UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office — Chevening Scholarships 2015-2016

guidance_for_applicants_v2

Welcome to the Chevening Scholarships website

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

The Chevening programme was established in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international scheme. Chevening Scholars come from more than 150 countries and territories worldwide (excluding the USA and the EU), and this year the Scholarships will support more than 1500 individuals. There are over 43,000 Chevening alumni around the world who together comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.

Apply for a Chevening Scholarship

To apply for a Chevening Award you will need to submit an application through our online application system.

How to apply for a Chevening Award

Follow these six steps to apply for a Chevening Award:

  1. Read this important information about your application before you apply
  2. Select your country from the drop down menu below
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  4. Answer the pre-screen questions to see if you’re eligible for a Chevening Award
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  6. Complete each section of the online application form

Apply for a Chevening Award

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About the online application form

  • Read our application form guidance for more details on each of the ten sections
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  • Paper applications will not be accepted

Applications close 15 November at 23:59 GMT

http://w2.onlinecountdowns.com/109093

Please visit this link for more details: http://www.chevening.org/apply/guidance_for_applicants_v2 

Royal Agricultural College: Land and Food Fellowships for Undergraduate and Post-graduate Africans 2015-2016

Source: http://www.rau.ac.uk/africa. Accessed: 10/23/2014
Source: http://www.rau.ac.uk/africa. Accessed: 10/23/2014

Source: The UK’s Royal Agricultural College offers fellowships to African students for the MSc in international rural development, and MSc in sustainable agriculture and food security. The RAC seeks applicants who have experience in agriculture and related subjects; an interest in land reform; and a desire to make a strategic and sustainable contribution to Africa’s development. The program supports up to 10 African fellows each year. The application deadline is 30 November 2014. However, the RAC invites expressions of interest earlier in order to be able to provide guidance to applicants.

Undergraduate

Applications to study at the Royal Agricultural University must be made through the UCAS system. This applies to all undergraduate courses.
Applications need to be made by the UCAS deadline to ensure we are able to offer you a place on your first choice course. If you would like to apply during UCAS Extra or Clearing, please check that we have places available.

International Applications must be made via the UCAS system. Overseas applicants are not usually required to attend an interview at the University, but they are strongly recommended to do so. It is also recommended for candidates and their parents to visit the University by appointment, should they be visiting the country before the course starts.

Please state one or more courses for which you wish to study on the application form. We will later confirm, in writing, the course(s) for which you are to be listed as a candidate for.
You may change these preferences during the interview, if you wish to do so. If you wish later to study another course, a written request must be made to the Academic Registrar.

Many candidates obtain one or more year’s work experience before entering the University. Further advice regarding this can be obtained at your interview. The Academic Registrar can usually delay a year of entry at the candidate’s request.

Applicants who are in receipt of an offer or who are requested to attend an interview will typically also be invited to attend an Applicant Day, depending on timing and availability. These days provide the opportunity to experience what studying at the RAU will be like, to gain more in-depth information about your selected course, student finance, career options, accommodation, sports and the student union, as well as meeting other potential applicants for your chosen course. These days are designed to follow on from the RAU Open Days. They will be held early in the year to assist you in making your firm and insurance choices.

Within 10 days, following the interview, acceptable candidates will be sent a letter of offer of a place on one or more courses. This offer is conditional to the attainment of at least the minimum academic standards required.
Candidates may be offered an unconditional place if they already possess the entry requirements. Formal offers of places are forwarded by UCAS.

The University’s decision to offer a place is based solely on academic suitability for the course and will not discriminate on the grounds of disability or the level of support needed. The University endeavoured to ensure that the teaching and learning methods employed to deliver courses will meet the general needs of disabled students. However, where there may be any special adaptations required, it would be advantageous if these needs were disclosed at the time of initial application or discussed with the Disability Officer (email: john.conway@rau.ac.uk) at an early stage. It will not prejudice an application in any way.

Post-graduate Applicants

Applications to study for Masters and Research Degrees need to be made directly through the University.

You can now apply via our website, using the online application form. Simply press the ‘apply’ button on the relevant course page. This will also give you some supporting information about the application process. Alternatively, if you are unable access the online form you can call Admissions on 01285 889 912, or email admissions@rau.ac.uk.
We recommend applicants keep a copy of the completed form for their records.

Please complete the application form below and either email a scanned copy of Parts 1 and 3 to admissions@rau.ac.uk or post them to the address opposite, which can also be found at the bottom of the form. In either case, please remember to include any additional documentation and to post your two references to us in their sealed envelopes.
Direct Entry Application Form

Applications are welcome at any time during the year (the main application period is between November and May). However, as places are limited, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible, in order to ensure that we are able to offer you a place on your first choice course. All applications should be made direct to the University on our Application Form.

You will have the opportunity to clarify the most relevant programme for your career intentions, and explore other options, during the application/interview process.

Most full-time courses are available on a part-time basis. When completing the application form, make sure you clearly indicate that you wish to study part-time. If you need any further details call Admissions on 01285 889 912.

The Registrar can normally delay the year of entry at the candidate’s written request.

It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that two suitable references are enclosed with the Application Form, or forwarded directly to the University. If you need the RAU to request a reference or do not wish your referees to be contacted prior to acceptance, please indicate this clearly.
One of the references should be provided by the present (or most recent) College or University tutor who is in a position to comment on past and potential academic ability. As a guideline, this reference should include past academic achievement, expected results in forthcoming examinations, aptitude and suitability for the programme as well as general information on character and achievements in administrative, cultural and sporting activities. Applicants who are or have been in employment should also provide a reference from their current or most recent employer. More details are attached to the application form.

Applicants living in the UK are usually expected to attend for interview before a place is offered. Postgraduate interviews can be arranged at any time during the year, Monday to Friday.
Although applicants from overseas countries are not usually required to attend for interview at the University, they are very welcome to arrange an appointment to visit the University should they be in the UK before the start of their programme.

Within 10 working days of interview, or receipt of all necessary documentation, acceptable candidates are sent a letter of a place on one or more programmes. This offer will be ‘unconditional’ if they already fulfil the entry requirements or, ‘conditional’ if specific academic standards or work experience is required before the candidate can be accepted. The conditions are usually the attainment of at least the minimum academic standards.

The University’s decision to offer a place is based solely on academic suitability for the programme and will not discriminate on the grounds of disability or the level of support needed.

These are sent to candidates one month prior to the start of the year. Most courses start on the first Monday in October, but please do check the start date for your course, which will be clearly indicated in the offer letter.

The Ebola Paradox: How the “West” downplayed the outbreak and now wants to outplay it?

Source: D. Faget/AFP/Getty Images

Source: D. Faget/AFP/Getty Images

Personally, it continues to be disheartening to read reports and news from the epicenter of the ebola outbreak in Western Africa. The entire ebola fiasco keeps my blood running up the hill as a global citizen and concern parent who is going to co-parent his children in this confused world where our interests in humanity are measured by geographic polygons and what matters to us the most is how we can continue to fuel our consumerist appetite, while the “rest” die in poverty and we plead with our governments to isolate regions infected with ebola. Good for once, President Obama and I share similar volition on the ebola outbreak and his decision not to impose flight restrictions, but vigorously monitor all those going out and coming in. I hope he follows through on that as well as his frustration relative to the lack of adequate assessment of the current state of ebola at the epicenters of the outbreak.

What makes this special to me is that I have lived in the affected countries back in the early 1990s and 2000s. I was in Sierra Leone back in the early 1990s when we fled the Liberian civil wars. Charles Taylor’s greed for natural resources, power and to secure his control of the region accelerated the campaign of the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone (SL) against the SL government, which eventually led to another brutal civil war, recruitment of child soldiers and deaths of innocent people. This led us to fled our safe haven from Kanema [currently one of the highly infected region of ebola] in Sierra Leone to seek refuge in Guinea. While in Guinea, Taylor’s men and rebel factions did not hesitate to cross the Guinean-Liberian border to raid refugee and displaced camps to lot food, money, take children who they eventually militarized into fighters and women as sex slaves. This led the Guinean government to equipped few refugees with weapons to protect themselves and also recruited volunteers to protect their borders against the rebels raiders from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Given the above circumstances, we fled to the Ivory Coast and eventually safely landed in Ghana and 11-year after we arrived in Ghana in 1995, I am here in the US. So, when I hear the devastating news of ebola deaths and victims, I only imagine that some of those who may have died from this deadly disease could be people I may have known or some of those who may have helped me and my siblings escaped those bloody civil wars. All these atrocities were fueled by support for Taylor from the diaspora of those who saw war as the only remedy to instate the so-called democracy. When Taylor became a tyrant, they [as usual] withdrew their support and started to provide weapons to less moderate rebels [sounds familiar?] in an effort to kick Taylor out of the game plan. Well, in one way that planned worked as today he’s in prison; however, not for crimes in Liberia, but Sierra Leone.

The outbreak of ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal throws light on an old story between the west and the rest within the framework of international development. The former sole interests are primarily based on measurable parameters of how much natural resources that can be extracted to feed their perpetual modernized lives at the expense of the later whose livelihoods and existence are conditioned by the mercy of the former. This paradox between the west and the rest is not new within the development, environmental, economic, political and social landscapes and their initial reactions to the outbreak speak louder of this confused paradox. Where diseases, poverty, hunger, conflict, wars and social disorders have been conceptualized by the west as a common phenomenon of African countries, thus, given that ebola continues to strike doesn’t make it any different from that of malaria, HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty, etc. But in reality, Africa and African countries are not any different from anywhere else because we breathe the same air, feel the same sunlight and walk on the same soil. Why should an African problem be viewed and naively operationalized as ‘just as an African problem’? Big institutions in the developed world with their development agendas seem to still operate under a hidden themes of neo-colonization. Their delinquent appetite to vigorously fight against ebola and poverty goes back to colonization and the mentality that governed it during those dark days are the same mentality engineered by the lack of adequate response to aggressively combat ebola.

The reason that I am narrating this story is because the current ebola outbreak in West Africa is of no surprise. The only question that we all need to ask them [WHO] is that, why didn’t their words guided by their actions relative to the current ebola outbreak? I also wonder, why has the international community, the European Union and even the United States of America taken so long and continue to do so after initial reports (in March 2014) by MSF predicted the unprecedented nature of the ebola outbreak? Why were their conceptualization of the disease? Was it considered as “that’s their business and let them deal with it” mentality? It appears to be so given that the so-called World Health Organization (WHO), downplayed MSF’s initial report. Now, some folks at the WHO feel the need to speak out and expose the institutional inequality and malpractices to address the ebola outbreak.

Reports emerged that the US led bioweapon lab in Kanema, Sierra Leone was ordered by the Sierra Leonian government to moved due to the locals complaining that the US Scientists at such lab could be the ones who initially release the virus, which led to citizens being infected. These and other issues complicate our fight against ebola and facilitate the process of not effectively containing the virus because locals just don’t trust their governments and their counterparts, as they are considered the perpetrators of this biological warfare.

As of now, the virus continue to be out of control and deaths due to ebola are also on the rise. Can the international community and their counterparts treat this virus as if it started somewhere in the West? If and only if that was the case [we don’t hope for that whatsoever], than I wonder if WHO and her affiliates would have downplayed such information? I bet it wouldn’t because our national security interests would be at stake and “all options would be on the table” because “ebola would have cross the imaginary red line”, so to speak. Has ebola crossed the red line?

If we bring that discussion back to the West Africa outbreak of ebola, “all options were not initially on the table.” What facilitated this kind of approach, that our response to ebola differs solely by where we live or where our interests are? Can we say for a fact, that ebola has crossed the red line and we [as humanity] needs to stand by each other and fight this disease to the end? Or will we isolate ourselves and seal our borders because what is happening in West Africa is not our business? Well, we could do that, but would that be effective? The answer, I am not sure, but probably not.

Also, I appreciate the US sending 4000+ troops to the infected regions. Well, what exactly would their role be since they wouldn’t be shooting bullets this time. There are theories suggesting that member of Red Cross are being kicked out of Liberia and other countries because vaccines they administer to people are ending them in their graves; thus, they are the ones spreading ebola, says these reports in Ghana and other countries. Whether these claims and accusations are true or false, right now people who are desperate and victims of this disease could more likely believe anything they hear and react negatively. So, let the role of the US troops in Liberia and other countries be clearly defined, because the world is now watching.

Source: WHO, 2014

Those at the WHO and UN who continue to use unnecessary excuses and blames to shift the global public attention from the true inequality of how their initial response to the outbreak facilitates the spread and continue to do so, are doing us no good and they should step down. The manner in which the WHO reacted to this ebola crisis would cause anyone to wonder if they initially knew about this well in advance, raising questions whether or not, they are clean? Because if they were clean, their actions would be better aligned to their words. Right now, both do not match at all and that makes people skeptical whether or not ebola is a hoax engineered by the US and spread through those who are vaccinated with a vaccine from Red Cross, says these reports.

Lastly, one thing we should all remember is that the lack of knowledge can lead to detrimental consequences. Stigmatization and discrimination are fueled by lack of knowledge. Some Africans are now being stigmatized or discriminated against because of showing some signs of illness that may not be related to ebola. Do yourself a favor and read to get to know more about symptoms of ebola and how you can help bring this madness to control.

If anyone has a hand in using their power to kill poor people to gain something, no matter your civility, you are a monster and there is no place for you and your government on this planet.

Call for concept notes: IFAD-CCAFS Learning Alliance

Source: URL:http://ccafs.cgiar.org/about/careers-and-calls/call-concept-notes-ifad-ccafs-learning-alliance?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CgiarClimate-CareersAndCalls+%28CGIAR+Climate+-+Careers+and+calls%29#.VDTz1lb_JG4. Accessed: 10/09/2014
Source: Photo Courtesy of Oxfarm International.URL:http://ccafs.cgiar.org/about/careers-and-calls/call-concept-notes-ifad-ccafs-learning-alliance utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CgiarClimate-CareersAndCalls+%28CGIAR+Climate+-+Careers+and+calls%29#.VDTz1lb_JG4. Retrieved on: 10/09/2014.

Note: This is a repost. Please refer to the links provided to see detail on how to apply to this opportunity, if interested. Thanks

The IFAD-CCAFS Learning Alliance is calling for concept notes with the focus on economic valuation of climate risks and adaptation responses in agricultural development projects.

Closing date: 10 November 2014, 08h00 CET.

Rationale for the call

Climate change is a risk multiplier for farmers and food systems. Trends in climatic means and increasing climatic variability both multiply risks. The recent IPCC report makes clear that increasing climate variability and uncertainty will have serious impacts on food availability and farming systems in coming decades. Investments in agricultural development in countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change need to evaluate climate risks as effectively as possible to deliver real benefits to poor rural people.

But the current reality in planning of agricultural development projects tends to be a deficit of economic valuation of climate risks and response options. Problems include insufficient data, uncertainties about climate and other trends, and difficulties in measuring and prioritising among trade-offs among different outcomes for different stakeholders.  The deficit in economic evaluation limits the effectiveness of development programming and discourages private sector investment because risks cannot be evaluated.

Climate risk evaluation and associated decision-making will never be perfect, but application of practical, evidence-based economic approaches will do much to improve public sector and private sector investment and hence outcomes for farmers and food.

Research purpose

The intention of this call is to create and utilise new knowledge on the economic value of climate risks and responses to agriculture in real cases. The selected research consortium will be expected to:

1) Deliver innovative scientific knowledge products on climate change that are relevant to development programming and investment (Outcome 1,70%)

2) Knowledge products and results are actively cited in key policy forums at global and national levels (Outcome 2,15%)

3) National research institutions and researchers have raised capacities and profiles on climate change research for development (Outcome 3,15%)

Research approach

Research consortia are invited to deliver the outcomes and outputs listed below while bringing their own research approach and scientific paradigm to the topic. Research consortia are welcome to propose additional outputs and activities. Note that the primary purpose of the work is to improve the knowledge base of decision-makers and practitioners in agricultural development, i.e. to deliver applied research rather than conceptual research.  Therefore the research approach is expected to apply established or nascent economic tools to current data sets and case studies (from IFAD ASAP cases, but also additional sources wherever valuable), rather than to propose new tools for others to apply.

The proposed research approach might usefully include the following:

  • Delivering economic information in formats that can be utilised directly by public sector and private sector investors, and working directly with these partners to improve the relevance of the research products
  • Going beyond cost-benefit analyses that identify single best-bets for agricultural development to multi-metric evaluations that consider risk and uncertainty dimensions (including data inadequacies)
  • Undertaking assessment of trade-offs for key groups of stakeholders and beneficiaries (e.g. by gender or livelihood) – note that in general all work funded under CCAFS is expected to have at least 15% of the budget allocated to activities that address gender and social inequalities
  • Situating climate risks and adaptation options within overall agricultural development pathways (whether at national or local levels), with consideration of outcomes for food security and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions among other relevant factors

Expected outputs and outcomes

The format for the concept notes is structured according to the expected deliverables, as outlined below. The research consortium will be expected to deliver an annual narrative and financial report at the end of December 2015 and a project completion report in the final quarter of 2016, demonstrating performance on outputs and outcomes.

Outcome 1 Scientific knowledge products are widely accessed (70%)

Key outputs:

(a) A global report that provides economic valuation of climate change risks and adaptation options in multiple countries, covering but not necessarily limited to ASAP cases (b) Country-level summaries aimed at national policy-makers (c) A guidance document on methods, assumptions, country contexts and lessons

Outcome 2 Policy engagement: Knowledge products and results are actively cited in key policy forums at global and national levels (15%)

Key outputs:

(a) Dissemination of knowledge products via IFAD, CCAFS and research partner communication channels including social media (b) Targeting of specific results into key policy processes (e.g. poverty reduction strategies, national adaptation plans and agricultural policies, private sector strategies, standards and investment protocols) (c) Publication of key results in scientific journals to provide a robust basis for citation in IPCC and UNFCCC

Outcome 3 Capacity enhancement: Partner national research institutions have raised capacities and profiles on climate change research for development (15%)

Key outputs:

(a) Support to national research partners to develop and deliver policy engagement strategies (b) Facilitation of appropriate south-south cooperation between ASAP countries, to exchange relevant knowledge on climate change responses (c) Inclusion of PhD students, including nominees from IFAD, on research projects to strengthen long-term research capacity and research-practice linkages

Focal countries

The work is intended to produce international public goods with global relevance and wide applicability across low-income and middle-income countries. The successful research consortium will be asked to include cases from all or some of the countries where IFAD’s ASAP programme is implemented, with a focus on the countries where implementation is most advanced: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Chad, Djibouti, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Vietnam. All fieldwork will take place at sites where IFAD’s ASAP programme is implemented.

The IFAD-CCAFS Learning Alliance

IFAD and CCAFS have developed a Learning Alliance by which CGIAR and partners’ science can contribute to better practice in agricultural development under climate change, including in IFAD’s Adaptation in Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) and associated investments.  IFAD and CCAFS will co-fund research consortia, competitively selected, to investigate questions of scientific interest directly linked to ASAP priorities.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations, established as an international financial institution in 1977, dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing poor rural people’s access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources, to enable them to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes and strengthen their resilience.

The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), launched by IFAD in 2012, channels climate finance to smallholder farmers so they can access the information tools and technologies that help build their resilience to climate change. ASAP has become the largest global financing source dedicated to supporting the adaptation of poor smallholder farmers to climate change. The programme is working in more than thirty developing countries, using climate finance to make rural development programmes more climate-resilient.

CCAFS, led by CIAT, is a multi-agency research programme under CGIAR in strategic partnership with Future Earth. The purpose of CCAFS is to address the challenge of ensuring food and rural livelihood security in the face of a variable and changing climate. CGIAR, established in 1971, is a global research partnership of 15 scientific research centres and their partner organisations, which together generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies and policies for agricultural development through thematic research programmes such as CCAFS. CGIAR has a strong track record of delivering research that improves the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of agricultural development for poor rural people.

Available information on ASAP investments and CCAFS research

Given that data availability is a major impediment to valuation of climate risks and adaptation responses, research consortia are encouraged to identify and use diverse data sources. In each country where IFAD’s ASAP programme is implemented, IFAD has commissioned a set of project design documents, which can be made available at the appropriate point during the project cycle. These include climate risk assessments, which evaluate both climate risks and institutional capacities, varying in their scope and level of quantitative analysis depending on factors such as data availability and pre-defined agricultural investment priorities. The types of adaptation intervention funded via ASAP can be viewed at http://www.ifad.org/climate/asap/asap-spending.pdf

CCAFS research outputs can be accessed at the CCAFS websitehttp://ccafs.cgiar.org.

Timeline and funding

Concept notes should propose work that delivers all outputs between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, with a total budget request of up to USD 500 thousand dollars.  No overhead may be included in the budget.

Submission process

This call is released on 7 October 2014.  Concept notes should use the template at this link and should be submitted by 08h00 CET on 10 November 2014 tod.dinesh@cgiar.org.  The final decision will be announced on 30 November 2014.  Work is expected to begin in January 2015.

Eligibility of research consortia

The call is open to any consortium of organisations and individuals with demonstrable capacity for research and engagement in the economic valuation of agricultural development and climate change adaptation. Any organisation may submit a concept note, but all concept notes should include more than one partner organisation. At least one partner that contributes significantly to the research should be a national research partner from a low-income or middle-income country.

Evaluation criteria and process

Concept notes will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1. Research innovation: clear plans for generating new science in user-friendly outputs

2. Track-record: demonstrable capacity in delivery of high-quality policy-relevant research in the specified topic

3. Policy engagement: a clear strategy for demand-side analysis of policy-maker and practitioner priorities at national level and for engagement with named policy processes and stakeholders as the project unfolds; active presence in countries where the ASAP programme is implemented, and ability to work directly with government/IFAD teams as needed

4. Forward links from outputs to outcomes: linked to the above, a plausible strategy for deploying outputs to achieve outcomes (changes in behaviour among next users)

5. Capacity enhancement: inclusion of national research organisations from low-income or middle-income countries, particularly in the focal countries of the project, and a clear strategy for building the skills and profile of national research organisations and PhD researchers (including a small number of PhD students that may come via IFAD)

6. Demand-driven outputs: commitment to responding to demand from next-users to improve the utility and uptake of the research

7. Participatory methods: use of participatory research approaches, particularly where fieldwork is conducted at IFAD sites among rural beneficiaries

8. Gender and social inequalities: a clear strategy for addressing social inequality, including by gender, within the research, policy engagement and capacity enhancement components of the project

9. Monitoring and evaluation: quantification of contributions, with provision of evidence, to outcomes and indicators agreed with CCAFS

Concept notes will be excluded from the evaluation if they do not conform to the basic topic, format, requirements, timeline or budget given in this call.  One to three concept notes will be selected.  Successful project teams will be asked to develop the concept note further, in collaboration with IFAD and CCAFS, including changes such as the partners involved or budgets.


Photo courtesy of Oxfam International.

Agronomy for climate-smart agriculture in Latin America

Source: URL: http://ccafs.cgiar.org/about/careers-and-calls/agronomy-climate-smart-agriculture-latin-america?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CgiarClimate-CareersAndCalls+%28CGIAR+Climate+-+Careers+and+calls%29#.VDTx71b_JG4
Source: URL: http://ccafs.cgiar.org/about/careers-and-calls/agronomy-climate-smart-agriculture-latin-america?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CgiarClimate-CareersAndCalls+%28CGIAR+Climate+-+Careers+and+calls%29#.VDTx71b_JG4. Accessed: 10/09/2014

Please Note: This is a repost. Please visit the links provided for more details of this opportunity. Thanks, Macedo

If you are about to enroll in or conduct your Ph.D. research, you could be part of a new generation of rice scientists with a Global Rice Science Scholarship (GRiSS).

INTRODUCTION

Unpredictable climate is challenging farmers in Latin America (LAM) with changing, complex, and extremely variable conditions for agriculture. This affects irrigated rice as well as rainfed and upland rice. In fact, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has shown evidence that climate accounts for 30% to 40% of the production variability in some rice regions in Colombia.

Joint efforts on multi-environment trials with detailed physiological evaluation, studies on the adaptation of elite lines, historical data analysis, and crop modeling in Colombia provided important inputs for initiating the development of a system to better manage rice under highly variable weather scenarios.

This system includes breeding in terms of relevant climatic factors, crop modeling to predict crop performance in a given weather scenario, modeling to predict the appearance of diseases, soil digital mapping, and computational analysis of massive amounts of data coming from farmers. For this reason, new approaches/profiles are required in order to support rice research on how to be more efficient producing rice in LAM.

A profile/scholar with the capability to understand the influence of agronomic, physiological, and environmental factors on rice yield, reasoning behind the analysis of large amounts of data, and Site-specific influence on rice production has become necessary to provide important insights in to the critical factors that affect rice yield. This could be achieved through the analysis and validation of data from ongoing projects of Global Rice Science Partnership(GRiSP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

At CIAT, we believe that important insights into agricultural research will come from harnessing agricultural data, physiology, and agronomy to generate new knowledge on agricultural constraints, and identify opportunities for major increases in rice production. This information can be used by breeders for developing new targeted germplasm that can perform better in certain regions and therefore moving beyond blanket technological solutions toward a system of dynamic site-specific management, which is sensitive and responsive to climate, soil, and local conditions.

We want to develop a large case study, targeting two contrasting production systems in Latin America (a site with high yield potential and a site with high yield variability). For each site, the scholar will use tools such as empirical big data modeling, plant modeling, and controlled experiments in order to:

  • Identify target-prone environments and present a hypothesis of the factors that limit yield using mainly historical data.
  • Validate this hypothesis with field experiments.
  • Suggest interesting plant traits or combinations that should be looked into by breeders.
ELEGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR GRISS

All applicants must:

  • be involved in a field of rice science and related systems research
  • be willing to work on any of the identified areas for the Ph.D. research
  • be highly qualified well-rounded rice scientists from the public or private sector
  • have gained admission to an approved course in a university, have finished all Ph.D. coursework requirements, and/or be able to complete university registration within a minimal time
  • be endorsed by his or her university supervisor (if already enrolled and applying for a sandwich program)
  • possess adequate proficiency in the English language
  • not be more than 35 years old at the time of application

Scholarship benefits

  • Round-trip airfare and research-related travel expenses
  • Monthly stipend with local medical and accident insurance
  • Research support
  • Funding for leadership and professional development
  • University fees (with an upper limit)
ABOUT GRISS

The GRiSS offers young scientists the chance to be experts in a scientific discipline relevant to agriculture and to have a broader understanding of global issues that affect rice science for development.

The GRiSS is a great opportunity for scientists who are in the early stages of their career and are working in a national agricultural research and extension system in a developing country.

All GRiSS are awarded on a competitive basis for developed- and developing-country candidate participation. A Selection Committee composed of the head of training or his or her counterpart from the research institution involved, the head of the research unit and program involved, and concerned scientists will evaluate candidates based on certain eligibility requirements.

HOW TO APPLY

Go to this link and click on ‘Apply now’

For more information, please go to the link: http://www.grisp.net/page/grisp-scholarship or write to the email grispscholarships[at]irri.org

Fall 2014 Call for Applications for U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security

Source:URL:http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/food/index.php
Source:URL:http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/food/index.php

October 1, 2014

Program Description:

The program is generously funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with an aim to boost the number of future leaders and decision-makers who have the scientific base needed to effectively study and promote sustainable food systems. The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program is implemented by the Purdue University Center for Global Food Security.

This program supports exceptional U.S. graduate students conducting research on topics related to USAID’s global hunger and food security initiative—Feed the Future. All topics that relate to food security and are linked to the research strategies of the Feed the Future initiative are eligible. Applicants must focus their food security related graduate research in a single, developing country context and collaborate with a mentor from an International Agricultural Research Center (IARC), or a qualifying National Agricultural Research System (NARS) unit. Two application cycles are held annually, in the Spring and Fall semesters.

Award Benefits:

Grants for 6-month long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 15,000. Grants for 1-year long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 20,000. Grants for 2-year long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 40,000. Students are expected to stay in the host country for the majority of the time (85%) with some time available for short-term absences. Year long research grants may be split into two, 6- month long stays over a period of no more than 18 months. Grant funds are not intended to cover all costs of the proposed research, and applicants are expected to leverage additional funding in support of their graduate work. Additional state-side support upon completion of field research can also be requested for a period of up to 4 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate program.

To Apply:

Submit a completed application by Monday, November 10, 2014, 11:59 p.m. Eastern time to borlaugfellows@purdue.edu. Application instructions and forms are available online.

Application Form
Project Narrative
Budget, Budget Justification & Project Timeline Form
Proof of Citizenship
Institutional letters of support from the submitting university and participating IARC/NARC
Letter of approval from submitting university’s sponsored programs office
Two letters of recommendation
Review of Applications:

Awards are made on a competitive basis to students who show strong scientific foundation and possess leadership potential, propose a well-coordinated research plan that clearly articulates concepts and objectives that are innovative and feasible, and demonstrate a commitment to international development. A selection committee will review applications and the top-ranked applicants may be interviewed before a final selection is made. Applicants will be notified of their status by December 22, 2014.

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Contact Details

Pamela McClure
borlaugfellows@purdue.edu
(765) 494-5441
More Information

U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program