The Applied Research and Teaching for Sustainable Development in Africa (ART4DEV) project sponsored by DAAD is a joint collaborative initiative that seeks to build expertise in Sustainable Economy. It also aims at strengthening applied research in sustainable development, promoting innovation, and facilitating extra-curricular training of young people and businesses at the partner universities in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. ART4Dev Project consists of 3 pillars namely; Building Expertise in Sustainable Economy, Strengthening Applied Research in Sustainable Development and Innovation and Extra-Curricular Training. The concept of a Sustainable Economy refers to providing the greatest amount of general well-being and ensuring that overall demand is less than nature’s renewable supply of resources.

The call

This is a short-term, part time scholarship financed by the DAAD with funding from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.  The grant is aimed at enabling the grant holder to complete the thesis/project within the time of the grant (6-8 months). Two grants are available and will be awarded through a competitive process.

Research areas

The proposed research should be within the scope of the project’s Research Agenda detailed at the end of the document.

General requirements

  1. Applicants must be registered and active Mount Kenya university post graduate student who have demonstrated good progress in the coursework and thesis/project proposal milestones

Start and End Date

The start date will be July 2024, while the End date will be February 2025.


The grant is 500 Euro per student to cover expenses incurred in the thesis including data collection, analysis as well as field work activities which shall be paid upon completion.

Expected Outputs

The recipient is expected to have completed the thesis within the stipulated time. The recipient will be expected to present the findings in upcoming ART4DEV conferences and workshops.

Equal Opportunities and Inclusivity

Female candidates and candidates from less privileged regions or groups as well as candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure

The applicant shall be expected to submit a 2-page concept paper. Research tools (questionnaires, interview guides, interview schedules and a letter of introduction)  should  be sent  together with the application as attachments.

Additional Documents

  • Updated Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic referees, one of whom should be their thesis supervisor.
  • Cover letter indicating your motivation, area of interest and the ART4DEV project theme you are applying for

Please  send  your  application  (and  the  requirements  thereof)  as  one  document  to  not later than 14th June, 2024 at 5:00 pm EAT.


  1. Applicants must  attach  all  academic  certificates  and  transcripts  and  where applicable a practicing license
  2. All certificates and transcripts that are not in English must be translated. Support documents with no official translations will not be considered.
  3. All applications will be acknowledged
  4. Only applications received by the due date and time will be considered.
  5. All applications fulfilling all conditions stated above will be communicated to on the outcome of the shortlisting process by 28th June, 2024.


The recommendations of the review panel upon approval by MKU management shall be final.

For further inquiry, please contact:

Dr. John Kamau, Ph.D

Dean, School of Computing and Informatics (MKU)

email: Tel:+254701851333

The Research Agenda

This is an outline that identifies the specific areas of interest for the ART4DEV

1. Theme 1: Microfinance


1.1 ART4DEV and Empowerment

1.2 Microcredit and microenterprise

1.3 Regulation and sustainability

1.4 Innovation and technology


The main theme and sub-themes focus on the research investigation including the role of microfinance in enhancing ART4DEV and Empowerment of vulnerable groups, factors that affect ART4DEV to microcredit and promote empowerment (collateral, culture, inadequate funds, regulation and adequacy of knowledge, skillsets, ideas, culture, capacity building, logistics support etc). They also focus on how microfinance provides microcredit for microenterprises for the empowerment of vulnerable groups, poverty reduction, and firm growth.

Research on this theme also covers  regulation and  sustainability  including  microfinance regulation for financial and environmental sustainability (implementation, requirements, security/insurance, government policies, regulations and stability). Other areas are innovation and technology focusing on FinTech as a driver for microfinance to improve inclusivity of vulnerable groups (mobile technology, web application, cost reduction, digitilization, intrinsic cost reduction and convenience)

SDGs in Focus

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure SDG 10: Reduced Inequality

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

2. Theme 2: Climate and Environment


2.1 Perception about Climate Change

2.2 Climate Change Adaptation

2.3 Climate Change Mitigation

2.4 Climate change and Vulnerability

2.5 Sustainability and Climate Change


The sub-theme will Climate Change Perceptions that include the communication, the myth or reality of climate change and general attitude towards climate change. Next, it will focus on Climate Change Adaptation including the application of local community indigenous knowledge and partnerships and how key stakeholders adapt to climate change. The sub-theme covers Climate change and Mitigation focusing on issues of restoration of forests cover and water catchment areas, conserve the environment and building resilience to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

Furthermore,  Climate change  and  Vulnerability  covering  issues  livelihood  vulnerabilities, poverty, inequality and health concerns as a result of climate change are explored. Other areas of focus are Climate Change and Sustainability Model, including application of digital transformation and circularity to create as sustainability models of managing climate change.

SDGs in Focus

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Theme 3: Climate Change and Social Protection


3.1Coverage in Social Protection

3.2Social Protection and Outcomes

3.3Technology and Social Protection


The sub-theme on Coverage and Social Protection focuses on coverage in relation to vulnerable groups emphasizing on gender, youth, elderly, minority groups, and persons with disabilities (PWDs). Furthermore, it also covers Social Protection and Outcomes covering issues related to outcomes such as ART4DEV to financial services for the empowerment of individuals, households and community. Moreover, Technology and Social Protection explore the role of technology in enhancing social protection services. It also explores innovative approaches for enhancing ART4DEV to SP services.

SDGs in Focus

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

SDG  4:  Ensure  inclusive  and  equitable  quality  education  and  promote  lifelong  learning opportunities for all

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Theme 4: Entrepreneurship and Innovation


3.4 Innovation and Technology

3.5 Innovation and Disruptions

3.6 Innovation and Finance

3.7 Entrepreneurship and Product Development

3.8 Social Innovation for Profit


The sub-theme on Entrepreneurial Support Systems covers issues in the startup process and its uncertainties. It focuses on problems such as limited experience, and how entrepreneurs would benefit from a support system that offers the right resources. What resources should be made available? How can support organizations sustain themselves? What role will collaboration networks play in fostering sustainability?

Furthermore, the Entrepreneurial Competencies for Growth emphasize on how competency plays an important role in entrepreneurship growth. Risk taking behavior, digital knowledge, leadership, bookkeeping all have impact on success of entrepreneurship. The key question is; What entrepreneurial competency drives entrepreneurial growth? What training is required? These are critical questions to be answered under this theme. Moreover, it also covers Business models for Start-Up growth focusing on business models provide a roadmap for successful venture start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

This sub-theme on Innovations and technology covers issues on data analytics in informing economic policies and strategies. It also focuses on visualization techniques to represent and communicate socioeconomic trends as well as the application of artificial intelligence. It also covers Technologies for Start-Up Growth. This will include technologies such as information systems applications, e-business platform and AI that supports both business growth as well as support startup ventures in marketing, finance, HRM, Operation etc.

On Innovation and Disruptions, topics to be covered include Innovations in green technologies and their potential, cultural factors influencing the adoption of innovative technologies. It also covers frameworks for assessing the cultural, environmental impacts of disruptive innovations and innovation in promoting a circular economy.Innovation and Finance covers financial technology (fintech) in expanding financial inclusion; effective  governance  on  financial  stability  and  consumer  protection; and  financial  literacy programmes in promoting inclusiveness.

The sub-theme on Entrepreneurship and Product Development, research work would focus on customer-centric approaches on the success and sustainability of entrepreneurial ventures; application of agile methodologies in product development; customer journey mapping as a tool for understanding and improving the customer experience in entrepreneurship; methods for designing and communicating value propositions in entrepreneurship; integration of sustainable practices in product development; and collaborative approaches within entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Finally, the sub-theme on Social Innovation for Profit explores how entrepreneurship and innovation are needed to solve societal challenges. This can be done with social innovation for profit while impacting society and environment positively.

SDGs in Focus

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure SDG 10: Reduced Inequality

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals