Gap Year Programme

GAP stands for “Global Adventure Pursuit” it is a period when students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, study, intern, or work. It is a break from formal education in order to become more immersed in another culture, to volunteer domestically or abroad, to gain experience and maturity, to improve your skills in a sport, language, arts, academics, or take on some combination of any of these things. During a gap year the learning process continues, but in a different format and venue that will inspire and excite a student”. If you have not decided what it is you want to study in future, a gap year may be a wonderful way to discover and explore your passions and interests. The various courses under the Gap year include;

i) Biodiversity Management

Concepts in biodiversity, Biogeography of Guinea and Congo basin forests of West and Central Africa, Biodiversity management, Biodiversity conservation and management in the biodiversity hotspots of Africa, Biodiversity hotspot science, Different approaches to biodiversity management and conservation, Development of community models in biodiversity governance in Africa, Biodiversity and environmental management in Cameroon.

ii) Primates’ Conservation

Cameroon wildlife policy, Bio-geography, Primates of Africa, Ecology and biology of apes, Primatological survey methods, Great apes tracking and bio-monitoring, Introduction to development of protected areas in Cameroon.

iii) Non-Profit Studies

NGO studies are still relatively new in Cameroon and most African countries. NGO or non-profit studies concentrate on the scientific study of NGOs, NGO governance, funding of NGOs, growth of NGOs in the South and North and the study of the Cameroon NGO and/or civil society industry. This will be conducted in collaboration with the NGO Training Center.

iv) Eco-tourism and Conservation

Tourism policy in Cameroon, Theory and practice of eco-tourism, Eco-tourism and protected areas, Exploration of eco-tourism development and practice in Cameroon. Benefits of ecotourism.

v) Habitats Restoration and Soil Health Management

Ecological restoration of landscape and ecosystems levels, Development of community-based Agroforestry project models, Climate change and restoration, Designing climate change and carbon funded restoration projects, REDD+, CDM, Carbon financing and other climate change mechanisms and Climate change mitigation in built and peasant environments.

vi) Forestry and Botanical Conservation

Cameroon forestry policy, Concepts in forestry and plant conservation, Bio-geography of plants in Africa, Survey methods, Resource management, Ecology and conservation, Forest and plant restoration, Soil ecology and management, Development of important plant areas and Centre for plants endemism.

vii) Socio-Economics

Surveys and development of business models for rural livelihoods, Applied social science surveys approaches, Design, Implementation and management of social science survey projects, Economic and financial analysis of projects, Econometric analysis, Biodiversity and ecological economics, Statistical analysis, Market analysis and forecasting, Natural history, Micro-finance studies, Non-profit accounting.

viii) Communication for the Environment

Writing and publishing environmental news, Concepts in environmental sciences, Web design and management, Preparing and executing environmental documentaries, Ecosystem and species ecology, E-blogging, Growth of environmental journalism in Cameroon and in the world and Investigative reporting.

ix) Professional and Scientific Reporting

Writing and editing professional reports, Scientific writing, Preparation of abstracts and executive summaries, Scientific publishing.

x) Birds’ Conservation

Bio-geography of avi-fauna of Cameroon, Surveys and conservation of birds, Introduction to Important Birds’ Areas and development and management of Important Birds Areas.

xi) Fisheries and Mangrove Ecosystems

Analysis of fishing in Cameroon with focus on coastal and inland fishing, Analysis of Cameroon mangroves with focus on its importance to fishery management, Advances in mangrove ecosystems management with focus on community-based management modeling.

xii) Mountains and Hydrology

Exploration of Cameroon Mountains and hydrological basins, important river systems in Cameroon, Management of important Cameroon mountain systems and hydrological basins, Origin and impact of Cameroon Volcanic Line.

xiii) Political Ecology

It will explore the relationships between politics, law and environmental sciences. Furthermore, it will help to assess how politics and law shape modern environmental management and ‘land grap’ initiatives in Cameroon. Other issues will include environment and forestry policy in Cameroon.

xiv) Environmental Impact Assessment

This is a growing field in both the science and development fields. It is of much relevance to both the conservation and development of professionals.

Beneficiaries of the Gap Year Programme

Those targeted by the Gap Year Programme include the first and second degree graduates and or their equivalent diplomas. While the master degree holders will spend just 12 months, first degree holders will choose to spend either 12 months or proceed to register for a professional master degree programme under the Institute for the next 24 months.

Benefits of the Gap Year Programme

  • Graduates are provided with top professional orientation and needed professional experience
  • Top graduates are recruited into ERuDeF expanding through their admission into the master degree programmes in any of Cameroonian Universities
  • Graduates obtain self-funding of their self-designed projects by the time of leaving the programme
  • Other graduates are supported to undergo further studies in national and/ or foreign universities
  • Others will be absorbed into other competitive conservation related organisations in Cameroon and beyond.

Duration of the Gap Year Programme

The Gap Year Biodiversity Management Training Program


i) One year for Master graduates

ii) One year for First Degree graduates (and 3 years for those wishing to work at ERuDeF and/or take on Research/Conservation leadership careers)

1. Master Degree Graduate Programme Schedule

Orientation on ERuDeF’s system and conservation methodologies. It will last for two months
Internship/technical mentoring based on specific areas of interest. It will last for four months
Field assignment of trainees on specific projects. It will last for four months
Reflection, reporting, assessment and career planning. It will last for two months. This will also coincide with graduation. They are issued a professional certificate or a diploma in biodiversity management.

2. First Degree Graduates

Trainees with first degrees will undergo a two and a half to three year training programme.

First Year Training

  • Orientation on ERuDeF’s system and conservation and non-profit management methodologies. It will last for two months
  • Internship/technical mentoring based on specific areas of interest. It will last for four months
  • Field assignment of trainees on specific projects. It will last for four months
  • Reflection, reporting, assessment and career planning. It will last for two months. This will also coincide with graduation.

They are issued a professional certificate or a diploma in biodiversity and/or non-profit management

Second Year Training

Towards the end of the first year of training, trainees having aspirations to work for ERuDeF and its partner programmes are expected to enroll into the Masters programme in any of the following partner national Universities namely; University of Dschang, University of Buea, University of Douala, University of Yaounde. Alternatively, they can enroll in to any of the national private Universities.

This acadernic training that may last for two years is designed to provide the trainee with the scientific bases of conservation as well as a strong academic backing.

This training is sanctioned with a Master Degree awarded by the respective Universities. The research phase of the trainees Master Degree training is conducted under one of the IBiNS research programmes in ERuDeF field sites under IBiNS supervision.

Professional Insertion

During the research phase of the Master Degree trainees, those desiring to stay on with ERuDeF work actively with the development teams at ERuDeF and IBiNS to raise the necessary funds that will permit them to be inserted into ERuDeF at the end of their training. Those not willing to stay at ERuDeF will be provided with a professional diploma in Biodiversity and/or Non-profit Management in addition to their Master Degrees.

Assessment, reflection, reporting and career planning

This will last for two months. It will coincide with a graduation ceremony and award of diplomas.

3. Remuneration and benefits

IBiNS biodiversity and non-profit management training programs are an intensive acadernic professional training programme requiring a long-term and unwavering commitment over 12-36 months period for those with first degrees and 12 months for those with Master degrees. In addition to the much cherished training and experience, ERuDeF and IBiNS will offer,

  • A fellowship of sixty thousand franc to those pursuing the Master degree course;
  • Individual medical coverage;
  • A fellowship of forty thousand to those pursuing the Gap Year programme with a first degree and sixty thousand franc for those having a Master degree;
  • Field logistics is covered by ERuDeF.

Trainees desired to come with their field equipment: tents, sleeping mats and bag packs. This is however obligatory only to those desiring to pursue a career in conservation biology and/or ecotourism.

Application process

Applications start: 1 May 2012
Notice to successful candidates: 31 August 2012
Signed acceptance letter from candidates: 30 September 2012
Information to alternate candidate (if necessary): 10 October 2012
Program start date: 14 October 2012