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Mobility for Breeders in Africa (MoBreed) Masters & PhD Scholarships 2020 for African Students


 Applications are invited for MSc and Academic / Administrative Staff exchange in Orphan Crops breeding.

Application Deadline: 15th November, 2019.

Eligible Countries: The MoBreed mobility grant is open to all students from any of the partner universities (Target Group 1) and secondly to students from other African universities (Target Group 2).

To be Taken at (country): Scholarships in Africa

About the Award: Enhancing training and research mobility for novel crops breeding in Africa MoBreed (Mobility for Breeders in Africa) Scholarship Program is an initiative of five public universities from three African regions and one university in Europe to advance knowledge on useful crops of Africa and increase scholars’ capacity in addressing food security. This Program is coordinated by the University of Abomey-Calavi. Partners include Ebonyi State University in Nigeria (West Africa), the Jimma University of Ethiopia (Eastern Africa), the University of Namibia and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa (Southern Africa) and Montpellier SupAgro in France (Technical partner). MoBreed is funded by the Intra-Africa Program of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission.

-The consortium mainly intends to:  produce 10 high profile plant breeders (PhD holders) that will address current and future challenges related to climate change and agriculture with focus on at least 10 promising underutilized plant species of Africa,

-Train a new generation of 38 scientists (M.Sc. students) and 10 academic staff with strong capacity to increase knowledge and prospects on the selected orphan crops used in Africa for food and nutrition security and the crop production and seed industry.

-Harmonize seven MSc and six PhD training programmes and researchagenda on the use of neglected and underutilized crops to increase resilience of food production systems.

MoBreed, as part of the curriculum and professional mobility of academic staff and students of Master and PhD levels in plant breeding and seedbiotechnology, offers a new approach that frontally addresses the lack of human resources to advance knowledge on orphan crops, also known as underutilized species of Africa. Our research aims at increasing quality information on the use and conservation of neglected and underutilized species (NUS) and crop wild relatives (CWR) in Africa, specifically food crops such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, root and tubers, and cereals. Of paramount importance is the use of genetic diversity and the development of cultivars for improved yield in African agriculture. Our investigation and expertise revolve around all key areas of germplasm collections and uses, modern plant genetics and breeding, plant genomics and biotechnology. We focus our research on useful resources of tropical Africa, recognized by the African Orphan Crop Consortium (AOCC) as priority crops.

Target Group: 

Target Group 1: This category includes students from all partner universities as follows:

  • University of Abomey-Calavi; Benin
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal; South Africa
  • University of Namibia; Namibia
  • Jimma University; Ethiopia
  • Ebonyi State University; Nigeria

Target Group 2: Students from all other eligible African countries for the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme.

Type: Masters, PhD, Job

Eligibility:  To be eligible for a scholarship (i.e. financial support to third parties), master students as well as doctoral candidates referred to as ‘’students’’ must comply with the below criteria at the time of the application for a scholarship:

  • be a national and resident in any of the eligible countries covered by the Intra-Africa Mobility programme of the EACEA
  • be registered/admitted in or having obtained a HEI degree (or equivalent) from
    • one of the HEIs included in the MoBreed consortium (Target group 1)
    • a HEI not included in the Mobreed consortium but established in an eligible country (Target group 2)
  • have sufficient knowledge of the language of the courses in the host countries.
  • Students can only benefit from one scholarship under the Intra-Africa or IntraACP academic mobility scheme (regardless the type of mobility or the funding project).
  • Students having benefited from scholarship(s) under the previous intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme cannot receive scholarship under the Intra-Africa academic mobility.

Number of Awards: Currently, 13 MSc scholarships and 7 Academic / Administrative staff exchange are available.

Value of Award: The scholarship includes subsistence and settling-in allowances, participation costs, contribution to research costs, insurance and travel in line with Agreement with EACEA. It will cover:

  • roundtrip flight ticket and visa costs (using a preferred travel agent and calculated against direct linear distance);
  • direct participation costs such as tuition fees, registration fees and service fees where applicable;
  • comprehensive travel insurance (Health, Accident and Travel)
  • a monthly subsistence allowance for the mobility period.

Female PhD scholarship holders will receive additional allowances according to the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme. Female PhD scholars moving for more than two academic years with their children to the host country will receive an allocation for childcare on a per capita basis. In case of breaks for family reasons, mechanisms allowing women to pursue their mobility experience will be discussed. All students to consider the cropping season and orphan crops of host university (country) of their choice in writing proposals and completion of courses.

Duration of Program: 

  • For MSc students: maximum twelve-months credits or degree seeking mobility.
  • For academic staff: maximum two-months staff exchange mobility available for partner universities only.

How to Apply:

Admission regulations for Doctoral and MSc Studies are to be found from
prospective HEIs website. This application is for MoBreed Project
scholarships only. The Scholarship application form together with other
required documents should be sent as a unique PDF attachment to: emails
indicated below. You may download the MS Word version of the application
form, and complete it before sending. Important also is the student proposal
that should be sent together within the application as ONE SINGLE
DOCUMENT, preferably PDF. Other required documents are listed in the
application form and include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Scholarship Application form (this document)
  3. Student proposal (guidelines available online)
  4. National ID or Copy of Passport Data page
  5. Certificate of degree
  6. Transcript records
  7. Support letter from sending HEIs
  8. Recommendation letter of home supervisor (mandatory for all applicants)
  9. Enrollment proof in degree course from home institution (for MSc applicants)
  10. Curriculum Vitae.
  11. Employment certificate (only for staff)
  12. Certificate of English or French language skills
  13. Proof of socio-economic vulnerability (if available)

In order to meet the general selection requirements for MSc Mobility Grant
(maximum 12 months’ scholarship mainly for research), the applicant must
have completed the first two semesters of a Master of Science course in
Agronomy, Biology or any related fields in his home country. Students with
Genetics, Biotechnology, and plant breeding background are highly
encouraged to apply. It is obligatory that the students have their first year MSc Academic transcripts.

Students considering to study in South Africa should also send their
qualifications to SAQA for evaluation. UKZN will only accept the students if
their qualification is rated as equivalent to a South African honours degree by SAQA. Access the SAQA website at www.SAQA.org.za. The form is also
uploaded on Mobreed website.
For Academic/ Administrative staff, applicants should hold a MSc or PhD
degree in Genetics, Biotechnology, Plant breeding, Agronomy, Biology or any related fields. Applicants with Genetics, Biotechnology, and plant breeding background are highly encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit completed application and all supporting documents in unique PDF file by email to [email protected] with copy to [email protected] by November 15th, 2019. They should indicate in the subject line ‘Application for MoBreed MSc/Staff exchange programme’. Incomplete applications will be systematically rejected.

Visit Program Webpage for Details

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