The Mastercard Foundation at Queen’s University Scholarship Opportunity for University of Gondar Faculty Members – 2020

As part of the University of Gondar/Queen’s University Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, the Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) is announcing the opportunity for exceptional faculty leaders from the University of Gondar (UoG) to complete a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s. This scholarship would begin in May, 2020 and run through to August, 2022.

The overall goal of this training is to create a cadre 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:

Admission Requirements
A.    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 profession

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

C.     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.

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

E.     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

F.      Applicants are expected to attend an intensive, three-month English for Academic Purposes course in English in the summer of 2020 before entry into the program.

Details of the Scholarship 
 The successful OT Fellow will receive the following funding package:

1.      Three round trip, 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.

2.      Assistance with student visa-related costs

3.      Full Queen’s tuition/fees

4.      Student health insurance coverage

5.      A laptop computer

6.      An annual allotment for required printing, books, and supplies 

7.      An intensive, three-month English for Graduate School Preparation course, in summer 2020 (before the commencement of fall 2020 MScOT courses)

8.      Modest, one-time installation allowance

9.      Modest, one-time winter clothing allowance

10.  Modest living allowance (Kingston; 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.)

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. UoG faculty 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.

Application Process
 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: July 31, 2019; Deadline for UoG to submit nomination to Queen’s: August 13, 2019)

Individual applicants must submit their full application to the Mastercard Foundation OT Coordinator at the University of Gondar, by July 31, 2019. 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. By August 13, 2019, the UoG selection committee will forward its student ranking, as well as the following documents for each of its nominated applicants to Ms. Jasmine Montagnese Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program 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.

2.      A letter of intent, no longer than 3 single-spaced pages, describing the applicant’s:

a.       Personal and professional background

b.      Previous and current involvement in disability and Community Based

Rehabilitation (CBR)

c.       Motivations for joining the OT program

d.      Post-OT training plans

3.      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.

4.      Official copy of English test score for one of the accepted tests listed above. Please ensure TRF number is recorded and visible.

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 post secondary 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 2020, 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 Fellows are required to relocate to Kingston, Ontario, Canada by early May 2020, 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.

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:

Appendix A – 2019/2020 Timeline – OT

•      May 1, 2019 – Request for applications sent out to departments

•      July 31, 2019 – Deadline for departments to submit ranking of candidates

•      August 13, 2019 – Gondar Mastercard Foundation Selection Committee select 5 top candidates and 5 waitlisted candidates

•      August 31, 2019 – Deadline for selected students to provide written confirmation of participation in program

•      November 15, 2019 – 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, 2019 – Queen’s MCF team to handover full applications to School of Graduate Studies

•      Feb 1, 2020 – 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, 2020 – Students travel to Kingston to begin English language training