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
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Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity University of Port Harcourt Choba, Rivers State, Nigeria 19-23 May 2014

Technological innovation is taking place at a breath-taking pace. Simple, open source internet-based applications and services designed to enhance on-line collaboration are now available to the wider public at little or no cost at all. These new online technologies known as Web 2.0 and ‘social media’ enable people to collaborate to create, share and publish information.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Supporting the adoption of Web 2.0 applications represents a great opportunity for meeting it.

The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in collaboration with CTA will host a 5-day Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity on 19-23 May, 2014. Participants will be introduced to selected web 2.0 applications and will learn how to use them hands-on.The Learning Opportunity will cover advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social media. Participants will get a chance to see what others have done, get hands-on experience on how to use innovative applications, and assess how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organisation. This Learning Opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively.

Programme of the Learning Opportunity

  • Introduction to the participatory World Wide Web (Web 2.0) and to Social Media;
  • Search Magic: How to conduct advanced multilingual online searches;
  • Information Self Service: How to get selected information served to you via alerts and RSS feeds;
  • Remote collaboration: How to develop content remotely using wikis and Google Docs;
  • Online mapping: How to locate your organisation and your projects on a online Map;
  • How to communicate voice over the internet at no cost;
  • Online publishing (micro-blogging and blogging);
  • Professional / corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook);
  • Web 2.0 self-instruction (introduction to iMARK)

Participants – Eligibility and responsibilities

Participation in the Learning Opportunity is free of charge, but subject to acceptance by the organisers. 25 participants will be accepted for the event.

Eligibility criteria

  • be computer literate and conversant with browsing the Internet;
  • have regular access to a computer ( ownership of a computer is an advantage);
  • be competent in the use of the English language;
  • have an active e-mail account;
  • be actively engaged in agriculture and rural development / natural resource management / biodiversity conservation in the domains of ICT for development (ICT4D), policies, markets; publishing, communication and media;
  • be in a position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training;
  • be a resident of Nigeria.

Responsibilities

Accepted participants will be responsible for all costs related to their travel to and from the venue at the University of Port Harcourt, their accommodation, breakfast and supper, their daily subsistence allowances, and for bringing their own WIFI-enabled laptop to the event.

Entitlements

During each event, the organisers will provide lunch and refreshments and distribute copies of CTA publications and instructional material.

Feedback

The organisers will inform successful applicants about the status of their application two weeks before the commencement of each course. Successful applicants will receive confirmation letters; others will be duly informed about the outcome of their application.

Apply, Click here. Deadline is 22nd April, 2014.

Download PDF here.

Source: Web2forDev Website

Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity Bowen University Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria 07-11 April 2014

Technological innovation is taking place at a breath-taking pace. Simple, open source internet-based applications and services designed to enhance on-line collaboration are now available to the wider public at little or no cost at all. These new online technologies known as Web 2.0 and Social Media applications enable people to collaborate to create, share and publish information.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Supporting the adoption of Web 2.0 applications and Social Media represents a great opportunity for meeting it.

The Bowen University in collaboration with CTA will host a 5-day Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity on 7-11 April 2014. Participants will be introduced to selected web 2.0 applications including social media and will learn how to use them hands-on.

The Learning Opportunity will cover advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social networking. Participants will get a chance to see what others have done, get hands-on experience on how to use innovative applications, and assess how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organisation.

This Learning Opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively.

Programme of the Learning Opportunity

  • Introduction to the participatory World Wide Web (Web 2.0) and to social media;
  • Search Magic: How to conduct advanced multilingual online searches;
  • ·         Information Self Service: How to get selected information served to you via alerts and RSS feeds;
  • ·         Remote collaboration: How to develop content remotely using wikis and Google Docs;
  • ·         Online mapping: How to locate your organisation and your projects on an online map;
  • ·         How to communicate voice over the internet at no cost;
  • ·         Online publishing (micro-blogging and blogging);
  • ·         Professional / corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook);
  • ·         Web 2.0 self-instruction (introduction to IMARK).

Participants – Eligibility and responsibilities

Participation in the Learning Opportunity is free of charge, but subject to acceptance by the organisers. 25 participants will be accepted for the event.

Eligibility criteria

  • be computer literate and conversant with browsing the Internet;
  • have regular access to a computer (ownership of a computer is an advantage);
  • be in a position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training;
  • be competent in the use of the English language;
  • have an active e-mail account;
  • be actively engaged in agriculture and rural development / natural resource management / biodiversity conservation in the domains of ICT for development (ICT4D), policies, markets; publishing, communication and media; and
  • be resident in Nigeria.

Responsibilities

Accepted participants will be responsible for all costs related to their travel to and from the venue at the Bowen University in Iwo, accommodation, breakfast and supper, daily subsistence allowances, and for bringing their own WIFI-enabled laptop to the event.

Entitlements

During each event, the organisers will provide lunch and refreshments and distribute copies of CTA publications and instructional material.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please click on this link to complete the online form.

Deadline for applications: 24 March, 2014

Feedback

The organisers will inform successful applicants about the status of their application ~two week before the commencement of the course. Successful applicants will receive confirmation letters. Others will be duly informed about the results of their application.

Web2forDev Website

Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity, University of Namibia Windhoek, Namibia 07-11 April 2014

Technological innovation is taking place at a breath-taking pace. Simple, open source internet-based applications and services designed to enhance on-line collaboration are now available to the wider public at little or no cost at all. These new online technologies known as Web 2.0 and Social Media applications enable people to collaborate to create, share and publish information.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Supporting the adoption of Web 2.0 applications and Social Media represents a great opportunity for meeting it.

The Department of Information and Communication Studies of the University of Namibia (UNAMin collaboration with CTA will host a 5-day Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity on 7-11 April 2014. Participants will be introduced to selected web 2.0 applications including social media and will learn how to use them hands-on.

The Learning Opportunity will cover advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social networking. Participants will get a chance to see what others have done, get hands-on experience on how to use innovative applications, and assess how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organisation.

This Learning Opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively.

Programme of the Learning Opportunity

  • Introduction to the participatory World Wide Web (Web 2.0) and to social media;
  • Search Magic: How to conduct advanced multilingual online searches;
  • Information Self Service: How to get selected information served to you via alerts and RSS feeds;
  • Remote collaboration: How to develop content remotely using wikis and Google Docs;
  • Online mapping: How to locate your organisation and your projects on an online map;
  • How to communicate voice over the internet at no cost;
  • Online publishing (micro-blogging and blogging);
  • Professional / corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook);
  • Web 2.0 self-instruction (introduction to IMARK).

Participants – Eligibility and responsibilities

Participation in the Learning Opportunity is free of charge, but subject to acceptance by the organisers. 25 participants will be accepted for the event.

Eligibility criteria

  • be computer literate and conversant with browsing the Internet;
  • have regular access to a computer (ownership of a computer is an advantage);
  • be in a position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training;
  • be competent in the use of the English language;
  • have an active e-mail account;
  • be actively engaged in agriculture and rural development / natural resource management / biodiversity conservation in the domains of ICT for development (ICT4D), policies, markets; publishing, communication and media; and
  • be resident in Namibia.

Responsibilities

Accepted participants will be responsible for all costs related to their travel to and from the venue at the University of Namibia (UNAM), accommodation, breakfast and supper, daily subsistence allowances, and for bringing their own WIFI-enabled laptop to the event.

Entitlements

During each event, the organisers will provide lunch and refreshments and distribute copies of CTA publications and instructional material.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please click on this link to complete the online form.

Deadline for applications: 24 March, 2014

Feedback

The organisers will inform successful applicants about the status of their application ~two week before the commencement of the course. Successful applicants will receive confirmation letters. Others will be duly informed about the results of their application.

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.

Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) positions in Crop Science – MaxCROP

Funded by the FP7 Marie Curie European Industrial Doctorate program: Max-CROP

NIAB TAG

WheatpicFive 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 kate.harrison@niab.com 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 lesley.boyd@niab.com.

The advertisement will remain open until suitable candidates are found. Interviews will be held in Wageningen, The Netherlands, starting early in 2014.

Apply

PhD opportunity in Soil management and ecosystem services at Wageningen University

Location: Wageningen
Hours: 38
Function
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.
Function Requirements
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.
Working conditions
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.
Contactinformation
Additional information about this vacancy can be obtained from Dr.ir. Gerard Heuvelink,gerard.heuvelink@wur.nl 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
Organization
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.

To apply click here. See here for details.

12 Doctoral Researchers in Agricultural / Development Economics

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
(https://s-lotus.gwdg.de/uni/uaao/globalfood_2013.nsf/enter

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):

  • Surname_Firstname_Motivation
  • Surname_Firstname_CV
  • Surname_Firstname_Record
  • Surname_Firstname_ALevel
  • Surname_Firstname_English
  • Surname_Firstname_Abstract
  • Surname_Firstname_Paper
  • Surname_Firstname_References

Technical advice

  • 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 enable JavaScript in your browser.
  • 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.

Download opening as a PDF file

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

Global Energy Initiative – Energy Essay Contest 2013

Deadline: 28 Oct 2013

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.