AIMS announces first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows


KIGALI, Rwanda- The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) has announced the first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows: Dr. Nana Klutse from Ghana, Dr. Jessica Nosizwe Paula Thorn, a South African national living in the United States and Dr. N’Datchoh Evelyne Toure from Ivory Coast.

“Climate change represents one of humanity’s greatest challenges of the 21st century. The challenges are greater for African countries that are experiencing an increased population growth with downstream consequences on land redistribution.

“Unlike other continents, Africa is in a unique position to grow its economy and industries using climate-smart strategies that apply research-based evidence that limit future extreme climates and adapt to current climatic conditions. To achieve this, contributions by both men and women are critical.

“That’s why in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre of Canada and the Government of Canada, we created the AIMS NEI Fellowship Program for Women in Climate Change Science that puts female researchers in the driver’s seat to contribute to a more sustainable societal response to climate change and we are proud of a very strong first cohort,” said Thierry

Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS-NEI.

Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS-NEI.

Each Fellow will receive between $25 000 to $31 000 over one year. The fellowship program was made possible by a five year grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada with financial support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The program will see between 16 to 20 fellowships awarded from 2017 – 2022 to outstanding female scientists from all over the world who are applying substantive mathematical science concepts to address pressing climate change issues relevant to Africa.

“International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is proud to be involved with AIMS-NEI since 2010, when Canada became the first donor to help AIMS expand across Africa. Over the last decade, we have seen many success stories and the creation of a strong AIMS network.

And today, we are delighted to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows. Their projects are expected to add significantly to our understanding of climate change and its impacts and to the development and implementation of innovative policies and strategies for mitigation, adaptation and resilience. We look forward to great research results from these outstanding mathematical scientists,” said Dr. Jean Lebel, President of the International Development Research Centre.

The Fellows were selected from among 14 competitive applicants following a two-step evaluation process by international subject experts, including an International Selection Committee.

Beyond a standard fellowship, the Women in Climate Change Science Fellowship addresses certain barriers such as pregnancy, child-birth, establishing a family head on. The funding received by fellows includes funds allocated for up to three dependents. As well, in keeping with the goal of strengthening the capacity of African institutions to respond to climate change, the Fellows must conduct their research at a host institution in Africa, different from their home institution.

This fellowship program is part of the broader Mathematical Sciences for Climate Change Resilience (MS4CR) program which seeks to build the intellectual capital needed to solve the myriad challenges to Africa’s development resulting from, and impacted by climate change.