Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a scholarship, master’s and doctoral students must comply with the following criteria:

  • Be a national of and resident in any of the eligible countries covered by the Programme.
  • At the time of the application for a scholarship, be registered at or have obtained their most recent degree (or equivalent) from:
  • one of the higher education institutions included in the partnership (Target Group 1); or
  • a higher education institution not included in the partnership but established in an eligible country (Target Group 2)

(c) Have sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction in the host institution.

(d) Meet the specific requirements of the host institution. Students can only benefit from one scholarship under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme. Students having benefitted from scholarship(s) under the previous Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme cannot receive scholarships under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

(e) Work in or be associated with a partner higher education institution (For staff involved in the mobility)

Application Process

The Applicant Should:

  1. Verify the eligibility criteria (if a candidate does not fulfil all of the eligibility criteria, he/she should not submit an application, as the application will be considered invalid and will not be evaluated).
  2. Identify the Target Group to which (s)he belongs and the available scholarships.
  3. Select at least one host institution. It is highly recommended that applicants select up to 3 different host institutions from the available options but always with consideration to language and background requirements defined by each host institution and programme.
  4. Create an account on the application website for the project.
  5. Read attentively the Guidelines for Applicants, the FAQs and the online Application Form.
  6. Collect all necessary information and documents to complete the Application Form: Several documents are mandatory and the online system will not allow the application to be submitted without them. In case of unreadable documents, the application will be considered invalid and will not be evaluated.
  7. Select the host institution(s) with consideration to the following:
    • The language requirements of the host institution.
    • The identified areas of excellence and available projects in each partner institution.
    • The required academic background for the field of study, research project or activity.
    • The cost of living at prospective host institutions, personal needs for subsistence, and the monthly stipend for the scholarship.
    • The need to adapt to different cultural realities at the host institution and also to different climate conditions, in case of selection.
  8. Prepare a mobility project proposal describing the aims, activities and foreseen study/work plan and taking into consideration the objectives and goals of the host programme and of the BRAINS project. The proposal must be clear in its methodology, impact and benefit, as well as its feasibility within the timeframe established by the duration of the scholarship. Staff should liaise with the home and prospective host universities on the programme of activities, eg lectures or administrative work to be delivered; research activities to be carried out; type of training to be followed; etc. This text will be included in the online application.
  9. Prepare a motivational statement with regard to the benefits and expected outcomes of the mobility. This text will be included in the online application

Online Submissions

The Application Form is completed through the following steps:


  1. Applicants should have a valid e-mail address and an internet connection. Communication of results will be done exclusively by e-mail to the address provided
  2. In order to access the form, the applicants should create a new login in the “Apply now” section of the BRAINS website, selecting the type of scholarship for which they wish to apply.
  1. Applicants should then complete the online Application Form. The system will save a draft of the application every time the “Save” button is pressed, allowing it to be revised, edited and completed. The applicants should carefully prepare and revise the application before pressing the “Submit” button.
  2. After pressing “Submit”, it is not possible to make any additional changes to the application.
  3. The Application Form must be completed English.
  4. The deadline for the submission of online applications is provided on the BRAINS website.

The Coordination Office will do everything possible to avoid system failures, but cannot assume any responsibility should applicants encounter technical difficulties preventing submission just before the deadline. Applicants must therefore avoid last minute applications. Applications sent by any other means, e.g. mail, fax or e-mail, will NOT be accepted.

  1. Once the “Submit” button has been pressed, the application is closed and sent to the Coordination Office, which gives it a code. A digital notice of submission is sent to the applicant by email as well as a full copy of the application. This notice does not constitute a confirmation of eligibility nor of selection; it only confirms submission of the application.
  2. The students /staff will be given a duration of 45 days following the launch of the call to submit their applications to the partner institutions.
  3. All applications will be subject to an acknowledgement of receipt by email.
  4. The applicants (selected and non-selected) will be notified by email of the results of their application outcome within 2 weeks after the selection decision is made. The selected students will be provided with further information/instructions for subsequent steps by the management committee.

Documents to be Submitted

Digital copies of several documents are required and must be uploaded to the application website. If a candidate fails to submit all required documents the application will be excluded without any possibility of appeal.

For all applicants:

  • Copy of passport.
  • Degree certificate(s) if already obtained – Must have been issued by a higher education institution, dated, signed and stamped, otherwise it will not be considered valid and the application will be excluded. In the case of the applicant having achieved more than one academic degree, one uploaded file must contain all documents.

For student mobility:

  • Transcript of academic records for degrees completed, stating in detail all courses taken and grades obtained in the course. Documents must be dated, signed and stamped by the institution, otherwise they will not be considered valid and the application will be immediately excluded.
  • Target Group 1 applicants:

(a) Statement of support from the home institution – this document must be dated, signed and stamped by the home partner institution, otherwise it will not be considered valid and the application will be excluded.

(b) Academic reference from someone other than the person who signed the statement mentioned in (a) above.

  • Target group 2 applicants:

(a) Letter of support from an academic staff member of a higher education institution in an eligible country (the letter may be from a partner institution); this letter must be dated and signed, otherwise it will not be considered valid and the application will be excluded.

(b) Academic reference from someone other than the person who signed the statement mentioned in (a) above.

  • For credit-seeking mobility: Statement issued by the home institution confirming the applicant’s enrolment in a master’s degree programme and endorsing the applicant’s mobility proposal. The statement should include a description of the degree programme, the degree duration, the number of credits for the degree and the number of credits per course.
  • Certificate of language skills, if applicable, in accordance with the requirements of the host institution.

For staff mobility:

  • Statement by a senior staff member at the home institution with a brief description of the applicant’s main activities and an endorsement of the mobility proposal. This document must be dated, signed and stamped by the institution, otherwise it will not be considered valid and the application will be excluded. The declaration should be written in English, by the person to whom the applicant reports (e.g. Head of Department, Director or Dean) at the home institution.
  • Statement by the hosting staff member at the host institution confirming the mobility plan and duration.

Additional documents, if applicable:

  • Document confirming physical disability (e.g. declaration from a doctor; recent medical exam; etc.)
  • Document confirming vulnerable socio-economic situation. This document must be dated, signed and stamped by a suitable organisation or authority.
  • Document confirming refugee or asylum status. This document must be issued by a recognized authority and must be dated, signed and stamped.
  • Other documents relevant to the application. All documents must be attached to the online Application Form. Applications that are incomplete or have blank or unreadable documents will be disregarded. If an applicant wishes to attach more than one document in the same field (e.g. support letters from the home institution), one file should be attached that includes all documents, up to a maximum of 2MB.

All submitted applications received will be stored as read-only documents in a protected database. The legal requirements of the partner universities concerning the manipulation of personal data will be observed and the information submitted online will remain confidential. The database will only be accessed and revised by authorized persons in the home and host institutions who have an access code. This is also holds in the case of the Coordination Office and the members of the Selection Committee.

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