Agribusiness Research Fellowships ($10,000) by IITA And Funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Agribusiness Research Fellowships ($10,000) by IITA And Funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Deadline for Applications: 28 February 2018

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) received a three-year research grant for “Enhancing capacity to apply research evidence in policy for youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa” funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

Under the framework of this project, IITA is pleased to announce 20 research fellowships for 2018. This is an action-oriented fellowship for young academics and professionals, and students at the post-course work/research stage of their programs. The research grant program seeks to contribute to policy development in youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa. 

It is designed to provide opportunities to engage youth to improve the availability and use of evidence for youth policies and decision making related to youth participation in agribusiness and rural economic activities by providing them with: funding, support, and the expertise of IITA’s scientists; skills and competencies in social and economic research; and a community of other fellows with whom to exchange ideas.


We seek research project fellows for the study of Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic  Activities in Africa. This is not a one-time invitation for applications, but rather a continuing call for research on this topic in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The following are offered as illustrations of appropriate topics, but applications are not limited to these areas.

Social dynamics:  Needs, priorities, aspirations, perceptions, attitudes, perspectives, challenges, social differentiation and characterization, and mapping of youth employment patterns

Economic opportunities and youth engagement: Availability and distribution of opportunities, youth occupational choice, and patterns of engagemenent; effects of differential access to resources on ability to take advantage of available economic opportunities

Contexts: National and local contexts affecting economic opportunities and livelihood strategies

Rural labor dynamics: Typology of farm and off-farm employment patterns for youth and adults; technology adoption effect of land and other constraints on labor market decisions

Youth migration: Rural–urban migration associated with urbanization, migration to green pasture areas such as Europe, South Africa, factors associated with migration decisions, and productivity and welfare effects on migrating youth and originating households

Entrepreneurial development: Enterprise choice, engagement in agribusineess and income effects, land and land access, credit and investments, access to inputs, and effectiveness of youth training programs

Youth and institutions: Policy, economic, and social policies, infrastructure, information and communication technologies, social structures, individual characteristics, farmer organizations, women entrepreneurship and employment, public–private partnerships, effects of educational system, and public sectorial and private foreign direct investments on youth employment.
Eligibility Criteria

The research will be carried out in the following countries: Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Senegal, and Zambia.  

▪ Applicants must not be more than 40 years old at the time of application

▪ Applicants must be a young scholar at a research institute or university in Africa or a student registered in a PhD or Master’s program in recognized universities in Africa, majoring in agricultural economics, agribusiness, or economics or a related social science, and must have finished their university course  work.

▪ The duration of the research should not exceed 6 months.

Awards for Research Grants are up to $10,000 (Proposals with a reasonable higher budget can also be selected depending on the quality of the research proposal).

▪ Grantees will be supervised by one IITA scientist in close collaboration with their national/university supervisor.

▪ Grantees will be offered training on research methodology, data management, and scientific writing;

▪ Grantees will be offered training on production of research evidence for policy-making.
Application Requirements:

To apply for the Research Fellowship, applicants must submit the following:

• Completed application form (download application form here).

• Copy of  or other statement of citizenship.

• Curriculum Vitae (CV), work history and education. CVs should be no longer than two pages.

• Proof of registration at an accredited university for MSc and PhD programs.

• Proof of employment at a research institute or university in Africa.

• Research proposals should be organized in the order listed below, and page limitations for components must be observed. Please include your last name and first initial in the uploaded document’s name (example: LastName_FirstInitial_proposal.pdf). The Research proposal must include the following components in one PDF document:

1. The proposal narrative should not be more than seven pages in length, single-spaced, in 12-point type with 1″ margins. Approximately three pages should be devoted to the problem statement/policy issue, theoretical framework, review of current literature, and research questions. The remaining four pages should include the methodology, contributions to policy, work plan, and dissemination plan. 

Applicants must present a clear and well thought out methodology and the analysis to be done. The brief dissemination plan should include the intended audience and relevant journals where the research findings might be submitted for publication and professional meetings where the findings might be presented (7 pages maximum).
2. The conceptual model(s) that outline the framework or design of the study (2 pages maximum).

3. Contribution to the field to briefly describe the potential contributions this research will make to the field of youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa (200 words maximum). 

4. Reference list. A list of all references included in the text or in the models. Use complete citations, including titles and all authors. (No page limit) 

5. Budget. There is no specific template for the budget. It may be a simple 2-column format or a more complex spreadsheet. 

Selection Criteria:

Evaluation criteria will include the importance of the proposed policy issue, the strength of the methodological  model, and proposed analysis of the study. Additionally, the review criteria will include: Is the policy issue clearly defined? What is already known on the issue? How does the methodology relate specifically to the policyquestion? Does the analytical plan fit the question and the data? Is the applicant qualified to carry out the proposed study? 

Submission of Applications:

Applications must be submitted electronically in English or French, by email to: 

Applicants will be asked to enter specific information in text boxes and upload documents in PDF format. The deadline for submission is 23:59 WAT, 28 February 2018. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals in advance of the deadline. 
For enquiries:

Contact: if you have questions regarding the application or submission process. 

All applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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