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.


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 (

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:
  • 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

Arthur W. Perdue Foundation Fellowship (PhD) in Avian Biosciences – Fall 2014

Deadline: 15 Feb 2014

The Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, USA has a new fellowship opportunity available through The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation (starting Fall 2014) for a highly motivated individual to pursue their Ph.D. in avian bioscience at the University of Delaware.

Successful applicant will work with Drs. Behnam Abasht, Erin Brannick and Jack Gelb in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences to participate in ongoing research aimed at characterizing muscle cell development and muscle disorders in broiler chickens. The student will use diverse histology, genomics, metabolomics, and computational biology techniques to gain an in-depth molecular, cellular, and tissue level understanding of muscle disorders with an emphasis on meat quality in broilers chickens.

The 12-month fellowship includes a stipend of $25,000, as well as covering 100% of tuition and health insurance, and funds for presenting the research results at regional, national and international scientific meetings. The student will also have opportunities to perform internships or on-site research with Perdue Farms, Inc., a leading broiler company in the U.S.

Applicants should have a bachelors or masters degree in animal science, poultry science, biology or related field and should send a letter of interest; a curriculum vitae; GRE and TOEFL (if foreign students whose primary language is not English) scores; and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Behnam Abasht ( no later than Feb 15, 2014.

The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity employer, which encourages applications from minority group members and women.

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:

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role: Head of Department
Contact name: Mike Gooding
Contact phone: +44 (0)118 3788487
Contact email:


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)

PhD Research Project – Characterisation of Potato Cyst Nematode Populations in Great Britain for Sustainable Crop Management

The potato cyst nematodes (PCN) (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida) are destructive pests of potato crops in the UK. The Potato Council (PCL) have recently estimated that PCN cause annual crop losses to the value of £25.9 million. Increasing industry concern has resulted in PCN being cited as an ‘Industry Research Priority’ in the ‘PCL Research & Development Strategy: 2012–2015’.

Understanding PCN populations is of paramount importance to the selection of appropriate management methods. This study aims to characterise PCN populations of Great Britain by (i) Conducting a PCN survey in England, Wales and Scotland (ii) Examining the virulence of G. pallida populations (iii) Determining the viability of the populations using a test validated within this project.

There is some evidence that mixed populations of G. pallida occur together and may become more virulent over successive generations. Virulence tests will be conducted on field populations using a range of potato genotypes to gain a better understanding of PCN populations in the UK. The findings of this work will be beneficial to the development of resistant cultivars.

Currently viability is not estimated in PCN population density assessments. Determining the viability of eggs within the cysts is essential for assessing the effectiveness of control treatments and making decisions on inputs. The project will explore and develop various methods for estimating viability before validating the most promising method under field conditions. Viability assessments will be conducted on survey samples in an attempt to identify factors associated with a loss of viability.

The successful applicant will undertake a 6-12 month placement at the James Hutton Institute (near Dundee) under the guidance of Dr Vivian Blok. This time will be spent developing a viability assay.

Applications should be made through the HAU website: further details of the project can be found. The studentship will start in October 2013, with the exact starting date to be negotiated at interview. Interviews will take place by Skype for shortlisted applicants living outside the UK.

Further information can be found on Harper Adams University at and on the research training provided and PhD progression requirements in the Postgraduate Research Students Handbook at

For informal enquiries on general aspects of research degrees at HAU, applicants may contact Mrs Viv Slann, Research Students Administrator ( For informal enquiries on the project, applicants may contact Dr Matthew Back on

Applicants will normally be expected to hold a bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honours (UK applicants) or a high GPA (international applicants) in an appropriate subject. A relevant master’s degree may be an advantage.

A minimum level of competency in English is required. International applicants need to be classed as an overall grade 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component using the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or equivalent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or PTE score.

Funding Notes:

The studentship includes tuition and bench fees and a stipend of £13,500 rising by £500 annual increments.

Applicants from both EU and non-EU countries are eligible for stipend and fees.


Enquire about this PhD at Harper Adams University
Apply Online for this PhD at Harper Adams University
Culled from www.

2013-2014 New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships For Master And PhD Students

The New Zealand Government offers commonwealth scholarship for the students of participating developing commonwealth countries. The scholarship is offered for master and PhD studies at New Zealand universities. The scholarships will cover tuition and enrolment fees and provide an establishment allowance, a basic stipend, approved scholarship-related travel, some course-related costs, and medical and travel insurance. To apply for these scholarships applicants must submit application to their nominating agency. 

About Scholarship: The 2013-2014 Commonwealth Scholarship for students from developing countries to study in New Zealand is now open for applications. The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.

The CSFP was established at the first Commonwealth education conference in 1959 and is reviewed by education ministers at their triennial meetings – the only scholarship scheme in the world to receive such high-level recognition. The CSFP was set up to provide a framework through which any Commonwealth government could offer scholarships or career development opportunities to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. 

Study: Scholarships will be awarded in agreed priority study sectors to meet countries’ or regions’ human resources development needs and training priorities, as set by the New Zealand Government and nominating agencies. The priority study sectors are: leadership and governance, economics, public sector governance and reform, environmental studies, education, health, agriculture and fisheries, biosecurity and food safety, infrastructure and utility and human rights and gender. 

Course Level: Master’s or PhD level study

Scholarship By: New Zealand Government

Location: New Zealand 


To be eligible to be considered for a Commonwealth Scholarship an applicant must:

a. have citizenship of a participating developing Commonwealth country; permanent residents of a participating country are not eligible to apply;

b. be residing in their country of citizenship, preferably for at least two years prior to application;

c. not have citizenship or permanent residence status of New Zealand or Australia, or another  developed country, except where their country does not issue passports and they hold a New Zealand passport (i.e. the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau);

d. not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds, or who is eligible to hold, citizenship or permanent residence status of New Zealand, Australia or another developed country, except where their country does not issue passports and they hold a New Zealand passport (i.e. the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau);

e. be applying to commence a new qualification and not be seeking funding for one already commenced at PhD or Masters level;

f. satisfy the admission requirements of the New Zealand  university at which the qualification is to be undertaken, including English language criteria;

g. have been working in their country of citizenship, preferably for at least two years prior to application;

h. hold a first degree of upper second class Honours (or above); or a second class degree  and a relevant postgraduate qualification, which will normally be a Master’s degree;

i. be available to commence their academic studies in New Zealand at the start of the New Zealand academic year in February 2014;

j. have already secured  admission to their preferred New Zealand university; evidence of admission (eg. a letter of offer) is required with the application form; a conditional letter of offer from a New Zealand university is sufficient to allow an application to be accepted;

k. have a planned programme start date (in the letter of offer) at the start of the New Zealand Academic year in February 2014; offers for a planned start date for Semester 2, 2014 cannot be accepted. 

Scholarship Open for: The students of participating developing Commonwealth country can apply 

Value: The New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships scheme funds tuition and enrolment fees, an establishment allowance, a basic stipend, approved scholarship-related travel, some course-related costs, and medical and travel insurance. Each Scholarship provides:

a. Travel:  International, and New Zealand domestic, air travel at the start and end of the scholarship for awardees, and reimbursement of awardees’ visa costs. In addition, a reunion travel entitlement may be available to awardees that have left dependants in their home country.

b. Tuition Fees and other compulsory institutional course costs.

c. Postgraduate research and thesis allowance: An allowance of NZ$1,500, and a return economy airfare to awardees’ home country for overseas fieldwork, if research component is 50% or greater.

d. Medical and Travel Insurance

e. Establishment allowance: NZ$3,000 paid on arrival in New Zealand to meet text book costs and to assist with other set up costs in New Zealand. At the beginning of each additional study year NZ$1,000 will be paid to cover the full year.

f. Living Allowance: The annual rate of NZ$21,580 (NZ$415 per week) is paid fortnightly and is a contribution to living costs for day-to-day expenses, including accommodation (rent or board), food costs,  utility expenses (telephone, electricity  etc.), transport, personal items, and course-related costs (stationery, field trips, workshops etc.). 

Selection Criteria: Complete and eligible applications will be assessed and reviewed by a selection committee in Wellington, New Zealand. Members of this committee will be representatives from the New Zealand Aid Programme at MFAT and representatives from the Scholarships Committee of Universities NZ. The nominations submitted to Universities NZ will be considered by the selection committee according to the following selection criteria:

– Academic merit of the candidate.

– The quality of the research proposal.

– The likely impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country.

Apply: The application form is available from the applicant’s Nominating Agency. Each applicant must submit to their Nominating Agency one (1) original application form and all requested attachments. In addition to the application form the following documents are required:

a. Certified copy of applicant’s birth certificate (in English);

b. Certified copy of official evidence of any name change for applicant (in English);

c. Certified copy of the personal pages of applicant’s passport;

d. Certified copy of the academic transcript for all tertiary qualifications held by the applicant and the grading schedule for each qualification (in English);

e. Certified copy of the completion or graduation certificate for each tertiary qualification that the applicant has completed (in English);

f. If the applicant is employed, a current job description confirming their position and outlining their responsibilities and duties;

g. A current (dated) curriculum vitae – a brief history of the applicant’s education, work experiences and skills;

h. Three (3) references (no more than 24 months old) on official letterhead, supporting the scholarship application to study in New Zealand, and relevant to their proposed study programme or research topic. References should be provided from the applicant’s current employer, a former lecturer or academic supervisor (in an area of study relevant to the application) and, where possible, a relevant government or community based organization;

Note: Applications with less than three references will be disadvantaged;

i. An letter of offer from the New Zealand University at which the applicant wishes to study (see Section 8 of the application form);

j. A 500 word statement describing the specific skills and knowledge the applicant wishes to gain from  the proposed study and how this will contribute to the applicant’s current and/or future job (see Section 9 of the application form);

k. A 500 word statement describing how the applicant’s proposed area of study will enable  them to contribute to the social or economic development of  their home country (see Section 9 of the application form);

l. A 500 word statement outlining the proposed research topic.

From the applications received each Nominating Agency will identify up to two applications to nominate to Universities NZ. Universities NZ will receive the nominated applications from the Nominating Agencies. These applications will be subject to a final check for eligibility and completeness. Any nominated applications that are found to be ineligible or incomplete will be rejected. Only those nominees whose recommendation by Universities NZ is endorsed by the New Zealand Aid Programme will be offered a scholarship. 

Deadline: Each Nominating Agency will set their own country deadline for the receipt of applications. Nominating Agencies are aware that their nominations must be received by Universities NZ in Wellington, New Zealand no later than 31st July 2013. 

Further Information: