Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi wins a prestigious AWARD Fellowship.

Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi and Prof. (Mrs.) Esi Awuah (Vice Chancellor) attend AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from 24th-28th March, 2014


Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi is the first scientist from the University of Energy and Natural Resources to win a prestigious AWARD Fellowship. She and her AWARD Mentor, Professor (Mrs.) Esi Awuah, Vice Chancellor, participated in the AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from 24-28 March, 2014.

Photo Credit: Karen Homer/AWARD

Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Derkyi, a lecturer at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), was recently selected as a 2014 AWARD Fellowship laureate.  She is the first scientist from the University of Energy and Natural Resources to be accorded the honor.  Dr. (Mrs.) Derkyi was one of 70 impressive, talented, motivated women agricultural scientists chosen from among 780 applicants from 11 countries. To date, 41 Ghanaians have received one of the 390 fellowships offered since the program began in 2008.

What is AWARD?

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.

AWARD Fellow-Mentor Partnership

Every woman who wins an AWARD Fellowship is matched with a mentor, a senior scientist who volunteers for one year to guide the AWARD Fellow in her career development. As Dr. (Mrs.) Derkyi’s AWARD Mentor, Prof. (Mrs.) Esi Awuah will support her in identifying and achieving her research and leadership career goals. In the second year of the fellowship, Dr. Derkyi will in turn mentor a younger scientist, passing on what she has learned by being mentored.

What does the AWARD Fellowship offer?

AWARD offers a unique, well-tested career-development program for both fellows and mentors, which includes:

  1. 1.    Fostering Mentoring Partnerships
  • Participation in the AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop
  • One-to-one monthly mentoring by a senior scientist or professional for each AWARD Fellow
  1. 2.    Building Science Skills
  • Workshops on science and proposal writing
  • Registration at a regional or international professional conference
  • Opportunities to compete for advanced science training at leading international universities and institutions
  • Membership in a professional association
  • Training to use electronic science libraries
  1. 3.    Developing Leadership Capacity
  • Participation in the internationally recognised AWARD Women’s Leadership and Management Course or the AWARD Leadership Skills Course
  • Support to host a community role-modeling event

   1.  4.    Tracking Learning, Monitoring, and Evaluation

  • Participation in sub-regional AWARD Progress Monitoring Meetings

Reflections on the AWARD Fellowship

Dr. (Mrs.) Derkyi and Prof. (Mrs.) Esi Awuah attended the AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop (24-28 March in Nairobi, Kenya) as a first step in developing their mentoring partnership.

  • The workshop sessions provided insights into four mentoring tools (career timeline, purpose road map, development journal and mentoring diary), as well as interpersonal skills for successful mentoring (building networks, conflict management, understanding gender differences, etc.)
  • The AWARD Fellow, through the guidance of her AWARD Mentor and knowledge gained from the program, has an opportunity to reflect on her career pathway by knowing her passion, creating her niche, and becoming more professionally visible.

“As an AWARD Fellow, I now realize that it is my responsibility to look beyond academic achievement alone, and see how my work can empower local people, especially women, to negotiate for their resource rights and facilitate pro-poor forestry-agriculture interface policies,” says Dr. (Mrs.) Derkyi. “To become a better leader, I’m also working on my inter-personal skills. At the workshop, I learned how to be a better listener and to be more assertive and less judgmental.”

For more information on AWARD, please visit: www.awardfellowships.org