2013 scholarship for PhD under “Support to agricultural research for development of strategic crops in Africa (SARD-SC).

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Application Deadline: 31 July 2013

Apply now for a 2013 scholarship for PhD under the project “Support to agricultural research for development of strategic crops in Africa (SARD-SC)”, funded by the African Development Bank (SPECIAL PROCUREMENT NOTICE – SPN)

This invitation for applications follows the general procurement notice AfDB43-04/12 for this project that was published in UN Development Business online on 5 May, 2012.

Rice is the fastest growing staple commodity in sub-Saharan Africa, and therefore considered one of the main engines for economic growth. The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice, www.africarice.org), together with its partners, is developing new technologies and innovations through Taskforces. These comprise NARS collaborators from participating countries and focus on one of five main intervention areas: breeding, agronomy, gender, processing/value addition and policy. Through the Taskforces, new technologies and innovations and local knowledge will be introduced as good agricultural practice (GAP) baskets in Rice Sector Development Hubs.

Each country has a couple of such Hubs, where all value chain players work together, through multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs), to focus efforts and achieve maximum impact. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners AfricaRice and the International Center
for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have received a grant of about US$ 64 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the project “Support to Agricultural Research for development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC)”.

The strategic crops within the context of the project are cassava, maize, rice and wheat. The overall objective of SARD-SC is to enhance food and nutrition and contribute to poverty reduction in AfDB’s low-income member Countries (RMCs). Its specific objective is to enhance the productivity and income of four CAADP’s priority value chains (cassava, maize, rice and wheat) on a sustainable basis.

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Under this project, AfDB has made a contribution to AfricaRice to implement a 5-year project, which aims to upgrade the rice value chain in Africa through the

(i) generation of agricultural technologies and innovations;
(ii) sustainable dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovations across the value chain; and
(iii) sustainable capacity strengthening of project stakeholders.
As part of its human capacity building component, the project is offering up to ten (10) PhD scholarships at African universities from 2013 onwards. Scholarships will be comprehensive and include stipend, research costs, tuition, travel and insurance.

Areas of research
AfricaRice is offering scholarships related to the rice value chain, in the field of agronomy; mechanization; gender; agribusiness; marketing; or any other related field. The research will comprise in-depth research conducted in a specific hub(s) in one of the member countries of AfricaRice. Suggested topics are detailed below, although the recruitment panel invites other topics related to the rice value chain.

Area Suggested topic

  • Agronomy Yield gap assessment and development of baskets of good agricultural practices with rice farmers
  • Agronomy Decision-support systems for improved rice crop management
  • Mechanization Quantitative and qualitative loss assessment in rice during harvest and post harvest operations
  • Knowledge management Development of knowledge products using information and communication technology to facilitate diffusion of innovations in the rice value chain
  • Gender Impact of technology introduction in the rice value chain on gender roles and balances
  • Value chain/agri-business The role of multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) in ameliorating the rice value chain
  • Marketing Enhancing value addition through contracts, marketing and branding of rice products

Qualifications
 Candidates must satisfy the target university’s admission requirements for PhD studies.
 Candidates must have identified a supervisory Professor at a reputable African University, who must have agreed to the research proposal written by the applicant.
 Strong preference is given to PhD candidates already enrolled in a University, and which have finished all or most of the coursework requirements.

Eligibility
 The scholarships are open to nationals from any country.
 Enrolment can be in any reputable African university.

Application procedure
Application details are on www.africarice.org (follow the link on “Capacity Development”).

Candidates will be required to send the following to Mrs. Adandedjan (c.l.adandedjan@cgiar.org):
(1) application form;
(2) coverletter;
(3) curriculum vitae;
(4) a brief proposal of the research (one-page maximum);
(5) endorsement letter of a supervisory Professor;
(6) BSc diploma;
(7) MSc diploma;
(8) if applicable, proof of enrolment in a PhD program at a reputable University;
(9) if applicable, transcripts of PhD coursework at a reputable University.

Scholarship Provider: http://www.africarice.org

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