Call For Applications : African Union Commission And the United States Department of Agriculture Scientific Exchanges Program

The SEP Fellowships, in general, was created to operationalize the joint effort of the AU and USDA to promote food security and economic growth in eligible countries by educating a new generation of agricultural scientists, increasing scientific knowledge and collaborative research to improve agricultural productivity, and extending that knowledge to users and intermediaries in the marketplace. The collaborative nature of the SEP training and research programs benefits the fellow, his or her home institution, and partner country; the U.S. host institution, its professors, researchers, and students; and the global agricultural sector by improving agricultural productivity, systems, and processes in partnering nations through the transfer of new science and agricultural technologies.

This application package focus on applicants interested in establishing and harmonizing SPS regulatory regimes across the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of the African Union (AU). The goal will be to empower fellows to advocate for sound SPS policy to peers, decision-makers, and the public.

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Research Topics:

Establishing and harmonizing SPS regulatory regimes across the eight RECs of the AU. Given the depth of potential SPS measures and complexity of topics the list below may not be exhaustive of all topics. The research areas are aligned within the three overarching areas of SPS including food safety (WHO Codex), animal health (OIE), and plant health (IPPC) as well as a general category for a researcher who may analyze the impacts of SPS implementation on producers, consumers, health outcomes, and/or other areas important to policy-makers. Many of these themes of research cross over between categories.

  • Food Safety –
    • Nutrition and labeling of food
    • Pesticide/antimicrobial usage and residuals
    • Food contaminants: chemical and natural
    • Food testing and processing procedures
    • Consumer food safety and UN guidelines for consumer protection
  • Animal Health –
    • Regulations for safety of animal source foods Epidemiology of foodborne pathogens
    • Surveillance systems for foodborne pathogens
    • Proper stewardship of antimicrobials / antibiotic alternatives
    • Anti-microbial resistance monitoring
    • Diagnostic/veterinary practices
    • Biosecurity and biosafety (sanitation, isolation, and traffic control)
  • Plant Health –
    • Agronomic and horticulture research:
      • Plant protection and quarantine o Pest risk analysis o Phytosanitary controls
    • Particularly the Diagnostic and Treatments for Regulated Pests (As listed in IPPC – ISPM 27 & 28)
  • General Policy/Management –
    • Economic analysis of SPS implementation – including business drivers
    • Risk Analysis, surveillance systems, quarantine practices, inspection/monitoring processes, etc.
    • Leadership and science communication
    • Understanding political and policy communication
    • Inter-regional coordination/ cooperation/ collaboration for SPS implementation Length of Fellowships:


  • Financial support for travel, training fees, emergency medical insurance, lodging, and food.
  • Networking opportunities.


  • Citizen of a country in the AU.
  • Good reading, writing, and speaking skills in English language.
  • Master’s degree or higher with at least two years of practical experience (minimum).
  • Currently employed by a university, research institution, or other scientific institution in a country in the AU.
  • Intention to continue working in a country of the AU for a minimum of two years following the return from the United States.
  • Researcher with a clear connection to SPS regulatory regimes, who can adapt lessons learned from the U.S. SPS regulatory model at both national and state levels.
    Proposal directly related to the research topic.
Eligible Regions: African Union

Application Process

  • Application Requirements:
    • PAPER Application form (Provided)
    • Program proposal and research action plan
    • Signed approval from applicant’s home institution
    • Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional preferred)
    • Copies of diploma(s) for college/university degree(s) received
    • Copy of passport identification page
  • Follow the apply now link for the application form.
  • Submit applications by email to Cara Conley ([email protected]), CCing Joyce West ([email protected]), at the USDA Offices in Washington, DC and Diana Akullo ([email protected]).

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Application Deadline: October 10, 2021

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further queries please contact at [email protected]
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