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2024 Moses Mapesa Research Grant.

The Moses Mapesa Research Grant is a prestigious funding opportunity established to support conservation research and initiatives within Uganda. Named in honor of Moses Mapesa, a renowned conservationist and former Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, this grant aims to perpetuate his legacy of commitment to preserving Uganda’s natural heritage. The grant is specifically designed to support research projects that contribute to the understanding, management, and conservation of wildlife and natural resources in Uganda.

Administered by institutions dedicated to conservation, the Moses Mapesa Research Grant provides financial assistance to researchers, conservationists, and students who are engaged in projects with significant potential to impact Uganda’s biodiversity positively. The grant covers a range of expenses, including fieldwork, data collection, equipment, and other research-related costs. By alleviating the financial barriers to conducting in-depth studies, the grant enables researchers to focus on generating valuable insights and solutions for conservation challenges.

One of the key objectives of the Moses Mapesa Research Grant is to foster the development of local expertise in conservation science. By supporting Ugandan researchers and students, the grant helps build a cadre of skilled professionals who can address the unique environmental issues facing their country. This emphasis on local capacity-building ensures that the knowledge and skills necessary for effective conservation are rooted within the communities most directly involved with and affected by conservation efforts.

The grant also encourages collaborative efforts between researchers, conservation organizations, and local communities. Projects funded by the Moses Mapesa Research Grant often involve partnerships that leverage diverse expertise and resources, enhancing the overall impact and sustainability of conservation initiatives. These collaborations are crucial for integrating scientific research with practical conservation actions and for ensuring that local communities are actively engaged in and benefit from conservation efforts.

The Moses Mapesa Research Grant plays a vital role in advancing conservation research and practice in Uganda. By providing financial support, fostering local expertise, and promoting collaborative approaches, the grant not only honors the legacy of Moses Mapesa but also contributes to the long-term preservation of Uganda’s rich biodiversity. The research and initiatives supported by this grant are essential for informing effective conservation strategies and for ensuring that Uganda’s natural treasures are protected for future generations.

The  African World Heritage Fund ( AWHF) is an intergovernmental organization created in 2006 to support the effective conservation and promotion of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value in Africa. The main objective of the  AWHF is to address the challenges faced by African State Parties in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention of Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) adopted in 1972, specifically, the underrepresentation of African sites on the World Heritage List and the insufficient conservation and management of these sites. The AWHF is a category Centre under the auspices of UNESCO.

The AWHF is pleased to announce the Moses Mapesa 1Research Grant to support African Doctoral and Masters Students in the field of natural and cultural heritage. This research grant seeks to further research (particularly supporting fieldwork) on World Heritage and tentative listed sites in Africa.


Grant amounts will vary depending on research proposals, with a maximum award of USD Five Thousand (5,000.00). The fieldwork research needs to be conducted in no longer than 9 months from the signature of the contract (May 2025 to February 2026). The award will support research projects focused on the following topics related to a World Heritage or a tentative listed site in Africa:

a) Traditional Management Systems,
b) Risk management and preparedness,
c) Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict situations,
d) Heritage management and conservation,
e) Heritage and Climate Change,
f) Heritage and Economics/Entrepreneurship,
g) Heritage and Sustainable Development,
h) Heritage Promotion and Awareness,
i) Heritage and Digital Technologies,
j) Heritage and Law.

Eligibility Criteria For The Moses Mapesa Research Grant

The call is open to students who are:

  • Currently or will be registered in 2025 in a Doctoral or Masters programme (Masters 2 for Francophone countries) at an African university and conducting dissertation research in the field of either natural or cultural heritage at an African World Heritage Site,
  • Fluent in English, French or Portuguese,
  • Citizens of an African Union Member State which is party to the World Heritage Convention.

 Grant Requirements

If a student is awarded a grant, they are required to submit a longer research description at the beginning of the grant (along with proof of registration for the degree) and, at the end, a final report with the research results or dissertation/thesis at the final stage as well as a financial report. All documents must be presented in either French, English or Portuguese. The projects MUST be implemented between May 2025 and February 2026 (within 9 months). Please note that students who do not complete the research within the contractual timeframe will be required to reimburse the grant to the  AWHF.

Selection Process

 Evaluation and Selection Process

An inter-disciplinary and cross-regional selection committee will review the applications. The following items will be strongly considered during selection:

a) Eligibility of applicant,
b) Completed application package (application form, CV, motivation letter, transcript & complete research proposal),
c) Quality and relevance of the research proposed,
d) Gender, language and geographic balance.

Final Decision and Notification

All applicants shall be notified of the outcome by 31 January 2025.

Application Documents

All applicants should submit the following application package:
a) The completed application form (co-signed by the supervisor),
b) A letter of motivation by the applicant (1 page maximum),
c) Applicant’s updated curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum),
d) Applicant’s current university transcript,
e) Research proposal (2 pages maximum) including the following:

i. Full name, affiliated university, country, degree level, title of research and related World Heritage or tentative listed site,
ii. Description of research (Goal/objectives, research question/s, relevance, significance, justification and scope),
iii. Research methodology (approach, timeframe, analysis),
iv. Bibliography,
v. Budget (indicate funds from all sources, stating specifically the field work items the grant would be for with justifications as to the need).

Method of Application

  •  The application form (English, French and Portuguese versions) can be requested by sending an email to
  • Completed applications should be submitted via email (as attachment) to (with copy to before the deadline. Hard copies and supporting documents can be submitted to the following address: The  African World Heritage Fund, 1258 Lever Road, Headway Hill, Midrand 1685, South Africa.

Application Deadline: July 31, 2024.

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