Graduate Scholarships in African Universities

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Graduate Scholarships in African Universities: Apply for PhD and MSc degree Scholarships in the Maize value chain of the project "Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC)", funded by the African Development Bank.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners, AfricaRice and the International Centre for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have received a grant of about US$ 64 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the project “Support to Agricultural Research for development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC)”. 

The strategic crops within the context of the project are cassava, maize, rice and wheat. 

The overall objective of SARD-SC is to enhance food and nutrition and contribute to poverty reduction in AfDB’s low-income member Countries (RMCs). Its specific objective is to enhance the productivity and income of four CAADP’s priority value chains (cassava, maize, rice and wheat) on a sustainable basis.

Under this project, AfDB has made a contribution to IITA to execute a 5-year sub-project that aims to upgrade the maize and cassava value chain in Africa through the 

  1. Generation of agricultural technologies and innovations;
  2. Sustainable dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovations across the value chain; and 
  3. Sustainable capacity strengthening of project stakeholders.

Graduate Scholarships in African Universities - Number & Stipends 

As part of its human capacity building component, the project is offering eight (8) MSc and four (4) PhD scholarships at African universities. 

Scholarships will be comprehensive and include stipend, research costs, tuition, travel and insurance.

Graduate Scholarships in African Universities - Areas of Research

Research areas include Agronomy/Natural Resource Management, Irrigation, Agricultural Economics, Crop Protection (Pathology and Entomology) and Breeding. 

The researcher will conduct in-depth study of a relevant topic to be carried out in one of the SARD-SC maize target countries. Suggested topics are detailed below.

Graduate Scholarships in African Universities - Qualifications

  • Candidates must satisfy the target university’s admission requirements for MSc or PhD studies.
  • Candidates must be engaged in SARD-SC Maize project activities
  • Candidates must have identified a supervisory Professor at a reputable target University in one of the eligible countries, who must have agreed to the research proposal written by the applicant.
  • Strong preference is given to candidates already enrolled at a University, and which have finished all or most of the coursework requirements.
  • Media for the thesis research program will be English, except for candidates from Mali, where French may be used.

Scholarships in African Universities - Eligible countries

  • The scholarships are open to nationals from all countries
  • Enrolment can be in any reputable African university.

Scholarships in African Universities - Application Procedure

Candidates should apply by sending an email to IITA-TrainingUnit [at] Please identify which SARD-SC position for which you are applying. All applicants are required to include:

  • Bio data;
  • BSc or MSc Certificate;
  • A brief proposal of the research (one-page maximum);
  • Endorsement letter by a supervisory Professor;
  • Where applicable, proof of enrolment (Admission letter) at a reputable University;
  • Where applicable, transcripts of MSc or PhD coursework at a reputable University.
  • A completed version of the IITA Graduate Research Training – application form.

Africa Scholarships - Closing date: 30th August.

Screening of applications will begin shortly afterwards and will continue till positions are filled.

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates. All applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

For more scholarship information, see: Graduate Scholarships in African Universities

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