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2023 Smile Train and Kids Operating Room Surgical Scholarships

Smile Train and Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) are collaborating to provide 40 scholarships for trainees wishing to study Pediatric Surgery within the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) training programmes. Smile Train/KidsOR Scholarships are funded by Smile Train and administered through KidsOR.

Applicants from the following countries will be prioritised.

Cape Verde, Cameroun, Chad, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, DRC, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

About Smile Train/KidsOR Scholarships

  • Applicants joining the FCS level will be prioritised.
  • MCS entry level applicants will only be considered for countries that are disproportionately
    disadvantaged due to shortage or absence of paediatric surgeons.
  • The scholarship duration is three to five years for COSECSA, three to six years for WACS depending
    on the entry level; either MCS or FCS.
  • The scholarship is for those wishing to pursue Paediatric Surgery only and an additional 8-month training in cleft lip and palate.
  • The applicant must meet the entry requirements for registration in the college they are joining.
    • The applicant must be domiciled in one of the Sub-Saharan countries.
  • The applicant will be required to work in paediatric clinical practice in a public institution for a duration equivalent to the years trained in their home country after successful completion of their training program.
  • The applicant will be required to provide cleft care as part of their clinical practice, for a
    duration equivalent to the years trained.

Financial Support Provided

The scholarship cover expenses towards:

  • Academic tuition, examination and graduation (paid directly to the college).
  • Monthly stipend as a contribution towards living expenses, accommodation, and transport (paid
    directly to the scholar).

Selection Process

Please note: Applicants are advised to first seek registration from the college where they wish to train and receive confirmation of registration before applying for a scholarship. Applicants are advised to apply to the college whose training is recognised in their country of origin.

Selection of trainees is done in two ways:

  • Option 1 – In consultation with the surgical associations/societies in countries or paediatric
    associations where they exist. The surgical association leadership is mandated to identify suitable candidates and submit their details and supporting documents to KidsOR or Smile Train.
  • Option 2 – Applicants can apply for a scholarship directly with KidsOR or Smile Train. In this case,
    the applications are shared with the leadership of the  country’s surgical association and on merit
  • For both options, once the scholarship grant has been approved by Smile Train and KidsOR,
    notification and details of the scholarship are shared with the relevant Ministry of Health officials.
    The Ministry is involved from the beginning for possibility of future employment of the trainees as paediatric specialists after successful completion of their training program.
  • The application process is all year round subject to the colleges’ varied timetables.

Documents to be Submitted

  • Applicants should include a personal statement indicating: their future goals, a current CV, and a
    letter of recommendation from their surgical association leadership. If there is no surgical
    association in the applicant’s country, the applicant may include a letter of recommendation from a senior surgeon in their country.
  • Confirmed registration to the college of choice.
  • Completed applications should be sent to: or

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