General information

APPEAR is a programme of the Austrian Development Cooperation.

The overall objective is to strengthen the institutional capacities in higher education, research and management in the addressed countries through Academic Partnerships with Austrian higher education institutions and master’s and PhD scholarships as a contribution to effective and sustainable reduction of poverty.

APPEAR encourages professionals and higher education institutions in the addressed countries and in Austria to share their knowledge and experiences with each other, to design innovative projects targeting the objectives and expected results and to improve the general standards in higher education, research and management.

Thematic focus

All proposed activities should be related to the thematic focus of APPEAR as defined below.Strengthening of institutional capacities in higher education and research for development:

  • Water supply and sanitation, rural development, sustainable energy, environment and natural resources; in this field a consideration of the Nexus approach (water - energy - food security) is welcome
  • Private sector development
  • Poverty reduction, peace building and conflict prevention, governance and human rights, gender equality
  • Strengthening of skills in social sciences as an instrument to systematically analyse the reasons of poverty and to empower capacities in social science research

Eligible countries

APPEAR eligible countries © Sachartschenko

Partner institutions, master’s and PhD scholarship holders at Austrian higher education institutions come from the following countries:

  • Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Senegal
  • Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala
  • Bhutan, Nepal
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Georgia, Armenia, Republic of Moldova

Programme components

The programme has two components whereby the focus is on the academic partnerships. However, this is closely related to master's and PhD scholarships that mainly support students and academics from already existing APPEAR partnerships to implement long lasting and sustainable cooperation. Both components share the overall objective of strengthening the institutional capacity of the partners institutions in the eligible countries.

Component 1:

  • Academic Partnerships and Advanced Academic Partnerships in higher education, research and management
  • Preparatory Funding to support researchers and institutons who do not yet have well-established links to jointly plan and elaborate a project proposal

Component 2:

  • Scholarships for master's and PhD studies in Austria for students and academics from the eligible countries

Basic principles

APPEAR is not interested in one-sided ›knowledge transfer‹, and strictly follows a demand-driven approach, through which needs are defined by the partners in the addressed countries. Respect of different methodological and empirical approaches, of different epistemological and cultural systems, of different modes of interaction and interpretation of results should be seen as preconditions for the aimed participatory and demand-driven partnerships to be realised on an equal basis.In order to realise the overall objective, APPEAR follows five basic principles:

  • Participatory approach
  • A concept of culturally open-minded knowledge
  • Practically- and empirically-oriented approach
  • Gender sensitivity
  • Bottom-up and demand-driven approach

Academic Partnerships

APPEAR funds well-designed collaborative and innovative projects, responding to the identified needs and demands in the addressed countries and the participating institutions in particular. The participatory approach of APPEAR means that project proposals should be planned and worked out jointly by the proposing partners of the main cooperating institutions. At least two institutions – one from the eligible countries and one from Austria – must be involved in the partnership.The submitting consortium defines a coordinating partner who will sign the contract and be responsible for reporting and accounting. The coordinating institution can either be in the addressed country or in Austria. If the proposed educational / research / institutional activities need more than two partners involved to be implemented and realised successfully, a partnership network can also be established. If the establishment of regional networks in capacity development and / or education and / or research is justified, institutions that are not located in the eligible countries can be involved as well to a maximum of twenty per cent of the entire project budget.The activities have to take place primarily in the partner country(ies).

Preparatory Funding

The objective of the Preparatory Funding is to provide the opportunity to elaborate a realistic and effective project proposal, based on the demands and needs of the institution(s) in the addressed country(ies).

The main focus of Preparatory Funding lies in the support of institutions with not yet established links to each other.In this initial phase the future partner institutions assess each other’s respective institutional and social environments (management structures, objectives, activities, methodologies, etc.) and jointly design the project proposal. The submitting and coordinating institution can be either from the eligible country or from Austria.

The APPEAR team also provides guidance in elaborating the partnership.

Master's and PhD scholarships

The scholarship component of APPEAR aims to promote students and professionals employed at a higher education institution in the eligible countries, to complete a master’s or PhD programme at an Austrian higher education institution. The studies are expected to be in line with the thematic focus of the programme and also within the context of regional and national development strategies of the respective countries thereby contributing to poverty reduction. The relevance of capacity development for the home institution has to be clearly outlined in the application and confirmed by the respective human resources manager. As the field research studies have to be undertaken in the student’s home country, the financial and / or technical support of their institution is also requested. The applicant further confirms his / her readiness to return to the home country after completion of the studies to resume his / her employment to pursue an appropriate development-related assignment as per the training. Another main requirement is that the student must be admitted at a respective Austrian University.

The studies enable the scholarship holders to contribute to the improvement of higher education and research in their home countries and institutions. They are involved in academic partnerships and / or will contribute to further establishment of academic partnerships.

Types of APPEAR scholarships

  • Master’s and PhD scholarships that are linked to an existing APPEAR partnership.
  • PhD scholarships that are individual, i.e. not linked to an existing APPEAR partnership.

At least seventy per cent of the scholarships should be awarded to master’s and PhD students that are linked to an existing APPEAR partnership. At least 50% of the individual scholarships will be awarded to female applicants.

Age limit

  • PhD not older than 35 years (for women not older than 40)
  • Master’s not older than 30 years (for women not older than 35)

Financed costs

  • Master’s studies: EUR 960,- per month (average 24 months)
  • PhD studies: EUR 1.050,- per month (average 36 months)
  • Travel costs (including field studies in the home country) and additional grants (e.g. German courses, participation in conferences, printing costs)

APPEAR mid-term evaluation

Find here the programme's mid-term evaluation that was finalised in 2013.