It was the end of April 2021, I was working on my PhD dissertation at Ethiopian Space Science and Geo-spatial Institute (ESSGI) when my supervisor Professor Mengistu sent me the link for the Pan African Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) mobility scholarship call.

I saw the call and read all the steps of the application again and again before starting the application process. At that time, I was not sure that the opportunity would be given to me because before that time I had applied so many times for several scholarship opportunities, and none was successful. This time I applied for a 12 months visit to BIUST to complete the work for my PhD thesis with my supervisor.

For several months, there was no notification coming from PAPSSN about the selection outcomes. I was already resigned that my application failed once again and I was discouraged until September 2021, when I received an email notifying me that I have been selected for the PAPSSN mobility program.

Preparation for the study trip

After I saw the nomination letter from the PAPPSN coordinator, I wrote an email to my supervisor in order to decide on my arrival at Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST). Then I notified the date of my arrival to the coordinator of PAPSSN and submitted all the necessary documents for my travel.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, getting an entry visa to Botswana was quite challenging. The Botswana Embassy in Ethiopia requested from me many documents as proof for my admission at BIUST, the travel ticket, nomination letter, invitation letter, and learning agreement to start my visa process. If you are not willing to spend a lot of time on paperwork there is no point for you to embark into an international scholarship application.

My Arrival at BIUST, Botswana.

My supervisor drove to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport to receive me upon my arrival. I am very grateful to Prof Mengistu for all the support secured while I was waiting to be transferred to my permanent accommodation. Palapye, the village where BIUST is located, is a very safe place with lots of accommodations for students and visiting staff. Most of these accommodations are in compounds where other students are staying.

After the accommodation was secured it was the time for me to open a bank account (where to receive my allowance), get a SIM card, and register at the School of Postgraduate Studies in order for me to get residence permit for my 12 months visit. All these took almost a month to be completed, but I was followed step by step by Mrs Chakandinakira, the project manager, and her team here at BIUST.

My work at BIUST so far…

In March, after I had settled down, all the basic processes for my registration were settled, I finally had the time to focus 100% on my Ph.D. with Prof. Mengistu. I have been asked to present my work in a seminar at the Earth and Environmental Science department.

I am currently working on the submission of my first paper and at the same time working on the analysis of the second part of my Ph. D project titled‘ Dynamics of surface water quality derived from satellite remote sensing: Insights from water quality contrasts of Lake Tana in Ethiopia and Okavango Delta in Botswana’.

I am grateful to Pan African Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) project Coordinator Prof. Fulvio Franchi, the project Manager Mrs. Chakandinakira Gadibotsile and the entire PAPSSN selection committee for this unique opportunity. I also would like to express my special, deep and sincere gratitude to the project coordinator Prof. Fulvio Franchi and the project Manager Mrs. Chakandinakira Gadibotsile for their efforts in ensuring that my allowance is paid on time.

I want to use this chance to say thanks to the PAPSSN mobility project management for this chance which doesn’t only help students to attain their dreams, but also contributes to empowering them to be able to face the development challenges in Africa. I’m deeply honored to be selected for this award which may surely contribute to the development of my career as young researchers and allow me to return to my country (Ethiopia) with far more knowledge and experience.

Finally, I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof. Mengistu, for his limitless support and sort advice for an excellent and efficient implementation of my Ph.D. research. Finally, I express my gratitude to the community of Botswana International University of Science and Technology for their support.

Palapye is a great place to spend time for study and research.

Scholarship applications are invited from African nationals for the following staff mobility bursaries:

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TARGET GROUP 1 – SELECTED CANDIDATES

Target Group 1 Results

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TARGET GROUP 2 – SELECTED CANDIDATES

target-group-2
Target Group 2 Results

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RESERVE LIST – TG1

reserve list
RESERVE LIST – TG1

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THE DREAM

Since 2019, the need to gather more academic experience was the drive to my journey into lecturing at the University of Jinka, Ethiopia, in the area of quantum mechanics. During this period, my wish to go further with my academic career in order to contribute efficiently to the development of my country, using research possibilities, led me to applying for various scholarship; the last of these applications, the Pan African Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) mobility project. My friend, Dr. Ephrem Beshir, a staff at Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) notified me of this opportunity.

I saw this opportunity as a means to fulfill my dreams, but at the same time, I was uncertain if the opportunity will be given to me since I have applied countless times to different scholarship opportunites without success. I was losing hopes!. After several months, no response/notification was forth coming with regards to the selection process outcomes. I would say that I felt discouraged again until September 13th 2021, when I received an email notifying that I have been selected for PAPSSN mobility program. This news was quite unbilievable but joyful for me.

I was sitting out with my friends and colleagues after the close of work 13th September, 2021 when I read the email from PAPSSN. It was so unbelievable since I was constantly refreshing my mail to make sure the mail was actually for me. Fortunately, there were documents attached to the notification, especially the nomination letter which got me convinced and I went on to share the good news with my friends and family. This information was the salt that brought taste to our get together after work that faithful day.

I went ahead to inform my colleagues, particularly my mother, as well as my siblings. This was a difficult task for me because they all depend on my assistance and provisions in the family.

One month after the selection result notification, I received my admission letter from the host university, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and I immediately made contact with my supervisor Prof. A. E. Chukwude.

Getting Ready for my Study Trip

The preparation for my journey to Nigeria was a difficult but, crucial step. After informing my Department Board of this development, they received the news with joy and organised a meeting to inform the concerned staff of the department and select a lecture who would take over my courses in my absence. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, getting an entry visa to Nigeria was quite challenging, the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopa requested for so many documents as proof for my admission in UNN. It took me almost a month to get my visa. After receiving my visa. My suggestion to the readers that intend to apply for a mobility project is be ready, make sure you have all the documents and make sure they are certified!

I immediately informed the PAPSSN coordinator/Supervisor and the Admin Officer at my host university. We all concluded on a departure date and my ticket was booked and sent to me.

Arriving the Universityof Nigeria, Nsukka.

Arriving the Universityof Nigeria, Nsukka.

Leaving my family, friends and my wonderful country to study abroad was exciting, but filled with emotions, especially while bidding them goodbye at the airport. I arrived Akanu Ibiam international airport, Enugu State, Nigeria on 4th January, 2022 through Addis Ababa Bole international airport, Ethiopia.

My supervisor/coordinator had already arranged for my pickup before my arrival, hence after the verification process, I was taken to University of Nigeria, Nsukka guest House where my supervisor received me and lodged me for two ( 02) days before I was transfered to my permanent accommodation at the International Scholar’s Village, a secured and quiet hostel specifically designated for international students. The sernity of the environment is aimed for them to be focused on their research projects and coursework.

The following day, I started some basic settling in processes for my immediate proper integration such as opening of bank account, SIM card registration, residence permit, and the registration at the School of Postgraduate Studies (PG School). All these took a month to be completed. Afterwards, a meeting was organized for my introduction at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, with the lecturers and other non-academic staff present.

Arriving the Universityof Nigeria, Nsukka.

During this meeting, I had the opportunity to view not only the organogram of the department, but also how postgraduate courses and seminars are organized. I really appreciate the warm welcome organized by the department and my supervisor.

My Research Work so Far…

In February, after I had settled down, all the basic processes for my integration were set, I was given the options of different platforms of interaction and communication with my supervisor Prof. A. E. Chukwude for an effective research work supervision. I started my project work by extending my literature review and also presented a seminar in the department. Currently, I am still working on the literature review and preparing for another seminar presentation.

With my supervisor Prof. A. E. Chukwude.

In Conclusion

I am grateful to Pan African Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) project Coordinator Prof. Fulvio Franchi, the project Manager Mrs. Chakandinakira Gadibotsile and the entire selection committee for their fair and honest selection process which has made me a beneficiary of the PAPSSN project. I am deeply honored to be selectedfor this award that will surely contribute to the development of young researchers in my country and Africa at large. I am deeply convinced that Iwill have the a great life experience in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, as Postgraduate student.

I would like to express my special appreciation and thanks to the project coordinator Prof. Fulvio Franchi and the project Manager Mrs. Chakandinakira Gadibotsile for their efforts towards ensuring that my allowance is paid on time while I am far from my family.

I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. A. E. Chukwude for the great support and kind advice for an effective and efficient implementation of my PhD research project. It is a rare privilege and honour to have him adviceme asmy PhD project supervisor and the coordinator par excellence of this project at UNN. I also wish to extend my profound thanks to my co-assistants Dr. Ogbos Okike and Dr. Jibrin Alhassan for their constant support, availability and constructive suggestions on my project work’s progress.

Let me use this opportunity to thank the PAPSSN mobility project management for this opportunity which does not only help students to achieve their dreams, but also contributes empowering them to be able to face the developement challenges in Africa.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Dean of Postgraduate School, the Dean of my Faculty and my family, for their support.

God bless you all.

Applications are invited from African nationals for scholarships in the fields of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space and Planetary Science, Planetary Geology and Remote Sensing. The 2nd PAPSSN Call offers the following scholarships:

TARGET GROUP 1 [Applicants from or graduated at one of the partner Universities]

  • 1x MSc Credit Seeking* (6 months) to Copperbelt University (CBU), Zambia
  • 1x MSc Credit Seeking (6 months) to University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking** (24 months) to BIUST, Botswana
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to Copperbelt University (CBU), Zambia
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Nigeria
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 3x Short term staff mobility (one month to AAU, CBU and UNN) and 4x Long term staff mobility (three months to BIUST, AAU, CBU and UNN).

TARGET GROUP 2 [Applicants not from one of the partner Universities]

  • 1x PhD Degree Seeking (36 months) to University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to BIUST, Botswana
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to Copperbelt University (CBU), Zambia
  • 1x MSc Degree Seeking (24 months) to University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Nigeria

Download call poster

The Consortium Board and the Selection Committee are pleased to announce the list of awardees for the scholarships advertised with PAPSSN first call.

Selected candidates [ download ]
Reserve List [ download ]

For more information and details on the selection procedure please contact us at info@papssnmobility.org

Congratulations to all the awardees and good luck with your visit and your career.

The PAPSSN Team

Applications are invited from African nationals for scholarships in the fields of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space and Planetary Science, Planetary Geology and Remote Sensing. PAPSSN scholarships are jointly administered by five (5) African partner institutions, where selected students and staff will be able to engage in postgraduate studies, research, teaching or training.

THIS SPECIAL PAPSSN CALL OFFERS 2 (TWO) FULLY FUNDED, FULL DEGREE-SEEKING PHD OPPORTUNITIES OF 48 MONTHS’ DURATION FOR STUDY AT ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY (ETHIOPIA), COMMENCING IN JANUARY 2022.

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Title: Workshop – Satellite for Space Science and Technology in Africa

Europlanet, University of Bologna and BIUST are organizing a workshop titled “Satellite for Space Science and Technology in Africa” as part of EPN 2024 RI WorkshopSeries

Dates: 15.11.2021 – 19.11.2021
Venue: BIUST, Palapye, Botswana

The workshop will be hybrid, with few participants in attendance at BIUST and othen attending virtually.More details here: https://eventi.unibo.it/epn24-botswana-workshop

REGISTER NOW: https://eventi.unibo.it/epn24-botswana-workshop/europlanet-global-collaboration-workshop-series-botswana

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