Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)

Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology

The University of Maryland has entered into an agreement with the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) to be a partner university in building the capacity of African universities’ doctoral training. 

PASET was launched in 2013 by the Governments of Senegal, Ethiopia and Rwanda with facilitation by the World Bank. PASET’s flagship program is the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif), which aims to strengthen the institutional capacity for quality and sustainable doctoral training, research and innovation in transformative technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.  

The UMD-PASET agreement envisions, among other potential collaborations, the creation of “sandwich” PhD programs and faculty exchanges with Rsif’s African partner universities.  By hosting PhD scholars from select African universities, it will further UMD's commitment to research on the grand challenges facing humanity, namely climate change, food security, and energy. The partnership will also contribute to PASET's goal of creating the stock of highly skilled scientists and innovators in the applied sciences, engineering and technology that Africa needs.  

Although the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources brought forward this agreement, the partnership with PASET Rsif extends to all of UMD. In addition to food security, energy and climate change, Rsif has identified data science and materials engineering as areas for possible sandwich and faculty exchange programs. 

Benefits of Hosting an Rsif scholar

RSIF scholars are highly motivated and experienced, and bring international viewpoint to research and address gaps in research

Rsif Scholars Research Fields

Collaboration with scholars and African faculty on addressing the impact of climate change impact and developing solutions.  RSIF scholars conduct research in these fields, among others: 

  • Climate change and adaptation, including modeling and warning systems
  • Materials engineering, polymer physics, biomaterials, solar cells
  • Water management, sustainable food production systems
  • Plant breeding and seed delivery
  • Climate smart agriculture and biodiversity (crops, soil and water, livestock, policy)
  • Renewable energy
  • Development economics
  • Internet of Things
  • Computer Science, wireless sensor networks, grid and cloud computing
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data
  • Work may produce internationally regarded publications
  • Opportunity to develop faculty exchange and joint research

About Rsif Scholars

Scholars are enrolled in a PhD program at an African university and may have had professional experience beforehand.

Academic Status

  • Scholars would be J-1 visa holders
  • They are non-degree while at UMD and do not apply to UMD grad school
  • Sandwich Arrangement:
    • Scholars complete 1 year of a PhD program at their home university, then spend up to 1 year at the international partner (i.e., UMD) under the mentorship of UMD faculty
    • Appointments are generally 6-12 months at UMD
  • UMD faculty will continue advising the Rsif scholar, in partnership with the home university PhD advisor

Financial Terms

PASET Rsif provides the scholar a stipend, and support needed for travel.

African Host Universities

  • University of Ghana
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • University of Rwanda
  • Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. Tanzania
  • Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • African University of Science and Technology, Nigeria
  • Institut International d’Ingenierie de l’Eau et de l’Environement, Burkina Faso
  • Universite Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Ivory Coast
  • Bayero University, Nigeria
  • Haramaya University, Ethiopia
  • University of Gaston Berger, Senegal
  • Universite d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin