The Rotary Club of Vienna (RCV) Fellowship Programme

Aim of RCV-Fellowship Programme

The specific aim of the RCV Fellowship Programme is to increase the number of excellent Eastern African water professionals to (1) develop innovative management solutions for aquatic ecosystems/resources in Eastern Africa, (2) contribute to the development and implementation of evidence-based policies in Eastern Africa, (3) establish international collaborations and initiatives, and (4) mobilise society and local/regional financial resources to improve the management of environmental assets to the benefit of Eastern African people.

Target People & Fellowship Criteria

The programme targets excellent young Eastern African water/environmental professionals, holding a thematically suitable BSc degree, preferably from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The selection criteria include academic and professional merits, gender, socio-economic background and the potential of the candidate to achieve the programme aims.

History and Development of the Programme

The RCV-Fellowship Programme started in 2013 whereby 2-months fellowships were awarded to four young Kenyan water professionals to attend specialized courses in aquatic ecosystem management at BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna). Conceptually, the programme was designed to provide international experience to young Eastern African water professionals, linking them with water/environment experts at BOKU and to initiate mid/long-term collaborations between Eastern Africa and Austria. The four RCV fellowship holders in 2013 (Joel Onyango and Joyce Kaino) and 2014 (James Outa and Zipporah Gichana) are working in Kenya and others have started theirs PhD studies. Strategically, the RCV Fellowship Programme was shaped to complement on-going activities of BOKU and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) in Eastern Africa. Since a high-quality Master’s Programme in Limnology has been established at Egerton University, the suggestion was to modify the initial outline of the RCV-Fellowship Programme, to award two RCV fellowships per year to motivated, academically outstanding and socio-economic needy BSc graduates from Eastern Africa to study the MSc.

The RCV fellowship covers only direct study costs (tuition fees, research fees, etc), whereas the living costs are covered by the fellowship holders her/himself. This gives an opportunity to two excellent students to study the course of which they would not have been able to do so, due to their socio-economic background. Since the Master’s degree is an indispensable springboard for both professional and/or academic career, the outline of the RCV Fellowship Programme is anticipated to have a much higher positive impact in terms of individual capacity building and career development, hence, contributing significantly towards the development of innovative management solutions for aquatic ecosystems/resources in Eastern Africa. In summary, the RCV-Fellowship Programme provides excellent value for money. At the same time, significant added-value is anticipated, since the Masters in Limnology programme at Egerton University is intensively interlinked with BOKU and IHE-Delft. Since its inception in 2015, the 2year RCV-Fellowship programme has so far sponsored 6 needy students 2 of which are in the process of winding up their master’s theses, 2 are already in the field conducting their research and the last 2 who joined in 2017 are in the process of finishing their course work and developing their proposals.

Procedure of RCV-Fellowship Award & Terms of Fellowship

  • • Fellowship candidates (from a very needy background) will be identified by the coordinator of the RCV programme at Egerton University. Fellowship candidates will be presented to the Rotary Vienna Club. The award of fellowships will be done jointly by the Rotary Vienna Club and the coordinator of the RCV programme at Egerton University.
  • • Fellowship holders will provide a written report on their study success, personal development and future plans to the Rotary Vienna Club for each semester of studies.  Egerton University will avail the academic performance of RCV fellowship holders to the Rotary Vienna Club.
  • • The fellowship holders will avail themselves to meet representatives of the Rotary Vienna Club at any time in Kenya to provide all information requested.
  • • The fellowships can be terminated at the end of each semester, in case it is foreseeable that the fellowship holder does not meet the aims of the RCV-fellowship programme. The termination of the fellowship will be decided jointly by the Rotary Vienna Club and the coordinator of the RCV programme at Egerton University.

Status of the programme

The programme is implemented by the Department of Biological Sciences of Egerton University, Kenya under the Limnology and Wetland Management (LWM) Office. Professor Nzula Kitaka is the coordinator at Egerton University, while Mr. Florian Demmer is the Scholarship counselor at RCV.

Egerton University, Kenya

Egerton University started as an Agricultural school in 1939, and subsequently elevated to an Agricultural college through an Act of Parliament. In 1986, the college was elevated to a constituent college of the University of Nairobi and in 1987 it was granted University status by an Act of Parliament. The University offers various courses in Education, Natural, Earth and Applied Sciences, Health, Arts and Social Sciences. Within the last decade, the university has become a focus centre on water sciences in the region.  Further info @:


MSc. Limnology of Egerton University

The MSc in Limnology endeavors to fill the lack of knowledge on how aquatic ecosystems functions, which has hampered their conservation in Kenya for a long time. This master’s programme is designed to train and produce skilled limnologists needed for limnological research consultancy, extension and teaching in academic, public and private institutions as well as provide advice and/or guidance on matters related to the utilization and management of inland aquatic systems. In the long-term perspective, an important goal is to be able to produce a cadre of qualified scientists to tackle the multitude of challenging problems of tropical limnology especially in African lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Application procedure


BSc Degree second class upper division in Aquatic Sciences, Hydrology, Fisheries, Environmental Science, Natural Resources and Water Management or any other related earth science in a recognized institution of higher learning.

Must either be willing to enroll for the Msc in Limnology or have an admission letter of the same from graduate school of Egerton University.

Must write a motivation letter to the RCV Coordinator stating why he/she qualifies for the scholarship and what he/she intends to do once he/she pursues his/her studies.

Must have good interpersonal skills, excellent communication skills and fit to work in the field or lab for long hours sometimes even over the weekends.

RCV TARGETS STUDENTS FROM A VERY HUMBLE BACKGROUND and therefore are encouraged to apply. Applicants will have to submit information regarding their family background, financial status of their parents/guardians, sibling’s education information and how they managed to pay their undergraduate fees.

Giving false information regarding your financial status and family background will lead to automatic disqualification and termination of the fellowship in cases where the candidate was initially awarded.

Call for fellowship applications begins in November and the Deadline is End of November of every Year.

Please send hardcopies applications to the following address:

The Coordinator,

LWM & RCV Programmes Office.

Egerton University, Department of Biological Sciences,

P.O Box 536-20115, Egerton, Kenya.

Scanned softcopies of the applications should be sent to the following emails

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In case you need to get in touch with the office, you can call the following number

Tel: +254727958986

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