The Mastercard Foundation Queen’s University Scholarship Opportunity for University of Gondar Faculty Members Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

The Mastercard Foundation Queen’s University Scholarship Opportunity for

University of Gondar Faculty Members

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

The University of Gondar (UoG), in partnership with the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) at Queen’s University (Canada) is announcing the opportunity for exceptional faculty leaders from the UoG to complete a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. The successful candidate will join a cohort of UoG Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSc_OT) Fellows for two years to complete the MScOT program at Queen’s. For this recruitment cycle (2022), the scholarship application and recruitment process will begin in May 2021 and run through to August 2021.

The overall goal of this training is to create a cohort of 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 ( to gain an understanding about the profession from a global perspective and more specifically the Regional African OT group ( for an African focus. The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy ( 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:


Successful candidates must demonstrate the following:

  • High-level of Academic Ability;
  • Commitment to Occupational Therapy, Community Development, Inclusion, CBR, and/or Disability Rights;
  • Nomination/ Support from home Department and UoG authority;
  • Signed legal agreements between UoG faculty member and UoG for four years of active service to the UoG



  1. Applicants should have Bachelor or Master Degree from a recognized University. Degrees can be from the following fields of study but are not limited to:
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social Work or Social Welfare
  • Health Officer
  • Nursing
  • Optometry
  • Midwifery
  • Pharmacy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Engineering
  • Other relevant professions


  1. Cumulative GPA of the applicants should be ≥ 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.


  1. Applicants must be willing to join the OT Department of University of Gondar (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 four years’ continuous service to the University following completion of the MScOT degree at Queen’s.


  1. Applicants must not have a criminal record or outstanding charges.


  1. 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 scored the following minimum:
  • TOEFL with a minimum score 94 (iBT) with scores in the following ranges: reading – high (22-30); listening – high (22-30); speaking – good (26-30); writing – good (24-30)
  • MELAB with a minimum score of 80
  • IELTS with a minimum score of 8


  1. Applicants are expected to attend an intensive, three-month English for Academic Purposes course in English in the summer of 2022 before entry into the program.


In order to receive and maintain their scholarship, University of Gondar faculty members undertaking MScOT studies at Queen’s University funded through the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program-University of Gondar and Queen’s University Partnership are expected to:

  • Commit to their studies on a full-time basis;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic standing (B- average) and progress in their MScOT program in alignment with timelines as outlined by the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies, and communicate evidence of grades and timely progress to the Student & Faculty Liaison at the end of each academic semester;
  • Be proficient in English (see point E above).
  • Report annually on personal progress and outcomes by completing the Annual Progress Report and submitting to the Research and Learning Coordinator, (outlined in Appendix C of OT Handbook: Fellow Annual Progress Report).
  • Complete and submit Mastercard Foundation reporting forms to the Research and Learning Coordinator, in a timely manner once received.
  • Adhere to Queen’s policies and procedures pertaining to their role as Queen’s students, adhere to UoG policies and procedures pertaining to their role as UoG faculty; and adhere to UoG/Queen’s Mastercard Foundation program policies and expectations as Mastercard Foundation Fellows.
  • Reside in Canada during coursework; reside in various African countries for Level 1, 2, 3 and community development placements. Details of host country for each placement will be determined during MScOT program closer to placement dates.
  • Participate in cohort activities, such as:
    • A regularly scheduled Seminar Series designed in collaboration with Mastercard-Funded students that will support such things as: personal development as faculty, research skills, critical engagement with journal articles, and dissertation project development.
    • Regularly scheduled academic check-in meetings with OT Program Coordinator (Queen’s)
    • Where appropriate, scheduled check-in meetings with Student & Faculty Liaison (Queen’s);
    • Quarterly scheduled feedback meetings with Project Management team (to inform and improve overall program implementation and evaluation);
    • Events, platforms and initiatives related to the Mastercard Fellowship (campus events, media coverage, Baobab community etc.).
    • Sharing learning, research and experiences- particularly with the University of Gondar community.
  • Maintain a current Canadian study permit;
  • Refrain from holding funding/fellowships concurrently with the Mastercard scholarship except for those allowing conference travel.
  • Contribute to Curriculum Development Initiatives for Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Program as deemed appropriate by Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Staff;
  • Remain committed to return to the University of Gondar in Ethiopia to establish OT training and service in UoG/Ethiopia and to build institutional capacity for disability inclusion upon completion of the MScOT degree for the durations specified in the individual Training Contract signed with UoG.


Duties and Responsibilities of OT Fellows


Occupational Therapy (OT) student learning will be structured to develop capacity for leadership, disability inclusion, and high quality instruction at the University of Gondar. In addition to general OT coursework and requirements, UoG OT Fellows are expected to be active, contributing members of a vibrant Ethiopia-focused cohort, which will involve regular cohort meetings, enrichment activities, and other duties as appropriate. The faculty member of UoG who take on training in OT at Queen’s must be committed to be engaged in the development of the OT profession in Ethiopia – through curriculum development, teaching, and clinical practice.


For more details on Occupational Therapy Fellow expectations, please refer to the MScOT Expectations Acknowledgement Form.


Recruitment, selection and communication protocol

This protocol outlines the procedures and over all policy for UoG faculty who apply for a Mastercard Foundation-funded scholarship for study in the MScOT programs at Queen’s University. The purpose of this protocol is to inform UoG and Queen’s faculty and staff of the processes required to find a successful candidate for the scholarship program at the MScOT level. Queen’s University will admit outstanding candidates from the UoG and provide them with world-class graduate education. In this regard, the recruitment and selection of applicants for the graduate programs is fundamental to the implementation and success of the project. All applications for graduate programs must comply with Queen’s University’s minimum entry requirements, including MScOT specific English language requirements.


In this recruitment and selection protocol;


  • Recruitment refers to a process of searching out the potential applicants and inspiring them to apply for the MScOT scholarship. The basic purpose of recruitment is to create a talent pool of candidates to enable the selection of best candidates for the scholarship.
  • Selection means the series of steps by which the candidates are screened for choosing the most suitable persons for the scholarship. The basic purpose of selection process is to choose the right candidates for the scholarship.
  • Communication means the announcement of the call for applications, and the notification of both unsuccessful and successful candidates for the scholarship.
  • UoG Selection Committee: This is the committee that will identify and select the individuals they would like to put forward to apply to Queen’s as part of the Mastercard Foundation scholarship program. Membership of this committee includes: UoG postgraduate coordinator, Mastercard scholar’s program co-director, manager and faculty development coordinator.


The principal objectives of the recruitment and selection protocol are to ensure that:

  • The candidates put forward by UoG meet Queen’s University admission requirements for
  • MScOT Fellows.
  • Applicants are provided equal opportunity for application and there is a fair and consistent approach taken throughout the recruitment and selection process.
  • Candidates are selected and admitted on the basis of their relevant merits and that no applicant is discriminated based on sex, religion, disability, culture and other dimensions.
  • There is compliance with the UoG and Queen’s institutional policies and project structure.
  • That applicants’ privacy is maintained and all personal information is kept confidential.


Recruitment and Selection Process

The recruitment and selection process involves a series of procedural steps in selecting the successful candidate for the scholarship. The process entails the steps that follow;

1. Publicize the call for scholarship application


By 03 May 2021, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Project team will circulate a call for applications at the University of Gondar. The call for application will be announced through different communication modes (e.g. notice board, email, written letter) to respective departments and schools at UoG. As appropriate, the Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator at the UoG will provide information sessions and one-on-one support to departments and applicants, to inform about the scholarship program, answer questions, and provide any assistance required to the department or individual applicants.


2. Application Process (3 Stages)


The rigorous application process will follow three stages.


STAGE 1: UoG NOMINATION AND PRE-SCREEN (Deadline for applicants to submit application to OT Coordinator at UoG: staring from June 1, 2021- August 16, 2021; Deadline for UoG to submit nomination to Queen’s: August 16, 2021)


Individual applicants must submit their full application to the Mastercard Foundation OT Coordinator at the University of Gondar, Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin (Email:; Phone: +251 911743852) starting June 1 – August 16, 2021. Applications will then be reviewed by a selection committee at the UoG and will undergo a pre-screen for completeness and alignment with eligibility requirements as well as a full review and ranking of each candidate. It is not permissible to reject applicants based on their age, gender, religion, disability, or ethnic group. By August 16 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; via email.


  1. 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.


  1. A letter of intent, no longer than 3 single-spaced pages, describing the applicant’s:
    1. Personal and professional background
    2. Previous and current involvement in disability and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
    3. Motivations for joining the OT program
    4. Post-OT training plans
  2. A professional 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.
  3. Official copy of English test score for one of the accepted tests listed above. Please ensure TRF number is recorded and visible.


Accessibility and Accommodations

The Mastercard Project Office is invested in ensuring that Fellows with disabilities or limitations are well supported with the necessary academic accommodations/ assistive aids to support their success in their studies.

*This information will not be used in the selection process unless a tie-breaker is needed to decide between two equally qualified candidates. If so, the applicant with a disability/limitation will receive preference in keeping with the project goals of enhancing inclusive education for people with disabilities.

**Successful Mastercard Fellows will need to provide documentation of their condition prepared by a health professional to the Queen’s Students Accessibility Services. Your medical information will be kept confidential within the Mastercard Project Team. It will only be shared with your consent to Queen’s University staff who are directly facilitating your supports.


UoG Nominating Committee

Upon receipt of applicant list, and complete application packages from the Faculty Development Coordinator, each nominating committee member will evaluate all application documents of the applicants and create their own individual ranking of each applicant. It is not permissible to reject applicants based on their age, gender, religion, disability, or ethnic group. Each nominating committee member will provide their rank order of preferred candidates (1 being most preferred) to the Faculty Development Coordinator at least 3 days prior to the final selection committee meeting.


Individual committee members shall rank each potential candidate based on the following eligibility criteria:


  1. Applicants who have actively served UoG for a minimum of two academic years or four full academic semesters or equivalent period of time will be given priority.
  2. The applicant should fulfill the application criteria set by the Mastercard Foundation and the targeted department at Queen’s University.
  3. The applicant should have a letter of support from the department with specific details regarding the appropriateness of the candidate for the study, and relevance of the field of study to UoG’s learning– teaching and research activities
  4. The applicant who has evidence of previous or current teaching and community service work in the area of disability and rehabilitation, and/or lived experience of disability will be given greater priority.
  5. The applicant must be willing to study in Canada and return back to UoG for a minimum of four years of service, or be prepared to pay back the full amount of the scholar
  6. If there is more than one eligible candidate in the department who fulfilled the above criteria, then selection of the best candidate depends on the points scored using the four major components of institutional duties and responsibilities at the University of Gonda
  • Teaching effectiveness
  • Clinical/social service preferably in the area of disability
  • Active participation in UoG affairs and professional contribution
  • Rendering active services to the community at large


Proportional rating of these four criteria shall be done according the table below.


S/no Criteria Points (Maximum)
1 Effective teaching as evaluated by students, peers and head 40
2   Clinical/social service in the area of disability 20
3 Active participation in UoG affairs and professional


4 Rendering service to the community at large 20
Total 100

Note: When applicants score equal value, females and persons with disabilities will be selected first.


Following this, the successful applicants shall be selected by consideration of the unique characteristics of an individual. In mid-August  2021 – the UoG Nominating committee will meet to collaboratively discuss and agree upon the final recommendations. At this meeting, the Faculty Development Coordinator will present the group’s independent rankings and the chair of the committee will facilitate a discussion around these rankings. In making their decisions, the committee will consider the following:

  1. Academic ability;
  2. 2. Commitment to pursue career in OT and help establish the service and training in Ethiopia ;
  3. 3. Capacity for leadership;
  4. Willingness/ commitment to return to their faculty position at the University of Gondar following the completion of their MSc OT degree;
  5. 5. Demonstration of commitment to “give back”/community service;
  6. Critical thinking ability.


The committee will make the final decision based on the consensus. When a consensus is not possible, the decision will be based on a simple majority. When there are adequate qualified candidates, the committee will make a recommendation of maximum of 10 target candidates and 5 alternate/wait-listed candidates. The Faculty Development Coordinator will inform participants of the committee decision, and will request that the successful candidates provide written acceptance that they will proceed through the Queen’s selection process.




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. Within this application package, applicants much include:


  1. Complete application form.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Professional Curriculum Vitae (C.V) with a list of community engagement and volunteer activities, as well as all previous academic awards.
  3. 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 (CBR), Motivations for joining the OT program and post-OT training plans.
  4. 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 2022, with finalists and UoG notified of decisions shortly thereafter. Individual applicants will receive notification of acceptance or rejection directly from Queen’s University. The Mastercard Foundation project staff cannot guarantee that the applicant will successfully gain admission to Queen’s – applicants will be judged by the individual departments for their applications strength and fit within the individual academic department. Upon official notification of acceptance at Queen’s, the successful applicant must inform the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Project office Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator: so that they may begin logistical arrangements and coordination of the final approval and two-year leave permission from UoG.


The individual candidates will be responsible for arranging their own housing in Canada, applying for a student visa with the Canadian embassy in Addis Ababa. Candidates are expected to arrive in Kingston, Ontario Canada by May 1 of the year of study to begin advanced English training.


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 placements will be organized in African contexts unless Covid-19 restrictions preclude that.


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 grant 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 professionals 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:


Established at Queen’s University in 1991, the ICACBR is an organization committed to mainstreaming disability and advancing the concept of community based rehabilitation (CBR) practice in partnership with women and men with disabilities and their communities around the world. All of ICACBR’s activities are directed towards achieving international excellence in CBR education, policy, and service delivery and research. Over its 20+years’history, the ICACBR has conducted a wide range of CBR and international development projects in many nations around the world. For further details about the ICACBR, visit:


Appendix A – 2021/2022 Tentative Timeline


Deadline for submission Target Activities
1 May 03, 2021


Request for applications sent out to departments
2 August 16, 2021 Gondar Mastercard Foundation Selection Committee select 5 top candidates and 5 waitlisted candidates
3 August 30, 2021 Deadline for selected Fellows to provide written confirmation of participation in program.
4 November 15,


Deadline for nominated Fellows 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.
5 December 3, 2021 Queen’s MCF team to handover full applications to School of Graduate Studies
6 Feb 1, 2022 Deadline for review of applications at Queen’s (tentative)
7 End of February -March, 2022 Fellows receive official letter of acceptance and begin visa processes
8 End of April –

May 1, 2022

Fellows travel to Kingston to begin English language training


Appendix B – Details of Scholarship


The successful OT Fellow will receive the following funding package:


  1. Original flight and airport transfer from Ethiopia to Canada to begin your studies, three round trips, return flights and airport transfers from Gondar (or other African placement site) to Kingston, Ontario over the two year period, to allow for travel to Africa for all three clinical placements. One way flight and airport transfers to Gondar for final community development placement.
  2. Reimbursement for student visa related costs (such as application fee, postage a passport photos).
  3. Full Queen’s tuition/fees
  4. International student health insurance coverage
  5. A laptop computer
  6. An annual allotment for printing, books, and supplies
  7. An intensive, three-month English for Academic Purposes course, in summer 2022 before commencement of fall MScOT courses.
  8. Modest, one-time installation allowance
  9. Modest, one-time winter clothing allowance
  10. Modest living allowance $1500 USD/month in Canada (adjusted during placement for cost of living in placement location)
  11. All expenses related to placement travel costs (immunizations, visa applications, placement fees, accommodation, food, etc.)

Please Note: If required, there is an opportunity for a one time return trip to Gondar to visit family/loved ones or as a result of an emergency situation. Please connect with Queen’s Student & Faculty Liaison ( for more information

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