agriculture | Scholarship for Nigerians and Africans

$80,000 Grant :Africa-Brazil agricultural innovation marketplace

The Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace is an international initiative supported by different donors aiming to link Brazilian and African experts and institutions to develop cooperative projects.The objective of this initiative is to enhance agricultural innovation for development on the African continent through the establishment and strengthening of partnerships between African and Brazilian organizations.

Agriculture represents an important segment of the economies of Africa and Brazil. In addition, similarities in climate, ecosystems, agricultural practices, and culture may facilitate knowledge sharing and technological cooperation. Over the past 30 years, Brazilian agricultural growth and development has been guided by policies and technologies based on research for development. Brazilian policies, experience, and focus in social programs such as Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) targeting social protection networks for the poor, provide an important linkage between the regions. In Africa, the importance of agriculture in development has been recognized through initiatives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa´s Development (NEPAD) and the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP). Therefore, partnerships between agricultural scientists and experts in Africa and Brazil could be instrumental in supporting African nations in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Such South-South collaborations complemented by relevant basic science developed in industrialized countries could make an important contribution to more productive agriculture and more affordable food for the poor in Africa.
This is an initiative of Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) ) with support from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of External Relations (ABC-MRE), the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF).

The overall objective is to enhance agricultural innovation and development on the African continent through the establishment and strengthening of partnerships between Africa and Brazil.

Proposals will be accepted under the thematic areas described below.  In addition, since part of the available funding targets specific countries and products, within each thematic area, high quality proposals focusing on Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana,  Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, or Uganda and in maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, groundnut, cowpeas, beans, cattle, goats, or chickens will receive additional consideration.

1. Productivity Enhancing Technologies:
•    Development of land productivity enhancement and saving technologies.
For example: approaches to biological nitrogen fixation and utilization; improvement of livestock breeds and health; molecular and conventional approaches for genetic improvement and adaptation of crop plants, arable crops, fruit trees and forestry species; biodiversity management; molecular characterization and conservation of plant genetic resources; soil, water, and crop management; storage technologies; and food  processing.

•    Development of technologies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
For example: forestry and agroforestry options for fighting desertification, poverty and hunger; livestock distribution, health, and productivity, plant breeding, crop management, water harvesting and management techniques, soil reclamation, and re-forestation.
2. Natural Resource Management Improvements:
•    Generation of natural resource and soil conservation technologies with reduced drudgery and low cost.
For example: regeneration of degraded lands, conservation agriculture including soil and water conservation, usage of legumes in cropping systems, crop rotation techniques, and development of organic farming.
3. Policy, Institutional and Market Strengthening and Knowledge Management:
•    Strategies for knowledge management and improved access to knowledge and information by stakeholders in the commodity chain.
For example: policy analysis; market studies; ICT for development; communication strategies to farmers, policy makers, and private sector; gender sensitivity in communication; and trade in agricultural commodities.

•    Strategies and policies for institutional strengthening.
For example: capacity building; re-engineering institutions; engagement of private sector in agriculture; innovation systems; and engagement of government support in research.

4. Smallholder and Poverty-Alleviation Targeted Technologies:
•    Development of technologies and strategies/systems to reduce poverty and hunger.
For example: improvement of cash flow for farmers, and improvement of information flow and of agricultural lending systems.

•    Mechanization appropriate for smallholders.

Who can apply
•    Individuals representing a partnership between African-based public or private, governmental or non-governmental research and development organizations, and one or more of Embrapa´s centers. Projects with only African or Brazilian organizations or with a Brazilian co-leader organization other than an Embrapa center are not eligible at this time.
•    Individuals must possess the required competencies to support innovation within the institution or consortia of institutions.
•    The ability to read and write in English is essential.
•    Preference will be given to countries/regions without on-going conflicts and that have institutions and policies that favor innovation.
•    Other desirable characteristics of applicants include young to mid-career category individuals with interest in professional growth; excellent networking in the country; and active engagement in research, development, and innovation in one of the thematic areas.


•    Proposals must be submitted through 1 thematic area only. Proposals submitted in duplicate to more than 1 thematic area will not be considered. However, different proposals submitted to different thematic areas by the same group of individuals are acceptable.
•    Projects must be planned to be implemented in Africa. Supporting activities such as, for instance, testing of samples, might be conducted outside of Africa if capacity is not available, accessible, or reasonably affordable on the continent.
•    Projects addressing questions that are part of larger, multi-year, on-going projects funded by another source are eligible to the extent that the objectives, expected outputs, the timeline for completion, and the inclusion of the appropriate African and Brazilian partners are clearly defined, and in accordance with these guidelines.
•    Proposals addressing highly sensitive issues such as tests involving human subjects will undergo additional scrutiny.

•    Proposals must be written in English and in accordance with these guidelines in order to receive full consideration. Pre-proposals must be submitted through the website ( following the outline and instructions in Annex 1
•    A budget is not required for pre-proposals. It will be requested for full proposals at the appropriate time. However, please see the potential funding size below to guide the pre-proposal development.

At this time, it is expected that projects will be funded up to USD 80,000 in total for a maximum duration period of 2 years.

Pre-proposals will be assessed according to the preliminary criteria outlined below. Please note that the assessment criteria might be modified by the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace Steering Committee (SC) for different calls.
a. Innovation
Innovation is a major differentiating element for the Marketplace. All proposals selected for funding should go beyond standard innovation development projects, including approaches on new technologies, new products or services using existing technology, new processes, including new mechanisms to deliver products or services, among others. The proposal will be assessed according to how it differs from existing approaches. Note that transferring an approach to solve a common problem from one beneficiary group or from one geographic area to another is not considered innovative by the Marketplace.

b. Competencies of the team
The proposed team should reflect the competencies and experience required to achieve the project objectives in the 2-year period. See Annex for required information.

c. Project Design, Objectives, and Measuring of Potential Impacts
The project should have an appropriate design to address the proposed objectives including concrete steps and activities. The objectives and methodology must be clear and the results measurable with an indication on the potential impact on improving individuals’ or communities’ ability to adapt to innovation. The expected results should be achievable within the 2-year timeframe.

d. Sustainability of Impact
Projects should indicate how the results and development impacts will be sustainable after the end of Marketplace funds. This should include the nature of sustainability such as financial or organizational.

e. Growth Potential
The Marketplace encourages projects with potential for a large scale development impact. Assessors will evaluate constraints as well as the opportunities to scaling up and replicating.
Note: Replicability is when a project can be adopted by other groups. Scalability is when a project can be expanded within a geographic area to benefit more people in the project area.

This call for proposals is a 2-step competitive process. Applicants are requested to submit a pre-proposal for evaluation and, if selected, will be requested to submit a full proposal. Further information is presented below on these guidelines for pre-proposal. Guidelines for full proposals will be made available at the appropriate time.
Step 1. All submitted pre-proposals will be screened by the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace Executive Committee (EC) for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be evaluated by the Steering Committee (SC) based on the assessment criteria. If necessary, external expert advice will be requested by the SC. The top pre-proposals in each thematic area will be selected and invited to present full proposals

Step 2. Full proposals will be evaluated by the SC and the top proposals will be selected for funding. The total number of pre-proposals invited to present full proposals and the total number of full proposals selected for funding will depend on the available funds and the quality of the proposals presented and will be determined at the appropriate time.

December 12th, 2011:  Call for pre-proposals opens
February 29th, 2012: Call for pre-proposals closes at 5pm Brasília Time
March 15th, 2012: Announcement of selected pre-proposals, and invitation for full proposal development and submission. Further information, guidelines, and timelines will be provided at that time.

1. Pre-proposals must be submitted online through the Marketplace website
( If not possible, please contact us via email at . For further information and instructions on how to apply, please visit our website at
2. The online form allows applicants to save a draft of their pre-proposal in the system while they work on it. Note that only submitted applications will be considered for the competition and that any pre-proposal in draft form will be automatically deleted after the submission deadline. To be considered for this competition, please make sure that you click the “Submit” button on your application by the dates and times stated in the above timeline.
3. The SC must receive your complete pre-proposal according to the dates and times specified in the previous section.
4. For further information, please contact us via email at: If you are unable to access the internet or our website, please contact the Marketplace team at +55 61 3448-4256 (Embrapa, Brazil) or +233 21 772823 Fax: +233 21 773676 (FARA, Ghana).

Australia Awards in Africa – PhDs for Agriculture

Applications for the 2013 intake will open on 1 January 2012.

The deadline for submission of applications will be 30 April 2012.

Applicants should note that the Awards programme receives large volumes of applications for its scholarships. Any applications that are incomplete, unsigned, or where the applicant does not meet all the Desired Applicant Profile criteria may be excluded from consideration.

Application Process:
  1. Carefully read the information given in PhD Application Pack 2013 Intake – click here to download it in Microsoft Word 1997-2003 format, or click here for PDF format.
  2. Review the PowerPoint Presentation with Advice for PhD Applicants.
  3. Check your eligibility against the ‘Desired Applicant Profile’ requirements outlined on the second page of the Information Pack.
  4. Submit the documents shown in (2) below to the Australia Awards Program Manager at the details given in (6) below by 30 April 2012.  Incomplete applications may be excluded from consideration.
  5. Send a ‘proof of submission’ email to AAA as instructed at the bottom of the Preliminary Application Form (PAF) once you have submitted your complete application.  You can download the PhD PAF from (2) below.
  6. Candidates directly associated with agricultural research and development efforts supported by one or more of the three Australia-Africa Agricultural Partnerships being funded under the Australian Food Security Program in Africa (ACIAR – CIMMYT; CSIRO – CORAF; and CSIRO – BecA) are encouraged to apply.
  7. Eligible nationals of the following countries may apply: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia and Uganda.
  8. PhD Applicants should carefully read the guidelines set out in the ADS (Scholarships) Handbook (download from here in MS Word format and here in PDF format) and familiarise themselves with the conditions and criteria for a PhD.
  9. GRM International (the independent contractor engaged by the Australian Government to assist in implementation of the program) will receive applications from interested candidates by 30 April 2012.
  10. Compliance checks and short-listing of candidates for subsequent interview will be undertaken in May. Short-listed candidates will then be interviewed during June or July 2012. The venue for the interview will be confirmed but is expected to be either Accra (Ghana) or Nairobi (Kenya).
  11. After the interviews, all interviewees will be given an information session explaining the rest the Australia Awards and visa application processes.
  12. Successful awardees will be required to submit a final university transcript and visa application to GRM International by 15 August 2012;
  13. A pre-departure briefing for awardees will occur in October 2012. These briefings are expected to be held in Abuja, Accra, Pretoria or Nairobi depending on their country of residence;
  14. Awardees will normally commence their academic program in January 2013 in time for the Introductory Academic Program of their institution however some university programs for PhD candidates may commence later than January.
(2) Application Documents

Eligible applicants are invited to forward the following documents for consideration:

  • a completed PhD Preliminary Application Form (PAF);
  • all other supporting documents as set out in the PAF.

Please click here for the MS Word format PhD PAF for paper-based submissions (i.e. if you wish to fill it out by hand and submit it by post, courier or fax), or click here for the PDF format version.
If you wish to submit your application electronically (paragraph (6) refers), please click here for the MS Word electronic submission version.

Failure to complete the application form and submit all documentation requested may lead to your application being excluded from consideration. No undergraduate or Masters degree nominations will be considered.


(3) ADS Category

Targeted. The targeted category of scholarships is intended to strengthen priority areas of capacity in Africa. Please see the DAP for details.


(4) Priority Sectors
  • Agricultural Research.
(5) Closing date for Receipt of Applications

30 April 2012


(6) Address for Application Submissions

Postal Address:
Australia Awards in Africa
c/- GRM International
Bag X38, Hatfield
Pretoria  0028

Physical Address (for courier):

Australia Awards in Africa
c/- GRM International
1140 Prospect Street
Building 3, 3rd Floor, Hatfield Square
Hatfield, Pretoria, 0083

Note:  If you are going to send your documents by courier, please use the Physical Address, not the Postal Address.  Most courier companies will not – and should not – allow you to specify a PO Box or Bag No. as the delivery address.

+27 86 602 3719.
Note: Please ensure that each page of your application has your surname and the phrase “PhD Application” written on it if you elect to submit by fax.

Note: please remember to put your name, country and the words “PhD Application” in the subject line of ALL emails if you submit your application by email.  Please also ensure that the filenames you use for attachments are properly descriptive, to ensure they can be easily filed as part of your application.


(7) English Language Proficiency:

To gain admission to an Australian University, applicants will need to demonstrate a level of English language competency as indicated by the following scores in an IELTS or TOEFL test:

(i) for IELTS, an overall band score of 6.5 or above with no individual band less than 6.0;
(ii) for internet-based TOEFL (iBT), an Overall score of 90 or above, with a written score of no less than 23;
(iii) for paper-based TOEFL (pBT), an Overall score of 577 or above, with a written of 5.0.
Regardless of the test type, it must have been taken no earlier than September 2010.  Test results that are older than 24 months will not be considered current by Australian Universities and will not be valid.

Alternatively, candidates may provide one of the following proofs of English language proficiency.

  1. Candidates that have studied at a University within the last five years which instructed in English may present an official letter from that institution indicating that the medium of instruction was English. Click here for an example.
  2. Candidates that have been out of University for longer than five years, but have worked recently in a professional environment that used English as the main language, may present a letter signed by their employer confirming that English was the medium of interaction in the workplace. Click here for an example.


In certain cases, Australian Universities may require proof of English even in situations where letters from the University or workplace have been provided.  These English requirements are the policy of the Universities and are not controlled or influenced by AusAID.

For further information on IELTS click here. For further information on the TOEFL test, click here.

Note that in some exceptional circumstances, additional English language training may be available to awardees to be undertaken concurrently with their PhD studies in Australia.


Please click here for a PDF version of the Australian Development Scholarships Handbook.
It details conditions relating to eligibility and payment of entitlements.

Research Position in Centre for Studies in Science Policy at JNU, India: Socio-economic Study of Rainfed Agriculture and Low Input Animal Husbandry in India

Applications are invited from senior, middle and junior economists for a project entitled “Socio-economic Study of Rainfed Agriculture and Low Input Animal Husbandry in India”. The Economic Research Unit based at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University is mandated to undertake macro-economic analyses, simulation modeling and case-study based analyses to improve our understanding of the functioning of rainfed dryland agriculture and its possible macroeconomic contribution in India. The objective of the Research Unit is to build an evidence-based case for directing more public investment to rainfed areas and the precise form such investment should take in the relevant sectors. The project is funded by the Ford Foundation and will run through December 31st, 2012.
A series of positions are being filled over the next few months, ranging from junior researchers to senior fellows. These are not time-bound positions, and hence applications are invited on a continuing basis. Successful candidates will need to have a PhD in Economics and some combination of experience of conducting field surveys, demonstrable abilities with statistical and econometric packages and a reasonable publication record. Salaries  for the respective positions will be awarded as per agreed upon in the final project budget. For clarifications please feel free to contact the Project Director. The qualified candidates should apply with their resumes and a sampling of their publications to the following address. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the interview.

Scholarship Application Deadline: An application window is open from 1st May, 2011 to 1st September 2011.

Further Scholarship Information and Application