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Apply for Commonwealth Scholarships - 2017 Academic year

Each year, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) awards over 900 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens.

Citizens of developing Commonwealth countries can apply for scholarships for Master’s and PhD study at a UK university; or Split-site (PhD) scholarships which allow PhD candidates to spend up to 12 months in the UK as part of their doctoral studies. 

These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth. 

Candidates are selected on the basis of merit and their potential to contribute to the needs of their home countries.

To find out more about the scholarships and apply for the 2017 academic year, visit the following links on the CSC website:

http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/2016/09/apply-now-for-a-2017-commonwealth-split-site-scholarship/

http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/scholarships-developing-cw/

 

Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health - Workshop held in South Africa

The BecA-ILRI Hub co-convened a workshop on agriculture and human health from 19-22 September 2016 in Cape Town South Africa.

The workshop entitled "Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health” was organised by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), South Africa (represented by M.Iqbal Parker) in partnership with Queensland University of Technology, Australia (represented by Sagadevan Mundree) and the BecA-ILRI Hub. The aim of the meeting was to discuss priority agricultural research areas relating to improved nutritional health in Africa. Issues related to the diversity of diets in the context of food production and availability, as well as safety issues, were addressed.

Participants from the BecA-ILRI Hub included alumni Yassir Hassan (Sudan); Ahadi Birindwa (DRC); Joshua Amimo (Kenya) as well as affiliated scientist Richard Odour (Kenyatta University, Kenya) and Apollo Obando (Kenya Medical Research Institute). BecA-ILRI Hub director Appolinaire Djikeng and scientist Sita Ghimire gave keynote presentations during the workshop.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Read more about the workshop here: ICGEB Workshop on Agriculture and Human Health

 

DON'T MISS THE DEADLINE: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PAPER WRITING WORKSHOP 2016, CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub invites applications for participation in a workshop on scientific research paper writing. The training will be held from 13-18November 2016 at the ILRI Campus in Nairobi, Kenya. This workshop is one of the BecA-ILRI Hub’s annual training workshops under the capacity building portfolio, whose objective is to strengthen the capacity African national agricultural research systems (NARS) to drive innovation.

Eligibility / Applicants requirements

The workshop is open to NARS researchers with a keen interest in improving their writing skills. More specific applicant requirements include the following:

  • Currently conducting agricultural biosciences research with an African NARS in one of the BecA countries: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • Preference will be given to BecA capacity building program /ABCF alumni.
  • Must have a project report for conversion to a paper, and / or analyzed research data through figures and tables.
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)

 Women candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Interested eligible scientists / researchers should apply by completing the online application form; http://hpc.ilri.cgiar.org/beca/training/Applications/Writeshop2016/. In addition, the applicant must attach a supporting letter from his/her Head of Institution.

Key dates / Application deadline

  • Call for applications release: 14 September 2016
  • Application deadline: 10 October 2016
  • Information to successful applicants: 13 October 2016
  • Applications submitted after the 10 October 2016 deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered
  • Training dates: 13-18 November 2016.

Sponsorship

There are several fully funded places for this workshop. However, applicants who can fully or partially fund their participation (at least 50%) have an added advantage. The cost of workshop is approximately $1600, excluding flights and accommodation.

Inquiries

For inquiries about the workshop and / or the BecA-ILRI Hub Capacity Building Program, send email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

For comprehensive information about the BecA-ILRI Hub visit: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/

For a full prospectus on the BecA-ILRI Hub capacity building program visit: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/publications?download=33:abcf-prospectus&start=20

 

 

Download workshop concept note: HERE

 

 

We thank our sponsors for making this workshop possible:

 

 

Call for applications: Plant Metabolism for Improved Nutrition and Health Course

Introducing a short course from 20th February - 4th March 2017 hosted by

  • John Innes Centre (JIC) a world leading Plant and Microbial Science Research institute; 
  • Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST): Eastern and Southern Africa Centre for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition Security (CREATES-FNS); and
  • Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub

The Plant Metabolism for Improved Nutrition and Health Course will cover the breadth and depth of plant metabolism and how it can be exploited for the improvement of plant and human nutrition and health. With emphasis on recent results, from starch metabolism to engineering natural products, from nanoscience to medicinal plant ecology, this course will provide an introduction to current methods used in plant metabolomics. The course is designed for Post Graduate scientists with some experience in plant nutrition who wish to work with plant metabolism, in any plant species, for improving nutrition and health. Training consists of a vigorous lecture series, hands-on practical sessions, informal discussions and social activities.

The stellar group of JIC speakers are recognised leaders in their field and will be presenting their most current research on a wide range of topics in plant metabolism. NM-AIST, in collaboration with their leading experts in Nanoscience and the ecological aspects of medicinal plants will contribute as faculty in this course.The speakers will provide expert overviews of their fields, followed by journal clubs and in-depth discussions on their own work. The hands-on practical sessions will run with a common theme through the duration of the course, demonstrating how to best utilise the current technologies to advance your research. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to interact individually and informally with the speakers to further enrich the learning experience.

We are looking for the top Masters/PhD students from across Sub-Saharan Africa whose research falls within this broad topic. In addition, there are a maximum of three places for JIC PhD students who can apply through the same process. Students should be eager to build networks with peers and trainers to address challenges faced in plant nutrition and health in Africa. The course will be hosted by CREATES at NM-AIST in Arusha, Tanzania. NM-AIST will provide a buzzing atmosphere of international and interdisciplinary scientific activities and has a great experience in hosting international trainings. The NM-AIST campus is conveniently located within the East African biodiversity hotspot and provides various possibilities for excursions in the surroundings. Registration, Travel and Accommodation costs for the training will be covered for successful applicants. 

 To apply fill in this online form by 23rd October 2016.

 

2017 Lecturers:

  • Alison Smith, John Innes Centre, UK: Understanding and measuring sugar and starch metabolism
  • Janneke Balk, John Innes Centre, UK: Uptake and delivery of iron for improved nutrition
  • Dale Sanders, John Innes Centre, UK: Metal accumulation in seed for improved nutrition 
  • Sarah O’Conner, John Innes Centre, UK: small molecule production in plants for health
  • Cathie Martin, John Innes Centre, UK: small molecule production in crops for nutrition
  • Omowunmi “Wunmi” Sadik, SUNY, Binghamton, USA:  Nanostructured biosensors for detection and remediation of anthracnose diseases in plants
  • Admire Dube, UWC, South Africa: Nanomedicines for treatment of infectious diseases
  • Theres M Allen, University of Alberta, USA: TBC
  • James Kuharananga: TBC
  • Musa Chacha, NM-AIST, Tanzania: TBC

 

Thank you to our funders for making this course possible

 

Scientific Research Paper Writing Workshop - Call for Applications 2016

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub invites applications for participation in a workshop on scientific research paper writing. The training will be held from 13-18November 2016 at the ILRI Campus in Nairobi, Kenya. This workshop is one of the BecA-ILRI Hub’s annual training workshops under the capacity building portfolio, whose objective is to strengthen the capacity African national agricultural research systems (NARS) to drive innovation.

Eligibility / Applicants requirements

The workshop is open to NARS researchers with a keen interest in improving their writing skills. More specific applicant requirements include the following:

  • Currently conducting agricultural biosciences research with an African NARS in one of the BecA countries: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • Preference will be given to BecA capacity building program /ABCF alumni.
  • Must have a project report for conversion to a paper, and / or analyzed research data through figures and tables.
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)

 Women candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Interested eligible scientists / researchers should apply by completing the online application form; http://hpc.ilri.cgiar.org/beca/training/Applications/Writeshop2016/. In addition, the applicant must attach a supporting letter from his/her Head of Institution.

Key dates / Application deadline

  • Call for applications release: 14 September 2016
  • Application deadline: 10 October 2016
  • Information to successful applicants: 13 October 2016
  • Applications submitted after the 10 October 2016 deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered
  • Training dates: 13-18 November 2016.

Sponsorship

There are several fully funded places for this workshop. However, applicants who can fully or partially fund their participation (at least 50%) have an added advantage. The cost of workshop is approximately $1600, excluding flights and accommodation.

Inquiries

For inquiries about the workshop and / or the BecA-ILRI Hub Capacity Building Program, send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

For comprehensive information about the BecA-ILRI Hub visit: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/

For a full prospectus on the BecA-ILRI Hub capacity building program visit: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/publications?download=33:abcf-prospectus&start=20

 

Download workshop concept note: HERE

 

We thank our sponsors for making this workshop possible:

 

 

Attachments: Download this file (Scientific Research Paper Writing Workshop2016_Concept Note.pdf)Scientific Research Paper Writing Workshop2016_Concept Note.pdf[ ]514 Kb

The BecA-ILRI Hub showcases partnerships for accelerated agricultural innovation

07d5d.jpgThe Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub director at a landmark agricultural forum, highlighted innovative approaches that are being used to build the capacity of African agricultural scientists for impact.

Speaking on 5 September during a side event at the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi, director Appolinaire Djikeng described the BecA-ILRI Hub as an accelerator for research already taking place in national agricultural research systems across Africa.


‘The BecA-ILRI Hub goes beyond enabling scientists conduct good science in state-of-the art facilities. It focuses helping these scientists become successful in driving their national agricultural research agenda when they return to their home institutions,’ said Djikeng.

BecA-ILRI Hub’s head of capacity building, Wellington Ekaya also emphasized the importance of creating connections amongst research fellows from various countries, who conduct part of their research at BecA-ILRI Hub supported by the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund Programme (ABCF). The ABCF is BecA-ILRI Hub’s capacity building delivery mechanism.

‘One key component of the ABCF fellowship program is to mobilize Africa’s bioscience capacities for joint actions. The program therefore facilitates the creation of communities of practice among scientists,’ said Ekaya. ‘This spurs them to have a bigger-picture view of their research as they jointly strategize on how to mobilize resources, and also how the resources in their individual institutions can contribute collectively in addressing agricultural challenges at a larger scale,’ he added.  

afdfe.jpgDjikeng and Ekaya highlighted the multifaceted approach of the BecA-ILRI Hub to building research leadership within national agricultural research systems, which has seen scientists contribute to national agricultural policies, spearhead seminal investigations and receive grants to expand their research. This has been achieved through providing access to world-class research facilities; offering training based on identified skills gaps; supporting scientists in linking research to policy; and catalyzing partnerships to leverage human and institutional resources across countries for increased impact.

Djikeng however decried the gaps in funding of continuing learning in agricultural research, which he termed as a good development investment. Michigan State University representative Amy Jamison stated that capacity building should be viewed as a long-term investment for which funding commitment should go beyond the traditional 2-3 year projects project cycles.

Adding his voice to the call for a greater emphasis on capacity building to transform agriculture in Africa, Prof Richard Mkandawire of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) said ‘Attending to capacity development in Africa will address many issues in agriculture.’ 

‘There is a need for coordinated continental effort to increase funding for capacity development in agricultural research,’ he added.

The side event was attended by participants from institutions involved in capacity building in agricultural research for development in Africa including the BecA-ILRI Hub; the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM); African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD); and Michigan State University among others, to discuss mechanisms to enhance capacity building in agricultural research for development.

 

The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund 2016/2017 Call for Applications (Guidelines for Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda)

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Background

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is a shared agricultural research and biosciences platform that exists to increase access for African researchers to affordable, world-class research facilities.  The mission of the BecA-ILRI Hub is Mobilizing Bioscience for Africa’s Development by providing a centre for excellence in agricultural biosciences, which enables research, capacity building and product incubation, conducted by scientists in Africa and for Africa, and empowers African institutions to harness innovations for regional impact. This mission is achieved by the BecA–ILRI Hub’s contributions to:

·   Research: enabling research to harness the potential of the biosciences to contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and to improving food and nutritional safety and security.

·   Education: contributing to the education and training of the next generation of African agricultural research leaders and scientists.

·   Innovation: promoting the development, delivery and adoption of new technologies to address key agricultural productivity constraints.

The BecA-ILRI Hub capacity building program is branded The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF). The ABCF program operates in the critically important intersection between agricultural research for development (ARD), food security, and individual and institutional capacity building. The ABCF program is delivered through: i) a visiting scientist program (the ABCF fellowship) targeting scientists from African national agricultural research organizations and universities to undertake biosciences research-for-development projects at the BecA-ILRI Hub; ii) annual training workshops to support the acquisition of practical skills in molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, laboratory management, laboratory safety, equipment maintenance and scientific writing; iii) mobilizing national and regional capacities for joint action; and iv) supporting and strengthening the capacity of national agricultural research systems (NARS) to deliver on their research for development agenda.

Purpose

The purpose of the ABCF fellowship program is to develop capacity for agricultural biosciences research in Africa, to support research for development projects that ultimately contribute towards increasing food and nutritional security and/or food safety in Africa, and to facilitate access to the BecA-ILRI Hub facilities by African researchers (and their partners).  We seek applicants with innovative ideas for short to medium term research projects (up to 12 months) aligned with national, regional or continental agricultural development priorities that can be undertaken at the BecA-ILRI Hub.

Since its inception in 2010, the ABCF program has contributed to strengthening capacities of individual scientists and institutions in sub Saharan Africa. To enable national programs take full advantage of the opportunities available through the ABCF program, prospective candidates will require full support from their home institution. Institutions are strongly encouraged to nominate staff and faculty members for the ABCF program to help address critical capacity gaps or tackle key agricultural research for development challenges. Letters of nominations articulating institutions capacity building needs and alignment of the proposed research project to national priorities will constitute an important criteria for selection.

Areas of research

Applicants must be scientists affiliated (through employment) with African National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) e.g. national agricultural research institutes and universities, and conducting research in the areas of food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa.

Those carrying out research in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply*;

·   Improved control of priority livestock and fish diseases including: African Swine Fever (ASF); Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP); Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR); Rift Valley Fever (RVF); East Coast Fever (ECF); Capripox Virus diseases of ruminants;

·   Harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, resistance to disease and improving productivity of crops and livestock and fish (livestock focus: African indigenous breeds, particularly goats, chickens, alternative small livestock species);

·   Molecular breeding for important food security crops in Africa;

·   Plant transformation to address food insecurity in Africa;

·   Plant-microbe interactions;

·   Tissue culture and virus indexing for production of virus-free planting materials in Africa;

·   Orphan/underutilized species of crops and livestock

·   Crop pests, pathogens and weed management research, including biological control;

·   Microbial technology for improving adaptation of staple food crops and forages to biotic and abiotic stresses;

·   Rapid diagnostics for crop, livestock and fish diseases;

·   Genomics, bioinformatics and metagenomics including microbial discovery;

·   Studies on climate-smart forage grasses and mixed livestock-crop systems;

·   Microbial technology for improving adaptation of staple food crops and forages to biotic and abiotic stresses;

·   Soil health in agricultural systems.

·   Improved control of parasitic pathogens of plants (bacteria, fungi, oomycetes) that cause enormous economic losses as well as environmental damage in natural ecosystems (e.g.: Phytophthora infestans that causes potato blight). 

*This list is not exhaustive and applicants working on other relevant topics are welcome to submit their suggestions.

Special opportunities also exist to connect with leading international scientists linked with the BecA-ILRI Hub in the following areas: wheat rusts, insect pests, and nitrogen fixation. Other special opportunities exist to connect with CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs): including but not limited to Livestock & Fish, Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, Humid tropics etc.  Such collaboration would allow the applicant’s research to contribute more directly to an impact-oriented research-for-development agenda, and offer additional opportunities for joint activities.

Eligibility/applicant requirements

The BecA-ILRI Hub’s strategy is to consolidate and build on promising outcomes arising from significant investment by the NARS in Cameroon; Ethiopia; Kenya; Rwanda; Tanzania; and Uganda, that have complemented BecA-ILRI Hub’s support in the last five years. Under this call, NARS in these countries have the key role of nominating individuals to participate in the ABCF fellowship program.

Heads of institutions will nominate scientists who are active and strategically placed to strengthen national systems by transferring skills acquired through the ABCF program ensuring that their research further builds on and contributes to previously funded and continuing research in identified areas. Among other things, the institution head should justify the relevance and importance of the proposed research in the context of national priorities. He/she should also clearly describe how that research contributes to or builds on on-going related research in the country and/or region. Also important is sustainability, whereby it should be clear what role the nominee’s institution will play in ensuring continuity in the research beyond the fellowship at the BecA-ILRI Hub.

The nominated applicant must:

  • Be a national of a BecA-ILRI Hub target country for this call: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda
  • MUST be a researcher employed within NARS and nominated by the head of their home institution. A signed letter of nomination from the head of the applicant’s home institute/organization/university will be required.
  • Be currently engaged in research in food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa, or in a research area with relevance to agriculture in Africa.
  • Have a good working knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • Complete  the online application form. 

Applicants stand a higher chance of acceptance to the program if:

  • They have own funding to fully support their research and all other costs while at the BecA-ILRI Hub, or
  • They are able to secure a significant portion (at least 50%) of their total research budget and other necessary costs while at the BecA-ILRI Hub. In this case they would be seeking partial funding through application for an ABCF fellowship.

We particularly welcome applications from women.

What the fellowship covers

The BecA-ILRI Hub has secured funding to sponsor several fellowships on a highly competitive basis. The fellowship will cover the following costs[1]:

  • Research costs at the BecA-ILRI Hub;
  • Travel;
  • Medical insurance;
  •  Accommodation;
  • A modest subsistence allowance;
  • Cost of publication in open access journal.

Key timelines

  • For any inquiries / clarifications related to this call, please send an email to: abcfprogram (at) cgiar.org
  • Closing date for applications: Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis until 30th June 2017.
  • Notification to successful applicants and commencement of successful projects will be on continuing basis.

Application form

To apply for a fellowship, click on the online application link below:

http://hpc.ilri.cgiar.org/beca/training/ABCF_2016/index.html 

Decision on applications

Details of successful applicants will be posted on the BecA-ILRI Hub Website on a continuous basis until completion of the review process.

Note: Successful applicants will be expected to secure leave from their workstation to fully focus on their research fellowship at the BecA-ILRI Hub during the fellowship contract period.

Our Sponsors

The ABCF Research Fellowship program is supported by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the Australian Government through a partnership between Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the BecA-ILRI Hub,

·     For general information on the BecA-ILRI Hub visit http://hub.africabiosciences.org/aboutbeca

·     For information on the technologies and research-related services available at the BecA-ILRI Hub visit http://hub.africabiosciences.org/activities/services

·     A full prospectus of the BecA-ILRI Hub is available for download here http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/publications?download=26:beca-prospectus

·     Download a full prospectus on the ABCF program here: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/publications?download=33:abcf-prospectus&start=20

For applicants from other BecA countries (Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan) see guidelines here:  http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/news/505-the-africa-biosciences-challenge-fund-2016-2017-call-for-applications-new-guidelines

[1] Please note that BecA-ILRI Hub-funded fellowships do not cover the cost of fieldwork or research at the applicant’s home institute. Applicants who can fund their  proposed research at BecA-ILRI Hub (either fully or partially) will have  added advantage.  

The BecA-ILRI Hub strengthens partnership with North Carolina State University

8-9 August 2016: The BecA-ILRI Hub Director Appolinaire Djikeng visited North Carolina State University (NCSU) to discuss the memorandum of understanding between the BecA-ILRI Hub and NCSU.

In the picture (left to right standing):  Steve Lommel, Dean Linton, Provost Warwick Arden, Appolinaire Djikeng, Vice Provost Bailian Li, David Dixon, José Cisneros (left to right seated): José Ascencio-Ibanez, Jean Ristaino, and Linda Hanley-Bowdoin. 

 

Read more about the visitBiosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub director visits NC State 

Read about BecA-NCSU partnership: 

- North Carolina State University brings new expertise to annual BecA-ILRI Hub workshop

International partnership on Cassava virus evolution launched in Africa

 

 

Strengthening the capacity of the African scientific community through training

 

From the 7 August 2016 the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) have been running a training workshop on Advanced Genomics and Bioinformatics at the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop has 22 participants from, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and has trainers from advanced research institutions in Sweden, USA and UK. At the training, the participants covered many aspects of genomics and bioinformatics including but not limited to; introduction to genomics and NGS technologies, library preparation and sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform, basic statistics for analysis of biological data, introduction to Linux, genome and transcriptome assembly, RNA-Seq differential expression analysis, variant discovery (SNP and Indel), 16S rRNA metagenomics and phylogenetics.

The skills and knowledge gained during this time will be transferred to a wider group through our capacity building program’s Participant Action Plan Approach (PAPA) mechanism. This workshop will contribute towards the building of a network of researchers from Africa’s National Research Systems (NARS) with strengthened capacity for application of genomics and bioinformatics in research addressing the pressing agricultural challenges in Africa.

The BecA-ILRI Hub relies a lot on its faculty networks across the world to provide high levels of expertise towards these kinds of training that take place annually at the Hub. In addition to the BecA-ILRI Hub staff, other trainers include; Dr. Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, Head of Bioinformatics Unit and Hadrien Gourle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden; Dr. Manpreet S. Katari, Clinical Associate Professor of Biology; Coordinator of Computational Studies, New York University; Dr. Stephen Obol Opiyo, Research Scientist, Ohio State University, USA and Dr. Walter Verweij, Senior Research Scientist, Elrham Institute, formerly the Genome Analysis Centre, UK.

The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund 2016/2017 Call for Applications (new guidelines)

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Background

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa - International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is a shared agricultural research and biosciences platform that exists to increase access for African researchers to affordable, world-class research facilities.  The mission of the BecA-ILRI Hub is Mobilizing Bioscience for Africa’s Development by providing a centre for excellence in agricultural biosciences, which enables research, capacity building and product incubation, conducted by scientists in Africa and for Africa, and empowers African institutions to harness innovations for regional impact. This mission is achieved by the BecA–ILRI Hub’s contributions to:

  • Research: enabling research to harness the potential of the biosciences to contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and to improving food and nutritional safety and security.
  • Education: contributing to the education and training of the next generation of African agricultural research leaders and scientists.
  • Innovation: promoting the development, delivery and adoption of new technologies to address key agricultural productivity constraints.

The BecA-ILRI Hub capacity building program is branded The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF).The ABCF program operates in the critically important intersection between agricultural research for development (ARD), food security, and individual and institutional capacity building. The ABCF program is delivered through: i) a visiting scientist program (the ABCF fellowship) targeting scientists from African national agricultural research organizations and universities to undertake biosciences research-for-development projects at the BecA-ILRI Hub; ii) annual training workshops to support the acquisition of practical skills in molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, laboratory management, laboratory safety, equipment maintenance and scientific writing; iii) mobilizing national and regional capacities for joint action; and iv) supporting and strengthening the capacity of national agricultural research systems  (NARS) to deliver on their research for development agenda.

Purpose

The purpose of the ABCF fellowship program is to develop capacity for agricultural biosciences research in Africa, to support research for development projects that ultimately contribute towards increasing food and nutritional security and/or food safety in Africa, and to facilitate access to the BecA-ILRI Hub facilities by African researchers (and their partners).  We seek applicants with innovative ideas for short to medium term research projects (up to 12 months) aligned with national, regional or continental agricultural development priorities that can be undertaken at the BecA-ILRI Hub.

Since its inception in 2010, the ABCF program has contributed to strengthening capacities of individual scientists and institutions in sub Saharan Africa. To enable national programs take full advantage of the opportunities available through the ABCF program, prospective candidates will require full support from their home institution. Institutions are strongly encouraged to nominate staff and faculty members for the ABCF program to help address critical capacity gaps or tackle key agricultural research for development challenges. Letters of  nominations articulating institutions capacity building needs and alignment of the proposed research project to national priorities will constitute an important criteria for selection.

Areas of research

Applicants must be scientists affiliated (through employment) with African National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) e.g. national agricultural research institutes and universities, and conducting research in the areas of food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa. Those carrying out research in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply*;

  • Improved control of priority livestock and fish diseases including: African Swine Fever (ASF); Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP); Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR); Rift Valley Fever (RVF); East Coast Fever (ECF); Capripox Virus diseases of ruminants;
  • Harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, resistance to disease and improving productivity of crops and livestock and fish (livestock focus: African indigenous breeds, particularly  goats, chickens, alternative small livestock species);
  • Molecular breeding for important food security crops in Africa;
  • Plant transformation to address food insecurity in Africa;
  • Plant-microbe interactions;
  • Tissue culture and virus indexing for production of virus-free planting materials in Africa;
  • Orphan/underutilized species of crops and livestock
  • Crop pests, pathogens and weed management research, including biological control;
  • Microbial technology for improving adaptation of staple food crops and forages to biotic and abiotic stresses;
  • Rapid diagnostics for crop, livestock and fish diseases;
  • Genomics, bioinformatics and  metagenomics including microbial discovery;
  • Studies on climate-smart forage grasses and mixed livestock-crop systems;
  • Microbial technology for improving adaptation of staple food crops and forages to biotic and abiotic stresses;
  • Soil health in agricultural systems.
  • Improved control of parasitic pathogens of plants (bacteria, fungi, oomycetes) that cause enormous economic losses as well as environmental damage in natural ecosystems (e.g.: Phytophthora infestans that causes potato blight). 

*This list is not exhaustive and applicants working on other relevant topics are welcome to submit their suggestions.

Special opportunities also exist to connect with leading international scientists linked with the BecA-ILRI Hub in the following areas: wheat rusts, insect pests, and nitrogen fixation. Other special opportunities exist to connect with CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs): including but not limited to Livestock & Fish, Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, Humid tropics etc.  Such collaboration would allow the applicant’s research to contribute more directly to an impact-oriented research-for-development agenda, and offer additional opportunities for joint activities.

 Eligibility/applicant requirements

  • National of a BecA-ILRI Hub target country for this call: Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Under special partnerships and collaborations arrangements, applicants from western and Southern Africa are considered for the fellowship. . The applicant MUST be a researcher employed within NARS.
  • Currently engaged in research in food and nutritional security or food safety in Africa, or in a research area with relevance to agriculture in Africa.
  •  Good working knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • Completed online application form.
  • A signed letter of endorsement / nomination of the application from the head of the applicant’s home institute/organization/university faculty.

Applicants stand a higher chance of acceptance to the program if:

  • They have own funding to fully support their research and all other costs while at the BecA-ILRI Hub, or
  • They are able to secure a significant portion (at least 50%) of their total research budget and other necessary costs while at the BecA-ILRI Hub. In this case they would be seeking partial funding through application for an ABCF fellowship.

 We particularly welcome applications from women and less resourced NARS.

What the fellowship covers

The BecA-ILRI Hub has secured funding to sponsor several fellowships on a highly competitive basis. The fellowship will cover the following costs[1];

  • Research costs at the BecA-ILRI Hub;
  • Travel;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Accommodation;
  • A modest subsistence allowance;
  • Cost of publication in open access journal.

Key timelines

  • For any inquiries / clarifications related to this call, please send an email to: abcfprogram (at) cgiar.org
  • Closing date for applications: Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis until 30th June 2017.
  • Notification to successful applicants and commencement of successful projects will be on continuing basis.

Application form

To apply for a fellowship, click on the online application link below:

Link to application form: http://hpc.ilri.cgiar.org/beca/training/ABCF_2016/index.html 

Decision on applications

Details of successful applicants will be posted on the BecA-ILRI Hub Website on a continuous basis until completion of the review process.

Note: Successful applicants will be expected to secure leave from their workstation to fully focus on their research fellowship at BecA-ILRI Hub during the fellowship contract period.

Our Sponsors

The ABCF Research Fellowship program is supported by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the Australian Government through a partnership between Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the BecA-ILRI Hub,

For general information on the BecA-ILRI Hub visit http://hub.africabiosciences.org/aboutbeca. For information on the technologies and research-related services available at the BecA-ILRI Hub visit http://hub.africabiosciences.org/activities/services

A full prospectus of the BecA-ILRI Hub is available for download here. 

Download a full prospectus on the ABCF program here.

For applicants from other BecA countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) see guidelines for application here: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/media-center/news/508-the-africa-biosciences-challenge-fund-2016-2017-call-for-applications-guidelines-for-cameroon-ethiopia-kenya-rwanda-tanzania-and-uganda

[1]Please note that BecA-ILRI Hub-funded fellowships do not cover the cost of fieldwork or research at the applicant’s home institute. Applicants who can fund their  proposed research at BecA-ILRI Hub (either fully or partially) will have  added advantage.  

Supporting efficient laboratory management in African national research facilities

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Every year, the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub conducts a workshop on the Principles of Laboratory Management and Equipment Operation for laboratory supervisors, scientists and technicians from across Africa. The workshop is aimed at promoting international standards of research and efficient use of resources in the national research programs’ facilities.

The 2016 edition of the laboratory management workshop took place from 11-15 July at ILRI’s Nairobi campus. The intense 5-day workshop attracted 24 participants from Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

f7637.jpgThe workshop comprised a series of lectures, group discussions and experience sharing by participants. Through extensive hands-on lessons, the trainees acquired knowledge on practical skills such as planning a laboratory layout. Lectures on complying with legal and regulatory frameworks for health and safety, waste management, import and export of biological materials and biosafety, formed part of the workshop curriculum. 

The BecA-ILRI Hub scientists attend pre-TICAD meeting in Nairobi

 On 21 July 2016, scientists from the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI Hub) join the Japanese science community in Africa in celebrating 50 years of Japan’s contribution to science and technology on the continent.

Director Dr Appolinaire Djikeng, principal scientist Dr Roger Pelle and postdoctoral scientist Dr Josiah Mutuku will participate in the event which is the forerunner of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), to be held in Kenya from August 27 to 28—the first ever TICAD summit to be held in Africa.

The invitation the BecA-ILRI Hub scientists to the July event was extended by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), following a successful symposium which brought together scientists from  Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) and Hiroshima University held on 16 June 2016 at the BecA-ILRI Hub. The symposium explored opportunities for partnerships in research, capacity building and technology transfer that will support smallholder farmers on the continent.

Ueru Tanaka from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto gives a presentation during the BecA-JSPS symposium in Nairobi, 16 June 2016

Ueru Tanaka from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto gives a presentation during the BecA-JSPS symposium in Nairobi, 16 June 2016 (photo credit: JSPS Nairobi).

Shun Ishiyama from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto gives a presentation during the BecA-JPS symposium in Nairobi, 16 June 2016

Shun Ishiyama from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto gives a presentation during the BecA-JPS symposium in Nairobi, 16 June 2016 (photo credit: JSPS Nairobi).

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Exploring opportunities for Africa-Japan research for development partnerships

 

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks partnership with Japanese institutions for food security research in Africa

 

 

In search of food security in Africa through improved disease management

From 11-13 July 2016, international experts in research on crop and livestock disease convened at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Nairobi to explore how better monitoring of the economically significant diseases in East African agricultural systems can contribute to sustained increased food production in the region.

The researchers hosted by the BecA-ILRI Hub in collaboration with the University of Cambridge were attending a proposal development meeting to discuss a study that has been short-listed for funding under the Wellcome Trust programme: Our Planet Our Health.

 

The proposed project is a collaboration between crop and livestock epidemiologists at the University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, Lancaster University, the UK Met Office and international research institutions with hubs at the BecA-ILRI in Kenya and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Ethiopia. 

Discussions centered around more efficient and cost effective data collection methods; standardization of data collection across boundaries. The project under development is designed to help governments and national agricultural research systems minimize crop and livestock losses, protect livelihoods of smallholder farmers and respond to emerging epidemics.

 

 

Unearthing big potential of small livestock: First international symposium on cavy takes place in Cameroon

Yaounde, Cameroon, July 8, 2016


For the first time in history, experts from South America where cavy research spans over 50 years engaged in a rich exchange of views with cavy stakeholders in Africa where research is still emerging and production is yet to reach its full potential.

Ursule Mekongo of Association des Eleveurs et Agriculteurs du Cameroun (AEAC) and oberto Moncayo Gallian of Ecuador

Over 30 participants from 13 countries from across Africa, Australia, Europe and South America attended an international symposium convened by the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub to explore the untapped potential of this mini-livestock to help vulnerable households in Africa climb up the livestock ladder out of poverty.

The symposium participants who included researchers, development experts and policy makers from Australia, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Peru, Sweden and Tanzania visited cavy producers, cavy traders in Yaounde and an agricultural training school.

Brigitte Maass (University of Göttingen), Lilia Chauca (La Molina University Peru) and Appolinaire Djikeng (BecA-ILRI Hub)

 

Potential for advancement through technology transfer

First domesticated in South America, cavies seem to have adapted to lower altitudes and more humid environments in sub-Saharan Africa through natural selection and are distributed more widely across the continent than is currently recognized. The consumption of cavy meat in Africa is widespread including in restaurants and urban markets in Cameroon and DRC, and the absence of cultural or religious inhibitions means they have significant potential to improve nutrition and livelihoods in Africa.

Earlier research has shown that while there is wide genetic diversity of cavy across Africa, serious inbreeding exists in any one local environment. This challenge can be tackled through the development of breeding programs within Africa with possible introduction of South American genes.  

Kingsley Etchu (l) of Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) and Felix Meutchieye of University of Dschang

Additionally, cavy technology developed in South America which produces animals with an average weight of nearly 2kgs compared to 500gms in Africa can be transferred and adapted to quickly address the challenges of poor animal husbandry and low productivity found in the family based production systems in Africa.

Participants recognize that large and rapid productivity gains can be made in Africa by applying and adapting best practices from South America. The gains made through improved breeding and husbandry will be augmented by scientific research around major issues such as animal health, marketing and matching of new genetics to African systems.

The event led to the genesis of a ‘cavy network’ connecting diverse international experiences along the cavy value chain to deliver impacts for health, gender and livelihoods. This symposium was made possible by the support of DFAT Australia and IDRC Canada, together with Cameroonian partners the Ministry of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Industries and the University of Dschang.

International cavy symposium group photo

More information about the symposium: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/blog/aternative-livestock-symposium-july-2016/

More information about the research: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/activities/research/303-domestic-cavies-improving-production-nutritional-protein-and-household-income

More pictures from the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/beca-hub/albums/72157669990170450

 

Cameroon Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries seeks partnership with BecA-ILRI Hub

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub on 2 June2016 hosted officials from the Cameroon Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA).

The delegation was in Kenya to learn more about livestock development. The learning tour organized with the assistance of the BecA-ILRI Hub will contribute to the knowledge base underpinning the implementation of a World Bank funded livestock development project aimed at sustainable increase of productivity and development of livestock value chains in Cameroon.

The Cameroonian officials held discussions with members of the BecA-ILRI Hub regarding collaborative research for development and capacity building activities. They officials who were accompanied by the deputy director of the Kenya Livestock Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries James Tendwa also toured the laboratory facilities.

 

Exploring opportunities for Africa-Japan research for development partnerships

On 16 June 2016, the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub hosted a symposium to explore opportunities for collaborations with Japanese research institutions in research, capacity building and technology transfer activities that will impact smallholder agricultural productivity in Africa.

The June symposium which brought together scientists from Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) and Hiroshima University (Japan); the BecA-ILRI Hub; ILRI; other CG centers; and African national agricultural research systems (NARS) was a follow up of earlier discussions held between the BecA-ILRI Hub and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in Nairobi. The event was organized by postdoctoral scientist Dr Josiah Mutuku, who was a JSPS fellow and worked at the Ken Shirasu lab at RIKEN, Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Yokohama Japan prior to joining the BecA-ILRI Hub.

Group photo of participants of the BecA-ILRI Hub/JSPS Symposium in Nairobi 16 June 2016

Presentations made during the symposium included an highlight on JSPS involvement in research for development by Mizoguchi Daisuke, director of JSPS Nairobi Station; research to support communities in Burkina Faso adapt to extreme weather by Shun Ishiyama from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto; developing “Great Green Wall Initiatives’ to control desertification and improve livelihoods in semi-arid Africa by Ueru Tanaka from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto; crop improvement strategies and research on climate smart Brachiaria grass as an alternative forage for Africa by Sita Ghimire from the BecA-ILRI Hub; developing a toolbox for managing viral diseases in common beans by Josiah Mutuku; and livestock vaccines research by Vish Nene from ILRI.

The existing triangular partnerships established between the BecA-ILRI Hub, African NARS and advanced international research institutions and universities have supported the creation of a continuum of collaborative research, capacity building and technology transfer activities for impact on agricultural productivity at the smallholder farmers’ level. Such strategic partnerships with the Japanese research community will enable the transfer of relevant technologies and products for improved agricultural productivity to smallholder farmers in sub Saharan Africa.

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Read related story:

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks partnership with Japanese institutions for food security research in Africa

Pooling resources to enable research for development: keynote by the BecA-ILRI Hub at continental research and innovation meeting

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub director Appolinaire Djikeng will today (14 June 2016) give a key note presentation on transboundary pooling of resources for research and development at an Africa agriculture and innovation forum.

The presentation will be given at a session—Collaborative service and research agreements to facilitate Science Agenda facilitation—during this year’s Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) general assembly in Kigali, Rwanda.

BecA-ILRI Hub at the Africa A

Owing to the scarcity of resources available to implement research for development in many sub-Saharan African countries, there is need to leverage collective capabilities in research and development infrastructure and expertise; surveillance and testing to promote cross-border certification; and institutional innovations.

Drawing from the lessons learnt at the BecA-ILRI Hub, Djikeng’s presentation will illustrate how south-south partnerships and triangular partnerships between the BecA-ILRI Hub, African NARS and international research institutions and universities have enabled the implementation of collaborative research, capacity building and technology transfer that brings to bear the most advanced research and innovations in smallholder farming systems in Africa.

 For more information on the Africa Agriculture Science Week visit: http://faraafrica.org/aasw7/

Follow the event on twitter: #AASW7

 

Call for applications: BecA-ILRI Hub advanced genomics and bioinformatics training workshop 2016

As part of its capacity building program, the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub in collaboration with Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) will hold a two weeks hands-on training workshop on advanced genomics and bioinformatics from 8–19 August 2016. The workshop aims at providing a learning forum for researchers in genomics (laboratory procedures in Next Generation Sequencing NGS) and bioinformatics (computational methods of analyzing NGS data).

Applications are invited from researchers in eastern and central Africa who require advanced skills in genomics and bioinformatics to support their research. Selection of participants will be based on evidence of productive research and the relevance of genomics and bioinformatic skills in their current work. Individuals who are currently engaged in agricultural research within a national research institute or a university are highly encouraged to apply. Proficiency in molecular biology and genomics 'wet-lab' activities is necessary.

Selected participants will attend an intensive 2-week training workshop at the BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi, Kenya. The program will include:

  • Introduction to Genomics and NGS technologies
  • Library preparation and sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform
  • Basic statistics for analysis of biological data
  • Genome and transcriptome assembly
  • RNA-Seq differential expression analysis
  • Variant discovery (SNP and Indel)
  • 16S rRNA Metagenomics
  • Phylogenetics

A team of facilitators from the SLU, New York University, Ohio State University and BecA-ILRI Hub will conduct the training sessions.

Applicant requirements

  • A national of one of the following BecA countries: Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. In exceptional cases, applicants from other African countries may be considered. (Please note that applicants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda require nominations from their home institution. Applications from the above nine countries may also be considered if they are sponsored or have own funding to meet at least 75% of the full cost of the course.)
  • Currently engaged in biosciences research
  • Proficiency in molecular biology and genomics
  • MSc or PhD in biological sciences
  • Good working knowledge of written and spoken English

Application process
All those interested should fill and submit the online application. To access the form, CLICK HERE.

No other mode of application will be accepted. Online application form submitted by 8th July 2016.


Important dates
The online application form must be submitted by 8 July 2016 mid-night Nairobi time.
Successful applicants will be notified by 15 July 2016.
Applications received after  deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered.
 
Workshop sponsors

  • The Australia Government Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through a partnership between Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the BecA-ILRI Hub.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
  • UK Department For International Development
  • The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

For further clarifications/ inquiries on the workshop, do not hesitate  to contact us.

 

Attachments: Download this file (Concept note - ADVANCED GENOMICS and BIOINFORMATICS TRAINING WORKSHOP 2016.pdf)Concept note - ADVANCED GENOMICS and BIOINFORMATICS TRAINING WORKSHOP 2016.pdf[ ]369 Kb

BecA-ILRI Hub 2016 Introduction to principles in laboratory management and equipment operations training workshop: call extended

This call has been extended and will now close on 15 June 2016

Biosciences tools can be used to address many of Africa’s agricultural challenges such as pests, diseases and climatic constraints that result in low crop yields and poor animal productivity. However, opportunities linking modern biosciences to agricultural improvement to solve some of Africa’s major agricultural problems remain largely untapped. The BecA-ILRI Hub hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in biosciences and well trained researchers can solve some intractable problems constraining Africa’s food security. For more information about the BecA-ILRI Hub please visit: http://hub.africabiosciences.org/

As part of its capacity building program, the BecA-ILRI Hub will hold a training workshop on Principles of Laboratory Management and Equipment Operations Training Workshop at the BecA-ILRI Hub on the 11th - 15th July 2016.

Scope of the training workshop
Efficient management of any laboratory facility is necessary to ensure that research is quality controlled and resources are utilized cost effectively. Laboratory management practices must ensure compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks for health and safety, waste management, import and export of biological materials and biosafety. In addition the management of laboratory equipment is a core function and contributes significantly towards the success of any laboratory. Therefore, good laboratory management skills are necessary for personnel charged with management of these vital facilities.
This course aims to cover the following scope; lab design and classification, lab information management system (LIMS), lab quality control, equipment operations and maintenance. Also included are laboratory health and safety, procurement procedures, shipping of biological samples and materials transfer agreements.

Who can apply/selection criteria
The Hub is seeking applicants from eastern and central Africa region who require basics skills in laboratory management. The training is targeting Laboratory heads or supervisors, Scientists and Laboratory/research technicians.  In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria

  • A national of one of the following BecA countries: Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. In exceptional cases, applicants from other African countries may be considered. Please note that applicants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply. A separate strategy has been developed to support these countries through nominations by home institutions, aiming at building on on-going engagements with BecA-ILRI Hub. However, applications from the above nine countries may be considered only if they are sponsored or have own funding to meet at least 75% of the full cost of the course.
  • Have a strong affiliation with a national agricultural research program or institution or university in any of the above BecA countries.
  • Be currently engaged in agricultural biosciences research.
  • Be a holder of BSc, MSc or PhD in biosciences or a related subject.
  • Have a good working knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • Have a letter of nomination/recommendation from head of department or institution head.

Application process
All those interested should fill and submit the online application. No other mode of application will be accepted.

APPLY HERE

Important dates
The online application form must be submitted by mid-night, 15th June 2016 (Nairobi time).
Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered.
Successful applicants will be notified by 20th June 2016.

Workshop sponsors

  • The Australia Government Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through a partnership between Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the BecA-ILRI Hub.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
  • The UK Government through the Department for International Development (DFID)
  • The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.


For further clarifications/ inquiries on the workshop, please contact us. Thank you for considering this opportunity and we look forward to hearing from you.

The BecA-ILRI Hub pays tribute to the late professor James Ochanda

66f25.jpgProfessor James Ochanda, a former coordinator (2004 – 2005) of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, director of the Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (CEBIB) and strong proponent for the advancement of bioscience research in Africa has died.

Until his passing on 27 May 2016, Ochanda was a professor at the University of Nairobi. He also held various positions in institutions and committees of biotechnology focused on enhancing training and institutional capacity in biochemistry, biotechnology and biosafety including being an appointed member of panel of experts on biotechnology and biosafety for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The late professor Ochanda will be remembered for his many contributions to academic excellence in Africa and across the world and for the establishment of the BecA-ILRI Hub as a centre for excellence in agricultural biosciences research in Africa.

The BecA-ILRI Hub condoles with the immediate family, relatives, friends and colleagues of professor Ochanda at this time of grief.

May his soul rest in peace.

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