OCCUPATIONAL therapy scholarship Opportunities

for University of Gondar Faculty Members

As part of the University of Gondar/Queen’s University Mastercard Foundation project, the Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) is accepting applications for four or five exceptional faculty leaders from the University of Gondar (UoG) to complete an MSc in Occupational Therapy (OT) at Queen’s. This scholarship would begin in May, 2021 and run through to August, 2023. The overall goal of this training is to create leaders at UoG who will work with Queen’s faculty members to develop a new, undergraduate-level curriculum in Occupational Therapy at the University of Gondar, which is expected to enroll its first class in 2021.

Occupational therapy is a dynamic, growing, and internationally-recognized health profession which has been helping to improve the lives and daily experience of children, adults, and communities by focusing on what is fundamental to us all – the daily occupations (or activities) that give life meaning. As humans we engage in occupation to be productive, to learn, to recreate, and to take care of our most basic needs. Occupation is what gives purpose to our daily lives and connects us to our communities. Occupational therapists are specialists in the use of occupation to prevent disability, restore health, and ensure that all individuals and populations, regardless of health status, can experience full and meaningful lives.

Occupational therapy is a diverse profession, providing opportunities to work with many different populations, in a variety of work environments. The career prospects for occupational therapists globally are exciting. Visit the website of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (www.wfot.org) to gain an understanding about the profession from a global perspective and more specifically the Regional African OT group (http://www.otarg.org.za/) for an African focus. The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (www.caot.ca) also has valuable information about the practice of OT in Canada. We strongly encourage interested applicants to visit the Queen’s Occupational Therapy Program website for more detailed descriptions of the program and its curriculum: https://rehab.queensu.ca/programs/msc_ot

Visit the Queen’s Occupational Therapy Program website for more detailed descriptions of the program and its curriculum.

Admission Requirements
  • Applicants should be licensed clinicians with a Bachelor degree from a recognized university in one of the following fields of study:
    • Physiotherapy
    • Social Work or Social Welfare
    • Health Officer
    • Nursing
    • Optometry
    • Midwifery
    • Pharmacy
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Other relevant profession
  • An applicant’s cumulative GPA should be ≥ 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicants must be willing to join the OT Department of UoG upon completion of their training at Queen’s University in Canada. and must repay the scholarship if they are unable to provide at least two years’ continuous service to UoG.
  • Applicants must not have a criminal record or outstanding charges.
  • Applicants must be prepared to demonstrate documented proof of the following immunizations: two-step tuberculin skin test status, varicella serological status and immunization history for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio, tetanus and hepatitis B.  Other immunizations may be required prior to placements in Africa, depending on the region.
  • Communication is essential to succeed in the OT program at Queen’s. Applicants must have exceptional English test scores. Preference will be given to applicants who have already taken a recognized English test and have met the minimum scores (see: http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/prospective-students/preparing-graduate-studies for recognized tests and minimum scores)
  • Applicants are expected to attend an intensive summer institute in English in the summer of 2021 before entering the program.
Scholarship DETAILS

Note: Scholarship funds are in Canadian dollars

The scholarship includes:

  • Three round trip, return flights and airport transfers from Gondar (or other African placement site) to Kingston, Ontario, Canada over the two year period, to allow for travel to Africa for all three clinical placements
  • Assistance with student visa-related costs
  • Full Queen’s tuition/fees
  • Student health insurance coverage
  • A laptop computer
  • An annual allotment for printing, books, and supplies ($700 CDN total)
  • An intensive, three-month English for Graduate School Preparation course, in summer 2018 (before the commencement of fall 2018 MScOT courses)
  • Modest, one-time installation allowance ($600 CDN)
  • Modest, one-time winter clothing allowance ($600 CDN)
  • Modest living allowance ($2000 CDN per month in Kingston; adjusted during placement for cost of living in placement location)
Application Process

The application process has 3 stages:

STAGE 1: UoG Nomination and pre-screening
(Deadline for applicants to submit application to OT Coordinator at UoG: June 1, 2020; Deadline for UoG to submit nomination to Queen’s: August 17, 2020)

Individual applicants must submit their full application to the Ethiopian Mastercard Foundation OT Coordinator, Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin (hakimulig@gmail.com Phone: +251 911743852) from June 1 2020- August 17, 2020. Applications will then be reviewed by a selection committee at the UoG and will undergo pre-screening for completeness and alignment with eligibility requirements as well as a full review and ranking of each candidate.

By August 13, 2021, the UoG selection committee will forward its student ranking, as well as the following documents for each of its nominated applicants to Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator (Queen’s University; mcfcoord@queensu.ca) via email.

Applications must include:

  • A PDF copy of an official transcript from each university previously attended. If the degree is not complete at the time of application, an official interim transcript should be provided with the final transcript forwarded as soon as it is available. Transcripts must demonstrate upper second-class standing (B+, 3.3/4.0) in a Bachelor’s degree relevant to rehabilitation, health, nursing, public health sciences, international development, or community development.
  • A letter of intent, no longer than 3 single-spaced pages, describing the applicant’s personal and professional background, previous and current involvement in disability and community-based rehabilitation, motivation for joining the OT program, and post-OT training plans.
  • A professional Curriculum Vitae (C.V.), with a list of community engagement and volunteer activities, clinical experience in a health setting, experience with disability, as well as all previous academic awards and publications, including abstracts and full papers.
  • An official copy of English test scores for one of the accepted tests listed above. Please ensure TRF number is recorded and visible.

STAGE 2: Queen’s University Application
(Deadline: November 15, 2020)

Candidates who are nominated by UoG and who demonstrate fulfillment of fellowship application requirements will be provided with a hard copy application form and invited to submit an application to the program at Queen’s University. This application will require:

  1. Two Confidential Assessment forms are considered in your assessment. One Confidential Assessment Form must be completed by someone who holds an academic position in a postsecondary university or college and is qualified to judge your academic ability. Positions such as teaching assistant, laboratory coordinator or athletic trainer do not qualify as academic referees. The second Confidential Assessment Form may be either academic or professional and should be completed by someone who can judge you on your work performance, interpersonal skills and suitability for studies in occupational therapy. Neither of the Confidential Assessment forms may be submitted by relatives or friends.
  2. Two (2) official transcripts from each university previously attended. If the degree is not complete at the time of application an official interim transcript should be provided with the final transcript forwarded as soon as it is available. Transcripts must demonstrate upper second-class standing (B+, 3.3/4.0) in a Bachelor’s degree relevant to rehabilitation, health, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, public health sciences, education, international development, or community development.
  3. CV
  4. Statement of Intent
  5. Proof of acceptable competency in English


In the final stage, the Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee from Queen’s will review the applicants’ full application packages and make a final recommendation for acceptance into the program. If the committee suggests a follow-up interview with applicants to assist in the selection decisions, this interview will take place in February 2021, with finalists and UoG notified of decisions shortly thereafter. After this selection process, UoG will process the final approval and two-year leave permission for each successful candidate.

After UoG release, Mastercard Foundation Scholars staff at Queen’s University will work with successful candidates to procure a student visa. OT Fellowsare required to relocate to Kingston, Ontario, Canada by early May 2021, to begin English training and program orientation.

Note to applicants

  1. Women and individuals with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.
  2. Successful OT Fellows must obtain approval and leave from UoG for the two-year MScOT program, and OT Fellows will be required to sign a contract, committing to leave Canada and return to UoG to provide a minimum of 4 years of service upon completion of the OT program
  3. OT Fellows cannot complete clinical placements in Canada. All placements will be organized in African contexts, and OT Fellows will not be licensed to practice as occupational therapists in Canada.


It is clear on the call document that applicants should bring a complete application package and that includes English proficiency test score, e.g. IELTS 7 and above. However, some applicants may not have English proficiency test since the British Council shut down its operation since March and it is unknown when it will be open. Therefore, for those applicants who do not have English test score, we encourage you to complete other requirements of the package and submit to OT program coordinator (Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin) based on the stated timeline in the call document. We hope that you will be able to sit for English test before we process the scholarship application and your application will be considered when you bring an English test score (e.g. IELTS 7 and above)

Further Information

This scholarship opportunity is made possible by a grant from the Mastercard Foundation that is implemented in partnership between the University of Gondar and Queen’s University. At Queen’s University, this project is administered by the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR).

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is committed to leading and inspiring positive changes that transform lives through rehabilitation research, education and practice. As part of this commitment, our core mission is to educate occupational therapists, physiotherapists and rehabilitation scientists who contribute to health and well-being globally through collaboration, creativity, and the discovery of new knowledge. We are recognized nationally and internationally for our excellent faculty, high-quality professional and research programs, and the ways in which our scholarship contributes to the lives of people affected by or at risk of disability. For further details about the MSc in Occupational Therapy Program, visit: http://rehab.queensu.ca/programs/msc_ot

Appendix A – 2020/2021 Timeline – OT

  • May 1, 2020 – Request for applications sent out to departments
  • July 31, 2020 – Deadline for departments to submit ranking of candidates
  • August 18, 2020– Gondar Mastercard Foundation Selection Committee select 5 top candidates and 5 waitlisted candidates
  • August 31, 2020 – Deadline for selected students to provide written confirmation of participation in program
  • November 15, 2020 – Deadline for nominated students to submit complete application to Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator at the University of Gondar. Gondar staff to then pass along to Queen’s University Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator.
  • December 3, 2020 – Queen’s Mastercard Foundation team to handover full applications to School of Graduate Studies
  • Feb 1, 2021 – Deadline for review of applications at Queen’s (tentative)
  • End of February, 2020 – Students receive official letter of acceptance and begin visa processes
  • May 1, 2021 – Students travel to Kingston to begin English language training

Learn more:

Do you need more information about the scholarships, the OT program or Queen’s University? Contact us!