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CORAF PhD Scholarship for African Students: Food System Resilience Program (FSRP) 2023

The Food System Resilience Program (FSRP) is a flagship regional investment program of more than US$1 billion that aims to build food system resilience in West Africa through a strategic regional approach. The program will fund investments in three mutually reinforcing thematic areas: (1) Digital advisory services for the prevention and management of agricultural and food crises; (2) Sustainability and resilience of the food system’s productive base (sustainable land and watershed management, agro-ecological approaches); and (3) Market integration and trade (regional staple food value chain development).  Each area will be led by a mandated regional institution (AGRHYMET, CORAF, ECOWAS) to ensure coordination and build sustainable capacity.

The Program Development Objective (PDO) is to: “Strengthen the management of risks inherent in regional food systems, improve the sustainability of the production base in targeted areas and develop regional agricultural markets.”

Specifically, the program will contribute to increasing the resilience of food systems in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Togo (Phase 1); and Ghana, Chad, and Sierra Leone (Phase 2) through investments in regional risk management, basic food trade, and sustainability of the production base.

Sub-component 2.1 provides for the consolidation of regional agricultural innovation systems through the strengthening of national research systems and the deepening and expansion of regional R&D networks. In order to contribute to the preparation of the succession of aging research staff, the PRSA supports the awarding of MSc and PhD scholarships at both the national and regional levels. At the regional level, CORAF, through its student sponsorship policy, plans to recruit 8 students for PhD studies in 2023 on topics of regional interest covering the areas of crop production (agronomy, agroforestry, agroecology, pest control, etc.), animal production (breeding, breeding of new crops, etc.) and food security (food safety, nutrition, etc.). ), animal production (breeding, fisheries and aquaculture, food and animal nutrition, etc.), food quality and safety, agro-industry (processing of plant, animal and fishery products), agricultural product markets, bioinformatics, prospective analysis, etc, which will eventually benefit the WCA.
Research activities will be conducted through the National Specialization Centers (NSCs) to promote collaboration between universities and these centers. The NSCs are: (i) Root and Tuber Crops in Ghana, (ii) Rainfed, Irrigated and Deep Submergence Rice in Mali; (iii) Dry Cereals in Senegal; (iv) Fruits and Vegetables in Burkina Faso; (v) Plantain Banana in Cote d’Ivoire; (vi) Aquaculture in Nigeria; (vii) Maize in Benin, (viii) Livestock in Niger and (ix) Mangrove Rice in Sierra Leone.

Students must enroll in one of the universities in CORAF member countries. Within the framework of this program, CORAF recommends the co-supervision of the students who will be selected. Thus, the supervision of the student will be done by a teacher of the university where the student will be registered, a researcher of one of the research centers of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) involved and/or the executive secretariat of CORAF.

Students will report administratively to the CORAF Executive Secretariat, and academically/technically to the university and research center to which their supervisor belongs. For their field work, they will be based in one of the NARS research centers with possible travel to other CORAF countries.

Each candidate is expected to develop, under the guidance of his/her supervisors, a budgeted research protocol on one of the topics/areas of regional interest (see attached table). Successful applicants are also expected to contribute to the achievement of at least one of the outcomes of the CORAF Strategic Plan 2018 – 2027, to publish scientific articles and to write a thesis upon completion of the research.

The research proposals will be evaluated by CORAF’s scientific and technical committee to select the 8 best ones.

About Conference of Heads of African and French Agricultural Research (CORAF)

CORAF is an international non-profit association working to enhance prosperity, food, and nutrition security in West and Central Africa.

Conference of Heads of African and French Agricultural Research (CORAF)

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CORAF PhD Scholarship

Application Deadline17 May 2023
SponsorConference of Heads of African and French Agricultural Research (CORAF)
GenderMen and Women

Aim and Benefits of CORAF PhD Scholarship

The fellowship stipend will include: (i) registration and bench fees; (ii) a monthly living allowance; (iii) field expenses including travel, surveys or labor related to the research activities, acquisition of small research equipment and consumables; (iv) international travel expenses (conference attendance, scientific visits); (v) and supervision expenses.

Requirements for CORAF PhD Scholarship Qualification

To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a national of one of the CORAF member countries;
  • Be no more than 40 years old;
  • Have a Master’s degree in research related to the chosen field and theme;
  • Have already identified a thesis supervisor;
  • Have a demonstrated capacity for applied research, a willingness to learn and think across disciplines and professions;
  • Have a demonstrated interest in agricultural research for development;
  • Ability to speak and write French or English fluently; a good working knowledge of the other language would be an asset;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Excellent communication skills.

Application Deadline

May 17, 2023

How to Apply

To apply for this program, the application must include:

  • A letter of motivation demonstrating the applicant’s suitability and motivation and specifying his/her availability;
  • Diplomas and transcripts (Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees);
  • A curriculum vitae (Maximum 5 pages);
  • Two letters of recommendation from supervisors with their addresses;
  • A letter of commitment from each identified supervisor (university and research center)
  • A budgeted thesis research proposal on one of the research topics covering one of CORAF’s priority areas (proposals attached). The research proposal must specify the doctoral school or university of registration, the name and full address of the supervisors (Co-Directors of the thesis). Please submit your application by email to [email protected] with a copy to [email protected], no later than May 17, 2023. The subject line of the email should clearly state “Doctoral Program – CORAF 2023”. Shortlisted students will be interviewed online. Results will be announced in July with a likely start date of September 2023.

For more details, visit CORAF website.

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