The Moses Mapesa Research Grant 2024 for African Students

AWHF has announced the 2024 Moses Mapesa Research Grant in line with its mission of conservation and promotion of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage. This grant is intended to support African doctoral and master’s students specializing in natural and cultural heritage.

The Moses Mapesa Research Grant aims to advance research, particularly fieldwork, on World Heritage sites and those on the tentative list in Africa. This initiative not only honors the legacy of Moses Mapesa but also contributes to the sustainable conservation and management of Africa’s invaluable heritage.

Established in 2006, The African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), which is an intergovernmental organization, plays a critical part in the conservation and promotion of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value.

Despite the continent’s rich heritage, African sites remain underrepresented on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and many face challenges in effective conservation and management. To address these issues, AWHF, operating as a category center under the auspices of UNESCO, has been instrumental in supporting African State Parties in implementing the UNESCO World Heritage Convention adopted in 1972.

AWHF Moses Mapesa Research Grant Details

Application DeadlineJuly 31, 2024
Grants ValueUSD 5,000
Funding TypePartially Funded
SponsorAfrican World Heritage Fund (AWHF)
GenderMen and Women

What are The Benefits of the AWHF Moses Mapesa Research Grant?

The first benefit is that the grant provided will help fund your research proposals. The total amount that will be awarded will vary based on the research proposal itself. However, the maximum award is USD 5,000.00.

To be fully funded, you are required to conduct your fieldwork within a specific timeframe. This means the research should be completed within 9 months from the contract’s signature (from May 2025 to February 2026).

In addition to the timeframe, this research grant is also limited to specific focus areas. That means the grant supports research related to World Heritage or tentatively listed African sites. The focus areas within these niches are:

  • Heritage and Law
  • Heritage and Digital Technologies
  • Heritage Management and Conservation
  • Heritage and Sustainable Development
  • Heritage and Climate Change
  • Heritage and Economics/Entrepreneurship
  • Heritage Promotion and Awareness
  • Heritage in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations
  • Risk Management and Preparedness
  • Traditional Management Systems

Eligibility Criteria For AWHF Moses Mapesa Research Grant

To be eligible to apply for this grant, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Academic Enrollment: Applicants must be currently enrolled or planning to register in 2025 for a Doctoral or Masters program (Masters 2 for Francophone countries) at an African university. Their dissertation research should focus on natural or cultural heritage at an African World Heritage Site.
  2. Language Proficiency: You must be fluent in one of the following languages: English, French, or Portuguese.
  3. Citizenship: You must also be a citizen of an African Union Member State which is a party to the World Heritage Convention.

Grant Requirements

If you’re awarded the grant, you are expected to provide the following information/documents.

  1. Initial Research Description: Submit a detailed research description at the beginning of the grant period. You should also include proof of registration for your degree program.
  2. Final Report: At the end of the research project, you must provide a comprehensive final report. This report should cover the research results, dissertation, or thesis related to the chosen topic.
  3. Financial Report: Alongside the final report, you must also submit a financial report detailing how the grant funds were utilized.

Note: The research projects must be implemented between May 2025 and February 2026 (within a 9-month timeframe). To finalize, all of your documents (research description, final report, and financial report) must be presented in either French, English, or Portuguese.

Evaluation and Selection Process for the AWHF Moses Mapesa Research Grant

The selection process involves a team and an interdisciplinary and cross-regional selection committee. This team will carefully review all applications based on these criteria:

Key Considerations:

  • Eligibility of Applicant: The criteria by which the committee will assess eligibility. They will check whether the applicant meets the grant’s eligibility criteria.
  • Application Package: They will also check if you have submitted a complete application package. This includes the application form, CV, motivation letter, transcript, and detailed research proposal, which are then closely examined.
  • Research Quality and Relevance: The proposed research’s quality and relevance to natural or cultural heritage will be a significant factor.
  • Gender, Language, and Geographic Balance: The committee aims for diversity by considering gender representation, language proficiency, and geographic distribution.

Final Decision and Notification:

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by January 31, 2025.

Application Documents

  1. Submit the Completed Application Form, which their supervisor should co-sign.
  2. Your current university transcript.
  3. Provide an updated CV, limited to 2 pages.
  4. A concise 1-page maximum letter of motivation.
  5. Research Proposal (2 pages maximum), which should contain:
  • Basic Information: Include your full name, affiliated university, country, degree level, and the title of your research. Specify the related World Heritage site or tentative listed site.
  • Research Description: Describe your research goals, objectives, research questions, and the relevance and significance of your proposed study. Justify the need for this research and define its scope.
  • Research Methodology: Explain your research approach, timeframe, and analysis methods.
  • Bibliography: List relevant sources you plan to consult.
  • Budget: Indicate the funds from all sources and specifically allocate the grant funds to fieldwork items, providing justifications for each.

How to Apply

Here are the instructions on how to apply for the AWHF Moses Mapesa Research Grant:

Step 1: Requesting Application Form:

To get the application form (available in English, French, and Portuguese versions), send an email to

Step 2: Submission Process:

After you’re done filling out your application form, submit it via email as an attachment to (with another copy sent to before the specified deadline.

Alternatively, 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

For any inquiry or more details, please visit the AWHF website.

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