Exploring doctoral training opportunities between African and European universities

On 7 October, the African Research University Alliance (ARUA) and The Guild organised a virtual info session on EU calls focused on funding opportunities for strategic partnerships, collaborative doctoral training and institutional mobility schemes open for researchers and students in African and European universities.

Bringing together over 100 participants from across Africa and Europe, the webinar zoomed in on doctoral education opportunities under the Commission’s Erasmus+ programme and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Setting the scene for the discussion, Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of ARUA, highlighted the crucial role African-European university collaboration plays in strengthening the African knowledge society: “ARUA and The Guild have a strong interest in supporting the EU and the AU to achieve Agenda 2063, building on the understanding that knowledge is what is going to make the realisation of the targets possible.”

Presenting the doctoral education opportunities under Erasmus+, Deirdre Lennan, Policy Officer Cooperation with Africa at DG EAC, focused on two actions available for African students and researchers: International Credit Mobility and Capacity Building in Higher Education. She noted that in the previous Erasmus+ programme, sub-Saharan Africa was notably underfunded. “In the new programme, however, the region has the highest budget under the international dimension of Erasmus+,” she explained.

The info session also provided a timely deep dive into the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) as two of the calls for proposals open in October. The participants were presented with two actions, doctoral networks and staff exchanges, by Nancy Dzokoto-Pomenya, Project Advisor; Audrey Arfi, Head of Sector; and Berha Vizcarra Mir, Project Adviser, all working at the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Summarising the various doctoral training opportunities, Julie Leprêtre, Policy Officer at DG EAC, provided a final overview all the upcoming MSCA calls in 2021 and 2022.

Claire Morel, Head of Unit at DG EAC, highlighted the desire to increase the number of African researchers benefitting of MSCA under Horizon Europe. Morel also encouraged the participants to provide proposals that draw knowledge from several disciplines. “We have seen it now that complex societal challenges can only be addressed and solved through interdisciplinarity, and MSCA really supports this,” she noted.


To learn about the eligibility criteria, application periods and further details about the doctoral training opportunities under Erasmus+ and MSCA, see the event recording and the presentations below.

Ahead of the AU-EU summit of 2022, ARUA and The Guild are organising a virtual conference on 22 November to discuss the way towards sustainable African-European university partnerships. Secure your spot already and register here.

8 October 2021



Published Oct. 8, 2021 2:46 PM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2021 11:41 AM