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Some of the RUFORUM funded students shortly after receiving their PhDs at Makerere University

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 85 universities in 35 African countries, is pleased to announce the conferment of Doctoral degrees to 16 of some of its funded students who were hosted by member universities across Africa.

A total of 13 students were conferred with PhDs during the 68th Graduation Ceremony of Makerere University, Uganda under PhD programmes of Plant Breeding and Agriculture & Rural Innovations. Whereas the other 3 PhD students received their PhD degree in Dry land Resource Management from the University of Nairobi, Kenya in September 2017.

These regional innovative PhD programs were initiated by RUFORUM in order to increase the critical mass of PhD qualified personnel who will champion the African transformation agenda through quality teaching and innovative research responsive to societies. 15 Regional PhD programs have been established with students registered across the Africa region. A total of 436 PhD students have been trained under the RUFORUM regional programs, with 94% Alumni now living and working in their country of origin, 45% of which represent female students.

RUFORUM continues to realize the economies of scale through academic exchange including fostering regional centres of excellence to train the next generation of agriculture science. Below are the details of the recent graduates.

Download Complete Press Release RUFORUM Press Release_Doctoral Degrees_Official

 


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has received a 2 year grant of 1.500,000 United States Dollars from Carnegie Cooperation of New York to support post-doctoral fellowships in Africa. Specifically, the grant aims at increasing and ensuring high retention rate of brightest and most promising academic graduates in Africa who will ultimately help strengthen African universities to meet the growing demand for higher education and for a more visible presence in creating and adapting knowledge that is relevant to local environments.

The project will support the recently graduated doctoral fellows to have a soft landing in their new positions at home institution. A key frustration is that often after finishing studies, the newly graduated students have no means to put their new ideas into practice. They are often left alone to float, find their own way and many opt to go abroad for better opportunities. The proposed post-doctoral fellowship will attach the fellows to mentors who will help them to settle in and re-orient them to what is expected of them as doctoral fellows and as a new crop of leaders. Furthermore, the research support under the grant will provide opportunity for the fellows to advance their PhD work or initiate new research and strengthen their teaching and supervision capacity. The two years are expected to allow fellows time to transition, settle down, and find their level and sense of direction in their new career path. This will allow them to quickly become leaders and also initiate support for training of a new generation of African Scientists. Ultimately it is hoped that this will induce in the fellows a sense of home belonging, social responsibility to make a difference and opportunity to leverage other resources for their career advancement.

The project will provide 19 post-doctoral fellows to former PhD beneficiaries of Carnegie Cooperation of New York who were funded through RUFORUM since 2012. These fellows will be based at an African University within the RUFORUM network. Some of the tangible benefits to the grantees include; opportunities to build their own careers, lead research teams, get international exposure and receive training and mentorship. The post-doctoral fellows in turn will strengthen university doctoral programs by supporting, supervising and integrating post-graduate students (MSc and PhD’s) into their research teams. The Fellows will also be supported as they make connections internationally in their disciplinary areas, and will have the opportunity to network with each other and across Africa in support of both higher education and their disciplines.

At the end of the grant implementation, the project expects the following as long term outcomes;

  1. Capable and innovative research leaders with high level skills retained in African universities and are contributing to institutional leadership for improved Agricultural training and research
  2. Increased research quality and outputs leading to excellence and improved visibility of Africa’s agricultural research activity and scientific leadership
  3. Functional networks facilitating national and regional scientific collaborations and knowledge exchange that serve the improved quality of Africa’s university systems

The Carnegie post doc call for application is now open for the former PhD beneficiaries of Carnegie Cooperation of New York funded through RUFORUM from 2012 to 2017 who are also academic teaching staff at a RUFORUM member universities and have graduated at least by December 2017. To apply for the scholarship, please follow this website link http://rims.ruforum.org/scholarships/applications/ call ID RU/2018/Post Doc RTP /01.

About RUFORUM

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is a member-driven organization is a network of 85 African universities in 35 African countries, established in 2004. RUFORUM has a very strong and active interactions with university administrators, faculty and students from 85 universities in Africa. RUFORUM’s mission is “to strengthen the capacity of universities to foster innovations responsive to the demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, famers, national agricultural research institutions and governments”. Importantly RUFORUM operates through its member universities with Vice chancellors as the main champions and Board members, purposely to revamp higher education in Africa. Through the Universities, RUFORUM operations go beyond agricultural and environmental sciences, to the broader STI fields. RUFORUM is currently, supporting training of over 400 MSc and 70 PhD students under various programs. Through RUFORUM there is an operational MOU to facilitate staff and students exchanges and credit transfer system across its 85 member Universities.

About Carnegie Cooperation of New York

Is a philanthropic foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 with a vision of promoting the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding through education and while promoting international peace. While Carnegie’s primary aim was to benefit the people of the United States, he later determined to use a portion of the funds for members of the British overseas Commonwealth. Currently, this area of its grant making focuses on selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of the organization is to do real and permanent good in this world to create ladders on which the aspiring can rise. With the aim of enhancing training, research, and retention of academics in select countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the organization has been a key catalyst for enhancing higher education in Sub Saharan Africa. This is based on its goal of supporting Africa’s institutions of higher learning and academic communities which are key to reaching the continent’s potential. To date, RUFORUM has received grants worth over $3.5 Million dollars through support from Carnegie to actualize this goal. The Carnegie’s current day grant making continues to carry out this mission through programs and initiatives that address today’s problems by drawing on the best ideas and cutting-edge strategies that draw strength from deep knowledge and scholarship.

Download Grant Announcement here: Grant Announcement – Post Doctoral Grant


Wajao – Unleashing the potential of African science leaders

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) a network of 85 universities in 35 African countries, with funding from Carnegie Cooperation of New York invites application from former RUFORUM-Carnegie supported doctoral alumni for 2 year post-doctoral fellowships to be based at a university in Africa.

The 2 year post-doctoral fellowships builds on, and helps to scale up, the RUFORUM commitment to strengthen postgraduate training and academic mobility in Africa. Since 2012, RUFORUM with support from Carnegie Cooperation of New York and other agencies has facilitated, mentored and contributed to a growing number of doctoral graduates who upon successful completion of their studies return to their home countries and integrate back in teaching and research. Thus, the goal of this call is to increase and ensure high retention rate of these graduates in Africa to help strengthen African universities and research institutions to meet the growing demand for higher education and research for creating knowledge and prosperity in the continent. The emphasis is on facilitating recent PhD graduates in ways that will improve their teaching, research, leadership and mentoring skills. It is important that they are supported in ways that contribute to increasing the critical mass of dedicated scientists that are working together to transform higher education in Africa and contribute to the global knowledge commons.

At the individual level the post-doctoral fellowship is intended to provide an opportunity for the Fellows to establish their credentials and develop connections and skills to raise research resources and improve career prospects in the future. It is also aimed at building their capacity so that they in turn are able to guide and create a new generation of scientists for the continent through supervising and mentoring Masters and PhD students.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • This call targets the former PhD beneficiary of Carnegie Cooperation of New York funded through RUFORUM from 2012 to 2017 who have graduated by December 2017. However, applications from candidates who have submitted their theses for external examination will also be considered.
  • The applicant would need to be attached to a RUFORUM University faculty for the Post-Doctoral fellowship, where his/her main university mentor will be based. The hosting faculty should provide a support letter confirming willingness to host the Post-Doctoral fellow. The Fellow may also identify other mentors based in other institutions, such as the CGIARs, etc but need to be attached to a University.
  • As part of the Fellowship, the Post-Doc Fellow will be provided with research funds that will be linked to supporting research activity of at least one PhD and one or more Masters Students who do not have research funding such as students funded under the Intra African Academic Mobility Program. The research areas could be directly linked to the field of training of the Post-Doctoral Fellow but could also cover new areas to broaden the perspective of the Fellow and promote inter-disciplinarity.
  • The applicants should submit a research proposal, maximum 10 pages, 1.5 lines spacing, font 12 times new roman. The proposal should articulate the rationale for the Fellowship, provide an overview of the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programme, the proposed research thrusts, methodology, feasible work plan and clear deliverables. Importantly, the proposal should clearly articulate how the fellow plans to integrate postgraduate students who will be part of the research team but at the same time will be required to use the opportunity to finalize their dissertations leading to award of a degrees. It should clearly also indicate how the Fellow will provide mentoring support to the research students and others and build his/her international linkages.
  • A detailed motivation letter will be required from the applicant, supported by a recommendation endorsement from their institution of employment and others where they require attachment.

The Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

The Award for this call is a maximum of US$60, 000 per fellowship and is expected to cover:

  • Stipend: $26,400 – equating to $1,200 for 10 months in Year 1 and 12 Months in Year 2 . This stipend is paid in order to allow the Fellow to focus on the research, publications and supervision of their research team by releasing some of their teaching and other duties and to reduce the need for engagement in consultancies.
  • Research funds: $26,700 to support the research activities of the Post-Doctoral Team that will include PhD and Masters  Students to conduct research under the supervisor of the Fellow. In the post-doctoral arrangement, partial research support will be given to selected postgraduate students (at least one PhD student ($16,700), preferably a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), and 1-2 MSc students ($10,000) to cover field research costs, research paper publication and dissemination of findings,
  • Special mentor support: $3,600 to be retained by RUFORUM to support the Mentorship Programme. The cost of the mentor covers bench fees, hosting fees, and cost of the mentor visiting some of the research facilities and participating in convening’s along with the Post-Doctoral Fellows.

Download full call here:  Post Doctoral Call for Applications – Offical

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