To view available EASST funding and research opportunities and learn more about grants available through EASST, go here. To view opportunities available at the Center for Effective Global Action, go here.
Other Opportunities Available to East African Researchers
1. NEW! Rolling Basis: Country Director at IPA Kenya The Country Director position provides a unique opportunity to be closely involved in cutting-edge policy-relevant research and work with top academics.The Country Director will work with IPA senior Global, Regional, and Program leadership, as well as key stakeholders to set the strategic direction and oversee multiple simultaneous impact projects.The position requires close interaction with academic researchers, donors, local government agencies, and other NGOs. The Country Director, assisted by the IPA Kenya Senior Management Team, will provide oversight of all project and office operations. Responsibilities Country Office Planning and Management
Collaborate with Chief Global Programs Officer and Regional Director to develop IPA Kenya’s strategic plan;
Collaborate with Regional Director to develop sub-initiative priorities, strategies and application plans;
Lead strategic project management, financial management, external relations, business development, fundraising, Human Resources, and operational aspects of research projects;
Develop and execute project management plan to support strategic planning, resource allocation, and policy engagement;
Develop and lead project strategy metrics, goal and target setting, data collection, data management, data analysis, and reporting;
Lead IPA’s policy impact in Kenya including evidence dialogue, dissemination, and research collaborations;
Ensure data collection is complaint with IPA’s research protocols and data quality standards;
Oversee internal and external project audits.
Oversee project budgets management and reporting, financial risk control procedures, projections for multiple grants, and contracts;
Ensure compliance to donor reporting, rules, regulations, and requirements (e.g. USAID and DFID);
Ensure financial compliance to Kenya Government and NGO board statutory requirements;
Oversee internal and external financial audits.
Manage, maintain and deepen relationships with core external academic researchers/ principal investigators (PIs) who work and partner with IPA in Kenya and expand this network of PIs;
Develop and maintain high-level relationships with Government of Kenya, national and international NGO partners;
Identify and cultivate relationships with new partnerships in sectors that are prioritized by IPA Kenya’s policy engagement;
Represent IPA Kenya on a global, national, and local level;
Represent IPA Kenya with government and NGO partners;
Oversee capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy making and impact evaluations;
Manage relationships with and provide services to external academic researchers.
Business Development and Fundraising
Collaborate with Regional Director and program teams project resources, financial management, human resources, and operations for proposal development;
Engage government partners to identify potential research projects;
Identify and cultivate fundraising opportunities;
Identify and cultivate research project opportunities, particularly through proactive reach out to external academic researchers/ principle investigators.
Human Resources and Operations
Manage Deputy Country Director, Senior Policy Manager, Finance Manager, and Human Resources Manager;
Oversee Research Managers, Senior Research Associates and Field Managers;
Oversee office operations, human resources, and information technology functions;
Ensure compliance to Kenyan labor and immigration laws;
Act as primary point of contract for emergency and crisis management;
Ensure Nairobi and field offices safety and security protocols are maintained;
Develop systems to strengthen staff capacity.
Qualifications Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field work related to international economic development with a minimum of 8 year relevant work experience; or Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field work related to international economic development with a minimum of 10 year relevant work experience; Project Management Professional training certificate, strongly desirable. Experience
Project management; strongly desired
Report writing, strongly desired
Quantitative research skills/ experience and a familiarity with randomized controlled trials, strongly desired;
Experimental economics, education, health, water and sanitation and agricultural research, strongly desired;
Engaging multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, donors, national and local government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants, strongly desired;
Working knowledge of human resource and operations, strongly desired
Working with multiple donors;
Worked as Deputy Country Director or Country Director, strongly desired;
Experience leading diverse team of 200+ in dynamic work environment;
Experience building staff capacity;
Experience living and working in Kenya.
Strategic Goal Setting
Application Instructions Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Finance and Admin job category, then select “Country Director, Kenya”. Applications require a statement of purpose (cover letter) and CV. Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview 2. NEW! Rolling Basis: Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Associate at IPA Uganda The Senior M&E Associate will be the primary on-the-ground staff member delivering M&E technical support for a two-year ECD program of grants. The Senior Associate will work closely with around five ECD implementers that are part of the program, in order to build their capacity in using adaptive M&E. With oversight from the M&E Engagement Manager, the Senior Associate will: Responsibilities
Provide technical advice on the design of data collection methods, survey instruments and data management
Train client team members in how to analyse and summarize M&E data
Provide guidance to clients’ ongoing project monitoring, including by recommending implementation quality indicators and data sources
Provide advice to clients to develop and maintain M&E plans
Support clients to draft theories of change (ToCs) for project activities, by reviewing program documents and relevant literature
Assist clients to identify M&E questions to test the assumptions in their ToCs, and provide advice on the strength of key assumptions
Assist clients to prepare materials, organize logistics and document outcomes for MEL workshops and meetings
Take an active role in the development and performance of new engagements for the Unit
Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, social science, or a related field
2-5 years of relevant work experience, including experience in MEL (public sector) or organizational performance (private sector)
Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills
Strong client facing and presentation skills, and ability to build relationships of trust with stakeholders at various levels.
Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally
Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and willingness to learn.
Experience working in developing countries
Strong proficiency in Excel for data management and analysis
Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.
Preferred additional qualifications
Master’s degree in economics, public policy, social science, or a related field
Experience in management consulting or other professional services
Demonstrated ability to coach and train others in statistics, data analysis or MEL methodologies
Background in development programs relating to Early Childhood Development
Familiarity with the concepts surrounding the Theory of Change and the core tools of MEL (both quantitative and qualitative research methods)
Familiarity with SurveyCTO, Open Data Kit or similar survey software, SMS or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology
Ability to use Stata, R or similar statistical software
Application Instructions Complete the . After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Associate, Uganda”. Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
3. NEW! Rolling Basis: Monitoring and Learning Specialist at African Population Health and Research Center (APHRC) The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to conducting high quality and policy relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization and broader development issues facing sub-Saharan Africa. The APHRC seeks to fill the following vacancies within its Data Measurement & Evaluation Research Unit. Major responsibilities The primary Role of the MEL Specialist is to develop and lead the monitoring, evaluation, and learning functions within the Data Measurement & Evaluation Unit and the rest of the APHRC. The Experts will ensure that the implementation of APHRC projects and programmes is underpinned by systematic attention to MEL principles and procedures. This includes the development of clear M & E plans and impact pathways for most projects; monitoring and tracking implementation of projects to ensure that they remain on course as planned; evaluating project impacts and documenting relevant lessons of experience for future programming; actively contributing to the design and implementation of external programme evaluation assignments that the APHRC may be commissioned to undertake; and sharing of lessons learnt from our projects and programmes with relevant internal and external audiences. The MEL Specialist will also drive accurate, timely and effective reporting on the results and achievements of the Centre’s Programmes as well as facilitate evidence-based improvements to program effectiveness and performance through monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the work completed. The holder of this position will work closely with all the APHRC Divisions and Research Units to ensure synergy. Specific responsibilities The specific responsibilities of the MEL Specialist will include but not be limited to the following:
Lead the development and implementation of project level and organization wide M&E plans;
Provide M&E targeted technical assistance to research Units such as designing and/ reviewing M&E tools, plans and methods, and ensuring quality control of M&E outputs;
Supporting the development of M&E frameworks for the APHRC as well as guiding M&E related activities in the Data Measurement & Evaluation Unit;
Lead project implementation, including data collection, analysis, report writing, synthesis of knowledge, and monitoring and evaluation of the impact of projects implemented;
Lead activities related to knowledge generation and sharing, documentation and dissemination of best-practices;
Support proposal writing and other fundraising activities geared towards leveraging funds to broaden the current scope of the Data Measurement & Evaluation Unit;
Actively collaborate with and contribute to the work of other Divisions and Research Units in the APHRC to achieve the Centre’s objectives;
Carry out any other functions that may be assigned to you from time to time by Senior Management and the Executive Leadership of the Centre.
Qualifications and work experience
A Masters’ degree (PhD preferred) in monitoring and evaluation, public health, statistics, or any other relevant discipline that has an applied social science and/ or monitoring and evaluation component as course-work, e.g. epidemiology, biostatistics, demography, and development studies;
A minimum of 5 years of practical experience in designing and implementing M&E systems for donor-funded development programs in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world;
Experience in: Impact and performance evaluations; baseline assessments and feasibility studies; cost effectiveness analysis; monitoring plans, strategies and indicators; M&E-related policies and programs; technical training on M&E skills and tools; and applied research methods;
Proven experience in conducting large, national quantitative surveys at the household and facility levels, with a high level of confidence in using both quantitative and qualitative research methods;
Experience in capacity building to undertake measurement and evaluation of research programs in developing countries;
Well-developed writing skills and demonstrated ability to analyze and synthesize complex information leading to the production of different knowledge products;
Ability to work effectively with a variety of partners, including funding agencies, government departments, local communities, NGOs, and other key actors in the development sector;
Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills and ability to work in a culturally diverse team;
Strong ability to communicate effectively (written and oral) with a wide range of audiences;
Strong quantitative skills (managing, analyzing and interpreting data), with extensive familiarity with Statistical Packages (e.g. STATA or SPSS);
Demonstrated expertise in qualitative analysis methods, with familiarity with common qualitative analysis software package (e.g. NVivo).
Familiarity with impact evaluation and major donor (USAID, DFID, EU, etc.) regulations is desirable;
Familiarity with the African population health and wellbeing research and development landscape will be a distinct added advantage.
How to apply Interested candidates are invited to send via email their letter of application (1 page); and their CV with contact details of three referees to . Application letters should be addressed to: The Human Resources Officer African Population and Health Research Center P.O. Box 10787 – 00100 GPO, Nairobi The positions will remain open until suitable candidates are identified. Only short-listed candidates will be notified. 4. NEW! Rolling Basis: Student Volunteer at IPA Liberia Partnership Schools for Liberia Please note: All IPA volunteerships are unpaid. IPA Liberia is looking for a student volunteer to work on the Partnership Schools for Liberia endline evaluation. In 2016, the government of Liberia piloted a new public-private partnership model of pre-primary and primary education. IPA research team partnered with the government to run the first randomized evaluation of such a program in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The Principal Investigators are Justin Sandefur (Center for Global Development), Mauricio Romero (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México - ITAM) and Wayne Sandholtz (University of California, San Diego). Position Summary: The student volunteer will work closely with the research staff and other IPA country office staff to oversee all aspects of the research study. This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain extensive experience in a field setting and to have significant responsibilities in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting-edge development research, as well as the opportunity to work in close collaboration with a private sector developing country partner. Key areas of involvement will include: assist research staff in overseeing data collection activities, support research staff in coordinating and collaborating with the partners, revising survey questionnaires, training and managing survey teams, designing and supervising logistics for the field activities, assisting in cleaning and analyzing survey data, assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos, and liaising with key government and nongovernmental stakeholders. The work will develop your analytical and management skills and require your full commitment in a challenging environment. Qualifications
Interest in development issues and more particularly in education issues within the developing world;
Good understanding of impact evaluation methodologies (particularly randomized controlled trials) and terminology;
The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) is accepting articles focused on improving research transparency, reproducibility, and meta-science through its BITSS Preprints service and encouraging submissions to the Journal of Development Economics’ Pre-Results Review. For more information Contact: Katherine Hoeberling (firstname.lastname@example.org). 6. NEW! December 15, 2018: Call for Research Proposals Digitization and the Future of Work in the Global South As part of the Future of Work in the Global South (FoWiGS) initiative, Centro Latam Digital and IDRC are launching a call for research proposals that seeks to advance our understanding about the implications of digitization and labor automation for countries in the Global South. This call for research proposals seeks to advance our understanding about the implications of these changes in the nature of work for developing countries in the Global South, their growth trajectories and the broader goal of equitable development and gender inclusion. In particular, it seeks to address the following questions:
To what extent are jobs in developing countries susceptible to automation or relocation as a result of AI and new communication technologies? Are there fundamental differences with similar trends in advanced countries? What are the key data gaps that need to be filled to better understand these trends?
How can workers in developing countries develop the necessary skills to benefit from these transformations? Are there examples of successful initiatives that increase employability? What changes are required to school curricula or existing job training programs?
How are these changes likely to impact populations with inferior outcomes in traditional labor markets, such as women, ethnic minorities and the youth? Can these trends be oriented to mitigate discrimination and create more inclusive labor markets?
How are workers and small entrepreneurs in affected industries responding to these changes? What role are established institutions (such as labor unions and job training centers) playing?
How are governments responding to these changes? Are there examples of successful initiatives in key areas such as education reform, labor rights and social protection programs? Are there examples of initiatives that help preserve rights or smooth the transition for displaced workers? Are there examples from low and middle-income countries specifically targeted at gig workers?
How does the gig economy operate in countries with high levels of poverty and labor informality? Are informal workers and small-scale entrepreneurs reaping benefits from these changes, or are they exacerbating precarious labor conditions?
How are these changes affecting the patterns of geographic clusterization and regional job displacement in poor and middle-income countries? Are there successful cases of economic and urban renewal in areas affected by these trends? Are there any successful policy responses at the local, state and federal levels that promote new models of articulation with modern and, in particular, global value chains?
Research projects up to CAD 100,000 (Canadian dollars) will be considered.
The proposed budget should be strictly related to the project needs and should reflect the necessary resources for the collection of data or any other method of data acquisition and management.
Research Perspective and Methods Following the key research themes and questions outlined above, the call welcomes research proposals from a variety of disciplines and methodological perspectives. This includes (but is not limited to) impact evaluation research, surveys, ethnographic studies, action research, field experiments, and policy analysis. Proposals that include a comparative perspective across two or more countries are encouraged. Proposals should address issues of gender equality, youth employment or social inclusion for minority populations. Researchers are encouraged to identify the practical implications of their research findings. This includes drawing policy recommendations and implications for development-oriented initiatives. For example: what are the key policy lessons that emerged from the findings? Are these lessons likely to be relevant in other contexts? How do the findings help inform initiatives aimed at facilitating a more equitable distribution of the benefits of AI and digital technologies? Eligibility Criteria
Applications can be submitted in English, French or Spanish.
Research consortia comprised of multiple partners may apply; however, one partner must be designated as the lead institution and recipient of funds. This institution should submit the application on behalf of the consortium.
Research proposals must be led by scholars based in the Global South. Researchers based in advanced countries may participate as partners.
Quality and composition of the research team will be an important evaluation criterion in the selection of proposals. They encourage teams with at least one researcher with expertise in gender-based analysis, as well as teams with a capacity-building component through the participation of young scholars.
Research projects are to be undertaken/led by a research-oriented institution with legal entity based in the Global South. Applications from individual persons will not be accepted. UN, donor, and multilateral organizations are not eligible to apply.
The fellowship program targets highly qualified young professionals and junior executives from Sub-Saharan Africa with several years of work experience, strong leadership qualities and a high level of dedication. AFRIKA KOMMT! is an initiative of German industry for future leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa and offers the opportunity of a one-year experience in Germany, including an eight-month internship in a leading German enterprise. The program: 19 leading German enterprises founded the initiative AFRIKA KOMMT! in the year 2008 - the very first joint-initiative for capacity building by German industry. At the heart of the AFRIKA KOMMT! fellowship program is an eight-months practical training in a leading German enterprise benefiting both, fellows and partner companies - a classic win-win situation: The program fellows benefit through:
gaining first-hand practical experience in a leading German enterprise
being exposed to leadership concepts and management techniques in practics
becoming acquainted with working processes and business culture in German enterprises
extending their international management competencies
initiating networks of cooperation partners between Sub-Saharan Africa and German companies
The partner companies benefit through:
establishing networks of cooperation and trust in promising future markets in Sub-Saharan Africa
extending their experience with the working and business culture in Sub-Saharan Africa
improving their knowledge about cultures, markets, countries etc. in Sub-Saharan Africa
Who can apply? The AFRIKA KOMMT! fellowship program aims at highly qualified, self-driven young professionals and junior executives from Sub-Saharan Africa with several years of hands-on work experience, strong leadership qualities and a very high level of commitment and dedication. Besides the specific technical expertise relevant to the partner company, the program requires candidates to have the following set of general skills and attributes:
Language and communication skills
Excellent English skills
Strong oral and written communication skills
High willingness to learn German
High leadership potential
Strong self-motivation and self-starter mentality
High level of dedication, commitment and target-orientation
Strong capacity for teamwork
High level of enthusiasm, flexibility and resilience
Outstanding intercultural competencies
Ability to adapt to new environments quickly
For more information regarding the requirements for application please check the application guide. 8. NEW! January 25, 2019: Call for Applications Africa Oxford Initiative Visiting Fellows Program The Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) invites applications for the 2019 AfOx Visiting Fellows Program. The AfOx Visiting Fellows Program is designed to enhance academic mobility and network building. The program supports African scholars and researchers working in any discipline to spend periods of exible time in Oxford, for example as sabbatical leave for utilising library or other university facilities or undertaking or planning collaborative research with Oxford based colleagues. The fellowships will be undertaken for 4 to 8 weeks between July and September 2019. Under certain circumstances, start dates outside this time period may be considered. The Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) is a cross-university platform for academic and research collaborations between the University of Oxford and African researchers and institutions. The Initiative supports the work of universities and research institutions across Africa and facilitates the development of equitable and extensive collaborations between Oxford and African institutions Fellowships There are three fellowship schemes being offered for 2019. Please read full details about each fellowship below and select one to apply to.
The AfOx Collaborative Fellowship
The AfOx-TORCH Fellowship: The AfOx TORCH fellowships aim to connect world-leading researchers based in African institutions to Humanities scholars based at Oxford University. Applications are open to researchers with interdisciplinary projects from a broad range of research areas in the Humanities.
The AfOx-Law Fellowship: The AfOx-Law fellowships target academics holding a full-time position in an African institution working on a topic within the broad range of research undertaken at the Faculty. This programme is intended for visiting scholars with a clearly defined research agenda, who wish to spend time in Oxford to make use of the Faculty’s research facilities. The fellowship is will be taken up in Michaelmas Term (October to November 2019)
The AfOx-ASC Fellowship: The AfOx ASC fellowships will allow academics in the Social Sciences and Humanities from African universities and research institutes to spend time in Oxford for writing a journal article or book chapter with a measure of guidance by a member of the Centre. This is a writing fellowship that provides opportunities for Africa based scholars to spend time away from teaching and other obligations with the benefit of using the vast resources available in Oxford University for research, writing, mentoring and/or collaboration with an Oxford-based scholar.
Benefits The Fellows appointed will be provided with an en-suite, single occupancy study bedroom with all meals provided in the host College. A temporary University card for and temporary membership to the college Senior Common Room will be granted for the period of residency. The fellowship will also include airfare, visa fee and a maintenance allowance for incidental expenses. AfOx will send supporting documents for visa application to successful applications, but it is the responsibility of the applicant to make a timely visa application and ensure that they meet all other requirements. They will not support express visa applications. The visa fee and related expenses will be reimbursed. Eligibility General:
Visiting Fellows must be of postdoctoral or equivalent status at the time of application.
Applicants must be holding an appointment in an African academic or research institution at the time of application.
The AfOx Collaborative Fellowship
Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or research equivalent. Legal resident of an African country holding an appointment in an African academic or research institution.
With an existing collaboration with Oxford or in contact with a potential collaborator at Oxford. Open to all disciplines
The AfOx-TORCH Fellowship
Same as described for the AfOx Collaborative Fellowships above but do not require an Oxford collaborator.
The AfOx-Law Fellowship
Same as described for the AfOx Collaborative Fellowships above but do not require an Oxford collaborator.
The successful applicants will be matched with the suitable academic hosts at the Faculty.
The AfOx-ASC Fellowship
Same as described for the AfOx Collaborative Fellowships above but do not require an Oxford collaborator.
Have published at least any two of the following: a book, book chapters or journal articles in internationally-reputable outlets.
Applicants are required to have two academic references detailing specific contributions of the applicant to particular fields of study, and how a writing fellowship will support career progression.
The application includes submitting a research proposal that clearly outlines the organizing theme of the proposed work to be undertaken during the fellowship and how the period of the fellowship will lead to the completion of the specific (part of the) project
Selection Criteria Applications will be reviewed primarily on the quality and value added of the proposed research agenda, the t between the applicant and the Oxford host, and the feasibility of the proposed activities in the timescale of the fellowship. For more information, visit AfOx Visiting Fellowship. 9. NEW! February 4, 2019: Call for Applications Google Africa PhD Fellowship Students and professionals are welcome to apply to the PhD Fellowship program For current PhD Students
Applicants must be enrolled into a full-time PhD program at a university in Africa. Applicants who are currently in their first year of a part-time PhD program and transferring to full-time positions are also welcome to apply.
Students should be early PhD students, i.e, should not have been into more than 1 year of their PhD. Applicants for the 2019 Fellowship must have started their program on or after 1-Jan-2018
Students must remain enrolled in the PhD program for the duration of the Fellowship or forfeit the award.
Applicants must be pursuing a PhD in Computer Science or related areas.
Google employees and family members of Google employees are not eligible
Students who are already receiving another corporate fellowship are not eligible.
For current Undergraduate/Masters students and Professionals
Grant of the fellowship to this category of applicants is contingent on them joining a full-time PhD program at a university in Africa within the calendar year of the award.
Student applicants must be full-time Undergraduate or Masters students enrolled at an African university. Professionals must be employed/affiliated with an organization registered in Africa.
The Google Fellowship award shall be contingent on the awardee registering for the full-time PhD program at an African university, in Computer Science or related areas, within the calendar year 2019, or the award shall be forfeited.
Grant of the Google Fellowship does not mean admission to the PhD program of a university. The awardee must also complete the PhD admission process of the respective institute/university where he/she wishes to register for PhD.
Grant of the Google Fellowship will be subject to the rules and guidelines applicable in the institute/university where the awardee registers for the PhD program.
Google employees and family members of Google employees are not eligible.
Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM GMT on 4th February 2019.
The program offers emerging global leaders a fully paid year of targeted professional and personal leadership development. Geared to mid-career professionals, this yearlong, fully funded professional development program empowers emerging global leaders through the McCain Institute’s tailored professional development experience. The program offers a unique blend of professional development, exposure to top-level policymakers and formal training in leadership. Benefits
The McCain Institute provides each NGL a stipend that covers all standard living costs for a year.
Each participant receives the stipend amount monthly, covering expenses such as rent, utilities, food and any other regular costs. The stipend amount varies depending on the cost of living in the participant’s placement city.
Added to the stipend is travel allowance that NGLs may use for professional travel in support of their LAP’s during the program year.
The overall stipend is separate from the program related cost, such as travel to and from leadership training modules, module lodgings and per diem for the duration of program modules are covered by the McCain Institute separately. Per visa regulations the McCain Institute also covers health insurance and workers comp.
Applicants should be in their mid-career, possess working proficiency in English with a high-degree of professional, academic and work achievements. Aspiring Next Generation Leaders must demonstrate commitment to highest level of ethical leadership, show decisive recommendations that substantiate their leadership qualities, and make a commitment to return to their home environment at the end of the program year.
Participants should have a decade or more of career experience. There is no specific age requirement, however, typical NGLs range from 30 to 45 years old.
Fluent in English and able to read and understand complex texts; give oral presentations in front of small and large audiences, build a professional network; and create personal relationships with colleagues, Institute staff and distinguished guests.
The McCain Institute selects target countries and sectors that are specific to each program year. However, applicants from all countries and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply.