New Zealand: CLIFF-GRADS PhD Fellowship Program 2024 for Developing Countries

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The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) are pleased to announce that the sixth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme is now open!

Application Deadline: 28th August 2023

Eligible Countries: Developing countries

About the Award: 

The Climate, Food and Farming, Global Research Alliance Development Scholarships Programme (CLIFF-GRADS) is a joint initiative of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and Mitigate+: Research for Low Emissions Food Systems

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CLIFF-GRADS builds capability in early career scientists from low- and middle-income countries to conduct applied research in agriculture greenhouse gas emission quantification and mitigation. During short research stays of up to 6 months, CLIFF-GRADS awardees are exposed to expertise and scientific training at their host institute that they would not otherwise receive during their PhD in their home country.

Specific techniques they may learn include (but are not limited to) remote sensing, data surveys, and measurement of greenhouse gas emissions. Topics advertised in the Programme are related to the measurement, modelling and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon storage in agricultural systems relevant to developing countries (also in the context of enhancing food security).

Research is conducted in association with Mitigate+ and GRA scientists and partner organisations and host to student matches are dependent on the students’ and host institutions’ research interests and suitability for the Programme.

Since 2017, 176 students from 32 developing countries have received CLIFF-GRADS awards. The CLIFF-GRADS Programme is more than just an academic experience, students have the opportunity to establish new academic and professional connections, experience a new culture, maybe learn a new language, and challenge themselves through immersion in a community that is very different to their own. Read on for thoughts on the CLIFF-GRADS Programme from our Alumni.

Type: Training, Research, PhD


  • Individuals applying for the Programme must be citizens of developing countries, be undertaking their PhD in a University based in a developing country and must not have previously been awarded a CLIFF-GRADS grant.
  • Preference will be given to students applying for opportunities outside their home country/ country of
    study to encourage the building of global networks and connections through this programme.
  • Applicants should have a background in agriculture and climate change research and be pursuing graduate research related to agricultural greenhouse gas quantification.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled PhD students in a field related to quantification of greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestration in agricultural systems
  • Applicants must be students from a developing country

Selection Criteria: Applicants will be selected based on three criteria: (1) overall level of research experience, (2) relevance of thesis topic or other research experience to the research opportunity to which the student is applying, and (3) clear description of how the CLIFF-GRADS experience will improve the student’s scientific training

Number of Awards: 61

Value of Award:

  • Selected students will be sponsored in the amount of 14,000 USD for short-term (4–6 month) scientific training and research stays to collaborate with projects associated with CCAFS and GRA.
  • The grants will be used to support travel to and living and research costs at the host institution. Grants may not be used for tuition or unrelated personal expenses.

Duration of Programme: 4-6 months

How to Apply:

Applicants must complete the CLIFF-GRADS Round 6 online application form and submit the following necessary documentation merged into a single PDF file. Applications must be in English and applications that are in any other language will not be accepted.
a. 1 page motivation letter (described below)
b. 1-page academic curriculum vitae (CV / Resume) that includes your contact details
c. Letter of support from your PhD supervisor at your current university

Access the online application form here.

We will only consider applications that include a single merged PDF document.

Selection criteria: The winning candidates will be selected based on the following three criteria:
i) overall level of research experience,
ii) relevance of PhD thesis topic or other research experience, and
iii) clarity of description of how the CLIFF-GRADS experience will improve your scientific capability and contribute to your career.
Application instructions are outlined clearly in the call for applications advertised on our website. If you have any remaining questions you may contact the Programme coordinator at [email protected]

Visit Programme Webpage for Details


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