“West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use” (WASCAL)
The WASCAL Graduate Research Programme in Climate Change and Land Use (GRP-CCLU) is pleased to announce that up to 10 fully-funded (tuition, stipend, research and travel grants) scholarships are available for applicants from the following ten West African Countries to study for PhD in Climate Change and Land Use at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana:
Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Mali and Senegal.
This is a German-government sponsored PhD programme aimed at providing state-of-the-art training for professionals in Climate Change and Land Use. The programme is strongly multidisciplinary and jointly organised by twelve institutions from eleven countries (i.e. the ten West African Countries listed above and Germany). Participants will acquire knowledge on the causes of climate change, the implications of climate change on land use for the West African sub-region, and the policy and management practices that may be put in place to mitigate and adapt to the impact of the changing climate on land use.
The variation in climate conditions compounded by poor land management practices are threats to development of the region. The region, which is generally poor, is yet to effectively develop geographic information system and remote sensing technologies for land administration. These, when developed are expected to make available useful data and information for effective land use management.
The West African sub-region is faced with the following challenges, which may hinder the bid towards effective land use management:
- Limited opportunities for land use and geo-scientists to improve their capacity at the graduate level.
- Lack of electronic science infrastructure for land use education and training.
- Gaps between climate and land use research findings and implementation.
- Lack of awareness about the value of climate and land use information among decision makers.
Considering the identified knowledge and capacity gaps, and the unsustainable management of land in the sub-region accompanied by climate change, the sub-region risks not achieving the MDGs. Therefore, there is a pressing need for a comprehensive understanding of the changing climate of the region and its impact on land use. This calls for adequately trained human resources in land use and related geo-sciences for sustainable development and use of land for the present and future generations.
In light of the above, the German initiative “West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use” (WASCAL) support Graduate Research Programme in Climate Change and Land Use (GRP-CCLU) (based at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Ghana), focusing on capacity building at the PhD level to help develop the knowledge necessary for sustainable land use and management in the face of climate change. The programme will train participants in developing skills in data acquisition, analysis and interpretation of spatial data focusing on the use of remote sensing, GIS and empirical and mathematical modelling tools as related to climate change and land use. This should develop adequate human capacity in the sub-region for developing appropriate adaptation strategies to manage the impact of climate change on land and to develop resilient land use systems.
This initiative seeks to give support to West African universities to synergize their efforts on a regional basis and maximize their capabilities to improve the training of land use experts and geoscientists for better overall results and increased benefit to West Africa. The programme ultimately aims at strengthening the research, educational and policy capacity and competency of West-African countries to deal with issues of climate change through adapted land use on a scientific basis in partnership with German institutions. It is expected that these PhD fellows upon graduation will be competent for engagement by universities, research institutes, and the public service.
Responsibilities Of Participants
The PhD participant’s tasks will be to
- Attend all classes for the required modules in the course work phase and pass all examinations.
- Develop a comprehensive research proposal with detailed literature review and methodology.
- Must pass a comprehensive exam after the first year as KNUST School of Graduate Studies requirement.
- Undertake diligently the selected research topic within the context of this programme.
- Timely feedback and submission of reports and assignments is cardinal.
- The international nature of the programme will demand good working relations between people of different cultures, so participants must show maturity in working in groups.
- The participant is expected to publish at least 2 papers from his/her research findings in a reputable international peer-reviewed journal before qualifying to graduate.
The selected candidate will be enrolled in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, and will attend all lectures at Kumasi but will have the opportunity to visit any of the partner universities for research and discussions when necessary.
All scholarship-holding PhD fellows will receive a stipend of €500.00 per month (but will receive €250.00 during pre-course English language preparations) to cover accommodation and other expenses for the months spent in Ghana. Approved travel costs, costs for fieldwork, etc., will be reimbursed. The disbursement of scholarship funds will be connected to the successful delivery of research work deliverables to be agreed upon between the project coordinator, the supervisor and the PhD fellow at the onset of the research work.
Field research will be sponsored after a successful course work and defends of PhD proposal. The PhD fellow will travel to Germany once during the course of the PhD fellowship period to participate in PhD level courses and joint supervision. The trip will be 3 – 6 months in duration. Airfare will be paid for by the project and a monthly stipend of about €1000.00 (to cater for lodging and personal expenses) will also be provided for each month spent in Germany.
Participants graduating from this multidisciplinary and multinational programme will gain skills as scientific officers, managers of natural resources or academics expected to find employment in conservation agencies and bodies, land and forestry agencies, research institutions, nature reserves, overseas aid programmes, international NGOs, environmental protection agencies, departments of agriculture, water resources or soil, and universities.
In conformity with the entry requirement of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the successful candidate will have a minimum of:
- Second Class (Upper Division) in their first degree.
- Good Masters degree in Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering (Soil and Water Engineering option), Civil Engineering (Water Resources/Hydrology option), Geomatic Engineering, Natural Resources (Silviculture and Forestry, and Watershed management), Mathematics, Geography, Land Economy, Atmospheric Physics, Climatology, and other relevant disciplines, with an average of at least 60%. Submit academic transcripts.
- Candidates from Francophone countries must have an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language (TOEFL or British Council, IELTS) with above average score. Otherwise they will undertake a four-month intensive English training and preparatory courses.
- Evidence of current and previous employments.
- Experience with modelling and GIS would be an advantage but not a prerequisite.
- Full time availability from February1, 2016 – for a period of forty-three months.
- Demonstrate adequate intellectual capacity, maturity and effective decision making and problem solving potentials.
- Provide 2 referees, one of whom must be the supervisor at the Master’s level.
- Submit both soft and hard copies of a short concept note (max. 3 pages outlining the justification, objectives, methodology and expected outcomes of the a research idea
- Submit both soft and hard copies of a letter of motivation (max. two pages) with the heading “WASCAL GRP-CCLU PhD” outlining the following:
- Why you want to study Climate Change and Land Use at the PhD level
- What is your current occupation or job
- Why you are well-suited to study this programme
- How your admission into the PhD Climate Change and Land Use Programme will fit into your professional vision.
- How your home country stands to benefit after your training
- You may also add other relevant information and/or experience you feel is necessary to support your application.
In addition, the candidate must have the ability to travel to Germany for a period of 3 – 6 months for PhD course training and supervisory workshops.
Application Procedure and Contact
Candidates may apply directly to the GRP CCLU by submitting all information requested via email to the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com before January 08, 2016. For further information you may call +233 322062529 during office hours
Completing Application Form
- Access the KNUST application form via
Ghanaian Applicants: Are to complete the attached pdf application forms
Foreign Applicants: admissions.knust.edu.gh/pgadmissionsnew/foreign.php
- All Applicants must complete the attached pdf referee form
- Carefully read the IMPORTANT NOTES on the Application Form
- Complete application form and scanned recent passport-size picture
- The deadline for receiving completed application forms and all necessary documents at the GRP CCLU is January 08, 2016.
- Submit the signed application form and other information by email to the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
KNUST in collaboration with the GRP CCLU Board will short list candidates and select one candidate for each country. There may be the need for a selection interview in/or near Kumasi OR via telephone. The date of the interview will be communicated after short listing. The selection interview is mandatory to support the final selection of candidates. Successful candidates will then submit hardcopy of the application package.
Application Supporting Document
- Completed application form
- Detailed CV
- Two letters of reference (one from a supervisor at the Master’s level)
- Short concept note (three pages)
- Motivation letter (two pages)
- Official transcript for BSc and MSc degrees
- Official certificate for BSc and MSc degrees
- Two recent passport photographs
- Proof of English proficiency
- Application deadline: January 08, 2016.
- Send supporting documents in a single zip file
- Supporting documents in French must have an official English translated version in addition
- Ineligible, incomplete or late applications will not be processed
- Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by February 15, 2016 for an interview or to provide additional details