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:
- The value chains of two target crops: Bambara groundnut and amaranth (grain or vegetable). Preference will be given to applicants working on these crops.
- Priority species of NUS plants, as identified at two regional workshops in 2010 (please refer to the call).
- 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.
|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|
Funded by the FP7 Marie Curie European Industrial Doctorate program: Max-CROP
Five ESR positions of 3 years duration are available with NIAB-Trading, Cambridge, UK within the Max-CROP program, in partnership with Wageningen University and Research Centre (WU), The Netherlands. Each ESR candidate will be registered for a PhD at Wageningen University, where they will carry out 50% of their research, having a PhD supervisor at NIAB and WU. In addition to the 3 year research project each ESR will be enrolled in a program of technical and complementary skills training organised as part of the Max-CROP program.
NIAB-Trading (www.niab.com) is a UK-based SME whose primary purpose is providing excellent, independent science-based research and information to support, develop and promote agriculture and horticulture; helping the industry to fulfil its potential in supplying food and renewable resources, while respecting the natural environment. WU (www.wageningenur.nl/en), founded in 1918 is a world leading education and research centre in agricultural-related sciences, providing PhDs in the fields of life and food science, and natural resources.
The 5 PhD research projects available are:
ESR (1): “Would non-host resistance in barley prove a source of durable, race-nonspecific resistance for wheat”
ESR (2): “Development of wheat varieties with reduced gluten toxicity, increasing safety for celiac disease patients”
ESR (3): “Application of a Multiparent Advanced Generation Intercross (MAGIC) in wheat genetics and breeding”
ESR (4): “Population and pathogenicity dynamics of the Brassica pathogen Verticillium longisporum”
ESR (5): “Emerging plant diseases: reducing the impact of Alternaria species on potato production”
For full ESR project descriptions visit www.niab.com.
We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic researchers with a very high standard of English skills, spoken and written.
All projects are strongly interdisciplinary and require candidate’s with good communication and writing skills. The candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for more than 1 year in the past 3 years, short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. The candidates should not already have a PhD, have a 1st degree which in The Netherlands gives access to a PhD program and must have less than 4 years research experience since completing their qualifying 1st degree. Each ESR will receive a competitive salary and mobility allowance as defined for ESRs by the FP7 Marie Curie, Initial Training Network programs.
Following the European Commission’s Guidelines for Equality between women and men the Max-CROP management team supports the promotion of women in the European Research Area, and encourages applications from women.
To apply, please send by email a cover letter identifying which project/s you are interested in and why, describing your suitability for the position, a detailed CV, and the name and address of two referees to support your application to firstname.lastname@example.org by clicking the APPLY button below,
If you wish to have more details regarding specific ESR projects please send your request to the Max-CROP coordinator Dr Lesley A. Boyd at email@example.com.
The advertisement will remain open until suitable candidates are found. Interviews will be held in Wageningen, The Netherlands, starting early in 2014.
|We are looking for a PhD student to analyse soil management strategies and ecosystem services. The ability of soil systems to sustain vegetation and provide all kind of ecosystems services, such as water regulation and healthy environment for organisms, is threatened by deterioration of soil structure and loss of soil organic matter. Farming systems applying alternative soil management strategies may substantially improve soil system functioning, increase resilience to deal with extreme weather conditions and raise nutrient use efficiency.
To assess the overall sustainability of farming systems, calculated nutrient use efficiencies at farm level need to be integrated into a whole-farm life cycle assessment, including off-farm environmental impacts. Such assessments however do currently not include soil functioning at the farm level. The recently developed BCS (BodemConditieScore) indicator provides the possibility to assess soil functioning at farm level. It involves the characterisation of key indicators of soil quality and accounts for within-farm spatial soil heterogeneity.
The successful applicant for this position will: 1) refine and apply the BCS indicator for soil functioning at farm level, 2) perform an “improved” life cycle assessment to compare various farming strategies and 3) update and apply the ecohydrological model SWAP using collected field and management data to explore effects of conventional and improved soil management practices on ecosystem services. This research will take place in two Dutch landscapes; one dominated by arable farming and one dominated by dairy farming.
|A candidate with an MSc degree or equivalent in soil science, agronomy, hydrology or environmental sciences. You have a proven interest in research problems defined in the agricultural domain. You speak and write fluent Dutch and English, you communicate efficiently and excel in problem solving. You have experience in using GIS software and are familiar with statistical techniques to process data. In addition, you are a team-player and are highly effective in time and project planning. The activities involve amongst others field work, laboratory analyses, modeling and supporting education.|
|We offer a fulltime employment (38 hours a week) as PhD researcher within the Soil Geography and Landscape Group for 18 months with a possible extension of 30 months after a positive evaluation. The gross salary will increase from € 2083 in the first year up to € 2664 per month in the fourth year (based on fulltime employment). In addition, we offer a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.|
|Additional information about this vacancy can be obtained from Dr.ir. Gerard Heuvelink,firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: +31 (0) 317-482716/483723.How to apply
Interested? Don’t email directly to the person mentioned above. Please use the website to apply and upload your CV and a short motivation letter.Procedure
Interviews with selected applicants are scheduled for December 11th 2013
|The mission of the Soil Geography and Landscape Group (SGL) of Wageningen University is to improve and share understanding of soil patterns and landscape dynamics. We take an integrative approach that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insights in past, present and future system dynamics and to support sustainable land management.Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.
The University of Göttingen has position openings for 12 Doctoral Researchers in Agricultural / Development Economics to join the Research Training Group (RTG) 1666 “Transformation of Global Agri-Food Systems” (GlobalFood) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The positions are available from April 2014. Contracts will initially be for one year, with renewal option for a total of up to three years. The salary is in accordance with the German public service salary scale (E 13 TV L) with 60% of the regular working hours (23.34h) for the first year and 65% (25.29h) for the remaining two years.
The GlobalFood RTG carries out research on restructuring agricultural markets, including the growing role of international food standards, changing consumer preferences, and the rapid expansion of supermarkets. Projects analyze the implications for supply chain governance, international trade flows, market efficiency, and impacts on rural poverty, food security, and nutrition in developing countries. In terms of methodologies, innovative econometric and experimental economics approaches are used. The research and training activities are carried out in cooperation with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC. The doctoral researcher positions are based in Göttingen (Germany), but will require international travel for data collection and exchange with collaborators.
Successful candidates will have an outstanding Master degree (or equivalent) in agricultural economics, agribusiness, development economics, general economics, or a related discipline, strong analytical skills, experience with quantitative research methods, proven interest in topics related to GlobalFood, strong computer skills, and excellent command of the English language. Experience with data collection in an international context will be a plus.
The University of Göttingen strives to increase its proportion of female staff and specifically encourages qualified women to apply. Disabled persons with corresponding aptitude for the positions will be favored.
Screening of applications will begin on 15 December 2013 and will end when the positions are filled. Further details about the RTG and the application procedure via the Online Application Portal can be found on the GlobalFood website (www.uni-goettingen.de/globalfood).
Applications are only possible using the Online Application Portal:
The following 8 pdf documents are required to be uploaded:
- Motivation letter (max 400 words), indicating your specific interest in the RTG and highlighting your personal strengths for the respective position.
- Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications (if any) and experience with statistical software.
- Full academic record (Certificates + Transcript of record of B.Sc. + M.Sc. or equivalent). Provide a copy of the original and an English translation if documents are not in English or German. If M.Sc. is still ongoing, provide an overview of grades.
- Certificate and Transcript of record of final secondary-school examination (A-Level, Abitur, European Baccalaureate or equivalent).
- Proof of English language skills: certificate (if language of instruction at university was other than English) or provide explanation (if language of instruction at university was English). The University accepts the following proofs: www.uni-goettingen.de/en/107150.html.
- Abstract (max 250 words) of last thesis written (B.Sc. or M.Sc. or equivalent), including thesis title.
- One recent writing sample (for example working paper, full thesis).
- Names and full contact details (incl. phone and email) of two academic reference persons.
Please name the documents in the following way (using your own surname and first name):
- All uploaded documents should be pdf files. Each document should not be larger than 10 MB, all documents together should not exceed 100 MB.
- In order to access the online application you need to accept the Security-Certificate edited by DFN (Deutsches Forschungs-Netz) using the Deutsche Telekom Root Certificate.
- Some browsers delete all entries after using the back-to-form-button. Please ensure that all data are preserved before sending the data. This also holds for the upload areas.
- If the application process is interrupted for any reason, all data will be lost and a new application must be filled.
- After an application has been submitted, changes are no longer possible.
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 2014. Click here for details and application.
The Global Energy Essay Contest invites university students to discuss real and practical solutions on how energy can be used and provided in a sustainable and accessible way. The essay contest is open to all students worldwide that are currently enrolled in a university degree program (any discipline). The first and second-place winners will receive US$1,000 and US$500, respectively, as well as an invitation and travel expenses to the Global Energy Conference at the United Nations in December 2013. The submission deadline is 28 October 2013. Click here for details and application.