The International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa) is a UNEP-accredited pan-African initiative that is committed to raising global and multi-stakeholder support for greener and climate-resilient Africa through a multidisciplinary network of various stakeholders active in various disciplines across the globe.

ISNAD-Africa’s Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP) establishes technical and thematic mentoring relationships between students in African Universities, and, experienced researchers and professionals from more than 50 countries across the globe. Students selected for the programme are those who are undergoing postgraduate (master’s and doctoral) degree programmes in any discipline and are conducting research on sustainable energy, environment and climate change among other green growth topics for their thesis. The programme currently has, as mentors, over 140 researchers and professionals from various institutions and organisations such as the World Bank, European Union’s Joint Research Center, Harvard University, Yale University, Imperial College London, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), Chatham House, the University of Toronto among other world-class institutions and international organisations. Since its inception in 2017, the programme currently has supported over 110 masters and PhD students from various universities in twenty (20) African countries.

By working with our partners, ISNAD-Africa also secures fellowships and grant for most outstanding students (mentees) on the programme to participate in international trainings and conferences.

In preparation for the commencement of the 2021 cohort of the programme, ISNAD-Africa invites applications from qualified and interested students (Master’s and Doctoral) in universities across African countries for the 2021 cohort of its Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP).


  • Admission into a one-to-one technical and thematic mentoring relationship on your research with an experienced researcher or professional (with expertise in your area of research) from world-class organisations such as the World Bank, Harvard University, Chatham House, Imperial College London, among other international institutions and organisations.
  • Support by a mentor to structure your research to be innovative, problem-solving, practice-oriented, and carried out to meet global standards
  • Support by ISNAD-Africa to communicate your research findings to relevant stakeholders in the global community, hence, creating more visibility for your research work and career opportunities
  • Best-performing mentees will be selected with full-funding to participate in the one-month residential UNEP/UNESCO/BMU International Short Course on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at the Technische Universität Dresden in Dresden, Germany.


  • Applicants should be registered postgraduate students in universities in Africa countries
    • Doctoral students
    • Master’s students should have made a minimum of Second Class (Upper Division) or equivalent from their undergraduate programmes
  • Successful applicants will be those who possess excellent research ideas aimed at solving a problem or an innovative approach on sustainable energy, environment, biodiversity or climate change
  • Applicants should be carrying out their research in 2021. (Please note that the research may be a new or ongoing research, however, priority will be given to research projects that are at their early stages). Also, kindly note that students whose research programme extend beyond 2021 are also eligible to apply and could be considered for an extension till the completion of their research.
  • Applications are welcome from students in any discipline (Technology, Sciences, Arts, Law, Social Sciences, Environmental Design and Management, Agriculture, Health Sciences, ICT, among others) provided their research is on sustainable energy, environment or climate change-based topics.

In addition to the established research subjects (such as energy access, renewable energy policy); new non-conventional research frontiers such as climate photography, environmental journalism, among others, will be of special interest.


Qualified and interested applicants are invited to complete the online application here.

Deadline for applications Friday, June 4, 2021 (11:59 GMT). 

Please note that applicants may start their applications and save them on the application portal while they continue later. However, all applications should be completed and submitted latest Friday, June 4, 2021 (11:59 GMT). 

During the application stages, you will be requested to upload the following documents

  • Motivation statement
  • Reference Letter (preferably from your research supervisor)
  • Research Concept Note
  • Profile picture

For the Reference Letter, please download the Referee Form here. The form should be completed by your referee and uploaded as the reference letter during the application process.

You can also download the guidelines for the motivation statement and the research concept note below:

Also, all documents should be clearly named in the order: “Firstname_lastname_document type” e.g. “John_Leye_motivation_letter”

For inquiries, please contact us via