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WAGMC has a 5-year funding to support post graduate training in Genetics. The following policy governs the scholarship:

The West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) was set up to address a major development challenge of human genetic disorders in Africa. A World Health Assembly resolution WHA59.20 urged African Member States to develop medical genetics capacity to control SCD and offer a rigorous framework in which inherited disorders as well as disorders acquired through somatic gene mutations would be efficiently tackled in the region. As part of WAGMCs’ effort to develop capacity to have real impact on the lives of people through training of genetic counsellors and medical geneticists, WAGMC offers Scholarships/Fellowships to brilliant African nationals who have an interest in becoming part of a new professional body dedicated to reducing the negative outcomes for patients suffering from genetic disorders and their families.

The intent of the scholarship/fellowship is to award deserving graduates and fellows whose research interest falls under the following research themes: a) genetic counselling, b) medical genetics, c) biochemical and molecular genetics d) foetal medicine/perinatology, e) cyto-genetics, f) inherited blood disorders, g) cancer including hematologic malignancies, h) diabetes and i) kidney disease. Such students must have an undergraduate degree (for applicants of the MSc programs) or a second degree (for applicants to the PhD programs) in Psychology, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field from a reputable university. WAGMC holds the view that people irrespective of race or gender if offered equal opportunities can fully develop their potential and realize their dreams. Special consideration will therefore be given to brilliant but financially challenged students. Such persons will need to demonstrate their need for financial aid.

WAGMC is also committed to ensuring gender parity with each cohort of admitted students, female students are therefore especially encouraged to apply. Scholarships/fellowships may be awarded to applicants who already have grants from other institutions, however WAGMC will take into consideration aspects that the grant covers and determine which qualifying expenses the applicant may be awarded funds for. Applicants who are employed will not be awarded a stipend.

Persons interested in applying for the scholarship/fellowship must fill a downloadable application form which will be available on the website when applications are open. Application forms along with supporting documents must be scanned and emailed to or submitted physically to the WAGMC Secretariat. Incomplete application forms will be automatically disqualified from the application process. Applications received after the stipulated deadline will not be considered. Applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee and short-listed applicants may be required to write an exam and; finally interviewed. Applicants who make the pass mark will then be interviewed. The interview is the last stage of the application process. Scholarship/fellowship award recipients will be informed in writing. Faculty members may nominate fourth year undergraduate students they deem to be academically fit to pursue further education. The faculty member will write formally to the Selection Committee justifying their nomination. Such nominees will be expected to follow the outlined application process but will not be required to sit an exam. If successful, the applicant will conduct research in the field of the faculty who nominated them and will be supervised and mentored by the faculty member.

Each applicant must provide the documents listed below as supporting documents to their application form:

• Resume/CV
• Statement of purpose
• Research Proposal (MPhil, PhD; not more than 4 pages)
• Scanned copies of Bachelors’ Degree Certificate (MSc and MPhil applicants)
• Scanned copies of Masters’ Degree Certificate (PhD applicants)
• Transcript (MSc, MPhil, and PhD degree applicants who did not graduate from the university of Ghana)
• 3 referees reports (details of referees must be provided online)
• TOEFL or IELTS score (non-native English speakers)
The successful fellows will be enrolled at the University of Ghana, but with access to resources and facilities at all WAGMC partner institutions.

The successful recipient of the scholarship/fellowship will be expected to:

- Conduct high quality research leading to the publication of at least 2 papers in peer reviewed journals
- Contribute to the training of masters students
- Graduate with a University of Ghana MSc/PhD degree

The recipient of the scholarship/fellowship will be supported with the following:

- Tuition at the University of Ghana
- A monthly stipend (for candidates without employment)
- Research costs

Selection Committees

WAGMC Management Committee will appoint members to the Selection Committee. Members of the committee will be responsible for the evaluation of applicants for scholarships and fellowships. Under no circumstance should members of WAGMC Management Committee attempt to control the outcome of decisions of the Selection Committee. Every member of the Selection Committee must adhere to the relevant policies of WAGMC. Each member of the Selection Committee must disclose any personal knowledge of relationship with any potential applicant under consideration and refrain from participation in the award process in a circumstance where he or she would derive, directly or indirectly, a private benefit if any potential applicants are selected over others.

Selection Criteria

All applicants must meet all requirements in order to be selected for scholarship/fellowship. The Selection Committee will work to ensure that all shortlisted applicants have met the selection criteria and that the decision to award any particular candidate accomplishes the purpose for which the fellowship/scholarship is being awarded.

Criteria for awarding scholarship/fellowship are:

• Prior academic performance
• Performance of each applicant on written exams (where applicable)
• Recommendations from supervisors of such applicant and any others who have knowledge of the applicant’s capabilities
• Additional information regarding an applicant’s career, academic and other relevant experiences, financial need
• The Selection Committee’s conclusions as to the applicant’s motivation, character, ability, or potential

WAGMC reserves the right to impose additional, minor reasonable restrictions and/or requirements upon the awarding of scholarship/fellowship grants and the administration of such grants. Any substantial or material changes will be made only with approval of the members of the WAGMC Centre Management Committee.

Award Letter

All successful applicants will receive letters informing them that they have been selected to receive a scholarship/fellowship award. Such applicants will be required to present a copy their letter to the WAGMC secretariat during registration. The successful applicant will be required to fill and submit an acceptance form by the date stipulated in the award letter.

Scholarship/Fellowship Supervision

Scholarship/fellowship funds may be applied to tuition, research and accommodation costs. Funds will be paid directly to facility providing services to the recipient of the award. Funds will however only be released after the recipient has filled and submitted the acceptance form. Funds must only be used to settle educational expenses described as qualified expenses. Under no circumstance should funds be diverted to other expenses unrelated to educational cost.

Acceptance Form

Upon being offered a fellowship/scholarship each student will fill an acceptance form which will be processed to ensure that funds are released for payment of qualifying educational expenses. In the instance that the selected recipient declines the award or fails to respond to the offer, an alternative applicant will be made the offer.

The first recipient then forfeits the award, the award will not be reverted back to the first recipient once the offer has been made to the alternate and an acceptance form has been submitted by the alternate. Submission of the form implies that the applicant understands the terms and conditions of the scholarship/fellowship, the amount of the scholarship/fellowship, when the scholarship/fellowship will be distributed, and that the applicant’s academic performance and full-time status at the university must be maintained. WAGMC will retain all records and documentation provided by the applicants during the application process. Information pertaining to unsuccessful applicants will also be kept along with information on successful applicants.