Blog Archives

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.

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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

Howard G. Buffett Foundation and University of Wisconsin – Agricultural Innovation Prize

Deadline: 28 Feb 2014

The Agricultural Innovation Prize is jointly sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Wisconsin to encourage teams of university students to identify how to achieve food security for the world’s population while keeping within sound environmental boundaries. The competition invites business plans that focus on a process, product, service, or technology. The competition is open to teams comprising at least 50% students (U.S. and/or international) who are enrolled half-time or more at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Cash prizes are US$100 thousand for the winning team, US$25 thousand for finalists, and travel grants to enable 25 teams to make presentations. Online entries are invited between 01 December 2013 and 28 February 2014.Click here for details and application.

Second Edition of the YoBloCo Awards launched

Deadline: 31 Jan 2014

Submit your individual or institutional blog and win up to 3000 Euros!

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARAYam-PukriCAFANAYFANAFESPC/PAFPNET and e-Agriculture is pleased to launch the 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

This contest is organised in the framework of the ARDYIS project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The aims of this blog competition are to:

  • Put into limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in: agriculture in urban and rural areas;
  • Encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers’ groups and organisations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question;
  • Promote the sharing of information on the issues of agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

Who can participate?

The YoBloCo Awards are open in two categories:

a. Individual category

This category is open to students in agricultural training courses, young farmers, journalists or other young people interested in ICT or agriculture.

b. Institutional category

This category is open to local or national

  • young farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of any organisation interested in agriculture, rural development and ICT.

For this competition, an organisation is understood as any type of non-profit or for-profit association, cooperative, forum, network or related grouping, excluding government institutions. Organisations that receive funding from governments but are not formal governmental institutions can be eligible if they fulfil all criteria.

If the organisation or grouping submitting an entry is not officially registered in the country, it should be recommended, via a letter of recommendation, by a national partner organisation, which is officially registered.

When young members of an organisation are submitting an entry in the “Institutional category”, they should apply on behalf of their organisation. If the entry wins an award, it is the organisation, which will be declared winner and will receive the cash prize. The blog creator or a representative of blog creators (if it is a team) will be invited for the prize giving ceremony and receive a trophy on behalf of the winning organisation. When a team applies on behalf of their organisation, the person representing the team must be specified in the application process. The cash prize won would be sent to the organisation.

For both categories, the young people participating must be between 18 to 35 years old (by the time of submission) and be nationals of ACP countries signatories of the Cotonou Agreement (see Note 1 below).

How to participate?

Individuals or organisations who wish to submit a blog and take part in the competition will have about 4 months to prepare or update their blogs with content related to agriculture (see Section 3 below). Blogs and all required information/documents will be submitted via an online form between December and January 2014 (the link to the blog submission form will be provided on this page as from 2 December 2013).

Prior to the blog submission, all people/organisation interested to be updated regularly on the competition can subscribe on this link.

Content of eligible blogs

The blog submitted can be a newly created one, or an existing one but which has been recently updated with content related to agriculture. However, mainly blog posts from the commencement of the competition will be judged.

A blog that deals with, or contains posts/articles on subjects other than agriculture must include, consistently (see Note 3 below), new articles related to agriculture, in order to be considered eligible.

In the context of the YoBloCo Awards, “new articles” or “new posts” refer to texts published between the launch of competition until its closure (please check section 7 below for the deadline). Posts/articles considered for the competition must be in French or English and can be related to one or several ACP countries.

Articles on the blog should cover themes or issues such as:

  • Challenges, success and issues faced by Youth in agriculture and related activities;
  • Climate change, environmental conservation, natural resource management;
  • Agri-business (marketing, commercialization, processing, etc.);
  • Agricultural production and Food security;
  • Agriculture value chains and agricultural policy;
  • Actions, policies and strategies related to youth involvement in agriculture;
  • ICT use in the agricultural sector (how can ICTs promote agriculture or how can ICT support innovation in agricultural value chains, ICT and agriculture policies, ICT and extension services etc.);
  • How are ICTs improving (or can improve) youth opportunities in rural areas;
  • Agro-tourism;
  • Contribution of Diaspora in ACP Agriculture;
  • The role and importance of Family Farming and Smallholder Farming in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. (see Note 4 below);
  • Any other agriculture related theme or issue.

Selection process

There are two different processes for the two blog categories.

a) Individual Category

The eligible individual blogs submitted will first go through a public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will vote for, and comment on the blog that they like the most. Following the public evaluation, 15 finalists will be selected based on the number of votes they will receive, and they will finally be evaluated by an independent jury composed of expert in the field of ICTs and Agriculture. The first prize for this category is 1500 Euros and other prizes will be awarded!

b) Institutional Category

Blogs in the institutional category will also go through the public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will be required to leave comments on the blogs that they like the most (there is no limit on the number of blogs to comment). The jury will then choose the best blogs per region for this category and will take into account comments made by the public. The prize for this category is 3,000 Euros per winning organisation. In addition, some of the most appreciated blogs by the public may receive special rewards from organisers if the jury does not select them.

Updates on the whole voting process and results will be shared regularly on the YoBloCo Blog and entrants who are subscribed and submitted a blog will also be informed by email.

Votes and comments on blogs will end in March, 2014.

Selection criteria

The main selection criteria are the following:

  • Quality of language in posts
  • Originality of posts/articles (most posts should be written by the entrant)
  • Quality of analysis in the posts
  • Frequency/Consistency of blogging
  • Animation of the blog
  • Presence of agriculture related content (especially since the launch of the contest for existing blogs)
  • Overall technical quality of the blog

For the institutional category, additional criteria are:

  • Presence of information on the organisation’s activities
  • Presence of information in youth in agriculture issues

Prizes

A. Individual category

  • 1st Prize:  1,500 Euros
  • 2nd Prize: 1,000 Euros
  • 3rd Prize: 800 Euros

B. Institutional category

  • 3000 Euros per region (West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, Caribbean and Pacific)

C. Special Prizes

  • Best female blogger: 1000 Euros (only individual blogs will be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blog on Family Farming (see Note 4 below): 1000 Euros (an individual or institutional blog may be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blogs with business potential: at least two blogs will be selected, out of the best finalist individual blogs selected by the public, to receive mentorship and incubation opportunities  (See Note 5 below)

D. Runners-up

  • A number of runners-up in will receive a certificate of participation

Winning blogs and other best blogs will be promoted by CTA and its partners’ various channels.  In addition, authors of winning blog or other best blogs will have the opportunity to be involved in future activities of CTA or its partners.

Deadline and key dates

Launch of the competition: 8 October 2013

Submission of Blogs: 2 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

Online Evaluation (public): February – March 2014

Jury Evaluation: April – May 2014

Winners Announced: June 2014

The date of the prize giving ceremony will be announced subsequently.

Additional terms and rules

a. Winners of the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo awards (3 winners from individual category and 3 winners from institutional category) are not eligible to submit their blog again for the competition. However, best entrants who did not receive a prize for the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo Awards can submit their blog for this new Edition.

b. The organisers reserve the right to reject any application that does not meet the contest criteria and the present regulations.

c. Participation in the competition implies an explicit agreement given to the CTA to make public, as needed, the experiences described, as well as participant’s identity. Moreover, it constitutes an agreement given to the CTA to use the experiences described in its publications and for promotional activities.

d. CTA will not return to the participants documents submitted.

e. By entering, participants warrant that content on the blog does not infringe on any third party’s rights.

f. All local taxes on prizes, if required, are the sole responsibility of the winners.

g. If, for any reason, the contest cannot be conducted as planned, the CTA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, close, change, or suspend it.

h. Youths directly working for CTA or ARDYIS advisory Committee organisations are not eligible to participate. However young people working for partners of these organisations are eligible.

i. Applicants will be informed about the competition results by email to the addresses provided in the blog submission form.

j. Apart from the public result announcement, each winner will be notified through the e-mail address he/she provided. A reminder will be sent if necessary. In case of non response to the reminder message and 10 days maximum after the result announcement, the next best candidate in the same category will be declared winner;

k. Decisions taken by the jury and the CTA are final and are beyond dispute;

l. All contest participants implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

Notes

Note 1: The ACP countries targeted here are those that have signed the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement : Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Belize – Cape Verde – Comoros – Bahamas – Barbados – Benin – Botswana – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cameroon – Chad –  Central African Republic – Congo (Brazzaville) – Congo (Kinshasa) – Cook Islands – Côte d’Ivoire – Cuba – Djibouti – Dominican Republic – Dominica – East Timor – Equatorial Guinea – Eritrea – Ethiopia – Fiji – Gabon – The Gambia – Ghana – Grenada –Guinea – Guinea-Bissau  – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Kenya – Kiribati – Lesotho – Liberia – Madagascar – Malawi – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritius – Mauritania – Federated States of Micronesia – Mozambique – Namibia – Nauru – Niger – Nigeria – Niue – Uganda – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Rwanda – Saint Christopher and Nevis – Saint Vincent and Grenadines – Saint Lucia – Solomon Islands – Samoa – São Tomé and Principe – Senegal – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – Somalia – South Africa – Sudan – Suriname – Swaziland – Tanzania – Togo – Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Tuvalu – Vanuatu – Zambia – Zimbabwe

Note 2: The main elements that will be evaluated are the blog animation and content.

Note 3: To be evaluated by selection committees.

Note 4: This theme is designed directly along the core theme of the United Nations 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

Note 5: For the special prizes for the best blogs with business potential, the jury may contact potential winners for more details on their projects. Mentorship opportunities will include advice for the finalization of the blogs, capacity building opportunity, etc.

Contact

Feel free to contact us if you have any question or if you want to join the ARDYIS project discussion list to exchange/receive information about youth, ICT and agriculture.

ARDYIS project/ICT4D Programme
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
Email : ardyis-project@cta.int
Telephone: +31 (0)317 467 100
The Netherlands

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.

Cargill Global Scholars Program 2014

The agribusiness company Cargill offers scholarships to university students interested in food security, agriculture, and risk management. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Brazil, China, India, Russia, or the USA – and attend university in those countries. Each Cargill Global Scholar receives an annual scholarship for up to three years, as well as opportunities for leadership training and networking. The application date is 01 March 2014. Click here for details and application.

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Systems Genetics of Wheat

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, UK in conjunction with the Centre for Food Security has recently made a multi-million pound investment in new appointments, state-of-the-art plant growth facilities and a new crop genetics and molecular biology lab. These investments will underpin its ambitious plans to bring together researchers capable of generating novel insights into the basic genetic architecture and resilience of yield-related traits under conditions simulating both norms and extremes of current and future climate variability.

The successful candidate will spearhead a three-year project in Prof O’Sullivan’s newly established Crop Genetic Improvement lab to develop an experimental platform for adopting a ‘systems genetics’ approach to yield development in wheat. The role will place approximately equal emphasis on 1. design of large-scale field and climate-controlled experiments to probe traits contributing to yield resilience in large segregating wheat populations, 2. adaptation of existing software and writing custom code to integrate data from various measurement and imaging devices, molecular assays and external data sources into a project database and 3. statistical genetic analysis of the combined genotype, expression and phenotype datasets.

The project will involve multiple collaborations both within the University and externally and therefore we are looking for an enthusiastic and team-oriented candidate with excellent communication skills in addition to the required technical skills and experience.

You will have:

  • A PhD in a relevant discipline
  • Experience in analysing large biological datasets
  • Sound knowledge of statistical genetics
  • Ability to design databases and programme data analysis pipelines
  • A demonstrated interest in applying your data-related skills to real-world biological questions
  • A demonstrated ability to transform ‘data’ into ‘knowledge’

Informal contact details

Contact role: Professor
Contact name: Donal O’Sullivan
Contact phone: +44 (0)118 3786729
Contact email: d.m.osullivan@reading.ac.uk

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role: Head of Department
Contact name: Mike Gooding
Contact phone: +44 (0)118 3788487
Contact email: m.j.gooding@reading.ac.uk

 

Start date: as soon as possible

Closing date: Friday 28th June 2013

Interview date: Thursday 11th July 2013

Reference number: RS13036

Post type: 3-year fixed-term

Hours: full-time

Grade: 6

Payscale: £27,854 to £36,298 per annum

Interviews for this post will be held on 11th July 2013.

To formally apply please, click here or contact Human Resources, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 217, Reading RG6 6AH. Telephone +44(0)118 378 6771 (voicemail)

The ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology II (S&T II) Call for Proposals launched

The ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology II (S&T II) Call for Proposals, was launched on 08/10/2012. This second Call for Proposals under The ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology, builds upon the lessons learnt  from the first Call for Proposals launched in 2008.

The global objectives of this Call for Proposals are:

  • To address the scientific and technological divide between ACP member states and the most industrialised countries.
  • To strengthen Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in ACP countries to enable creation, update and use of scientific knowledge.
  • To enhance the use of STI as a key enabler for poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development.

In line with the ACP Group of States’ priorities and the EU Agenda for Change, the Programme prioritises Actions in the fields of Energy Access and Efficiency as well asAgriculture and Food Security. However, other sectors and/or interdisciplinary approaches are not excluded as long as the foreseen actions and activities are in line with the objectives of the Programme.

Deadline for submission

The deadline for the submission of applications is 7 February 2013.

Budget

The overall indicative amount made available under this Call for Proposals is EUR 20 800 000.

This call for proposals is divided into 2 Lots, one for each of the below-mentioned funding sources. Each lot has identical objectives, results and activities but different eligibility criteria towards participating countries.

LOT 1 – EDF – concerns the EUR 17 800 000 EDF contribution

LOT 2 – DCI – concerns the EUR 3 000 000 EU South Africa DCI contribution

How to apply

Before drafting their proposals, the applicants should read the attached Guidelines for Grant Applicants. In addition, we advise to consult the instructions on the Concept Note and the Full Application Form included in the Grant Application Form (Annex A to the mentioned Guidelines). Applicants must apply in English or French.

The Guidelines and its annexes can be downloaded from the EuropeAid websiteor from the ACP Secretariat web site.

Additional information

Information sessions on this Call for Proposals will be held in Brussels and in the regions of the ACP  Group of States.  Information on the dates and venues of these Information Sessions will be available on the Programme website.

Questions for clarification on this Call, may be sent by e-mail no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of applications to Call2012@acp-st.eu, indicating clearly the reference of the Call for Proposals.

In addition, it is advised that the applicants to consult the Project Cycle Management Guidelines (pdf) for guidance on the proposal’s preparation process.