One Planet Fellowship for African researchers


BNP Paribas Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Start Date

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The BNP Paribas Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Agropolis Foundation, and under the auspices of the French ministry of Higher education, Research and Innovation, today announced the creation of One Planet Fellowship, a $15 million 5-year programme.

Funded on an equal basis by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the BNP Paribas Foundation, this philanthropic programme’s objective is to support 600 African and European researchers working to help Africa adapt to climate change. It also aims to bolster the African and European scientific community working in this field.

The agreement was announced during the One Planet Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017, by Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foudantion Co-chair and Trustee and BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) Director, Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg in attendance.

One Planet Fellows will collaborate in research and higher education projects that aim to advance agriculture and climate change issues, funded by the Agropolis Foundation over a five-year period with a budget of €5M.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The continent is likely to suffer serious consequences, such as prolonged periods of drought and lower crop yields. Given the urgency of the situation and the anticipated long-term impacts on the environment, it is vital to promote the development of relevant policies at the local level today. Such policies can only be drawn up on the basis of solid scientific knowledge.

The BNP Paribas Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, respectively committed to the fight against climate change and eradicating extreme poverty, are therefore launching today the One Planet Fellowship. The purpose of this philanthropic effort, which will be run by African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), is to provide additional resources to African research and support the work of the next generation of scientists who will have to deal with a new set of challenges

One Planet Fellowship will on the one hand help to finance the research carried out by African scientists into climate change adaptation, focusing particularly on issues that small farmers will have to cope with, and on the other hand help to strengthen the capabilities of the African and European science communities through training programmes combining mentoring, study trips and networking opportunities for young researchers.

The One Planet Fellowship, which enjoys the official patronage of the President of France, has a total budget of $15 million, funded on an equal basis by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the BNP Paribas Foundation.

Mobilising 600 African and European scientists to work on Africa’s adaptation to climate change

120 African researchers will be selected on the basis of their climate change adaptation research projects.Each of them will receive a joint mentoring’ – from a scientist in Africa and in Europe - which will involve a period of several months working in a laboratory in Europe. In turn, they will then mentor two young researchers, one from an African institution and one from Europe. The programme will involve a total of 600 scientists over a period of five years.

In addition, these researchers will interact with projects, funded by the Agropolis Foundation, addressing climate change-related problems faced by agriculture.

In France, the researchers will be hosted in Montpellier by the Agropolis Foundation, which, together with its partners, constitutes a world-class scientific community of 2,700 researchers and teachers specialising in the fields of agriculture, food science, biodiversity and the environment. Funding members and partners include the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), Montpellier SupAgro (French National Institute of Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences), the University of Montpellier and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), all engaged in Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE).

Editor's note: As of December 2017, a website is not available for the programme.