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Doctoral Research Fellowship on IPM for Rice and Chickpea in East Africa

icipe is an international scientific research institute, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya that works towards improving lives and livelihoods of people in Africa. The Centre’s main objective is to research and develop alternative and environmentally-friendly pest and vector management strategies that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. icipe’s mandate also extends to the conservation and use of the rich insect biodiversity found in Africa (for more information go to www.icipe.org).

icipe invites applications for a doctoral position to develop and evaluate IPM packages for rice and chickpea insect pests and diseases. The PhD research work will be carried out in Tanzania for rice IPM and in Ethiopia for chickpea IPM for three years commencing 1 June 2016 and ending on 31 May 2019. Four students will be required: two of them will be working on rice insect pests and rice diseases in Tanzania, while the other two students will be working on chickpea insect pests and diseases in Ethiopia.

Background to the research

Rice and chickpea are staple food crops in Tanzania and Ethiopia, respectively. However, the national yield average is low compared to other regions of the world, due to biotic and abiotic factors. Among the biotic factors, insects, diseases, weeds and rodents play a major role in reducing yield. In Africa, farmers generally rely on cultural practices or insecticides to minimise crop losses. Insecticide use in many countries has increased, and misuse is also becoming more abundant. Sustainable IPM packages for grain crops need to be developed to reduce the use of pesticides, improve human and environmental health, enhance biodiversity, and increase the productivity of soil and crops. To address the aforementioned challenges, the Grain Crops IPM project has been designed to develop and test IPM technologies and information, under rice and chickpea production systems. IPM packages will be developed, tested and transferred to the end users along rice and chickpea value chains. To implement this project, a partnership has been established with defined roles and responsibilities between icipe, national research systems, local universities, NGOs and the private sector. The project will follow a participatory IPM or process-oriented research for development approach based on coalitions of partners working together. Expected outputs include advancement of ecologically based participatory IPM science and IPM technologies, information, and systems for managing key pests of rice and chickpea crops in East Africa, to enhance food and nutritional security. Ranges of priority insect pests and diseases of chickpea (pod borer, cutworms, aphids, blight, and wilt complexes), and rice (stemborers, gall midges, Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV), and blast disease) have been identified. The IPM components available in each country to address the identified challenges include pest monitoring and mass trapping using pheromone/sticky traps, use of local/commercial biopesticides (Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassianaB. thuringiensis), and botanical extracts for insect pests, and Trichoderma spp., Bacillus subtilis, resistant varieties, treated seed, and planting dates (where applicable) for diseases. Integrating, evaluating and disseminating these technologies will provide the focus of the project activities.

Supervisors: Dr Tadele Tefera, Dr Menale Kassie and university professors from Ethiopia and Tanzania, depending on where the students would register.

The USAID-funded Grain Crops IPM project will cover the tuition fees, research costs and stipend.

Eligibility criteria

  • A national of Ethiopia and Tanzania.
  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum pass of second-class, upper division.
  • A master’s degree taken with both coursework and research in the fields of entomology, plant pathology, microbiology, crop protection, zoology, botany or related field relevant to the PhD project.
  • Candidates who have completed PhD coursework and are ready to start research are especially encouraged to apply.
  • A good command of the English language (written and spoken) is required.

How to apply for the fellowship:

Applicants must submit the following documents by email to Ms Lillian Igweta, Training Officer, Capacity Building and Institutional Development Programme (icipe), at ligweta@icipe.org (please submit the documents in English where possible):

  • Cover letter.
  • Curriculum Vitae with the names of two academic referees.
  • Certified copies of official university certificates and transcripts.

In case of any questions regarding the submission to icipe, kindly contact Ms Lillian Igweta.

Applications must be received by 10 May 2016. Qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply.

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Application deadline set for October 31, 2014

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is pleased to announce the 2015 Borlaug Global Research Alliance Fellowship Program (Borlaug GRA Fellowship) under the auspices of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program. The 2015 Borlaug GRA Fellowship Program is administered and funded by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The Borlaug GRA Fellowship engages developing and middle-income countries to understand and mitigate the impacts of agriculture on climate change. The program offers training opportunities in specific topics focused on climate change and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Competitively selected fellows will work one-on-one with a mentor from a U.S. university or research institution who will coordinate the fellow’s training. After completion of the 6-12 week fellowship, the mentor will visit the fellow’s home institution for up to 10 days to continue collaboration on the research topic. The USDA will select the host institution and mentor for each fellow.

Applicants from the following countries are eligible to apply for the Borlaug GRA Fellowship:
• Colombia
• Costa Rica
• Ghana
• Honduras
• Indonesia
• Malaysia
• Mexico
• Nicaragua
• Panama
• Peru
• The Philippines
• Vietnam
The application deadline for the 2015 Borlaug GRA Fellowship is October 31, 2014. More information regarding application details can be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/borlaug-fellowship-program.

Additional questions about the Borlaug GRA Fellowship or related to the application process should be directed to BorlaugFellowships@fas.usda.gov.

Best of luck!
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