Call for applications for PhD scholarships in green resources for livelihood improvement: DANIDA GRILI PROJECT 2018 - 2022

We are pleased to announce a call for applications for four (4) PhD scholarships within the fields of phytochemistry specifically on identification and characterization of antimicrobial active ingredients;, antimicrobial resistance, quality assurance and market for  GRPs in Tanzania.  The aim of the scholarships is to support higher education and training of Tanzanian scholars working or with potential to work in research and academic institutions. Selected PhD candidates will register as full time PhD students at SUA and will have an opportunity to take PhD level courses and specialized laboratory analysis and other types of training at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) in Denmark .

DANIDA-GRILI

 

BACKGROUND
Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and other partner Universities and research institutions in Tanzania, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is implementing a collaborative research project titled “Green resources Innovations for Livelihood improvement (GRILI)”. The project is supported by the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) and its main objective is to contribute to improvement of people’s livelihood through generation of scientific knowledge and commercialization of Green Resource Products (GRPs) in Tanzania. The Project will use two plant species, Synadenium glaucescens and Commiphora swynnertonii, as model plants for adding value and up-scaling technologies. Furthermore, these two GRPs will be used to establish simple analytical screening methods for assessment of quality and safety and as a background for establishing business models.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF POSITIONS AND  TOPICS
PhD #1. Analytical chemistry 
The focus will be on identification and characterization of antimicrobial active ingredients of GRPs from S. glaucescens and C. swynnertonii. This will involve isolation of compounds with antimicrobial activity, and characterization. A candidate with proven laboratory and research experience with analytical chemistry will be preferred for this PhD position. 

PhD #2. Infection Microbiology 
Determination of resistance towards anti-bacterial GRPs. The focus will be to determine the likelihood that resistance will develop towards antimicrobial active ingredients of GRPs from two selected medicinal plants. Resistance development by mutation as well as by transfer of resistance genes will be considered. A candidate with proven research experience within antimicrobial resistance and microbiology will be preferred for this position.

PhD #3. Quality control of Green Resource Products 
Determination of extent and effect of adulteration of GRPs in the Tanzanian market. This PhD project will focus on developing, validating, testing and use of LC/MS/MS and NMR, IR and UVVIS methods in determining adulterants in GRPs on the Tanzania market. A candidate with proven laboratory or research experience with analytical chemistry will be preferred for this position.

PhD #4 Business model for GRPs 
Development of a business model for commercialization of GRPs. This will involve development of a robust business model which provides institutional support and apply appropriate GRP promotion strategies and delivery channels to offer value to customers. A candidate with proven research experiences within agribusiness will be preferred for this position.

ELIGIBILITY (SPECIFIC FIELD TO BE CHOSEN BY THE APPLICANTS)
PhD #1 and PhD #3: Holders of MSc in Natural products and Value addition, Phytochemistry, Analytical chemistry, Ethnopharmacology, Biology, Ethnomedicine, Traditional medicine  or other equivalent master degree with proven experience with analytical chemistry from a recognized University. 

PhD #2: Holders of MSc in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Ethnopharmacology, Microbiology, Biology or Biotechnology or other equivalent master degree with proven experience in research on antimicrobial resistance from a recognized University.

PhD #4: MSc in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Agribusiness Management, MA in Economics-Minor Agricultural Economics or other equivalent master degree. Knowledge in Entrepreneurship, qualitative and quantitative data collection and advanced econometrics will be an added advantage. 

THE APPLICANT SHOULD BE/HAVE/POSSES:

  1. The requirements for PhD admission at SUA and possess a valid admission/provisional admission letter offered by SUA. The requirements for PhD admission are available at the SUA website from Directorate of Research, Postgraduate studies, Technology transfer and Consultancy (DRPTC) webpage http://www.dprtc.sua.ac.tz/
  2. Highly motivated to develop a scientific career and capability to complete PhD studies within 3 years.
  3. Intention to undertake research on Phytochemistry, value addition or marketing of GRPs in Tanzania.
  4. Not already enrolled in a PhD programme and embarked in another research project.
  5. Willingness to conduct long-term field studies at study sites along the Eastern Arc Mountains regions; work in a team and have a strong ambition to accomplish the research goals of the project.
  6. Good academic records /transcripts with excellent communication skills.
  7. Perspectives on future use of PhD skills for teaching, research and extension.
  8. Full time availability from May 2018 or as soon as possible for a period of 3 consecutive years.
  9. Prepared to travel within and outside the country.

HOW TO APPLY
Potential applicants are hereby invited to submit the following: 

  1. Motivation letter, 
  2. Curriculum vitae maximum two pages (including information on academic carrier and specialization and publications), 
  3. Academic transcripts and certificates, 
  4. Three names of academic referees whereby at least one of them being the immediate work supervisor, and a 2-3 pages concept note on one of topics listed above relevant to His/her application. The concept note should contain an outline of the problem statement and rationale for the proposed study, objectives, methodological approach and expected outputs. 

Applications MUST reach the DANIDA GRILI Project Coordinator by 20th April 2018. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited for the interview before the 20th of May and the final decision will be reached before 1st June, 2018. Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply. 

The applications should be submitted electronically to: Dr. Faith P. Mabiki; E-mail: fmabiki@sua.ac.tz  and copy to fmabiki@gmail.com

RESPONSIBILITIES
The PhD fellows’ tasks will be to study and report on their selected research question within the context of this project depending on the area of research. The interconnected sub-studies will require intensive interaction with the programme leader, research collaborators, supervisors, and other PhD and MSc students in the programme. The progress of the PhD fellows’ work will be evaluated annually or as will be deemed necessary by the Supervisors and/ or the Project Coordinator. It is expected that each of the PhD fellows will publish three to four papers in International peer reviewed journals. 

FINANCIAL MATTERS
The scholarship will cover tuition fees, a monthly stipend and research costs based on successful deliverables. 
Further Information about DANIDA GRILI Project

CONTACT
Dr. Faith P. Mabiki
DANIDA GRILI Project Coordinator
Department of Chemistry and Physics
Solomon Mahlangu College of Science and Education
Sokoine University of Agriculture
P. O. Box 3038, Morogoro, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 788924
Email: fmabiki@sua.ac.tz / fmabiki@gmail.com   


 

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