Understanding the ACMDE Ethiopia Postgraduate Scholarship

The Africa-China Monitoring and Evaluation Development Exchange (ACMDE) is proud to offer the ACMDE Ethiopia Postgraduate Scholarship. This scholarship program aims to support outstanding Ethiopian students in furthering their postgraduate education. 

The ACMDE was established in 2016 through a cooperative agreement between the African Capacity Building Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Its goal is to promote sustainable socio-economic development on the African continent through strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacities. By offering this postgraduate scholarship program, ACMDE hopes to train the next generation of Ethiopian experts in M&E who can help evaluate development projects and policies.

This scholarship is an excellent opportunity for highly motivated Ethiopian students seeking to advance their education at the postgraduate level. In the following sections, we will delve into the requirements, benefits, application process, and other key aspects of the ACMDE Ethiopia Postgraduate Scholarship to help readers determine if they are eligible and competitive for this prestigious award. Smooth transitions will be used to guide the discussion across different topics.

Eligibility Requirements for the ACMDE Ethiopia Postgraduate Scholarship

To qualify for the ACMDE Ethiopia Postgraduate Scholarship, there are some basic eligibility requirements applicants must meet:

  • Ethiopian Citizenship: Applicants must be citizens of Ethiopia. Citizens of other countries are not eligible to apply.
  • Academic Qualifications: Applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized Ethiopian university with excellent academic performance. The degree must be in a field relevant to monitoring and evaluation, such as statistics, economics, development studies, public policy, or related social sciences.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate advanced English language proficiency, as the language of instruction for the targeted postgraduate programs is English. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent is required.
  • Age Limit: Applicants must be 35 years old or younger as of the application deadline date. This upper age limit ensures the scholarship can support early-career professionals.
  • Program of Study: The scholarship can only be used to pursue full-time postgraduate degree programs such as Master’s or PhD degrees related to monitoring and evaluation. Professional programs will not be supported.

Meeting these basic eligibility criteria is the first step for applicants. Candidates must also demonstrate several personal qualities and strengths, as discussed next.

Personal Requirements

In addition to academic and technical eligibility, ACMDE also evaluates candidates based on the following personal requirements:

  • Leadership Potential: Ideal candidates will have prior experience showing leadership ability, such as involvement in student organizations, community service activities, or professional roles requiring management skills.
  • Alignment with ACMDE Mission: Candidates should express alignment with ACMDE’s goal of promoting sustainable development in Africa through M&E. Their personal and career objectives should complement this mission.
  • Desire to Give Back: Strong preference is given to applicants committed to returning to Ethiopia after completing their studies and applying the new skills/knowledge gained to support their home country.
  • Motivation for Further Study: Applicants must demonstrate high motivation for furthering their education at the postgraduate level and an ability to succeed academically. ACMDE seeks self-starters who are eager to advance their learning.
  • Adaptability: Being selected requires flexibility to potentially relocate abroad for studies. Candidates must be able to adapt well to new cultural and educational environments.

While academic credentials are important, ACMDE greatly values these soft qualities when selecting scholars. Meeting both technical and personal requirements increases one’s competitiveness.

Scholarship Benefits

If awarded this highly coveted scholarship, recipients will receive comprehensive financial and settlement support to fully focus on their academic goals. Here are the key benefits provided:

  • Tuition Fees: All tuition and mandatory academic fees for the degree program will be covered in full.
  • Monthly Stipend: Scholars receive a modest monthly living stipend to assist with basic costs of living such as accommodation, food, transportation, and other essentials.
  • Medical Insurance: Basic medical insurance is provided to scholars for the duration of their studies.
  • Settlement Allowance: Upon first arrival at the university, scholars are given a one-time settlement allowance to assist with initial accommodation and basic needs.
  • Master’s Completion Grant: Recipients undertaking a Master’s degree program qualify for a completion grant upon graduating to assist their return home.
  • Conference Support: Funding may be available on a case-by-case basis to attend academic conferences for networking and research dissemination purposes.

As seen, this comprehensive scholarship eliminates financial barriers to studying, allowing recipients to fully dedicate their efforts to academic success and career advancement. The remaining sections will cover the application and selection process.

The Application Process

ACMDE welcomes applications from eligible Ethiopian candidates on a rolling basis. For consideration in the next intake, here are the typical steps in the application process:

Step 1: Check Eligibility and Read Guidelines

Candidates should first thoroughly review the scholarship guidelines and eligibility criteria to ensure they qualify. This includes confirming target degree programs and host universities.

Step 2: Prepare Required Application Materials

A complete online application requires documents such as academic transcripts and certificates, proof of English level, statement of purpose, references, resume, and research proposal for the targeted postgraduate program.

Step 3: Complete Online Application Form

Eligible candidates need to fully complete the application form available on the ACMDE website, uploading all required supporting documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Step 4: Selection Committee Review

A specialized selection committee will evaluate all complete applications based on criteria like academic merit, leadership, alignment with ACMDE objectives, and potential social impact.

Step 5: Interview Shortlisted Candidates

The strongest applicants may be invited to participate in interviews to assess their aptitude and motivation further. Interviews may be conducted in person or virtually.

Step 6: Notification of Selection Decision

ACMDE will notify all applicants regarding the final selection outcome within two months of the application deadline. Selected candidates then finalize arrangements to take up their offers.

The process, though competitive, is designed to be straightforward and transparent. Planning ahead and following instructions closely increases one’s chances of selection. Let’s next explore commonly asked questions about this opportunity.

FAQ Section 1: General Eligibility and Requirements

Question: Do I need to currently live in Ethiopia to apply?

No, you do not need to currently reside in Ethiopia. However, you must be a citizen of Ethiopia and meet all other eligibility requirements, such as having earned your Bachelor’s degree from an Ethiopian university. Your intention should also be to return to Ethiopia after completing your funded studies.

Question: Can I apply when I will still be completing my final Bachelor’s semester during the application period?

Of course, you can apply for the scholarship as long as you have earned your Bachelor’s degree before the program start date should you be selected. You must submit proof of degree completion along with your final academic transcripts once available.

Question: What English language proficiency test results are accepted as proof?

ACMDE accepts IELTS and TOEFL iBT scores as proof of English proficiency. The minimum required score on either test is an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent. Your scores must be less than two years old at the time of application.

Question: Is there an age limit to apply for the scholarship?

Yes, the maximum age limit for applicants is 35 years old as of the application deadline date. Candidates must be 35 years old or younger to be considered eligible.

FAQ Section 2: Programs of Study and Universities

Question: What types of postgraduate programs are supported?

ACMDE only funds full-time Master’s degree and PhD programs related to monitoring and evaluation. This includes fields like statistics, economics, development studies, public policy, and social sciences with an M&E focus or specialization. Professional programs will not be supported.

Question: Can I study at any university overseas?

No, scholarship recipients must pursue their postgraduate studies at pre-approved partner universities in designated countries only. Currently, these include universities in South Africa and Ethiopia at the postgraduate level. The list of partner institutions is on the ACMDE website.

Question: If accepted to more than one university, can I choose which one to attend?

Yes, if offered the scholarship, you will be able to rank your top university choices from the list of ACMDE partner institutions based on your acceptance letters. ACMDE will make reasonable efforts to match you with your highest preferred choice based on available placements.

FAQ Section 3: Financial Support and Obligations

Question: Does the scholarship cover living costs like accommodation fully?

While ACMDE provides a modest monthly stipend, this amount may not fully cover all living expenses in certain locations. The stipend is meant to assist with basic living costs but may fall short of the total expenses, particularly in cities with high costs of living. Scholars will need to adequately budget and potentially supplement the stipend with personal savings as needed to account for expenses not directly covered, like accommodation in full.

Question: Are there work or research obligations after completing the degree?

Yes, to help maximize the return on investment, ACMDE scholars are expected to work in Ethiopia for a minimum period equal to the length of their scholarship award after graduation. For example, a two-year Master’s degree scholar must commit to two years of relevant employment in Ethiopia. This enables knowledge and skills gained to benefit the country directly.

FAQ Section 4: Application Process and Selection

Question: When are the application deadlines?

ACMDE accepts scholarship applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. However, candidates are encouraged to apply at least six months prior to their intended program start date to allow sufficient processing time.

Question: How can I improve my application?

Thoroughly following all instructions, meeting all requirements, demonstrating your alignment with ACMDE goals clearly, articulating a strong proposal, obtaining stellar reference letters, and proofreading your materials carefully can help optimize your application. Reach out to ACMDE if you need guidance.

Question: What are my chances of being selected?

Selection is very competitive as ACMDE receives over 1000 applicants annually but can only fund approximately 15-20 new scholars per intake. Factors like your academic excellence, leadership qualities, motivation for development work in Ethiopia, and overall application strength determine your competitiveness.

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