Blog Archives

Research proposal writing courses

Many African farmers, especially in marginal areas, rely on neglected and underutilized species (NUS) for their livelihoods. But the commercialization of NUS is constrained by a weak knowledge base, poorly developed value chains and inadequate capacity and policies. Often, bottlenecks require biophysical and socio-economic research to generate new knowledge that value chain actors can apply to increase sales and profits.

The project ‘Strengthening capacities and informing policies for developing value chains of neglected and underutilized crops in Africa’,  through a grant from the EU-ACP Science & Technology programme, is seeking to develop such research capacity.

Bioversity International, the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and our partners now offer young African scientists training in the art of developing research project proposalsthat solve problems related to the value chains of Bambara groundnut and amaranth in particular, and NUS in general.

This Call for Research Applications is focused on the value chains of priority NUS plants in three sub-regions: Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa, respectively. We are interested in applications that focus on:

  1. The value chains of two target crops:  Bambara groundnut and amaranth (grain or vegetable). Preference will be given to applicants working on these crops.
  2. Priority species of NUS plants, as identified at two regional workshops in 2010 (please refer to the call).
  3. Other NUS plants of national/regional importance.

Three regional courses will be held, targeting scientists in eligible countries only (see table below).

Download the Call for Research Applications and the Application Form on this page. Please read both carefully and follow the instructions and guidelines for submitting an application and writing the research note on your proposed project.

Deadline for application is 24 August, 2014.

Submit your complete application to the relevant email indicated in the Call and Application form. Late applications will not be considered. Only the selected participants will be notified by 10 September 2014.

Date Venue Eligible countries Organizer
27-31 Oct 2014 Zimbabwe Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique,  South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Africa University, Zimbabwe
3-7 Nov 2014 Kenya Burundi, Kenya,  Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda University of Nairobi, Kenya
17-21 Nov 2014 Benin Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast,  Mali, Niger, The Gambia, Togo Laboratory of Agricultural Biodiversity and Tropical Plant Breeding (LAAPT), Benin, in collaboration with University of Lomé, Togo

PhD course – Global Challenges: Urbanization, Livelihoods, and Food Security

A collaborative effort of SLU, University of Botswana, DocLinks, and ANAFE is providing opportunity for PhD students for a short course on Urbanization, Livelihoods, and Food security.

The course will take place between July 7th and August 15th 2014. During the first two weeks, the course participants will spend time at home reviewing the literature and preparing for the course. Then between July 28th and August 8th, the students will attend the course in Botswana together with other course participants and facilitators from around the world. The course programme will include lectures, discussions and four field trips. Lastly, the time between August 9th and August 15th, the students will be expected to complete their individual written assignments to successfully complete the course.

The residential venue for the course is at the University of Botswana main campus in Gaborone. The address is 4775 Notwane Rd. Gaborone, Botswana.

All PhD students from SLU, African Universities and other universities in Europe  that have relevant bachelor and master’s degrees, are welcome to apply for the course.

Funding from SLU will partially cover PhD students’ travel costs, accommodation, food costs, and other costs related to the course depending on need and availability of funds. The number of participants is limited to 30 students and it is necessary to apply to attend the course.

To apply, click here. Deadline for application is 30th April, 2014, will results of application will be published on 31st May, 2014.

For more details, click here.

Agris Mundus Masters in Agriculture and Natural Resources 2014-2016

Agris Mundus is a part of the European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus program to support higher education at European universities. Agris Mundus invites qualified individuals worldwide for two-year master’s degrees oriented towards agriculture and natural resources in the developing world. The courses are given at the member universities of Agris Mundus. Applicants can apply for scholarships to offset fees and living expenses. The next application deadline is 06 February 2014Click here for details and application.

The Agris Mundus MSc is a product of AGRINATURA, the European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development. The whole course is coordinated by Montpellier SupAgro.

Agris mundus is also linked to a European PhD course, offered by the same consortium of universities: AgTraIn

Associated Country Women of the World – Projects 2014

Deadline: 31 Jan 2014

The Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) supports women in their efforts to reduce poverty, improve health, and advance education through 460 member societies active in over 70 countries. Projects in the “Water for All Fund” address water, sanitation, and hygiene. Projects in “Women Feed the World Fund” include support for progressive farming techniques, and upgrading women’s skills in agriculture. Applications from member societies should be completed no later than 30 November 2013. Applications from non-member organizations should be submitted 01-31 January 2014. Click here for details and application.

UK Government – Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Fellowship Opportunities

Deadline: 20 Nov 2013

Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) is the joint program of three UK agencies, in coordination with UK universities, to support research on how ecosystems in developing countries can be sustainably managed to contribute to poverty reduction and inclusive and sustainable growth. ESPA invites applications for two categories of fellowships: early-career research (for all nationalities), and research capacity strengthening (for nationals of low-income countries). In both programs, fellows will link their research to active ESPA projects. The closing date for applications is 20 November 2013. Clicke here for details and application.

Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) Fellowship programme

Deadline:  31 Oct 2013

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) are inviting expressions of interest from institutions and individuals interested in participating in a Fellowship and research capacity strengthening programme on climatic impacts. The programme will, contingent on there being sufficient interest, be funded by the UK Government, commencing in 2014.

One year Fellowships will be awarded for research proposals on the impact of climate change in Africa, with up to 100 fellowships funded over four years; 40 post-MSc researchers and 60 post-Doctoral researchers. Fellowships will be specifically targeted at early career researchers in African institutions.

The programme will also provide support and training to develop the institutional research capacity of participating institutions (both “home” and “host” institutions – See below). Prospective fellows will be nominated from and hosted by African universities and research institutions.

The Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) is a  DFIDfunded project  aimed at developing Africa-based research capacity in order to enhance understanding of local impacts of climate change and ultimately inform and influence national and regional policy responses as well as international debate. The project will be implemented by The Association of Commonwealth Universities and the African Academy of Sciences

CIRCLE will competitively identify 60 post-PhD and 40 post-MSc fellows from selected “home institutions” in sub-Saharan Africa to undertake structured research skills development through supervised placement in Africa-based “host research institutions”.

The main research themes will be energy, water, agriculture, health and livelihoods as well as the political economy of dealing with climate change impacts. The focus will be to enhance the research skills of African scientists through experiential learning by doing research that offer solutions to the impacts of climate change at local, national and regional levels. Fellows will be supported and mentored by a combination of African and international researchers to define researchable climate impact research questions in consultation with relevant public interest groups.

You can also find the links below:

See attachments for details.

Download this file (CIRCLE - Call for Expression of Interest_Deadline 31October2013.doc)CIRCLE – Call for Expression of Interest_Deadline 31October2013.doc
Download this file (CIRCLE - Call for Expression of Interest_Deadline 31October2013.pdf)CIRCLE – Call for Expression of Interest_Deadline 31October2013.pdf

I If you have any queries regarding this expression of interest please forward them to Dr Benji Gyampoh at or Ms Jay Kubler

Australian Government’s Scholarships for African Students, 2014

Australian Government offers scholarships for African students in Australia. The scholarships are available for pursuing master’s degree program commencing in 2014. Students must have a minimum English language proficiency equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 4.5. (Equivalent TOEFL scores are also accepted). Applicants must be at least 25 and not more than 50 years of age at the date of your application and must have at least three (3) years’ relevant work experience. The scholarship holders will get the full costs of tuition fees for up to two years. The application deadline is 13th December 2013.

Scholarships are provided in the field of Agriculture/Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Public Policy (Moroccan, South Sudan), Agriculture/Food Security, Health, Natural Resource Management, Public policy, Water and Sanitation, Mining and Resources (Algerians), Agriculture (Tunisia), Agriculture/Food Security, Education and Health (Egypt), Agriculture/Food Security, Mining, Resources and Public Policy (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana), Agriculture/Food Security, Health, Infrastructure, Natural Resource Management, Science and Technology and Water and Sanitation(Ethiopia, Liberia), Agriculture/Food Security, Education, Health, Infrastructure, Natural Resource Management and Public Policy (Uganda).

Details of the awards and how to apply are found here.

Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers 2013


This annual award, which began in 2007, is organized and presented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan. Its purpose is to increase motivation among young researchers contributing to research and development in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and related industries in developing countries, which is promoted by Japan for the benefit of those countries. Up to three young researchers who have shown

  1. outstanding performance in research and development, and
  2. outstanding research achievements that will lead to future technological innovation

will be invited to Japan to attend the commendation ceremony this November and accept their awards and cash gifts (US$5,000 will be given per awardee).


  1. Must be foreign researchers doing research activities outside Japan
  2. Must be under the age of 40 (as of January 01, 2013)
  3. Must be engaged in research and development in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and related industries in developing countries
  4. Must be able to attend the commendation ceremony. (Travel expenses shall be borne by the organizer.)

Application deadline : June 14, 2013 (Friday)

Guidelines and application forms

This and including all the forms can be found at the link below:

Submit applications by post to

Secretariat of the Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers
International Relations Section,
Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)
1-1, Ohwashi Tsukuba City, Ibaraki
305-8686 Japan

Canada-Africa research exchanges – CAREG

 APPLY HERE – Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Canada-Africa Research Exchange Grants program is part of a two-year pilot program funded by the International Development Research Centre.

IDRC aims to fund seven to eight grants worth a maximum of $40,000 each to support short-term exchanges between Canadian and African universities and research institutes that address IDRC research themes. As well as joint research activities, the program will also provide some support to activities aimed at improving student training at the graduate level.

For more details, follow this link/:


The Innovation Prize for Africa


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) are delighted to announce the call for applications for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). Too often, innovators and entrepreneurs are not highly profiled on the African development agenda. It is IPA’s mission to elevate attention around innovative work and help support the vision of entrepreneurs. The prize honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute towards the development of new products, increased efficiency or cost savings in Africa. The prize also promotes the efforts of young African men and women pursuing science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities that aim to contribute to sustainable development in Africa.

The goals of the 2013 Prize are to:

  • Mobilize leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation
  • Promote innovation across Africa in key sectors of interest through the competition
  • Promote science, technology and engineering as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by profiling success applicants
  • Encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.

IPA anticipates contributing to the following outcomes:

  • Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa
  • Increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and
  • Increased economic activity and African led development that results in lasting impact.

The 2013 IPA prize will consist of three prizes: first prize $100, 000, runner-up prize $25,000 and special prize for social impact innovation $25,000 in the areas of:

·         Agriculture and agribusiness

·         Environment, energy and water

·         Health and wellbeing

·         ICT’s

·         Manufacturing and service industry

Ready to get started?

1. Read our full 2013 IPA Call for Applications and Criteria for Entries.

2. Learn about our 2013 Priority Areas.

3. Apply for the 2013 Prize!