Moses Mapesa Education and Research Grant

The African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) is pleased to announce the Moses Mapesa Education and Research Grant to support African Doctoral and Masters Students in the field of natural and cultural heritage. The AWHF was launched in 2006 in South Africa to support African State Parties in implementation of the UNESCO Convention of 1972 concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Please view our website ( for full information. This research grant seeks to further research (particularly supporting fieldwork) on World Heritage and tentative listed sites in Africa.

1- Eligibility

The call is open to students who are:

  1. Currently or will be registered in 2024 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;
  2. Fluent in English, French or Portuguese;
  3. Citizens of an African Union Member State which is party to the World Heritage Convention.
2- Grant support

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 2024 to February 2025). The award will support research projects focused on the following topics related to a World Heritage or a tentative listed site in Africa:

  1. Traditional Management Systems;
  2. Risk management and preparedness;
  3. Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict situations;
  4. Heritage management and conservation;
  5. Heritage and Climate Change;
  6. Heritage and Economics/Entrepreneurship;
  7. Heritage and Sustainable Development;
  8. Heritage Promotion and Awareness;
  9. Heritage and Digital Technologies;
  10. Heritage and Law.

*Please note that the topic has to be connected to World Heritage ( or tentative listed ( sites in Africa. Please view the links above for a list of sites per country.

3- 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. Please note that students who do not complete the research within the contractual timeframe will be required to reimburse the grant to the AWHF.

4- Application package

All applicants should submit the following application package:

  1. The completed application form online;
  2. A letter of support from universitymotivation signed and stamped by supervisor/relevant authority;
  3. Applicant’s updated curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum);
  4. Applicant’s current university transcript;
  5. Research proposal (2 pages maximum) including the following:
    1. Full name, affiliated university, country, degree level, title of research and related World Heritage or tentative listed site;
    2. Description of research (Goal/objectives, research question/s, relevance, significance, justification and scope);
    3. Research methodology (approach, timeframe, analysis);
    4. Bibliography;
    5. Budget (indicate funds from all sources, stating specifically the field work items the grant would be for with justifications as to the need).

Incomplete applications and applications that do not fulfill all requirements stated above will not be considered.

5- Selection process

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

  1. Eligibility of applicant;
  2. Completed application package (application form, CV, motivation letter, transcript and complete research proposal);
  3. Quality and relevance of the research proposed;
  4. Gender, language and geographic balance.

Successful applicants will be informed in December 2023.

6- Deadline

All application packages should be completed and submitted online. The deadline for complete application submission is 4 August 2023.