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Call for Applications for a Scholarship for a First Level Master Program in Coffee Economics and Science

Call for Applications for a Scholarship for a First Level Master Program in Coffee Economics and Science Ernesto Illy

With the vision of scaling up investment in the development of the full potential of the young people in Cameroon, their innovation capital and addressing the gender gap, the United Nations Population Fund in Cameroon, in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation in Italy, is launching a call for applications to select one female candidate to benefit from a scholarship to participate in the 14th edition of the  International First Level Master Program in Coffee Economics and Science Ernesto Illy, a collaboration between the University of Udine and the University of Trieste, of a value of 60 CFU, for the academic year 2024-2025,


The Ernesto Illy Foundation offers annual financial aid to worthy graduates coming from coffee-producing countries to cover the Master tuition fee and most of the logistics costs. Cameroon is the seventh largest coffee producer in quantity of unique Robusta and Arabica coffee quality.

UNFPA is implementing its 8th Cooperation Programme (CPD8) between the Government of Cameroon and UNFPA for the period 2022-2026 that is women and youth-centered and targets people’s vulnerabilities to leave none behind while contributing to three transformative results (end unmet need for family planning, end preventable maternal death and end gender-based violence and harmful practices). Innovation and digitalization are key accelerators of UNFPA work in Cameroon and human rights-based and gender transformative approaches are guiding the design and implementation of UNFPA interventions.


The application is open to Cameroonian women graduates interested in working in the world of coffee (and in the agri-food sector in general) intending to benefit from appropriate multidisciplinary preparation throughout the production chain, from cultivation to hotel and retail sales, via logistics, trade and the industrial process.


Those interested in participating in the process and meeting the eligibility criteria below should forward their expression of interest encompassing the document listed below, uniquely in a digital format (a single PDF file) to consultantcmr@unfpa.org by midnight of 30th June (WAT).

Information on the master degree This master’s degree includes 400 hours of lessons and includes   9 educational modules: 5 modules are dedicated to coffee economics and 4 modules to the coffee sciences. The Master that will have the majority of lessons taking place online, gives the participants 60 formative university credits A description of the master’s program is attached. The course curriculum, to be given entirely in English, is open only to University Graduates (bachelor’s) in Economics, Engineering, Sciences, Agriculture and similar disciplines.


More precisely:

  • Online classes will be held on the Microsoft TEAMS platform from January to November 2025. Each student will have a Microsoft TEAMS account/profile to access the platform and do all the necessary actions and activities to attend the Masterclasses. There will be both live sessions (in the Central Europe Time zone) or pre-recorded ones.
  • December 2025 will be dedicated to the last remaining exams to take and/or make-up exams and for students to complete their project work.
  • There will be 9 exams to pass and complete to obtain the title. The credits for 9 modules are 57 CFU, while the final Project Work covers the remaining 3 CFU for a total of 60 credits. The project will be chosen or assigned during the first month of the Program and a supervisor will accompany the students.
  • the student will spend 4-5 weeks in Trieste, Italy generally in the period of May/June
  • Graduation will be held online one year after the Program start date, in January, when every student will have finally completed the Program and consequently, obtain their title.


Information on the scholarship The scholarship includes:

  • 100% of the university tuition fee (equivalent to 15.000 Euro) of the International Master of 1st level in Coffee Economics and Science “Ernesto Illy”
  • All the teaching materials (texts books, handouts and lecture notes) needed to attend the residential period of the Master program in Trieste, Italy (4/5 weeks);
  • All meals provided during the days of class of the Master program in Italy;
  • Accommodations for the residential period in Italy;
  • The round-trip ticket from the country of origin to Trieste, Italy;
  • A subscription for the public transport network of Trieste, Italy (bus) for the residential period;
  • The transfer service from and to Venice or Trieste Airport.

The scholarship does not include eventual passport and Visa fees, any administrative costs not mentioned, nor a laptop and internet access to attend online lessons as well as pocket money for staying in Italy.

UNFPA country office in Cameroon will also contribute to supporting the student in liaising with the Embassy of Italy in Yaoundé to obtain the visa for the period in Italy as well as for the validation of the student’s university degree.

Eligibility criteria To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates must meet the following conditions:

  • Being a woman
  • Being of Cameroonian nationality or a Refugee living in Cameroon for the last 3 years
  • Being younger than 24 years old;
  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in economics, engineering, science, agriculture, or any other similar/related discipline;
  • Not have previously received this scholarship;
  • Being enrolled in a Cameroonian university in a course closely related to the programme.
Application procedures and deadline The application must include the following documents:

  • A copy of the student’s valid passport et/ou and identity card (the passport will be necessary once the master starts) 
  • A Cover and Motivation Letter
  • an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae in the European format (available here)
  • A copy of the student card or receipts and registration form for the current year
  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher in the course of study (University, head of department, etc);
  • A summary (1 page) of an initial idea of the final Project Work


Selection process An evaluation committee will be convened for the final selection of candidates, utilizing a two-stage scoring process to identify the most qualified individual. The first stage will involve a review of resumes and cover letters to verify qualifications.  The second stage will consist of an interview to assess the candidate’s experience and skills

The process will first review CVs and cover motivation letters, verify qualifications, and then assess the candidate’s experience and skills in an interview.

The candidates will be assessed on: (i) the academic quality of the applicant (ii) their motivation, including interest in the field of coffee and UNFPA mandate  (iii) language skills (iv) final project work idea.

The application period closes on the 30th of June at midnight (WAT). The selected candidate will be contacted by the 6th of July and will have 72 hours to accept or decline the opportunity and scholarship.

See Full Announcement Here

UNFPA scholarship course outline