PhD Training Opportunities under the RUFORUM : Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program

Announcement 2017

 PhD Training Opportunities under the RUFORUM

Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program


Escalating PhD training in Africa: RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Programme

Over the years, universities in Africa have sought opportunities to send their staff for post-graduate training abroad in a bid to strengthen research and training, at very high costs.   The loss of faculty for 4 to 5 years has negatively affected universities.  In order to meet the growing demand for Doctoral level scientists in Africa, the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) programme was initiated by RUFORUM Vice Chancellors[1]to improve the quality of higher education at African Universities by increasing the proportion of academic staff with PhD qualifications, contributing to locally relevant research and reducing the time away from the home institution. The initiative was officially launched by the African Union Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology, H.E. Dr Martial De Paul Ikounga on 25th July 2014 at Maputo, Mozambique during the RUFORUM Fourth Biennial Conference. The specific objectives of the GTA are to:

  1. Improve the quality of higher education and increase the pool of PhD-level trained academic staff in African universities;
  2. Provide opportunities for the doctoral research to contribute more directly to African development
  3. Strengthen inter- university collaboration in the field of higher education in Africa; and
  4. Promote staff mobility among RUFORUM member universities, and across Africa.

The RUFORUM Secretariat announces the availability of 325 PhD training opportunities for the next 5 years under the GTA for the academic year beginning January, 2017. Potential applicants who are teaching staff at RUFORUM Member Universities are invited to submit applications to the RUFORUM Secretariat through a two-step process. Specific criteria for each step are indicated below.

  • Step 1: Identify and apply directly to University for the relevant program of choice to obtain admission into the program.
  • Step 2: Apply to the RUFORUM Secretariat for the GTA.

Selection Criteria:

The successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be a staff member from a RUFORUM Member University who has been nominated for PhD training by his/her university;
  2. Should have support letter from the sending University confirming nomination and support for travel, stipend, medical insurance and research funds;
  3. Applicant should have a Master degree relevant to the proposed field of PhD study;
  4. Applicant should identify, apply and be admitted to the graduate program by the host University;
  5. Applicant should complete the RUFORUM GTA application form which should be submitted at the same time that the application form is submitted for PhD admission.

Expectations and Responsibilities:

  • Each successful T.A. will contribute to the host university by participating in teaching during his/her training in the Department hosting the PhD Training programme
  • No G.T.A. may be employed by another organization, other than the sending and host university during their time of study.
  • A 100% tuition fee waiver and accommodation provided by the host university
  • The sending university will normally be expected to assist the host university to arrange for supervision of field work and thesis where the research is to be undertaken in the home/sending country
  • Sending universities are responsible for identifying and nominating staff for GTA placement
  • The GTA positions are open not only for agriculture related fields but also  other  fields depending on staff development priority of the sending university
  • Sending Universities may opt to send a list of staff requiring PhD training under the GTA arrangement and the RUFORUM Secretariat assists in facilitating placement of the nominated staff to universities with the appropriate fields of the required training
  • Sending universities may nominate more than five staff for training under the GTA arrangement
  • Universities hosting GTA students may opt to recruit more than five GTA students

Upon nomination by the sending/ home university, the RUFORUM Secretariat will;

  1. Facilitate the placement of nominated candidates to appropriate universities,
  2. Facilitate contract signing i) between successful applicant and the host university, and ii) between the sending university and host university
  3. Follow up on training at host/sending university, and report to home/sending university,
  4. Link the GTA beneficiaries to other RUFORUM graduate students and other opportunities

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Applicants are encouraged to submit admission applications directly to the host university but with copies to RUFORUM Secretariat, Training and Quality Assurance Unit, P.O Box 16811, Kampala, Uganda, email: and
  2. Nominating Universities should send official letters of nomination and commitment addressed to the hosting University with a copy to RUFORUM Secretariat

Date of 4th release of the GTA announcement: 21st January 2017

[1] The GTA was initiated by 42 African Vice Chancellors whose universities are members of RUFORUM.

Open Call For Proposals: Field Attachment Program Award (FAPA)


Proposals will be accepted throughout 2017

The Field Attachment Program Award (FAPA) is a competitive grants program designed as graduate student internship to link thesis research findings and recommendations to application and use at community level. The FAPA grants are intended to provide opportunity for dissemination of research outputs with a view to inform policy development and hone students’ skills in working with communities to use the research outputs that have been generated.

The FAPA is exclusively targeting RUFORUM supported MSc students who are in the process of finalising (completed MSc thesis and submitted for examination) their MSc level training.

The Field Attachment Awards (FAPA) are designed to encourage students to follow through with the dissemination of their research and to enable them to link more closely with the agencies working in the area where their research was carried out. It is established for those students who have developed a useful intervention, product or service as part of their Project and who have handed in their thesis, have no more stipend due from the GRG or CARP, but who could make a more meaningful impact if they stay on for a few more months and provide advisory services related to their research. Each applicant is expected to provide a short motivation that outlines what they will be doing, how it will contribute to the communities, and also to the graduate’s own development.

The FAPA is designed to give students real world experience and contacts with development and advisory agencies. All applications will be required to have a supporting letter from their Supervisor and from the Dean of Faculty, and applications will be strengthened if they also have a commitment letter from the community and or/ a government agency, NGO, or a private company that they will be hosting the student for their FAPA activities.

The award provides only for a living stipend and limited travel for three to four months. It is designed to link the student closely with a service provider in the area and to give them work experience.

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African Doctoral Academy Summer School Next intake 9-20 January 2017

Summer School 2017 – programme and fees

The Summer School is drawing near and we’ve had a few requests around our programme for 2017.

While we are putting the finishing touches on our programme, I would like to share some of the highlights of the coming Summer School with you. The 8th annual Summer School will take places from 9 – 20 January over two weeks. As always, the focus is firmly on offering high quality research interventions and methodology training for PhD candidates, their supervisors and researchers.

Please read on for a sneak peek into the initial programme and fees structure, so you’re ready to book. We’ll be adding a number of courses during the next few days before publishing the full programme and opening the registration.

Core Programme

In addition to some new and innovative courses, rest assured that we’re again presenting the ‘core’ courses that are typically in demand with our participants.

Preparing for the PhD: This introductory course addresses a number of the difficulties new PhD candidates are often faced with. We work through the PhD process, taking you from the proposal and background to your study through to dealing with your examiner feedback and everything in between. Included is a Postgraduate Toolkit that will help to guide you as your move through your research and dissertation writing.

If you’re attending Preparing for the PhD, the following two courses would also help you in designing your studyInterviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis remains one of our most popular courses, presented by ‘resident’ expert, Prof Max Bergman. Prof Bergman, the chair of Social Research and Methodology at Basel University, Switzerland is also widely published in the field and the current chair for the World Sustainability Forum 2017 conference to be held in Cape Town in January 2017. We will also host Prof Tim Guetterman, an applied research methodologist, from the University of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA offering a complimentary course in Designing a Mixed Methods Research Study.

Data Analysis: This year sees the release of a new version of ATLAS.ti. Version 8 will not just be a regular upgrade. It is re-programmed from scratch and has a whole new look and feel, and we have been fortunate to again have Dr Susanne Friese present the course for the us. She was also very involved in the remodelling of the programme and this would be a golden opportunity for existing trainers to receive training on the new programme. Due to the new version being phased in, there will be no advanced course taking place at the coming Summer School. We will again host an introduction to SPSS (Dr Cindy Lee Steenekamp), and a more advanced SPSS course by Dr Nelius Boshoff.

Furthering your writing/publishing and supervision skills: for those candidates that are at a stage where they are generating articles from their dissertations, we are offering Writing and Publishing from the PhD with Dr Ruth Albertyn. You will be offered the opportunity to work with a writing coach that will not only give you valuable tips and tools for writing a successful article, but also help you refine your draft. Prof Jan Botha will be facilitating our competence course on Doctoral Supervision. Read more