ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship - Identification of socio-ecological niches for forage grasses and legumes in smallholder crop livestock systems in East Africa

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in East, West and southern Africa and South, Southeast and East Asia. CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. DAAD is a German Academic Exchange service which is a publicly funded, self-governing organization of the institutions of higher education in Germany. DAAD promotes international academic exchange as well as educational co-operation with developing countries through a variety of funding and scholarship programs.Reference Number:              PHDBL/DAAD/05/2013Location:                                Kenya/EthiopiaDuration:                              1 year from September 2013 renewable for up to 3 years subject to performanceILRI Research Project: Humid tropics: Increasing System ProductivityThe fellowship aims to assess the potential role of forage technologies much more critically focusing on the roles of forage crops and the use of participatory farming systems approaches and methods to assess socio-ecological niches and better target and integrate forage technologies into the highly complex crop-livestock systems in sub-Saharan Africa.Graduate Fellowship Project Title: Identification of socio-ecological niches for forage grasses and legumes in smallholder crop livestock systems in East AfricaThe Position:The graduate fellow will be required to develop and implement an action research project in smallholder systems that aim to assess the potential role of forage technologies. The proposal will explore the influence of factors like intensification, farming system, agro-ecology, and resource availability on on-farm socio-ecological niches for different forage technologies. The knowledge of forage niches and how they are influenced by the respective farming system will provide a clear understanding of integrating forages in crop livestock systems in East Africa. Responsibilities:
  • Assess socio-ecological niches for selected forage grass and legume crops in terms of forage crop choice, on-farm location and crop management.
  • Evaluate factors that influence socio-ecological niches including farming system, intensification level, agro-ecological condition, market access, resource availability (land, capital, knowledge and labour) and farmer typology;
  • Assess the contribution of planted forages to dry season livestock feeding.
Essential Skills and Qualifications will include:
  • Must have obtained a Bachelor of Science in either agriculture or animal sciences with at least an upper class honours degree from a recognized university.
  • Must have obtained an MSc in Forage agronomy, Animal Science, Agriculture, Range science, Livestock production systems or any other related subject.
  • Be a staff member of a university (or candidate considered for teaching or research staff recruitment) or from the public sector aiming at a PhD degree
  • Have completed their last degree less than 6 years ago at the time of application
  • Must be nationals of a Sub-Saharan African Country. Please note that it is not possible to apply for studies in your home country.
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Good interpersonal, facilitation and communication skills
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural environment and foster teamwork
Terms of appointment: ILRI will offer a competitive stipend to cover living expenses in the project location(s). The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI scientist and the university supervisor.How to apply:Interested applicants should address should submit the following documents;
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the position, what you can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about your professional qualifications and work experience.
  • Curriculum Vitae without photograph; please use the Europass CV template
  • Recommendation letter by the affiliate university head of department
  • Certified copies of all university degree certificates
  • Certified copies of all university transcripts
  • At least temporary admission letter from the host institution
  • Detailed and precise description of the research project (incl. working plan and time schedule until graduation). The proposal has to be in line with the above outlined ILRI’s research projects.
  • Declaration of acceptance from academic/university supervisor
  • Proof of employment with certification that you receive an unpaid leave (if applicable) 
Email your application to  on or before 31 May 2013. The position title and reference number should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)