynamic, trains worldwide leaders in science, business, and culture. The quality of the educational system is closely monitored by the government devoting 20 percent of its annual budget to education. French higher education has a long tradition of openness and accessibility. With 270,000 international students (12% of the country's total postsecondary enrolment), France is the world's third-largest host country after the United States and the United Kingdom.

The broad array of universities and specialized post-secondary schools offer thousands of degree programs at all levels (bachelor’s and master’s degrees, doctorate) that can be consulted on Most courses are taught in French, a language spoken by more than 200 million people in 50 countries, but some programmes are taught in English, especially business and engineering. Doctoral training (PhD) takes place within a French research unit affiliated to a university doctoral department.

Holders of a master’s degree obtained outside France have to obtain an explicit authorisation from the university in order to register. Doctoral training in France includes limited theoretical lessons, which is why it is open to nonFrench-speaking candidates subject to an agreement of the host university to conduct their work and defend it in English. Overall, more than a third of French doctorates are taken by international students. Joint doctoral programmes can be set up, allowing students to pursue their work alternately in France and in their own country under the supervision of two PhD thesis supervisors and to receive two degrees after a single dissertation defended in the agreed language.

Science research is a top priority in France and it is particularly active in the fields of space, transportation, electronics, telecommunications, chemistry, biotechnology, health, and mathematics. France has the fifth-largest economy in the world based on its research capacity. The major French research organisations (CNRS, INRA, Pasteur Institute, CIRAD, IRD) have a long international experience and their competence in a broad variety of scientific disciplines is an asset both for France and for her partner institutions.


Support for research and higher education is also a priority for the France’s foreign policy, and in particular in her cooperation with Kenya. It aims at promoting and developing sustainable partnerships between the French universities and research institutes and their Kenyan counterparts. Numerous joint research programmes are ongoing, as well as few memorandum of understanding.

In Kenya, three French research organisations have resident teams: the International Centre of Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD), the French Institute of Research on Africa (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Development (IRD). Their researchers develop several scientific programmes in collaboration with various Kenyan institutions or international research institutes based in Kenya. They offer opportunities for scientific capacity building.


From year to year, the Embassy of France in Kenya strengthens its scholarship attribution policy. Around 10 scholarships are allocated annually. These scholarships are mainly intended for postgraduates who are already engaged in a professional activity and want to develop their academic qualifications in agreement with their employer and with the support of French scientific networks.

Sandwich doctoral scholarship

The scholarship finances 3 stays of 3 months each in France, and a fourth stay of a couple of weeks intended for the defence, over a 3 to 4 year period. Acceptances of the following stays are subject to achievement of scientific targets set by the scholarship holder in collaboration with his/her supervisor(s). The scholarships cover travel and living expenses, registration fees in the university, access to affordable student housing, health insurance as well as French language courses at discount rates at Alliance Française.

Eligibility criteria:

- Kenyan citizen
- A master’s degree holder
- French host institution identified
- Employer’s agreement or financial plan about the doctoral training
- Age limit: 45 years for staff member of higher education and research institutions; 30 years for students.

Master scholarship

The scholarships cover travelling and living expenses, registration fees in the university, access to affordable student housing and health insurance over the training period in France.

Eligibility criteria:

- Kenyan citizen
- A bachelor’s degree holder
- French study programme identified
- Staff member of national high education and research institutions or French enterprises based in Kenya
- Employer’s agreement
- Age limit: 40 years.


Required documents

Main documents:

- Applicant's cover letter
- Applicant's curriculum vitae (including mobile contacts and email)
- Copies of academic certificates (bachelor’s and master’s degrees)
- Postgraduate and undergraduate academic transcripts
- Copies of French certificates (if any)
- Authorization of study leave from the institution’s administration (for staff member)
- Recommendation letter from the applicant’s immediate scientific head (for staff member)
- Copy of applicant’s passport

Additional documents for sandwich doctoral scholarship application:

- Explicit agreement from an French host laboratory’s head willing to supervise the research proposal and indicating the policy of the university for no French-speaking PhD students
- Agreement with a national institution in case of a joint doctoral programme
- Applicant’s research proposal including considerations about the running costs and field works (3-5 pages)
- For students, financial plan over the training period

Additional documents for master scholarship application:

- Explicit agreement with a university for the identified training programme
- Co-funding plan in case of a stay over 4 months.
Both soft and hard copies of the application must be submitted before Tuesday 15th March 2011 at 5:30 p.m. to the Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Department of the Embassy of France in Nairobi, located at Barclays Plaza 9th floor, Loita Street, Nairobi –

For further enquiries, please contact Ms Severine Fogel (, the person in charge of the scholarship policy and scientific co-operation in the Embassy of France to Kenya.

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Vitom Chea Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator
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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator