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PhD Positions in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology

BackgroundThe gap in plant breeding, biotechnology and seed systems has been identified as a core strategic investment area in Sub-Saharan Africa by various continental, sub-regional and by several National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS). Investing in these areas is critical to enhance progress towards achieving a continent free of hunger, malnutrition, poverty and sustainable exploitation of the environment. The restoration of crop productivity as the mechanism to address the above development challenges requires a strong and effective human capital and working national plant breeding systems among others.To achieve this goal, Makerere University in partnership with 31 Universities in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa under their umbrella organization the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has developed the PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. The Programme has already received two cohorts of students (30) and now invites applications for the third cohort. The third cohort starts class in August 2014.  The Programme is run as a regional capacity building initiative to assure shared vision, networking, and low transaction costs with the degree offered by Makerere University.Programme attributes
  • The goal is to produce “well-grounded” plant breeders, knowledgeable and with skills to work in private and public sectors as researchers, trainers and policy advisors
  • The research is based on identified regional constraints such as those identified by the Sub-Saharan Africa regional research organizations.
  • It integrates plant breeding, seed systems and biotechnology (molecular biology bioinformatics and cell and tissue culture) at PhD level using local crops and facilities and personnel in and outside of the region.
  • It also includes training in emergent sciences as well as critical areas of agronomy, disease and insect management entrepreneurship.
  • The Programme is run on a course work and thesis basis.
Quality attributes of our graduatesOn completion of this programme, graduates will be able to:
  • Use different scientific disciplines related to plant breeding, biotechnology and seed systems to produce new varieties and address value-chain needs;
  • Discuss and provide policy guidance such as on seed industry and applications of molecular biology and biotechnological methods used by agricultural researchers;
  • Design and run breeding programmes;
  • Manage seed enterprises; and,
  • Work and or provide leadership in multi-actor platforms (from production to marketing).
Who qualifiesAll applicants with the following attributes are eligible to apply
  • Must be holders of a relevant Master of Science degree in agricultural sciences particularly, crop science, horticulture or other plant sciences from a recognized University.
  • They must also be holders of a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and related disciplines such as Plant sciences.
  • Candidates to this programme should be able to serve target end-user institutions during and upon completion of the course
  • Women applicants are encouraged to apply.
How to applyApplicants for admission to the Programme must satisfy all minimum requirements for admission into a PhD programme in Makerere University. Fifteen places are available and application forms must be received by 15th April, 2014. Note that there is application fees payable. The application in soft or hard copy should be addressed to the Director School of Graduate Studies Makerere University P.O. Box 7062 Kampala Uganda. The envelope should be labeled “Application for PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology.”  Applicants are expected to source for funding, of about $60,000 for the three year training period.The third cohort will commence classes on 1st September 2014. Further information on "How to Apply" is available at here. Enquiries should be directed to or  (Attention: Head Agricultural Production department). 
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