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VACANCY: RSIF Project Administrator


Job Title:              RSIF Project Administrator
Reports to:          
RSIF Executive Director (AAU’s Secretary General)
Location:             AAU Secretariat (Accra, Ghana)
Date Posted:       November 30, 2016
Closing Date:      Extended to January 31, 2017


The Association of African Universities (AAU) is looking for a talented, committed and energetic professional to serve as Project Administrator for the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF), a new, fast growing initiative that is in its first year of operations. The RSIF is an initiative of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), which was launched in 2013 by African Governments. Its aim is to create, through PhD training, a critical mass of highly skilled African scientists and innovators in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET) fields in priority economic sectors.

If selected, you will act as the primary liaison for the RSIF, engaging closely with key stakeholders including government officials, students and universities within the region and globally.  You will serve as a key figure in a far-reaching effort to advance the socio-economic transformation of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).


PASET was launched in 2013 by African governments and institutions with the objective of promoting strategic partnerships between governments, private sector and partner countries from other regions to invest in skills in ASET fields in Africa. Currently, five countries (Ethiopia, Senegal, Rwanda, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire) are pioneering the initiative and have made financial commitments to the RSIF, PASET’s flagship initiative. Their Higher Education Ministers are represented on PASET’s Board of Directors, which provides strategic guidance and makes key decisions for the initiative. The World Bank facilitates PASET and provides it technical assistance. Additional Sub-Saharan African governments and partners from the private sector as well as other regions are also expected to join the Partnership.

The RSIF aims to contribute towards creating an additional 10,000 PhDs in ASET fields for Sub-Saharan Africa’s priority sectors in the next 10 years, as well as helping at least five universities develop top quality ASET programs. It will also build capacity in the region to sustainably support its PhD graduates beyond their training as they go into academia, industry, or become entrepreneurs. The RSIF will operate through three windows: Window 1 will offer scholarships for PhD students; Window 2 will offer research grants and Window 3 will offer innovation grants. The primary target beneficiaries of the scholarships are the region’s university faculty members who lack PhD degrees.

The RSIF will be implemented through competitively selected universities (hosts) in the region, which have the capacity to offer PhD programs in the selected priority sectors. Strengthening the quality of their PhD programs through collaboration and partnerships with top universities outside the region is a key feature of the initiative.

The RSIF’s first year targets are to:

  • Create the implementation arrangements of the RSIF, including transparent governance and financial management mechanisms and strong monitoring and evaluation;
  • Select RSIF host universities in SSA countries to increase the number of students in ASET programs from baseline in 2015; and
  • Select and begin training PhD students in ASET programs.

The first cohort of RSIF scholars are expected to enroll in September 2017. 


The Project Administrator will be part of a small team at the RSIF Implementation Unit, which is housed at the Association of African Universities (AAU). The Implementation Unit is led by AAU’s Secretary General, who acts as its Executive Director and has overall responsibility to implement, monitor and report on its activities to the PASET Board of Directors and other leadership.

The Implementation Unit will also work closely with the Institute of International Education (IIE), an internationally recognized scholarship implementation firm that is providing AAU initial technical assistance in the initial phase of implementation.


  1. General Scholarship Management
    • Implement administration procedures in line with inputs from IIE (which is providing initial technical assistance), including preparing scholarship application documents and managing the scholarship application process
    • Develop and regularly update the RSIF operational manual
    • Lead the selection process for host universities
    • Prepare, facilitate signing, and monitor the progress of agreements and MoUs with selected host and Partner universities
  2. Financial Management and Reporting
    • Assist the Directorate of Finance of the AAU in the preparation of monthly progress reports and financial statements
    • Assist the Directorate of Finance in the annual audit of the RSIF account
    • Assist the Directorate of Finance in developing annual work plans and budgets to be approved by the PASET Executive Committee
    • Ensure timely disbursement of funds to universities and scholars
    1. Communication
      • Serve as a liaison and project subject-matter expert for RSIF
      • Develop procedures to update and coordinate the scholarship’s online presence in partnership with IT & Communication Officers and with inputs from the technical assistance firm
      • Develop a database of RSIF scholars and alumni
      • Maintain regular contact with all RSIF and relevant PASET stakeholders
      • Work with the PASET community to strategically advertise the program


  1. Events and Meetings
    • Assist in the coordination of visits of stakeholders to host and Partner universities
    • Organize an annual RSIF stakeholders meeting to discuss progress and highlight success stories
    • Support the PASET Secretariat in planning and conducting PASET events that highlight the RSIF
  1. Others
    • Prioritize work based on analysis of strategic importance, tasks outstanding, obstacles or barriers, budgets, resources, and deadline
    • Perform any other duties on RSIF as assigned by the RSIF Executive Director


  • Advanced degree (minimum Masters) in Management, Communications, Marketing, Business, or a related field
  • At least five years’ experience in a development environment or other related business function in Africa, especially working with other donor-funded higher education and/or human capacity building programs in Africa
  • Experience in project management and efficient use of project management tools
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international scholarships, procedures and program management
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain effective working relationships with multiple stakeholders
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and French (proficiency in both languages is required)
  • Experience managing multiple tasks and complex projects with a diverse set of partners in a timely manner
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of composure and confidentiality regarding all aspects of work
  • Willingness to take initiative in developing creative and innovative methods to achieve the initiative’s goals under limited supervision and tight deadlines


Salary will be discussed with the shortlisted candidates.


The contract will be for a period of two (2) years, subject to a probationary period of one (1) year. The appointment may be extended beyond two years, subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds.


If interested, please submit:

  • A statement of interest describing why you are the best candidate and reason for applying for this position. Please include a potential start date.
  • A detailed CV describing your professional experience and qualifications for the position.
  • Three (3) reference letters, with at least one from outside your home country.

All application materials should be received by the closing date, 5:00pm (GMT +0) on January 31, 2017. Application documents can be submitted by email (Subject line: RSIF Project Administrator Application) or postal mail in a sealed envelope marked “RSIF Project Administrator Application Documents”. All reference letters should be emailed or mailed directly to the AAU by the referees. If submitted by mail, each reference letter should be sent in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential Reference for [applicant Name]”.   Please provide the mailing and email addresses below to your referees

Mailing Address

RSIF Project Administrator Application
The Secretary General
Association of African Universities, P.O. Box AN 5744
Aviation Road, Extension, Airport Residential Area
Accra-North, Ghana

Only qualified individuals being considered will be contacted for an interview.

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