Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund Research Fellowships for African Researchers

ABCF Fellowship Program

Course(s) Offered: Agric Biosciences
Course Level: Graduate (research)
Provider: ABCF
Country to Study in: Africa

Scholarship Description
The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF), managed by the BecA-ILRI Hub, provides fellowships to scientists and graduate students from African national agricultural research organisations and universities to undertake biosciences research-for-development projects at the BecA-ILRI Hub.

The purpose of the ABCF fellowship program is to develop capacity for agricultural biosciences research in Africa, to support research projects that ultimately contribute towards increasing food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa, and to facilitate access to the BecA-ILRI Hub by African researchers.

We seek applicants with innovative ideas for short to medium term research projects (up to 12 months) that can be undertaken at the BecA-ILRI Hub. Projects must be in the areas of food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa.

We particularly welcome applications from women candidates.

Applicant requirements:
  • National (passport holder) of a BecA-ILRI Hub target country: Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda. In exceptional cases we may consider applicants from other African countries.
  • A researcher at a national agricultural research organization or university in a BecA-ILRI Hub target country
  • Currently engaged in research in food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa, or in a research area with relevance to agriculture in Africa
  • MSc or PhD in biosciences, agriculture or related subject. In exceptional cases we may consider applicants with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Good working knowledge of written and spoken English
  • Completed online application form
  • A signed letter of approval for your application from the head of your institute.
Eligible groups
Citizens of a BecA-ILRI Hub target country (see list above). In exceptional cases we may consider applicants from other African countries.

Participating Institutions
Biosciences eastern and central Africa - International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, Nairobi, Kenya

Fields of study
Scientists and graduate students conducting research in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply:
  • Improved control of priority livestock diseases including African swine fever (ASF); contagious bovine and caprine pleuropneumonia (CBPP and CCPP); peste des petits ruminants (PPR); Rift Valley fever (RVF); East Coast fever (ECF); capripox virus diseases of ruminants;
  • Harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, resistance to disease and improving productivity of crops and livestock (livestock focus: African indigenous breeds, particularly of goats, chickens, and cavies and other micro-livestock);
  • Molecular breeding for important food security crops in Africa;
  • Plant transformation to address food insecurity in Africa;
  • Plant-microbe interactions;
  • Tissue culture and virus indexing for production of virus-free planting materials in Africa;
  • Orphan crops including amaranth, baobab, taro, wild mushrooms, enset;
  • Crop pests, pathogens and weed management research, including biological control;
  • Food safety, including addressing aflatoxin and other mycotoxin contamination in food and feeds;
  • Nutritional analysis of food and feeds;
  • Rapid diagnostics for crop and livestock diseases;
  • Genomics and metagenomics, including for microbial discovery;
  • Studies on climate-smart forage grasses and mixed livestock-crop systems;
  • Microbial technology for improving adaptation of staple food crops and grasses to biotic and abiotic stresses;
  • Soil health in agricultural systems;
Special opportunities also exist to connect with leading international scientists linked with the BecA-ILRI Hub in the following areas: wheat rusts, insect pests, nitrogen fixation. (For these opportunities please apply by Dec 31st 2013).

Other special opportunities exist to connect with CGIAR Research Programs on Livestock & Fish and Agriculture for Nutrition & Health to explore how their proposed research might fit into the on-going efforts to improve pro-poor food systems in Tanzania (smallholder dairy), Uganda (smallholder pigs), Egypt (aquaculture) and Ethiopia (small ruminants). Such collaboration would allow the candidate’s research to contribute more directly to an impact-oriented research-for-development agenda, and offer additional opportunities for joint activities. For more information, please contact: Dr. Amos Omorea.omore at cgiar dot org (Tanzania dairy); Dr. Danilo Pezo d.pezo at cgiar dot org (Uganda pigs); Dr. Malcolm Dickson m.dickson at cgiar dot org (Egypt aquaculture); Dr. Barbara Rischkowsky b.rischkowsky at cgiar dot org (Ethiopia small ruminants).

Number of awards
Fifteen fellowships will be offered through the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund

Sponsorship duration
Up to 12 months

Scholarship benefits
Costs covered by the fellowship
  • Research at the BecA-ILRI Hub
  • Travel
  • Medical insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Living allowance
Please note that fellowships do not cover the cost of fieldwork or research at the applicant’s home institute.

Method of Application
If you are eligible and are interested, it is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) to download the Application Guidelines and also for complete information on how to apply for this award.

Closing date for all applications is February 28th 2014.

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa - International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is a shared agricultural research and biosciences platform that exists to increase access for African researchers to affordable, world-class research facilities.

In addition, the BecA-ILRI Hub provides research-related services and capacity building opportunities to eastern and central Africa and beyond.

The ABCF Research Fellowship programme is supported by the Australian Government through a partnership between Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the BecA-ILRI Hub; and by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

Application Deadline: 28 February 2014
Open for International Students: No (ONLY Africans)

Further Scholarship Information and Application

Related: List of Scholarships in Kenya for Students

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