GENES MSc and PhD Scholarships 2018 for molecular plant breeders in Africa (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline: May 30th 2018

Feeding the increasing populations in Africa requires radical transformation of a largely underdeveloped agriculture over the next four decades. A major challenge is how to increase agricultural production among resource-poor farmers without exacerbating environmental problems and simultaneously coping with climate change, a critical force driving low
agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa.

GENES is funded by the Intra-Africa Program of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission. The consortium intends to:

1) Produce for Africa 10 world-class PjD jolders molecular plant breeders who will accelerate cultivar development to adapt to current and future challenges related to climate change and food and nutrition security;

2) Train 36 MSc jolders genomics scientists and 8 support staff with strong capacity in cultivar development and new molecular breeding approaches to increase knowledge and prospects of improving major crops including cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and bio-fuels

used in Africa for food and nutrition security and the crop production industry;

3) Harmonize training programs and research agenda of the consortium members (universities) on the use of genomic breeding to accelerate cultivar development and increase the resilience of crop production systems;

4) Foster national, regional, and global collaboration and programmatic agenda that promote genomic breeding research and training for agricultural innovations within Africa.
Application process
The GENES mobility grant is open to all students fr om any of the partner universities (Target Group 1) and to students from other African universities (Target Group 2). Currently, 10 PhD and 20 MSc scholarships are available.
Target Group 1:
This category includes students enrolled (for M.Sc application) or graduated (for PhD application) from all partner universities as follows:
1. Ebonyi State University; Nigeria
2. University of Abomey-Calavi; Benin
3. Jimma University; Ethiopia
4. University of Yaunde 1
Target Group 2:
Students from all African countries
To be eligible for a scholarship (i.e. financial support to third parties), master students as well as doctoral candidates referred to as ‘’students’’ must comply with the criteria below at the time of the application for a scholarship:
a) be a national and resident in any of the eligible countries covered by the Intra-Africa Mobility programme of the EACEA, and
b) be registered/admitted in or having obtained a HEI degree (or equivalent) from
i. one of the HEIs included in the GENES consortium (Target group 1)
ii. a HEI not included in the GENES consortium but established in an eligible country (Target group 2) and
c) have sufficient knowledge of the language of the courses in the host countries.
d) NB: students with one-year post B.Sc but not yet admitted or registered in any of the Partner HEIs is also eligible to apply. However, mobility will begin in second year of the study, i.e. sponsorship from GENES will be for research work, only. Students can only benefit from one scholarship under the Intra-Africa or IntraACP academic mobility scheme (regardless
the type of mobility or the funding project).

In line with Agreement with Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme of EACEA, the scholarship will cover:

  • Round trip flight ticket and visa costs (using a preferred travel agent and calculated against direct linear distance);
  • Direct participation costs such as tuition fees, registration fees and service fees where applicable;
  • Comprehensive travel insurance (Health, Accident and Travel)
  • A monthly subsistence allowance for the mobility period.

Application Requirements

Other required documents are listed on the application form and include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Scholarship Application form (download from GENES website)
  3. Student proposal (guidelines available from GENES website)
  4. National ID or Copy of Passport Data page
  5. Certificate of degree
  6. Transcript records
  7. Support letter from sending HEIs
  8. Recommendation letter of home supervisor (mandatory for all applicants)
  9. Enrollment proof in degree course from home institution (for MSc applicants)
  10. Curriculum Vitae
  11. Employment certificate (only for staff)
  12. Certificate of English or French language skills
  13. Proof of socio-economic vulnerability (if available)
Application Procedure:
  • Due to difference in the partners higher education system, specific academic arrangements will be performed to assure that scholars are admitted in the right program and can make benefit of the mobility programme. These arrangements will be fixed on a case-by-case basis between the host HEI and Coordinating Institution.
  • For more information, please contact Dr Celestine Afiukwa [email protected], Head Department of Biotechnology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria. Contacts of HEIs representative are available on
  • Applicants should submit completed application and all supporting documents by email to [email protected] with a copy to Mr Dennis Okporie, [email protected], by 30 May 2018.
  • They should indicate in the subject line (if submitting by email) or super scribe the envelope (if submitting by post) ‘Application for GENES MSc/PhDprogramme’. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
  • Applications should be sent to: [email protected] with copy to Mr Dennis Okporie, [email protected] and Contact information: Department of Crop Production & Landscape Management Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources Management
    Ebonyi State University, P. M. B. 053, Abakaliki, Nigeria.
    +234 8086612106
    Email: [email protected]

Application Document


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