Terms of Reference: A Study on the Factors that Affect Female Participation in Science in African Universities

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Terms of Reference: A Study on the Factors that Affect Female Participation in Science in African Universities

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is calling on seasoned researchers to conduct studies on factors that affect female participation in science in African universities.

I. Introduction

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in Africa and the world at large. Through it work and cooperation with others, it contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (PGU). The Association of African Universities (AAU) is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) with headquarters in Accra, Ghana, set up in November 1967 by universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and between them and the international academic community. The AAU collaborates with a number of international organizations and development partners in an effort to fulfil its mandate to the African higher education community.

II. Objectives of the Assignment

Africa’s progress is challenged by a myriad of problems ranging from lack of employment for its youth, the existence of tropical diseases, weak entrepreneurial drive and low levels of university-industry linkages, among others. It is widely accepted, that Science and Technology do have a key role to play in overcoming the continent’s

developmental challenges. However, studies have revealed that though the number of women in science and engineering is growing, men continue to outnumber women, especially at the upper levels of these professions (AAUW, 2010). With only 24% of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations being filled by women, various barriers, ranging from culture, implicit bias and subtle stereotyping to wilful ignorance and blatant discrimination have been identified as contributing factors (Pierce, Margo, 2013). Africa needs to ensure that its human resource – both men and women, are fully engaged in the STEM fields in solving its developmental challenges, and thus should make significant investment into women in STEM to increase their contribution to solving the continent’s challenges. Therefore, AAU is calling on seasoned African scholars to conduct studies on the topic: Factors that Affect Female Participation in Science in African universities. The study should seek to identify empirically those factors, social, economic, political, cultural, etc. that influence female participation in science programmes in African universities.

III. Coordination and Responsibilities

* This study will be implemented under the supervision and guidance of the AAU Director of Research & Academic Planning / Programme Coordinator.

* The contract for the Consultancy will be provided by the AAU Secretary General.

* The Consultant will report directly to the AAU Secretary General via the Director of Research & Academic Planning.

The Consultant will be responsible for conducting the research study and presenting the findings at an event organized by AAU. The consultant will therefore be responsible for the following:

1. Working with the AAU program coordinator for overall organization and coordination.

2. Finalize the content and structure of the study.

3. Do the required research, including literature analysis, analysis of the project documents and mostly field visits to selected institutions and interviews with key personnel.

4. Prepare the final draft of the study in English.

5. Carry out the presentation of the study at an event organized by AAU.

6. Finalize and submit the study report to AAU.

IV. Timing

The consultant is expected to start conducting the research on 25th February 2019 and submit the final draft to AAU by 30th April 2019.

V. Competencies

* Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

* Research experience.

* Excellent time management skills and ability to produce outputs as per agreed deadlines.

* Excellent presentation skills.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


* PhD Degree in social sciences or relevant field. Ten additional years of relevant experience after Master’s Degree may be accepted instead of a PhD Degree.

Work Experience:

* A minimum of 10 years of hands-on experience working in the field of development.

* Research experience.

* High quality analytical and writing skills.

* Experience in conducting a study.


* Fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Application process:

* The closing date for the submission of application is Friday, 15 February 2019.

* Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. * Applications should be sent electronically to jcmba@aau.org and should include the following:

* An application letter addressing the selection criteria including how the consultant’s previous experience matches the objectives as well as the interest for the position (maximum 3 pages).

* A proposed table of contents for the study (max 1 page).

* Samples of previous research work (if available).

* Candidate’s financial offer.

* Updated CV including relevant work experience and qualifications.

For inquires and clarifications please contact:

Director, Research & Academic Planning (DRAP)

Association of African Universities (AAU)

P. O. Box AN 5744, Accra, Ghana

Tel. Office: +233 302 774495 / 547728975

Mobile: +233 20 818 3860 / 54 051 6599 Email: jcmba@aau.org / chuksmba@gmail.com

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