International Development Award

In the same way that Dr Elizabeth Casson, our founder, was a pioneer of occupational therapy in England, we aim to follow in her footsteps and work to expand the profession in other countries.

The Award

In 2016, the entry to occupational therapy practice moved from a Diploma in Occupational Therapy to a Bachelors of Science (BSc) in Occupational Therapy.  While this is a positive development for the profession, in some countries this has brought the challenge of potentially having too few educators appropriately qualified to teach for the next generation of occupational therapists.

The Elizabeth Casson Trust responded to this concern with the introduction of our International Development Award in 2021. In our first year, we funded 6 therapists in the East Africa Community Countries to achieve their BSc. In 2022, we funded a further 7. Attaining a BSc is an important step to be eligible to progress to higher degrees.

Our ambition is that by providing this funding to support the academic progression of occupational therapists, it will be possible to develop an appropriately skilled and qualified workforce for institutions to educate and graduate occupational therapists at BSc level within their own country, giving the profession the capacity and leadership to grow and become self-sustaining into the future.


Awards 2022

In  2021, the Elizabeth Casson Trust made our first International Development Awards to a small group of individuals from Uganda and Tanzania; the awards are to support them developing from a Diploma in Occupational Therapy to a Bachelors of Science (BSc) in Occupational Therapy. Attaining a BSc is an important step to be eligible to progress to higher degrees. This cohort of occupational therapists are now nearing completion of their first year of study (see below) and the Trust is again preparing to offer International Development Awards in 2022.

For this round, occupational therapists who are practicing or teaching in the following countries will be invited to apply:

Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Our online application submission point will open on 18 April 2022 on this page. The closing date for applications is strictly 23 May 2022, 17:00 UTC.

The award will be available to occupational therapists registered and working in these countries who:

  • hold a diploma in occupational therapy
  • hold an employment contract as a tutor/ academic instructor/ lecturer or are a practice/ fieldwork educator
  • can demonstrate that they are committed to CPD and development of the profession

To submit an application, you will be asked to answer a series of six (6) questions and to also provide:

  • a transcript of your occupational therapy qualification
  • a letter of support from your line manager confirming they will:
    • offer approved study leave
    • support you in changing your practice on you return, to implement the knowledge and skills you acquired through the BSc
  • a reference letter evidencing your commitment to CPD (for example from your professional organisation or employer)
  • a CV/ resumé

If you meet these requirements and are considering applying, you may want to begin to prepare these documents now.

Once again, we would like to sincerely thank Matumo Ramafikeng, President of OTARG, for her continued support and generous assistance in developing this award.

Our First Awards 2021

The application round opened in May 2021 and at the July 2021 meeting of trustees, the Board approved the award of our first International Development Awards. Six individuals from the East African Community region have been selected through interview to receive funding to support their BSc studies. Completion of their studies will enable them to go on to study at masters level and be able to teach in BSc Occupational Therapy programmes in their home countries. Congratulations to these individuals:  Andrew Mubangizi and Hassan Kato of Uganda, and Simon Mallya, Thomas Myagila, George Shirima and Irene Chuwa of Tanzania. We would also like to thank their employers who have agreed to provide study leave.

We would like to thank DrMatumo Ramafikeng, President of the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group, for her help in developing and promoting this initiative.


It is the Elizabeth Casson Trust’s current intention to offer the International Development Awards each year to honour our founder’s pioneering spirit.


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