The WACCI PhD Programme Fellowships for West African Citizens

The WACCI PhD Programme Scholarships for Africans

Course(s) Offered: Agriculture
Course Level: Graduate (PhD)
Provider: WACCI
Country to Study in: Africa

Scholarship Description
The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was established in June 2007 in the University of Ghana, in partnership with Cornell University (USA), to train Plant Breeders for the West and Central African sub-region.

Eight students per year will be admitted over a period of five years in the first phase of the programme. Each student will follow a 5 year programme leading to the award of a Ph.D (Plant Breeding) upon successful completion. The programme consists of two stages: two years of academic study at the University of Ghana and three years of field research at the student's research station/university in his/her home country.

The Centre is currently inviting applications for PhD scholarships tenable at WACCI, University of Ghana. Successful applicants will enroll in January 2014 and will comprise the seventh cohort of students.

The WACCI programme is specifically for full-time, professional plant breeders who will make their careers breeding new cultivars of food crops. Prospective students must have:
  • an MSc/MPhil in Plant Breeding, Plant Genetics, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Crop Science, Applied Entomology, Applied Nematology or equivalent degree.
  • a position as an agricultural research scientist in a national research institute or university in the potential student's home country is also essential, so that the student can return to his/her home country to conduct the field research for the PhD thesis.
Applicants should be under the age of 40.

Applicants who have not been instructed in English at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels must have a test score of at least 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information on the TOEFL test, please contact the United States Information Service. (USIS) at the USA Embassy or Consulate in your home country or contact TOEFL directly at P.O.Box 6155, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541.6155, U.S.A. E-mail: Website:

Selection Criteria/Funding:
Scholarships are advertised extensively in all participating countries and applications are reviewed by a panel of local academics.

Eligible groups
Citizens of West Africa with initial emphasis on Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Applicants from Cameroon and Senegal may also be considered.

Participating Institutions
West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana; Ghana

Fields of study
The course work and research will focus on the following West Africa food crops:
  • Cereals: maize, rice, sorghum, millet
  • Root and tubers: cassava and sweet potato
  • Legumes: cowpea and groundnut
  • Vegetables: tomato and pepper.
Number of awards
Forty (40) students arriving in cohorts of eight over five academic years will receive support from this innovative plant breeding Ph.D Programme.

Sponsorship duration
The whole 5 year study period

Scholarship benefits
WACCI will pay a non-negotiable stipend that will cover only reasonable personal living expenses for the duration of the degree (5 years) including the cost of a return air ticket from the students' home countries. WACCI will not be responsible for supporting the family of the student at any stage while s/he is studying for his/her PhD.

WACCI bursary in Years One and Two will cover all basic personal costs.
  • One return airfare, economy class for years one and two for students from outside the Ghanaian borders. Similar travel arrangements would be made for Ghanaian students.
  • Study permit application fee. Note that students will need to pay for the study permit themselves but will be refunded once proof of payment is received.
  • Registration and tuition fees.
  • Single,self - catering accommodation. Students should be informed that there is no capacity for spouses or children in residence in this programme.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Access to the University Student Counselling Centre. Students are encouraged to make use of the professional services offered by the University of Ghana Counselling and Placement Centre.
The WACCI bursary in the 5th year will cover the following:
  • A return, economy flight.
  • Accommodation and other benefits as above for a three (3) month period.
Students will be accommodated in self-contained flats in the University of Ghana campus. There is no capacity for spouses and children in the flats and students who intend to bring in family at their own expense must seek approval from WACCI in advance and may make alternative living arrangements.

Method of Application
Applicants can either:
  1. Download and complete the University Application Form (PDF) or
  2. Complete an Online Form
Academic transcripts, copies of certificates (First Degree and Master’s Degree), concept note on research interest (1-3 pages), CV and three (3) referees’ reports are to be sent as email attachments to

For detailed information on the application process, to download the Application Form AND Academic Referee's Appraisal Form; OR to apply online please visit the official website (link is below).

Applications are being accepted for the 2014 academic year. The deadline for applying is June 30, 2013.

Successful applicants must be available to begin their studies at the University of Ghana in January 2014.

Once accepted for the programme the student will also have to provide written confirmation that they are aware of, and accept that:
  • WACCI will pay a non-negotiable stipend that will cover only reasonable personal living expenses for the duration of the degree (5 years)
  • Neither WACCI, nor the donor agency, is responsible for supporting the family of the student at any stage while he/she is studying for his/her PhD
  • All students will complete two study years in Ghana and that, during that time, they will study and pass all courses required of them in the WACCI curriculum
  • As a University of Ghana student, they are subject to all the rules governing all students of the University of Ghana
  • Students will not enter into correspondence with the donor organization except with the knowledge and consent of the Director of WACCI
For more information about the PhD programme visit the official website (link is below) or send an email to

Application Deadline: 30 June 2013
Open to International students: No (ONLY West Africans)

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Scholarships in Agriculture for International Students

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