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Uganda-based Regional Universities Forum For Capacity Building In Agriculture Prepares To Train 325 PhD-level Scientists


Over the years, universities in Africa have looked for opportunities to send their staff for post-graduate preparing abroad in an offer to reinforce research and preparing, at high expenses.   The loss of faculty for 4 to 5 years has negatively affected universities.  In order to meet the growing demand for Doctoral level scientists in Africa, the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) programme was initiated by RUFORUM Vice Chancellors to improve the quality of higher education at African Universities by increasing the proportion of academic staff with PhD qualifications, contributing to locally relevant research and reducing the time away from the home institution.

Ruforum plans to train 325 PhD-level scientists in the next five years to boost teaching capacity in African universities.  The programme will begin this year and run until 2022. This year’s target is the enrolment of at least 60 candidates.

The initiative was officially launched by the African Union Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology, H.E. Dr Martial De Paul Ikounga on 25th July 2014 at Maputo, Mozambique during the RUFORUM Fourth Biennial Conference. The specific objectives of the GTA are to:

  1. Improve the quality of higher education and increase the pool of PhD-level trained academic staff in African universities;
  2. Provide opportunities for the doctoral research to contribute more directly to African development
  3. Strengthen inter- university collaboration in the field of higher education in Africa; and
  4. Promote staff mobility among RUFORUM member universities, and across Africa.

The RUFORUM Secretariat announces the availability of 325 PhD training opportunities for the next 5 years under the GTA for the academic year beginning January, 2017. Potential applicants who are teaching staff at RUFORUM Member Universities are invited to submit applications to the RUFORUM Secretariat through a two-step process. Specific criteria for each step are indicated below.

  • Step 1: Identify and apply directly to University for the relevant program of choice to obtain admission into the program.
  • Step 2: Apply to the RUFORUM Secretariat for the GTA.

Selection Criteria:

The successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be a staff member from a RUFORUM Member University who has been nominated for PhD training by his/her university;
  2. Should have support letter from the sending University confirming nomination and support for travel, stipend, medical insurance and research funds;
  3. Applicant should have a Master degree relevant to the proposed field of PhD study;
  4. Applicant should identify, apply and be admitted to the graduate program by the host University;
  5. Applicant should complete the RUFORUM GTA application form which should be submitted at the same time that the application form is submitted for PhD admission.

Expectations and Responsibilities:

  • Each successful T.A. will contribute to the host university by participating in teaching during his/her training in the Department hosting the PhD Training programme
  • No G.T.A. may be employed by another organization, other than the sending and host university during their time of study.
  • A 100% tuition fee waiver and accommodation provided by the host university
  • The sending university will normally be expected to assist the host university to arrange for supervision of field work and thesis where the research is to be undertaken in the home/sending country
  • Sending universities are responsible for identifying and nominating staff for GTA placement
  • The GTA positions are open not only for agriculture related fields but also  other  fields depending on staff development priority of the sending university
  • Sending Universities may opt to send a list of staff requiring PhD training under the GTA arrangement and the RUFORUM Secretariat assists in facilitating placement of the nominated staff to universities with the appropriate fields of the required training
  • Sending universities may nominate more than five staff for training under the GTA arrangement
  • Universities hosting GTA students may opt to recruit more than five GTA students

Upon nomination by the sending/ home university, the RUFORUM Secretariat will;

  1. Facilitate the placement of nominated candidates to appropriate universities,
  2. Facilitate contract signing i) between successful applicant and the host university, and ii) between the sending university and host university
  3. Follow up on training at host/sending university, and report to home/sending university,
  4. Link the GTA beneficiaries to other RUFORUM graduate students and other opportunities

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Applicants are encouraged to submit admission applications directly to the host university but with copies to RUFORUM Secretariat, Training and Quality Assurance Unit, P.O Box 16811, Kampala, Uganda, email: [email protected] and [email protected]
  2. Nominating Universities should send official letters of nomination and commitment addressed to the hosting University with a copy to RUFORUM Secretariat

Online Application Instructions GTA

To apply for the Graduate teaching Assistantship online. Carefully follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the RUFORUM Information Management System and create an account. The link is:
  2. You will then click to apply for a scholarship
  3. Ensure you pick the correct scholarship call ID which is: GTA  2017
  4. In the employment history ( professional responsibilities section)  of the online form give information on your teaching experience and list the courses that you have taught
  5. The name of the university on the online form refers to the university that you are applying to (host university)
  6. In the reference section ensure that you also upload the letter of nomination from your university. This letter of nomination must include information on the following;
    • Number of years of service at the sending university
    • Confirmation of support for travel, stipend, medical insurance, research funds
  7. On the online form you can ignore the following questions
    • Tuition component within the  funding question

Other attachments to be uploaded on the online form include:

  1. Degree Certificates
  2. Reference letters
  3. Research concept note
  4. Birth certificate

Written by How Africa

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